I've often heard that a contractor's home is the most neglected, at least in terms of home projects getting to completion. As we were expecting Adelaide, I promised myself I'd do everything I could so that her photos and documentation of her life wouldn't suffer on account of my photography business. That being said, the end of the school year collided with her one-year celebration. Immediately following, June exploded in a great way with wonderful family & senior sessions and weddings. Combine that with a fantastic 2 week vacation to my hometown and you get a neglected documentation of Adelaide's one year mark on the blog. Thankfully, I don't think she's noticed....

So, to catch you up, Adelaide had a ladybug themed celebration and really, it was a celebration even moreso for Gerard & I. It was a gathering of our dearest family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to say, "We made it through the first year of Parenthood, we're alive and we kept HER alive!" As I looked over all our guests filling our backyard, deck and patio, I counted half of our wedding party present, friends we hadn't seen in months, some not since our wedding, and neighbors that we wanted to reach out to. I'm so thankful we had a guest book for people to sign because it gave us a headcount of 81 people (with three additional babes in utero)! But, enough chatter from me, here are the details via imagery...with the caveat that I am not a Pinterest person and all the decorations we had were already on hand from past Memorial Day parties we've thrown or had donated to us from wonderful friends whom I'll get to in a moment. Food was our sole purchase. :)

A dear friend, Trayla, made the cookies and they were such a hit that if I hadn't saved a few extras in the fridge, Gerard and I would not have eaten a single one!

A fellow Drake grad and friend of mine, Ashley, designed and printed the 'Happy Birthday' banner and the mini 'Laidy' banner on the cake. She also designed the invites for me to mail to family members. On the left window, we had a "Choose Your Cherrio" voting for our guests to choose if Laidy looks more like her mom or her dad at the age of one. Happy to report that I eked out a win by 3 votes. :) Honestly, she looks like me from the nose down and Gerard from the eyes up.

Rather than cramming everyone into our kitchen, we sat down next to her on the lawn to dig in. I handed the camera to my sister-in-law, Mimi, so I could be fully present and not watching everything from behind a lens. We gave Laidy the go-ahead by dabbing a little frosting for ourselves and eventually, she was all in!

After we'd stripped Laidy of her frosting, we wanted to pray for her and us as parents with everyone in attendance. Gerard & I wanted to publicly thank the Lord for bringing us through such a journey to become parents, heal from a difficult recovery on my part, and bring us through the past several months. He is good and He has blessed us in huge ways through Laidy's life and how He's growing us as parents and as a married couple. Heavens knows we couldn't have done this on our own!

As I mentioned before, we had so many guests with us for this celebration. We squeaked out a photo with Gerard and his sister, Mimi, and kiddos. Note: Mimi's babe, Kai, is four-ish months younger than Laidy and roughly 2-3lbs heavier. This party was probably the one and only occasion that Laidy could knock him over without retaliation. :) And yes, they are siblings! (through adoption. :))

Beyond the blessings of the party gathering, we had Laidy's one-year photos taken by the wonderful Austin Day. He's happily been my right hand man for several weddings and has photographed Laidy since right before we found out we were pregnant. Neither fog, nor hair that wouldn't hold curl, nor a teething/snotty child could keep us from getting these photos knocked out before our vacation. And as always, Austin made us look great!

Yes, Laidy is learning how to kiss.... She has such an affectionate personality and constantly tries to get the attention of people who aren't looking at her, just to give them a smile. She'll come to either Gerard or I and ask, "Up?" just to give us a hug and nuzzle. I'm thoroughly enjoying this stage (as I've enjoyed most of her stages thus far) before the Terrible Two's hit from what I hear.  Currently, we're in training for her flower girl debut next month! We'll let you know how it goes! ;)

--Carrie

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