Happy Birthday Baby!
Wow! What an incredible year it has been! I can’t believe you are already ONE! It seems like yesterday your father and I heard your heartbeat for the first time, heard your cry for the first time or held your hand for the first time… It has been a year of firsts and a year of blessings! From raising you in one of the most beautiful cities in the country to sleepless nights… I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier!
Thank you for the quiet moments where my faith thrived and the not so quiet moments where my faith was challenged.
Thank you for laughing more than crying!
Thank you for teaching your father and I how to be better communicators and team players.
Thank you for teaching us the most important thing in life is faith and family.
Thank you for being a trooper as we carted you all over the country and for making 20 plane flights less painful than anticipated.
But most of all, son, your father and I thank you for loving us. Your love has shown us just how big our hearts are, which in turn, allows us to truly understand the importance of grace, forgiveness, faith, mess, perfection, growth, happiness and generosity.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Cash!
This last month proved to be ONE OF YOUR BUSIEST! Between visitors, trips and MOVING… you are growing up so fast! In fact, for the last THREE AND HALF WEEKS YOU HAVE BEEN WALKING! We are so proud of you! Right after you turned 11 months you were determined to get to where you needed to go without any help from mom and dad! You showed off your skills for and not 1, not 2 but 3 visitors: Aunt Lyndsy, Uncle Schram and Aunt Nee-Nee!
Speaking of visitors… We took Aunt Lynds to one of your favorite places in the city so you could show off your new walking (and running) skills! Its always a good time at the Creativity Museum. (Thanks Aunt Lynds for snapping so many fun photos).
You have been busy showing off your new skills everywhere…
You walked during our family vacation along the west coast… Hello, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Big Sur and Monterey.
You walked out of the doctors office at your 12 month wellness check up where you…
weighed 28 pounds
were measured at 32+ inches
have 12 teeth
and received four shots.
… And you walked onto the plane as we officially packed our bags and moved back east!
Since we knew our time in SF was coming to an end, during the last month, we took advantage of everything CA had to offer. We decided to tour the California Coast where we got to swim, hike, camp, eat and visit some of the most famous sites and cities along Highway 1!
I think out of everything you loooooved at the Monterey Bay Aquarium the most, as you studied the fish and sharks. Your second favorite was probably the Santa Cruz Boardwalk where you were mesmerized by the sea lions.
The vacation week was filled with many other fun activities that even included camping, hiking and swimming! Your were an angel the entire time… and didn’t even mind your car seat!
We returned home from Vacation to prepare for Aunt Nee-Nee’s visit! And we decided to take advantage of her visit with Uncle Chris to say goodbye to the beautiful city of San Francisco. We took them to our favorite San Francisco spots!
In addition to walking you are talking up a storm! You point to everything and a have a conversation about everything you point to. Unfortunately, your father and I are not fluent in “Ca$h talk” but it’s safe to say your first words are officially “Dada”, “Mama” and “Ball”!
You have a new love and appreciation for your toys, especially your basketball and baseball. You love love LOVE to throw and shoot the ball! We bought you your first baseball and baby baseball bat while on vacation and you play with it ALL. THE. TIME! You and daddy have already had many a games of catch.
As I mentioned earlier… This month we have officially moved back east. You spent lots of time playing with Emory while all of our things were boxed up. We are grateful to the Williams Family for being so generous with their home and time for our last for 48 hours in San Francisco. And we are equally grateful to the Wades for their prayers, support and help! Emory and Maya will be life long buddies of yours! We are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with these families and their gorgeous baby girls!
And we wouldn’t have survived the last year if it weren’t for the Melman/Bhatia clan for setting us up in San Francisco, making sure we knew of all the fun things to do as a family and for taking such good care of your puppy brother along the way! We secretly pray that they will move back to NYC too so you and Cade can continue your bro-mance.
While we wait for our things to arrive at our new apartment in NYC, we are saying at Nana’s in Pittsburgh. During this transition you had two really rough days (as you are not only teething– AGAIN– but we were trying to acclimate you officially to east coast time). I’m happy to report three days later we are almost back on schedule.
