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I wasn't exactly sure how we were going to celebrate Billie's very first birthday. I wanted to make sure that the day was about her and not about the things we did or the way we chose to celebrate. As we continued to get closer and closer to the big day, we decided the best way to celebrate Billie on her big day was to simply fill up the whole day with some of her very, very favorite people and very, very favorite things. She wasn't going to remember having a birthday party, a theme, or any crazy decorations, so we scratched the party idea all together and just did a whole bunch of fun stuff  that we knew she'd enjoy instead.

We started the day up at Utah's Hogle Zoo where Billie, our little animal lover, could see allllll the animals she could possibly want to see. She's gotten rather stubborn about walking over the last month or so, so we made sure she had plenty of opportunities to cruise around the zoo on her own two feet. We ended up getting a baked mac-and-cheese from the zoo's cafe to share between the three of us because breakfast seemed to have slipped our minds up until our bellies started grumbling, but we were glad we got it because it was huge and delicious and managed to feed all three of us! