Friday, June 23, 2017

kendall kate turned 3!

it's been a week now since we celebrated our cute little keni kate! this was the first year she was able to comprehend that it was her birthday and she loved it! she woke up to balloons, presents, and a unicorn headband, courtesy of the theme she wanted for her birthday party. she was pretty darn happy all day long. and it really was so fun to celebrate her!

we started the day off at seven peaks, which has kind of become a birthday tradition for her (and brooklyn). we did her favorites: mermaid lagoon and ate funnel fries. the girls swam forever in the wave pool, and then we called it good and headed home to meet james.

i bathed the girls, showered, and then got us all ready super fast and we were ready to go as soon as james got home. we headed down to city creek, specifically the disney store, to let kendall pick out a birthday present (hello disney credit!) and to be sung to. they do it right at the disney store! she got a button with her name and 'happy birthday' on it, then they dimmed the lights in the store, put her name on the screen, the staff came out and sang and clapped along, and she danced around with brooklyn, adalyn, and judson and she thought it was the coolest ever!

after a few penny wishes in the stream (at city creek) we headed for home to finish setting up for the party. kayla came early and my girls loved having judson and baby hayven there! keni even got to open her presents from auntie googs before the party started!

like i already mentioned, kendall wanted her birthday party theme to be all about unicorns. never say never! so i did it as subtly as i could, minus the giant unicorn balloon that was bigger than her, but i had to have it!

we ate chicken salad sandwiches, hot dogs, cheese balls, fruit, lemonade & limeade, and cake and ice cream for dessert.

parties at our house are very low key. you come and eat, visit, we sing & blow out candles, presents, and then call it a night. nice and relaxing just like summer birthday nights should be!

the picture below is kendall leading her girl cousins (and sister) in a game of 'follow the fairy'!

and for the second year in a row uncle dev showed up and surprised us!

we ended the night with sparklers because that's also become a birthday tradition. the girls love it and it makes the night feel like summertime and oh so magical!

happy birthday to our keni kate who makes our lives so bright!

Dear Kendall Kate,

I've been so excited for this birthday of yours for the past 3 months! You've grown so much this year and you have made your mother and me laugh harder than we knew we could at times with the funny and precocious things that you say! 

Just yesterday we were at Nana and Papa's and you were standing at the entryway on the stairs because I had my hands full as I took Brooklyn and Adalyn out to the van to get ready to go. You seemed content to stay there as we walked out, happy in your own little world filled by your incredible imagination. As I came back into the house to find you, I asked Nana where you were and she replied with a smile, "I just asked her where her Daddy went," and she just simply stated, matter of factly, "He left," and you walked off, not missing a beat. 

I laughed out loud and chuckled as I pictured the scene. It's just so much like you! You're just such a spunky little fireball, so full of life and passion! I can see so much of myself in you and I also so much more. You are also filled with your Mother's kindness and you love your sisters so much you just can't even contain it sometimes!

It's been so fun to see you getting to know your Nana and Papa better as they've moved home from Hawaii this year. You love them so much and they can't help but smile every time you strut into their home. All of our family loves you so much and we just can't imagine our lives without you! With all your personality and spunk, I'm sure we'll continue to try one another's patience in the years to come but I look forward to the lessons that you'll teach me and the opportunity to love you as hard and deeply as you love us! You're such a special little girl and I love you more than you'll ever fully know. 

One of my greatest desires is simply to do all that I can to show it to you and help you feel it in every way I can. I'm going to make mistakes and I pray that when the time comes that you'll recognize them as such and be willing to forgive me. I still have a long ways to go to become the father to you and husband to your mother that you each deserve, but I would give my life for each of you in the blink of an eye if I had to, knowing that this life is but a small moment and that we have the eternities to look forward to together!

I want you to know that we do have forever to look forward to and that we should be every aware and grateful of this fact as we remember our Older Brother, Jesus Christ, and His infinite and everlasting atonement, which makes all of this possible. Because of Him, the mistakes that we make can be overcome, even the times when I am not as patient or as understanding as I should be. Because of Him, I'm a better dad and a better person. Because of Him, I have You. He lives and loves You even more than your Mother and I do. We all hope the very best for you and together, we can change the world! I'll ALWAYS love you and I look forward to the next 50 years and the opportunities I'll have to show that to you. 

You'll go to school and make hundreds and thousands of friends. You'll eventually meet a young man with a strong testimony of the gospel, worthy to take you to the temple, to be sealed to you like your Mom is sealed to me, and your grandparents to each other. This is such an amazing blessing and I can't wait to be there for that special moment in your life. I can't wait to meet your beautiful little children and to see the love that you have for them. In that moment you'll know even better just how much you are loved, as you experience the incredible adventure and joy which is parenthood. 

I love you Kendall Kate. I love every bit of you. You are beautiful and kind. You are mine and ours. You are truly a Princess and a Queen, destined to do great things in the service of our Lord and King. Hold your head high and recognize your individual worth. Learn to see yourself as our Father in Heaven, our Savior Jesus Christ, and as your Mother and I see you. 

With all my heart,

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