Kade Parker Turns 2
There's always so much anticipation leading up to your child's birthday- right? At least that's how I feel. It's coming, it's coming, it's coming, and then all of the sudden it's here and either you've been planning and prepping non-stop or you're frantically planning and prepping the night before. I was somewhere in between those two this year.
Living long distance from family, we weren't able to get both sides together at the same time this year so we didn't do a big party or anything. We decided to do two separate mini celebrations with each side instead. I loved planning Kade's 1st birthday party and getting to document it in that way and I will admit that I have missed that piece of it all this year. Though I have still added little touches to make each mini celebration, and his birth DAY itself, feel special for him, I don't have anything major planned that I can document. I didn't want the day to pass without gathering some photos and putting down some words about this past year so that's what this post is for. It's a personal post, mostly for me (and my family) to look back on, but also for you to get a glimpse into what I consider to be a crazy, beautiful, and blessed life as a mama!
We had some 12-month photos done by my good friend Marielle. It's crazy to look back and see how much more hair has grown on that tiny head in a year.
Those first spring trips to the park after being cooped up all winter bring everyone this much joy.
Seriously missing how he used to prop right up on my hip without me feeling like I was lifting weights.
Those eyelashes are still one of my favorite features on this boy. He also became a big time lover of the outdoors this season. Pinecones, sticks, rocks, plants, bushes, you name it, he loved it- and still does!
He never gets any attention when Mimi & Pop pop come to visit. ;)
My shadow, my stage 5 clinger. Though he has grown leaps and bounds this past year in terms of his clinginess, bravery, and shyness - he remains my shadow, and my stage 5 clinger even at age two. He will even ask to hold my hand as we walk from room to room in our own home and always wants me to be a part of what he's doing or vice versa.
We visited Mimi & Pop pop at the end of May/beginning of June so that daddy could work on our new kitchen!
And mommy was really ready for Kade to start walking...
We were all pretty excited about our new kitchen when we got back home- thanks daddy. :)
Here's kind of what I meant by him wanting to be a part of everything... and mommy being ready for him to walk... ;)
This series of cheerio photos will always bring a smile to my face. He was so proud of himself that he figured out how to make his way into the box and dump the whole bag onto the floor. He was shoving fists full into his mouth at a time and all I could do was laugh and snap pictures.
His look of determination just kills me here! He was SO close to walking for so long... I will say that watching him finally figure it out was one of my all-time favorite milestones.
Looking more and more handsome and growing more into a little boy every day.
We traveled back to Kyle's parents' house to be with cousins for the 4th of July!
Kade loves spending time with his cousins and especially loves playing with the kitties and being outside at "Geeba & Boppa's."
This kid's personality is bigger than the room.
Kade's 1st trip to the zoo!
Another trip out to see Mimi & Pop pop and this time Kade scored himself a new pair of genuine, straight from Nashville cowboy boots. ;)
Kade's first time on the pontoon boat!
And first time with a life jacket. :)
Those sweet moments when you snap a picture of your toddler and then look at it and have to do a double take because you can't quite believe your eyes that it could possibly be THAT CUTE.
Back home and at the goldmine of a splash pad that we just happened to discover like the second week before it closed for the season. Booooo. Clearly we liked it and I can't wait to take him back there this year!
One of my favorite memories from the past year was definitely our trip to Florida with Kyle's family and getting to bring Kade to the beach and the ocean for the first time.
So fun to introduce him to some of our favorite things in our favorite place.
Like shave ice! Which we totally hyped up as "special treat" for him and then he ended up somehow not even liking. Which was fine because... more for us. ;)
We made so many sweet memories this trip and will always remember it as our first actual vacation as a family. Not only was this Kade's first trip to the beach and to see the ocean but it was also his first time flying on an airplane!
Home sweet home! Is this not THE BEST "cheese" face you've ever seen?! He started saying "cheese" for pictures around this time which I loved, but unfortunately it was a phase that passed as quickly as it came. It's rare that I can get him to actually smile and "cheese" for a picture for me these days!
He was absolutely obsessed with this "little pumpkin" this day and I probably could have listened to him say the words "little pumpkin" forever and ever if he'd have let me.
The extent of Kade's Halloween costume this year was skeleton PJs and a cozy coupe car that Mimi & Pop pop transformed into a school bus for him. He knew nothing about candy at this point and had no idea it was something edible. We "trick or treated" to a total of three houses right near ours and he was thrilled.
The simple joys of childhood. Here is Kade just beaming getting to play with one of daddy's brooms that we found in the garage.
And then it got cold out. :( I was so pleasantly surprised this winter season with how well Kade did with keeping mittens on. He had his moments some days when I first put them on that he would claim they were too tight, panic, and pull them off, but most days he would let me "fix them" and give it a second shot allowing me to then distract him enough after to forget about them. We had some very cold days so I was grateful I didn't have to worry so much about his tiny fingers!
