Saturday, January 30, 2010

Katestravaganza, part 3

With the heavy (heavy for the South, that is) snowfall shutting down much of Middle Tennessee, we thought Kate's party would have to be postponed at least a day. Accepting that fact, we just enjoyed the winter wonderland, playing outside a little, and even having a weenie-roast over the firebowl for lunch!
Nala and Popi brought Kate this cute coat for next winter, but she gave it a test run today, even though she couldn't reach her arms through the wrist-holes or move very well! (It was kind of like the little brother in A Christmas Story!) She toddled around the driveway and I held onto the hood like a leash, to keep her from doing a face-plant if she tripped (which she did a few times). Fortunately, while we were playing and assuming there would be no party till the next day, Granna and Opa called and said they'd decided to venture out! The roads were treacherous in spots, and I know they wouldn't have done it for anyone but Kate, but they made it--and in pretty good time, if fact!

Kate had a nap while the adults ate dinner. (I had planned the original time of the party to fit perfectly between her naps, so she got tired around the time Granna and Opa finally arrived. No big deal, though. We're just happy they made it!) We served three kinds of chili--my white chicken chili, my mom's beef and spaghetti chili, and a new vegetarian chili recipe I found. (I joked that since my birthday is in the summer and we often grill out for it, I had no idea what to cook for a winter birthday. "A normal meal," my mom said, but I thought chili was a fitting and fun menu.)We played a little game in which guests had to put the photos of Kate in chronological order. This was pretty tough, especially since some of the pics were taken only a couple weeks apart! My mom got them all right, though, and won a Valentine mug full of candy. The birthday girl woke up in time to eat a quick dinner herself of white chili, cheese, and crackers, and then we got down to the business of opening presents. (You can see all five of her teeth in this picture. A sixth--the other top incisor--is breaking through, but it's not all that visible yet.)
There were a crazy number of presents. We may have gone a little overboard. (In our defense, relatives who were not at the party also sent gifts. You are all too sweet!)

She got lots of great toys, clothes, and books. One of the books was a photo book I made on KodakGallery. It was the story of Kate's first year, written in second person ("You were born on...") and chronicling all the special memories--big and small--from this wonderful year. It is my plan to make one of these for each child every year for their birthday. The book concluded with a letter to Kate from Mommy and Daddy, and then everybody at the party could write a little note in the back as well. I hope this will be a fun and special tradition for all our children.
Kate was starting to wear out toward the end of opening presents, and pretty much had a conniption as we buckled her into her seat for cake. It didn't help that she ended up putting the candle out with her finger--I was trying to hold her hands away from it, but she escaped, and she didn't cry immediately, but I think our collective gasp and cries of concern as we finished singing "Happy Birthday" sent her already-frazzled self over the edge.
Once she recovered from that incident, though, she really got into her cake, and YES, she made a huge mess! I'm saving those glorious shots for Wordless Wednesday, though. They deserve their own post.
As Kate demolished her cake, the adults enjoyed their own confectionary delight. I didn't get the layers even, but I still like the alternating-flavor thing I did. The cakes were all from mixes, but I did make my own buttercream frosting, and it was GOOD! I am not at all a food snob--I will use mixes and prepared foods and substitute lowfat ingredients without a thought--but oh, that frosting--with real butter and tons of powdered sugar--it was sooo good. It may be hard to go back to Duncan Hines after that.
When the party was over and the birthday girl was in bed, we sat back and marveled at the joy of this year. As our precious child and the first grandchild on both sides, Kate has just lit up our lives. We barely remember what life was like before her, and we are excited for every fun-filled, laughter-infused, love-abounding day and year to come.


Kristen said...

Beautiful! I love the bright colors. It looks like you all had a wonderful time. I may "borrow" the photo game for Landon's birthday gathering!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATE! And congrats on being fabulous parents for a whole year, Jessica and Matt!

Kendall said...

Found this on Kelly's SUYL. Love it! The cake is beautiful, and so is your little girl :) I teared up thinking about my own daughter's future first birthday in only 6 months!


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