Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Better With Age

Today marked a momentous occasion in our household, a day so big and fun it can only be properly honored with a gesture as awesome as putting your foot on your head. Like it's no big deal. Heck, I can still bite my thumb as I do it. So what day is it?

Why, it's Cadence's very first birthday, of course!! Our little lady isn't a baby anymore, she's a full year old, all growed up, and we can hardly believe it. The past year has been nothing but a blessing, and we're so, infathomably grateful to have her in our lives. Cadence, thank you for coming into our lives, for choosing us as your parents, and the moment that you did to arrive. You are the best thing that could ever have happened to us, and we love you more than words could ever express. Happy happy happy Birthday, Cadie Ladie, and many happy returns of the day.

With that, on to what you are all waiting for...Pictures!
We actually started the celebration yesterday, with a trip to the Russell Sims Aquatic Center:

Which she loved. Immensely. In addition to the sun and waves, there was much to explore, such as this bridge:

(and yes I know I look incongruous in this pic; shut up. I care only enough to write this quip, but I'm clearly posting it anyway.)

The aquatic center may not have sand, but it does have a beach-like slope in the pool, which Cadence found pretty cool.

We started her official birthday with a trip to Cracker Barrel. They gave her her very own chair, and she ate at the table, with us, and then the wait staff came out with a giant fudge-and-ice-cream covered brownie and had the entire restaurant sing "happy birthday" to her! She was a bit confused, but not entirely unpleased.

Before and after our very big, very tasty breakfast, she explored the store and rode this super awesome rocking ...ah... caterpillar.

After a good morning adventure, she was glad to be home, and out of the (&@$#*) car. We spent quite a while just toolin' around our property, enjoying the outdoors.

I can't get over how grown up she looks in this shot. I know she's still just a little lady, but it was just last year that she appeared and seemed so small and vulnerable, my heart has barely had time to keep up with the fact that she's so strong and independent already.

My parents tell me this never stops.

After all that, it was nap time. Clearly.

She ran to the bed and ploughed onto it as soon as I put her down. Such a good silly lady!

After nap time, we had lunch and then made a trip to Kroger for dinner fixin's and balloons! hooray! Upon our return, Cadence helped us put away the groceries.

Such a good big girl!!

She even helped Papa Scott rearrange the fridge.

Limes, anyone?

After that, we put on some music and danced in the kitchen while Baba made Cadence a very special meal for her birthday dinner: Jiao Zi!

She loved them. She gobbled up two!

Balloon! Puppy! Empty Plate!

It must be time for Cake! We forgot to take still photos of the cake my mom made for Cadence, or the big 1-shaped candle on top of it, or Cadence's bemused expression as we all sang "happy birthday' again and cheered when James helped her blow it out, but we do have this post-cake-and-ice-cream, hollering-into-a-balloon pic which shows enough of the cute chaos to suffice.

After cake came the presents! oh, so many presents for such a little lady-b! She was very good though, and didn't melt down and even shared her new toys with friends and puppies alike. Again, we didn't do much still photography, but hey, this is all the cliche stuff anyhow, right?
Kelly did snap this one, which I thought was a pretty good representation of the overall event...except there needs to be a huge smile. (I think Cadie got distracted by the camera when this was taken):

She made out like a bandit: a whole bunch of nice clothes and some cash from her Nainai, a lantern, a rubber duck, a wooden dragony serpently cool creature thing, and elephant, an alphabet puzzle, a wooden scooter thing to ride on, a vibrating giggly cat ball, a Really! Big! Ball! a band in a drum, and a giraffe-motiffe tunnel to crawl through!! And I am almost definitely forgetting something (for which I apologize!!) but its late now, and it's been a big day. We'll leave you all with good wishes and love, and this photo of James and Cadence hanging out inside the tunnel (in this instance, worn vertically instead of actually crawling through it. Really, though, all that matters is that smile:)