We put our Christmas tree up BEFORE Thanksgiving this year for the first time since we've been married. This was because we were traveling back home to see family over Thanksgiving and then I was going to be away for a friend's bridal shower the weekend after and by that time it would have been mid-December. Kade loved getting to "help" us decorate the tree and seeing all of the ornaments. He did great, for the most part, with keeping them on the tree and not messing with them too much.
Look at that poor, sweet, drippy nose. We had my friend take some family photos for us for a Christmas card this year and even though it was freezing cold, I was so happy we did it!
This is the photo we ended up using for our Christmas card. Another thing I love about these photos is that I was actually pregnant and didn't know it yet. I was praying that I was, and was kind of thinking I might be, but we didn't find out until the Monday after Thanksgiving.
My little nature lover. This was one perfectly warm late fall/early winter day when we were back visiting family for Thanksgiving. We all went over to the park that we helped build in honor of our nephew who passed away at 10-months in 2014. Kade had the BEST time running around and playing with his cousin Eliot, Geeba & Boppa.
I love this family photo of us. We were on a horse carriage ride at a Christmas event at our church.
This was such a fun little photoshoot set up I threw together for the holidays. It really was just for fun but I got some great photos out of it! He loved those little lights.
Here's another fave. I never want to forget that big cheesy grin that takes up half his face.
First year doing matching Christmas jammies and it was everything I thought and hoped it would be. Why is it that something so silly and so small can bring someone such joy? So excited to continue this new tradition! These jammies were sponsored by LazyOne Inc.
This is probably one of my favorite photos from this Christmas. I can't look at it without smiling and/or laughing. We almost always go back to be with family at Christmas time but this year Kyle had to work the day after so we stayed home. It was a slow, quiet Christmas but it was just the three of us and it was perfect for that reason alone.
Ringing in the new year with daddy! (at like 6 PM)
Kade started out the new year by letting daddy give him his 1st official haircut!
Sweet smooches for mommy in the middle of the kitchen. #thingsiwanttoremember
First REALLY significant snow of the season! We got over a foot and Kade absolutely loved it. He especially loved going sledding in our backyard with daddy. :)
So, so, so, grateful that my boy likes to "nuggle." There is literally nothing better.
The month we announced our exciting news!
Kade is my very best little friend and I worry a little bit about jealousy being an issue when the new babe arrives. Aside from this, I am 200% confident that he is going to be THE BEST big brother in the whole world. He says the sweetest things when we talk about the baby. Some of my favorites have been "Can I nuggle the baby?" and "Can I sing songs to the baby?" He also says he is excited to hold the baby. help give baby a bath, and read books to the baby. When I asked him if we should get a special present for him to give to the baby he said "No, I want to get a present for ME." Super. ;)
We headed back to spend time with family while Kyle had a conference for work over Valentine's Day. My parents and I took Kade to a sweet little restaurant for kids called "Two Toots" where the food gets delivered to you on a little choo choo train. The restaurant itself is also by the actual train tracks, hence what Kade was distracted by in this picture. :)
Back home and loving on his own choo choos.
We made another trip down to Geeba and Boppa's house to celebrate cousin birthdays (including Kade's). A few of the cousins were sick so we didn't get to spend as much time with them as we'd hoped but he was thrilled to see them for even just a bit to play outside. It was such a beautiful day and he loved playing on their swing set!
Geeba picked out a special Daniel Tiger birthday hat for Kade- he was very serious about it. ;)
His favorite part about his birthday... getting sung to and blowing out his birthday candles! He loved this special pound cake that Geeba made for him too. The next morning when we got him out of bed, the first thing he said was "Can I have some birthday cake?"
Kade also got his very first bike for his birthday this year. Gifted along with the bike was a super cool helmet (all from Geeba & Boppa) and he had to sport his new shades from Mimi, too. When did my baby get big enough to ride a bike?!
It's been a great year and I'm so excited to watch Kade transition into his new role as a big brother this year. We had the sweetest moment the day before his birthday almost as if he knew he was turning a year old and mama needed the extra snuggles. I went in to get him from his nap and instead of requesting to "watch a little Tigey" and "have a yummy snack," he said "Can I read a book with you in the rocking chair?" We sat to look at some of his books and he eventually requested to turn the light back off and close the door. So we did, and then continued to sit together, snuggled in his glider just chit chatting. He is able to carry on a conversation pretty much at this point which makes our chats even better. We talked about what he could see in his room, we talked about some of his books, and then at one point he asked to turn the light back on a little bit. He turned to look at me and said "You look so nice! Can I nuggle you?" I about cried as I responded "of course!" and I kid you not, the next thing that came out of his mouth as he threw his arms around me and SQUEEZED, was "I love you!" Then, in true "boy" fashion, he tooted, giggled, and said "That was a toot!" and we both just laughed together.
This boy has made my first two years as a mama absolutely filled to the brim with joy and I truly cannot believe what a blessing his sweet, gentle, silly, and curious personality has been in our lives. I am so proud of you, Kade Parker, and cannot wait to see what the Lord does in your little life this next year! <3