Hi...I'm Renee!

I'm a busy mom who uses mindless-creativity to easily calm my mind, ignite my joy + savor life. Learn more here.

The Day She Turned 4

The Day She Turned 4

I'm SO thrilled that I was able to take pictures again!!

I absolutely LOVE telling visual stories with my camera.  And,I especially LOVE capturing the "story" or, shall I say, WHO they currently are in the "chapter" of  their life.  

Last year, I was very, very pregnant for C's 3rd birthday.

The first weekend of August is a BIG weekend for us because, usually on that Friday, we celebrate Coast Guard Day (the birthday of the Coast Guard) out in the heat. So, yeah, last year I was SUPER tired.  I did make her day special, but I didn't snap as many pics as I'd like to.

Well, this year, I'm happy to say, I snapped almost every detail of C's special day and I'm SO SO excited.

Yes, sit back and relax, because this post is FILLED with many, MANY visual stories.

This year, the week before her birthday, she came down with the stomach flu.  :(

Luckily, she recovered by Wednesday, but she was still pretty tired.  We all were.

This year, her birthday theme of choice was the infamous princess birthday.  Her first birthday we just did cupcakes.  Her second birthday was colors and her third was Minnie Mouse.

Those first years I chose themes that she was SO into at the current moment.

This year, she chose everything herself.

That's what's SO awesome about 4.  This is the year she was SO into it.  She was excited for her day to come and she couldn't wait.

The night before, she slept in her dress and then I woke up at 6:45 am and she was already out in the kitchen, talking in her sweet little voice.

D and I decorate each year with banners and balloons after she goes to sleep.  I do this because, as you'll see below, I want her to remember the FEELING of her day (and because I get SO much JOY doing this for her).  This year I had 2 princess crowns waiting for her on top of all her presents.

Sleepy eye and all, she was SO ready to open her gifts at 6:50 am!!  What kid (or adult!) isn't?   (And, as you can see, she found one of those princess crowns pretty quickly.)

She got her share of princess gifts...new Cinderella shoes (she had them before but wore them out. I was SO lucky they had her size when I checked again at Target for them)...new princess pajama's...but, even though it was the year of the "princess" she wanted Toy Story toys for her gifts.  :)

This moment, opening her Buzz Lightyear gift, in the early morning hour, with her Daddy, just melts my heart.  Especially the last picture. I'll always be reminded of how much she loves her Daddy and how much he loves her when I look back at these pictures.  The best ever!

Happy, just woke up, smile.

Next up...Jessie! She has Woody, so, of course, she needs Jessie, right? :)

The Toy Story clan...ahhhh, happy together.

Like I said, her birthday weekend is a weekend FILLED with SO much going on. This year was probably our busiest weekend we've had in years.

That Monday after was her first day of school.  So, in honor of celebrating "the FIRST day of SCHOOL!" we got her the backpack and lunchbox she picked out.  Yaaaaay school!  You can read all about how her (and my perspective as a mother doing this for the first time too) first day of school went here.

Ooooo....what could it be??  Shake! Shake! Shake!  (Doesn't this just bring you back to when you were a kid?  Gosh, it does for me and I just LOVE it!!  I really need to shake my presents with happy anticipation more)

It's not a princess birthday without a princess book. ;)

She asked to go to the Aquarium, so we headed out for some fishy fun.

I didn't get many pics because my hands were full with baby bro.  ;)

After the Aquarium, we headed to the Disney store so she could pick out something special for her day.  I forgot my iphone and my big camera in the car.  I had NO idea that they were gonna have the entire store sing happy birthday to her and put a birthday message from Tinkerbell on the video screen in the middle of the store.

Oh...that moment filled me to happy tears.  She was so happy and it really felt like we were at Disney World for a moment.  So awesome! And, dang!! I wish I had snapped the moment.  Oh well..next year!  Or, better yet, a trip to Disney World instead...hint! hint! D...just in case you're reading this. ;)

We came home and she immediately put on her tinker bell outfit that she picked out at the store.  Then she was all about painting her Princess Sofia watercolor book that she got that morning.

Then she bathed it up and it was cupcake time!  The moment she had been waiting for ALL.DAY.LONG!!  She helped me mix the batter and then she asked me 100 times if they were ready the entire time they were baking and while I was decorating them.  Gotta love it!! :)

She asked for pink cupcakes with pink icing.  I didn't make them from scratch, but in a few years I will be.  Once things settle with baby bro, I'm all over it!!  These weren't the best tasting cupcakes, but they sure came out pretty and C loved them so that's all that mattered. :)

She waited SO patiently for her birthday cupcake (and of course, Daddy was behind me acting silly and making her natural laughter come out...I didn't mind one bit!)

I'm still in shock that she's 4.  I swear she was just 2 and I was laying on the couch in first trimester ickiness with baby bro wondering if I was gonna make it through 9 months of pregnancy while taking care of her.  Ha! I made it! Thank goodness!! ;)

She was SO excited about her Happy Birthday song this year.  Oh, I can't even tell you how much I love that she's SO into it this year.  (I know, I keep saying this...I just can't help myself...it truly was the best ever!!).  We had to sing her Happy Birthday over and over again for days.  So fun! :)

She's 4! She is 4! She is 4!

Still being SO patient while I snapped away.

And, the patience is now gone!! Dig in baby girl! Dig in!! :)

Her Daddy showed her how to take the wrapping off.  Awwwww!!  Love capturing moments like these!

And she savored her cupcake like crazy.  And I was able to sit and capture it all because D was keeping baby bro occupied.  SCORE!!

Yes...I'm still SO excited about this.  Because when I sit and snap and watch her, I get the best moments a mama could ask for.  Moments I never wanna forget and moments I want her to see when she gets older.  Because it's the FEELING behind these moments that I never want her to forget (or me either!).

Then she took all the cupcake toppers and placed them all on another cupcake.  She counted, "One, two, three, four...because I'm four!" Oh I could listen and watch her do this all day, everyday.

And why not add some more.  Heck yeah!! :)

Then she pretended they were candles and blew them out.  Heart...melting...to pieces!!

Her beautiful cupcake masterpiece. :)

I tell ya, she sat there for SO long.  I'm SO happy she did because I got to be an even more present mama and enjoy every moment of her cupcake bliss with camera in hand. 

From her savoring the cake and the icing to playing with all the cupcake toppers...she's such a great reminder that slowing down and enjoying the moment is the only way life should be lived. 

And, then, I just had to get a pic of her with her baby bro on her special day.

This will definitely do (he LOVES hanging upside down).  :)

When I think about her special day, the one thing I hope is that when she's older she'll always remember the FEELING of her day.

She won't remember the presents, the detail of the cupcakes or maybe not even her trip to the Aquarium or the Disney Store, but, I'm pretty sure she'll most definitely remember the FEELING...that amazing, happy, tingly, joyous FEELING that filled her up while celebrating HER day....because, I mean, really, don't we all grow up remembering the JOY and FUN that our birthday's bring? ;)

When she gets older and she tells me about all that JOY she felt on her birthdays, then I know I did some kind of parenting right.

Welcome to 4 my little love bug!! We love you!!

Until next time...

Life IS beautifully fun...SAVOR it up!

Weekend Savors: Party, Pizza, Walking + a Sunset

Weekend Savors: Party, Pizza, Walking + a Sunset

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{Mama Eats} Pad Thai