Sunday, February 11, 2018

Kiley's First Birthday

Our little girl is one year old!

It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed since we first heard her sweet little cries and felt the desperate grip of her tiny little fingers. I held her on my chest and she calmed immediately as we stared into each other's eyes and tears of joy streamed quietly down my face. 

The past year has seen many more tears for both of us, but our family has also grown exponentially with love since Kiley joined it a year ago.

Happy First Birthday, Kiley Patricia!

We threw her (and ourselves) a little party to celebrate with family and some of our closest friends.

Big Brother Ryder was super excited to help Kiley celebrate her birthday. All week long he helped me pull together craft projects, shop for food, and decorate the house for his favorite little sis.

We were very much looking forward to a traditional first birthday Cake Smash. Unfortunately, Kiley wasn't particularly thrilled by the situation (although the balloons were a hit).

Happy birthday, dear Kiley, happy birthday to you!

With a little coaxing from Daddy and Ryder, we were finally able to convince her to try some cake.

Kiley also received mountains of wonderful, generous gifts!

She was thrilled with the colorful wrapping paper just as much as with the presents.

Due in large part to my Maternity Mommy Group, Kiley actually has a decent group of friends who are around her own age. It was difficult to get them all organized into a photo together, but we tried!

Having kids is an adventure that you should never embark upon alone. 

Besides having an extremely supportive and understanding spouse, I highly recommend surrounding yourself with good friends who are also in the same stage of life. We've been extremely fortunate in this regard, and I really don't know how we would have gotten through this past year without the support of our many friends.

And of course we have been entirely spoiled by our family members, who are in love with our kids and are always more than willing to lend an ear, or a helping hand. They are basically the reason our marriage is still standing after the last crazy, sleep-deprived 365 days.

Nana with her fourth of five grandchildren!
Kiley's Uncle AJ, Aunt Morgan, and Cousin Kinley. The girls are only six months apart, and I hope destined to be the best of friends.

Patty and Grandpa Russ, who is especially thrilled by having another Alway girl around.

It was so fun to spend the day doting on our little princess.

It's hard to explain how I feel about my second child turning one. She's still and will always be my baby, but she's also turning into a big girl before our eyes.

The party was a huge success, filled with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. Sweet Kiley is definitely very loved. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has been a part of our lives this past year — we couldn't have done it without you!

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