For the Love of All Things Cake

It happened. My Grand baby turned ONE. My heart both soars and breaks at the same time.
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The first year is truly a miracle. The accomplishments, the growth, and the sheer magnitude of it all. She got her first tooth a month earlier. She can stand and cruise pretty good, but not quite walking yet. She is eating regular food. She can say a few words very clearly (and usually loudly). Laughs at her own jokes, and is obsessed with modem/stereo lights.
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She LOVES Minnie Mouse.

That still amazes me even though the same thing happened with her mother (who loved Pooh Bear). How can someone so small can know exactly what they are crazy about? Do you know what else she is crazy about?


Pure sugar and icing cake.

This girl loves it.

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And of course she would.
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She even dropped her chip for it.

The party turned out fantastic. Lots of friends and family came to celebrate this precious mile stone.

My husband and I started renovating our house mid-July. All the carpet removed from the main rooms and tile installed. We worked regular jobs in the day and spent nights on our house. Every summer show we normally watch is still sitting in the DVR. I’m not sure if that means we watch too much summer TV or if house reno is a lot tougher than it looks on TV. Probably…a little of both. Thank God for Jason’s step-dad and his friend Bob that did the floors for us.

We were able to get the kitchen wall paper removed. Then those walls textured and painted (as well as the living room). All the kitchen cabinets and doors painted. Most of the trim painted and put back on (even added trim to a window). And almost all the tools, compressors, paint cans and left-over trim on the back patio moved into the garage in time for the party.

It was a whirl-wind.

It was crazy.

It was so worth it.

There were lots of adorably cute girl babies.

Lots of burgers, and hot-diggity dogs.

Way too much food and cake.

And just a fabulous birthday all the way around.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography
Of course it was.

I wouldn’t have it any other way for my big and so so little grand girl. She is a treasure and a gift.

We did take a break the day before for a family dinner on my birthday. Yes, I had a birthday too.

But as it goes, she is still the best present I could ask for, and celebrating her first birthday made my 43rd just as memorable.

Like icing on our favorite cake.

Mmmmmm, cake.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

A Year Later…

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How quickly life changes…

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From one week to the next….

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From one month to twelve.

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And all the days in between.

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A stunning journey of growth as you watch a baby go through their first year…

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And not just any baby, but a first GRANDbaby.

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I have to admit…I have cried a few tears.

I will probably cry a few more.

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Every moment a gift.

Every gift a blessing.

Every blessing a living, breathing miracle.

Now we prepare for her FIRST Birthday party!

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It’s today.

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She is one.

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She will even hold up her finger to show you.

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Because she is a happy baby.

And this happy baby holds Grammy’s whole heart pressed between those little hands.

Happy Birthday, Averey! Grammy can’t wait to celebrate it with you.

When it is Twenty Years Later…

On this day, twenty years ago, I gave birth to my baby girl.

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The day I met her is the most amazing day I could ever imagine. I remember I couldn’t stop looking at her. Almost as if my heart was born outside my body. This little person was here. The one I had prayed and prayed about. I looked over every inch of her; from her rosy lips, to her tiny toes, and her little cone head. What a wonder it was to see this very real little person finally enter my life after a long nine months.

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The two grandmas and great grandma were just as enamored with her.

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We all fell a lot in love with this fuzzy-headed baby. A precious gift to us all.

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And oh, how she grew…

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Day after day…

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One minute I am sitting and rocking my baby girl…

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The next I am chasing after a toddler…

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And then, I am holding her hand and I am praying that she grows and shines as bright as she is.

And she does, right before my very eyes.

Faster than I ever thought possible.

In a blink she is all grown up and welcomes her own baby girl…

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And now I have two hearts outside my body.

I am so proud of you, Sydney. You are a beautiful Mom and an even more beautiful (now) twenty-year-old.

Happy Birthday! May the next twenty years be as good as the last.

Easter in Beast Mode – The 2014 Edition

This year was the year of beast mode during Easter and that didn’t quite equal out to the calm celebrations of years past.

See this year started with my husband having shoulder surgery on Good Friday.



If I had a dollar for every time a nurse, Doctor, or anesthesiologist mentioned how painful this surgery would be. Well, I’d have a big stack of bills to smack them with. Fear Mongering does not make for a Good Friday people.

