Happy Birthday, Carter!

What a wonderful day!  Today, Carter is one!

We started the day to melodic coo’ing and gentle “talking.”  After breakfast, Carter got – more like found – her first gift.  The yellow and red Flintstone-powered car.  She loved it!  She figured out how to get in, and could kinda move herself around.  She’d get in, get out, get in, etc.  She played with the doors, the gas cap, and everything on the dash board.  And, together, we used it to chase the cat!

While we prepared for the party, Carter spent the morning with her Godfather.  Around 11:15am, Corey and Amber arrived, followed by Brian, Anna, and Courtney, then the birthday girl.  Shortly after, our home was filled with wonderful friends and family, and a ton of babies!  They were everywhere!  And each one of them was interested in the other!

We had lunch (baked beans = delicious!  potato salad = wretched!) and then birthday cake.  I’d been given advice on the birthday cake situation: strip the baby down, buy an inexpensive outfit for him or her to wear.  I just figured whatever it was, it’d wash out, and it’s cake, how messy could it really be?!?  Come on!  Holy cow, was I incredibly wrong!  Carter had cake all over her face, in her nose and ears, surrounding her eyes, on the carpet, behind her on the chair, on my jeans, and even on Isaac!  That cake went everywhere!  But it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

After cake, a very tired Carter opened her gifts.  It is unbelieveable what a wonderful group of family and friends we have!  This little girl got more than she could ever want!  From clothes to stuffed bears; from a fishing set to a learning table, and – always a favorite – some awesome books!  Isaac and Emma helped open, while Grant and Collin kept an eye on the situation, and Courtney worked the crowd!

After presents, Carter could stand no more, and took a nap.  We hugged friends, family and babies goodbye, and thanked everyone for a special, wonderful 1st birthday!

The gifts were really cool, but more importantly, we are so lucky to have all of these wonderful people in our lives.  Making days like today so special, and giving our family the best gift of all: unconditional love.

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Carter and her new ride:  Go Speedracer, Go Speedracer!

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Uncle Corey helps Carter open her gift (we love the learning table!)

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Courtney, Carter and Isaac play with the cool balloons.  All was good until Carter accidently popped one and scared herself!

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Me and The Man, Grant!  Half of the Gruesome Twosome!

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Carter and Emma pick out the next gift to open .. what’ll it be, girls?

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Carter prepares to open Shawn & Kelly’s gift while sitting on   Carrie’s gift.  Is it a chair?!

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Me, Emma and Carter.  Like their Mommies, Emma and Carter share a moment!
Goodness these two are cute!

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The cake.

It all started off okay …

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… but by the end, Carter was wearing most of it.  Isaac was also wearing a little, as was my chair, my jeans, my carpet … 

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Cakey face

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The Ring Leader poses in her new princess chair (what else would a princess sit in) with her fellow trouble makers, Grant (left) and Collin (right, I think!)

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Carter helps pick up after the party

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Carter, Daddy, and Mommy at the Cazador for Carter’s birthday!

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It’s official: Carter’s reign has begun!

Friday, 8:37pm: Carter will be one year old in 6 hours and 59 minutes!  Her reign as the Birthday Princess has begun!

It has been 364 days and some odd hours now that Carter has been a beautiful part of our lives.  We’ve changed countless stinky wedge diapers, cut 7 teeth (and getting our first molar!) in two months, learned who family members and close friends are and has gained so many amazing skills.  She can quickly crawl, she can shakily feed herself with a spoon, she has mastered the cup and is working on the straw, and she’s feeling out the walking situation.  She went from just barely peeking at us through newborn, winced eyes to watching every move we make, knowing the sound of our voices, and missing us when we leave the room.  

Each and every one of the past 364 days has been magical.  Some have been tough, sleepless, scary and completely disgusting (like the first time she pooped in the tub!), but every second has been simply beautiful.  All the sleepless nights and the spit up puddles have been worth it.  We are the luckiest parents – and grandparents, aunts, godfathers, and friends – to have such an amazing little girl in our lives.

… now we have a toddler … batten down the hatches, here she comes!

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Our amazing little toddler