Your last few days as an infant were spent in Pittsburgh where you were reunited with Cuz B & Cuz D as you cheered them on at your first football game! It’s always so fun to see you face when you see them. Brayden and Donovan are so good to you and never miss an opportunity to give you a high five or a hug!
You were also welcomed by Nana and PappyShanks who have generously opened their doors and their hearts to me, you, your dad, our cat and our dog (thanks mom)! You have seen Uncle Mike, Aunt Jen, Grammy, Pap and Aunt Missy… and tomorrow you will get to see everyone as we celebrate your first birthday with all our loved ones! I think I went a little overboard on your first birthday… but you only turn one once… and this year deserves to be celebrated!
This year flew by with swim lessons, doctor visits, music class, jogging with daddy, museum explorations, many trips, countless church activities, visitors, sight seeing in San Francisco and playdates.
Don’t grow up too fast.
Promise me you will always let me hug you and always let me tell you how much I love you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CA$H MONEY!
Things I hope to teach you before you “grow up”
- Go easy on the cologne and hair gel– less is more.
- Women can smell dishonesty a mile away, so unless you’re trying to protect our feelings, never lie to us.
- Don’t be a sore loser
- Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself, but don’t be a bully.
- Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness.
- Women may want to be treated like equals, but a little chivalry goes a long way. Always open her car door!
- Don’t be a mouth breather or a close talker.
- Learn how to cook (healthy) and learn how to do your own laundry.
- Always look people in the eye when you’re talking to them and when you meet someone for the first time always shake their hand!
- Send me flowers on my birthday. And on Mother’s Day.
- A little confidence goes a long way. Even if you have to fake it.
- Always take your hat off when you enter someone’s home, and never, ever, wear a baseball cap at the dinner table.
- When it comes to love, wait for the one you can’t live without
- Remember that trust is EARNED, and once it’s broken, it’s really hard to get it back… So stay loyal and honest. However, remember God’s message is one of forgiveness… so if someone is sorry God calls us to forgive.
- Learn the definition of grace
- Everyone is your equal, regardless of their race, religion, size, shape, or sexual orientation. Treat them accordingly.
- Don’t spit. It’s disgusting.
- No drugs.
- Find a hobby you’re passionate about, and make time for it
- Don’t be afraid to tell people you love them.
- Respect and honor your mother and father.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Spend time with the people you love. You never know when they’ll be taken away from you.
- Trim your eyebrows, nose hairs, ear hairs… and so on… your dad will help you on this one!
- Learn how to say, “I’m sorry”… anyone can be angry, it takes a bigger person to apologize!
- Be kind and respectful to people.
- Don’t let fear dictate your actions.
- Never EVER kiss and tell (and furthermore don’t kiss at all until your a teenager).
- No matter how young you are, or how late it is, promise you’ll call when and your friends have been drinking, so I can get you all home safely (and alive).
- Always keep breath mints in your pocket.
- Believe in yourself.
- When you’re visiting someone in their home, never show up empty-handed.
- Learn the art of killing with kindness.
- Be on time… Don’t be late (your dad will also have to take the lead on this one… as I’m still working on it).
- Always keep your fingernails manicured.
- Don’t acquire credit card dept.
- No smoking.
- If you are questioning it, you probably shouldn’t do it… or at least call me… we will talk through it.
- Before you propose to a woman, always ask her dad’s permission first.
- Don’t swear in front of women or in a work setting!
- Take pride in your appearance and the way you dress.
- Never kiss a girl on the first date.
- When a woman says “I’m fine”, chances are she’s not.
- Be the hardest worker in the room!
- Learn how to dance or play an instrument
- Take responsibly for your actions.
- Never fart or burp at the dinner table.
- Life isn’t always fair– so don’t worry about what other people are or aren’t doing. Focus on your journey.
- Positivity is important (Nana always says “what you think about you bring about”)
- God first, others second, yourself last!