It was late Friday afternoon, after a long day a work, when I hopped into my car and headed to Columbia, MO to see friends that I consider to be my family. Stephanie, Calvin's mom, and I spent most of our undergrad years together. Both of us studying to be Speech-Language Pathologists. Fast forward over ten years later and we try our very hardest, despite living in different cities, to see each other when we can. Calvin, if you ever read this someday, know that there should have been many more shoots like this one prior to your first Birthday. 😉 Something happened the day you were born. The world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was supposed to drive to Columbia days after you were born, but life had other plans. I think I would have cried if I had also missed your first Birthday. 😭 So thankful that I was able to capture the memories you're about to see!
The next morning I sat at Stephanie and her husband Michael's breakfast table. Calvin rounded the corner into the Kitchen. His face lit up into the biggest smile. Since we had planned sunrise family pictures, Calvin and I both gobbled down some breakfast and we all hopped into the car. The sun was shining. Temperature slightly above freezing. Chilly, but a beautiful morning. We arrived at Shelter Gardens and had the whole park to ourselves. That's a win in my book! Here was our snag...The three of us tried EVERYTHING in our power to get Calvin to smile. We lifted him in the air, jumped up and down, sang songs, played music...NOTHING worked. Calvin has a superpower, you guys, and that's smiling as long as no camera is pointed his way 😂The minute that camera is up, no smile. I can't tell you how many times this happened. At this point, we called in reinforcements. Stephanie's parents. A.K.A Calvin's grandparents. The minute he saw them, we got the magic!! Without further ado, the cutest family photo of all time. Look at that smile!!!😍
After Shelter Gardens, we headed back to put Calvin down for a nap. In that hour, we transformed their living room into a studio equipped with balloons, decorations, a backdrop, and a Mickey Mouse smash cake. If you didn't know, Calvin was born into a house of Disney lovers. 😁Bringing Calvin in to see the transformation, he was in heaven! Instantly making a bee line for the balloons. He picked them up, threw them, and squeezed them. Moving from one side of the room to the other. If you remember our smiling challenge from earlier...all smiles were directed toward the backdrop or behind balloons. 😂 Luck was on my side with a few shots. At last, the cake was placed in the middle of the room. Calvin eyed it, crawled up, and stuck his hand strait in the icing. Unsure of the texture, he pulled his hand back. Deciding that nothing bad was going to happen, stuck it strait to his mouth. Stephanie, Michael, and I giggled as he made a face in disgust, yet went right back for more. One bite led to another. To another. To another. Until at one point Calvin collapsed on his belly continuing to reach for bites. 😂 I think it's safe to say that the cake was a hit! Stephanie, you must have made one yummy cake!!! Next year, I vote we make a separate cake for adults to eat. 😉 Speaking of next year to all the readers out there...there will definitely be another Disney themed birthday in the making! Leave your guesses, or hopes, of next year's theme in the comments below!
Happy 1st Birthday Calvin!