But it happened.

We got to the hospital early in the morning. Waiting in the waiting room until they called him back.
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They got him all prettied up in his cap and matching gown (don’t you know he just loved me taking photos of the event). Soon after our mini photo shoot, they kicked me out of pre-op to put a nerve block catheter in his neck. Ick! Then prep him for the big show.

I watched via a color-coded monitor from the waiting room which stated by number and color where he was at all times….first pre-op (yellow), then surgery (green), and then recovery (blue). All in all we were in and out of the hospital in about seven hours…still….the after part? Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

Ouch. Painful could not even describe it. It was painful to even look at his arm, his tube, his bandages, or his face straining for comfort, his nauseousness from the medicines, and his listlessness from his body going through heck.

I had to watch him non-stop to make sure he didn’t need to go back to the hospital that first day and night. I texted my sister, the nurse, a zillion times describing symptoms or behaviors.

The next day we had the girls (our weekend). Luckily, Grandma and Papa Doug kept them until about three in the afternoon. That helped greatly because by then, he didn’t look near as scary (at least he was out of the hospital gown and in regularish clothes).

But it was Easter weekend and, of course, we had to color eggs….because….well I want to color eggs and that makes me make them color eggs. Heh. I don’t think they minded.

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I didn’t do egg coloring last year. Nope. I didn’t. Do you want to know why? I hate boiling eggs. Me, boiling water, and break-able food? Well, we don’t get along so well, but luckily, I heard about this thing on Pinterest of baking your eggs hard-boiled in the OVEN. Oh yeah. I rocked that.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

I managed the Easter baskets for the girls, Averey, and little goodie bags for my big kids, Brandon and Sydney. I didn’t get the girls too much because, frankly, we are in a massive clean-up and get rid of stuff mode. They have too much stuff crammed in their room and Sydney has too much stuff crammed in her room (that she doesn’t live in anymore). And I have way too much stuff crammed in the garage from my old house four years ago. So, we did a LOT of organizing in Sydney’s old room Easter Eve (making way for Bridget’s stuff) while Daddy slept to get better. The youngest claimed the previous Teen Occupant’s room by moving baskets of her clothes and toys into the already stuffed room and closet weeks ago. It’s a mess. And obviously, it is even more stuffed. We have a lot of work to do. But for now, all the teenage(y) jewelry, some clothes, CDs, stereos, and games have all been divvied up among the two little claimers (who were absolutely ecstatic over every little thing).

The next morning, we had to get ready for Church with Grandma. They wore their Easter dresses that Grandma bought them and they picked out. I will say that Molly could have picked a different style dress and she didn’t. She picked the same style but different size and color as her younger sister. Oh yes, she did! She twinned – totally on purpose – and I think it’s adorable.

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And of course, they are just gorgeous and magical in their Easter dresses. To look at them made me forgot about all the hospital recovery gunk, all the bedroom sorting box gunk, and all the mile-high garage gunk. In that one blissful moment, our celebration was their growing up and being these beautiful girls who love their Church and getting all dressed up on this special day.

I am not sure how much of this Easter my husband will remember so I did try to take lots of photos for him. I have a new camera. I am still learning it. You’d be amazed how different a new camera and all its settings and tweaks can be.

Lastly came the littlest of the bunch. Miss Averey on her first Easter. I had grand plans to set up the portrait backdrop and/or have her in the bluebonnets. But none of that happened. I just set her on the table-cloth and got down on the floor. Poor thing was wiped out by her first Easter, I could not get a single smile. Mom, Dad, and I all squeaked, gaggled, and clapped, but alas, Cute Baby just didn’t have it in her.
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She was super happy just worn out as it was late by then.

And ya know? I was pretty worn out too. Easter will do that, especially an Easter operated in Beast mode.

But I did it. I pulled off Easter with two girls, a new granddaughter, and a sick Poppy.

It was the first time in many years, we didn’t get to Church, but our hearts celebrated the Risen Christ with praise and prayers for Jason’s recovery.

Maybe next year, it will be more of our best mode, and less of our beast mode.

Hope you all had a very Happy Easter. Thank-you for being here. Thank-you for reading.