Monday, February 24, 2014

Brianna's 4th Birthday

Brianna turned four years old on February 18th. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have a four year old. She is such a big girl these days - and though we're glad that she's growing and learning - it's sometimes hard on our hearts that these days are flying by so quickly. 

Brianna's birthday was on a Tuesday this year, so Chris decided to take the day off from work to spend with us. We don't know if he'll always be able to do this, but it worked out this year so we decided to make each of the Bs' birthdays a day of family fun!

The night before Brianna's birthday, Chris and I got her gifts all ready, got a few balloons, and baked cupcakes.

Her big gift this year was this bicycle complete with a bell, tassles on the handlebars, and a baby seat. We put her baby Amber in it because we knew she would love that.

Because we put all of Bren's gifts out the night before his birthday, Brianna got up looking for her gifts. We let her open them as soon as she woke up.

She really enjoys this sticker book where she can dress up dolls in all sorts of outfits. It's great for moments when I need her to entertain herself quietly.

She also got an umbrella. She was thrilled!

Brianna has a Precious Moments age train, so this gift is the next piece in her train. It's an elephant with a 4 on it.

This was her gift from Brenson.

It's a new Cabbage Patch baby! She not the cutest one I've ever seen, but her name is Marie Brianna so of course it's the one we had to get :-).

We decorated Brianna's doorway to her room with balloons and hung this name banner that I had made for her birthday party last year. She already has a name banner hanging in her room, so this one was just sitting in the closet. I was happy to put it to use again!

Girl-child seriously loves her umbrella! I got it clearanced at Wal-mart for $3 . . . score!

Brianna isn't usually too cooperative for photos, but I wanted to get a good one of her on her birthday. Of course, I had to take a whole series.

She can't help herself sometimes!

She's our "class clown" personality.

I was trying to get her to be a bit more serious. Not an easy task!

However, we finally got a photo that I LOVE! It's a genuine smile from our little four year old.

I had Chris take our photo, then I put the photo and this on Instagram: "Happy birthday to my spunky, enthusiastic, out-going, bossy, smart, perceptive, affectionate, independent, fearless, imaginative, four-year-old ball of energy, Brianna! You bring so much joy to our lives, and your fearlessness inspires us. We love you forever."

We let Brianna choose what she wanted for breakfast and to do on her birthday. She decided that we needed to begin the day at Daylight Donuts! Good choice!

After Donuts, we headed to the Zoo. The weather was beautiful this day, thankfully! February was so hit and miss with many severely cold and snowy/icy days, but also a sprinkling of nice days. We have annual passes to the zoo - so we visit often - but the kids still love it every time.

We love watching the elephants. They were very active this day.

Brianna's very favorite animal at the zoo is this desert cat that is in the photo below.

It seriously looks very similar to a domestic house cat, so I joked that we should have saved our money and just taken her to Petsmart! Ha! She adores this silly cat, and asks to see it first thing every time we got to the zoo.

Brenson doesn't really care about the cat, but he was pretty fascinated by the snakes this time. His favorite changes with every trip. We did enjoy many of the reptiles this time more than we typically do because they were shedding their skin. Such a cool process to watch!

Our zoo has a train, but we don't always ride it as it costs extra. Since today was a special day, we took a round trip on the train!

Brianna loves to eat snacks while we're riding the train. I'm not sure which part she enjoys more, ha!

Brenson was having a great time celebrating Sister's birthday.

Our zoo also has a great {and huge} playground, but we rarely play on it. There's just too many other things to do to spend time on the playground! However, since today was Brianna's day, we let her dictate what we did at the zoo and the playground was on her list.

Chris only goes with us to the zoo about once a year, so it was nice for me to have an extra set of hands to keep track of the kiddos.

We spent quite a while playing on the playground.

It started to get pretty busy, though, so we decided to move on.

I love this photo of Bren!

Another thing that I try to skip when I can is the petting zoo. I just don't love it. This day, though, Brianna couldn't wait to pet the goats. *cringe*

It was starting to get pretty warm, so the goats were being really lazy.

She actually prefers the ones who are just laying around.

I have a whole group of photos like this one from different trips to the zoo, so of course I had to get one this day, too. The kids are growing, growing, growing!

Our zoo also has a carousel, but we only ride it about half of the time that we visit because, again, it costs extra. And, when I take the kiddos by myself, Brianna is the only one who really enjoys riding. We did ride it this time, though! This was a visit where we did all the "special" things that we don't do every time.

Brenson does okay on this ride, but he doesn't love it. I agree :-).

He felt like he needed to hold Daddy's hand to feel safe.

Brianna was loving it!

Our little adventure lover wanted to ride it over and over again!

We had lunch at the zoo, stayed for just a while longer, then headed home for naptime. I would have loved to skip naps and spend the whole afternoon at the zoo, but that would have made for a rough evening and it's just not worth it right now. That's the nice thing about having an annual zoo pass, though; I don't feel like we have to stay all day.

After naps, we played outside for a bit . . . letting Brianna get some practice with her new bike. We walked to the end of our street with her, and by the time we headed back to our house she was riding like a pro. Here is a video.

Brianna got to choose what we did for dinner, and she decided that she wanted to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town. Lisa, Russ, and Chloe Jo met us for dinner, and we had a great time. I had made cupcakes for desert, including a special heart shaped one for the birthday girl.

She blew out those candles before we finished singing to her. Silly girl!

Proud of herself for blowing out the candles!

I know, her heart-shaped cupcake is HUGE . . . she didn't finish it all!

My sweet girl :-).

Since our girl loves singing and doesn't mind being the center of attention, Chris asked the restaurant employees to sing to her. She got to wear the special sombrero, too!

Brenson would have hated this (which is why we didn't ask them to do it on his birthday), but not this girl!

She's telling me she's "cuatro".

Our family on the day Brianna turned four:

This last photo is of Brianna and her BFF cousin, Chloe Jo. I think it's SUCH a cute photo of them. They are just growing up so fast.

Brianna had been counting down to her birthday and was so looking forward to it. She told us before she went to bed that night that it was the "best day". I'm so glad that her special day met her expectations! Four years ago we could only imagine what an amazing little girl she would be, and we are so looking forward to seeing what the years ahead hold for her.


Mrs Gable said...

How sweet is that outfit! It looks like she had so much fun!

antha duncan said...

She is such a fun little miss;)

Cheryl said...

It looks like everyone had a fun day! I'm sure Brianna felt so special!

Amie said...

It sounds like so much fun to let each child choose what they want to do and eat on their birthday! Her bike with the cabbage patch doll is so cute!! My sisters and I had thoes as kids and LOVED them!!