Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kayleigh and Emily

Kayleigh and her little BFF Emily go to the same Mommy and Me class.  They have an absolute blast there, and Kayse and I love watching their little friendship grow.

This week, they got to dress up in Halloween attire :)  Just had to share some pictures of our little cuties!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kayleigh's 1st Birthday

Kayleigh's 1st birthday was a very special day.

Our original plan was to spend the day at the zoo, since animals are just about her favorite thing ever.  But then it turned out that it was going to be over 100* inland, so we decided to head toward the coast and celebrate Kayleigh's birthday at the Aquarium.  We had a wonderful day!

Two birthday girls ready to party!

Kayleigh loved her birthday "boon" :)

And her adorable birthday shirt, custom made by The Sassy Squirrel

Once we were inside, we were happy to see that Kayleigh's enthusiasm for animals carried right over into excitement for fish, too.  Basically, this kid loves anything that moves (plants included!)


The highlight of the day was definitely when a scuba diver descended right in front of Kayleigh.  He waved and smiled, blew bubbles, and clapped his hands for her.  Kayleigh was entranced.

After watching and taking pictures for a few minutes, we realized, "Why aren't we getting this on video!?"  So we grabbed the Flip quickly and caught the rest of their cute interaction.

After saying goodbye to our scuba friend, we headed outside to play in the fountains.  My goodness, did Kayleigh love that!

It was a truly wonderful way to celebrate our sweet girl!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Stay as Sweet as You Are" 1st Birthday Party

On my 13th birthday, my Papa Chuck gave me a birthday card in which he had simply written,

Stay as sweet as you are!
Love, Papa Chuck

It surprised and touched me at the same time.  My papa wasn't a touchy-feeling teddy bear of a man; he was a quiet, hard-working, serve-others-with-everything-you've-got kind of man.  Somehow, seeing those words, "Stay sweet," written in his block lettering gave me a new perspective about who I was.  My papa thought I was sweet.  He wanted me to stay the way I was.

I loved that.  I felt more valuable, more precious, just knowing that this man of few words felt that way about me.  Those words have always stuck with me.  Through my teenage years, through my college days, through losing my Papa to cancer two years after I got married.  I've always wished that Papa Chuck could have met Kayleigh.  I can imagine the way his blue eyes would twinkle mischievously at her, and the way his laughter would echo hers.

Jesse and I started talking about birthday party themes for Kayleigh at the end of July.  We played around with different ideas, from ladybug-themed parties to cupcake-themed ideas.  We wrote down lists of ideas to go with each theme, and had fun getting creative with it.

But as her birthday came closer and closer, I realized that a cookie-cutter party theme idea just didn't fit. I didn't want to build a party around a theme, I wanted to build a theme around my sweet girl.  My beautiful little girl who I wish I could just freeze at this sweet stage and cherish her forever.

Nat King Cole's song fits my sweet girl perfectly.  Kayleigh's birthday party was a beautiful day of celebrating the sweet little person that she is.  Jesse and I pray every day that she always stays this sweet.

Here are some ways that we decorated for her special day!

I covered an old bulletin board with batting and fabric to create this photo timeline with one picture for every month of her life clothespinned to string.

The mantle decor is string with 2" diameter circles folded over it in alternating pastels.
You guys, the party-planning craze came over me and I actually hot-glued the string to my brick fireplace!  Thankfully, it comes right off :)

Three hurricane candle votives were used to hold some of Kayleigh's special items from her first year.  Her first pair of shoes, her newborn pacifiers, and her everyday hair clips.

The lyrics to Stay as Sweet as You Are were printed out and posted near the entryway of our home

Continuing with our "Sweet" theme, we listed some of Kayleigh's favorite words on a cabinet.
And, I forgot to take a picture of it, but we had a basket full of candy on the table with a sign that said "Sweet Treats--help yourself!"

I never managed to get a picture of the dining room once it was all set for the party, but here it is halfway there.  I made more paper garlands (I added doilies to these) and strung them from the chandelier, along with lots of tissue paper flowers.

I used doilies on the table and also to decorate the three mason jars which held the utensils.  Jesse helped me punch out little circles using scrap paper and we sprinkled it across the pink tablecloth.

Flower-shaped brownie pops were Kayleigh's party favors, and we had footprint leaves with "Thank you for sharing in my special day! Love, Kayleigh Grace" printed on the back of each.

The house simply overflowed with loved ones that day, and Kayleigh was showered with love.

It was a beautiful day to celebrate our sweet girl!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wrapping up September

I've decided that God created 1st birthday parties so that moms could get off the couch, wipe their "My baby's turning ONE!" tears from their cheeks, and realize that birthdays aren't so bad when you get to plan a party.

Kayleigh's first birthday party was a very special one, and I can't wait to share pictures with you and tell you more about it!

I also can't wait to tell you all about our special 1st birthday trip to the Aquarium.  We had a blast.  And ohmygoodness, our little girl loves fish.

And I don't have any pictures from the day, but I had a wonderful 26th birthday spending the day with my childhood friend Emily and enjoying Handsome Man's homemade fish tacos for dinner--and my faaaavorite new treat, pavlova for dessert!  It was a wonderful day :)

Sunday was also a special day for our family, as Jesse was officially called and installed as the Director of Christian Education at our new church.  It's been 4 years of praying and searching for the place God wanted us to be, and now we are happily at home in the church He called us to.  We are so thankful for His providence, and for this wonderful congregation's love and appreciation for my Handsome Man!  

September was a blessed, busy, wonderful month!

Looks like life should be settling down now, though, and I'm looking forward to catching you up this week!