not knowing how invaluable it would prove to be, my dad had given us a parking pass so that we were able to park just outside the main entrance to the concert hall where the performance was being held. i'm pretty sure josh would have had to throw me over his shoulder and carry me in like a bag of potatoes had we not had rock-star parking. we found our seats (on the floor--thanks daddy!), met up with bethany and bailey and sat back to enjoy an amazing show of lights, music, and singing.
and then josh played air-drums the entire way home after it was over.
now fast-forward a week to isabel's birthday. with the preceding weeks of illness we had had, her big day kind of snuck up on me. (ok, who am i kidding? i always have a hard time getting on top of birthdays in the first few days of a new month. lori, jim, jaci, and grandma...i'm so sorry!) but thankfully, we had made the decision months ago to seriously scale back birthdays around here. it's not that we've ever had any kind of fancy soiree for our kiddos, but years ago, we kind of fell into this pattern of inviting lots of friends and family to each child's themed party. and by the nature of 40 hungry people in the overly-decorated house, the parties got expensive.
then our adoption agency shared with us that we will likely never know our new baby's actual birthdate because in ethiopia, simply surviving and having something to feed a newborn far outweighs doing anything special to document the day of that child's birth. so in light of how god had moved in our hearts for the little ones of africa, we gave up the "bigness" of parties in the way they had once been in favor of small, extremely inexpensive, immediate family gatherings.
and for us, it's perfect that way. no stress, no running around town gathering decorations, and a grand total of $20 spent at publix to provide a few munchies for the fam. and it leaves room in our budget to spend money where it really matters. what's not to love?!?
as much as i would like to take credit for this darling creation, i had nothing to do with it. the cake is from this hole-in-the-wall bakery in gadsden that has done cakes for my family for over a decade now for everything from weddings to babies.
and josh's mom drives all the way from marietta just to get the corner piece! (izzy apparently likes it, too.)
isabel was surrounded by family who love her on her special day. josh's sister, rebekah, even tossed ayda in the car and came up from florida!
if only izzy could figure out how to blow out candles, it would have been the perfect day (although she did break into a spontaneous verse of happy birthday for herself when she saw the cake). jack offered his year-older, more experienced candle-blowing services, but abby, ummmm, "discouraged" him.
finally, though, with a little roundtable help, the flames were out, and it was time to cut the cake.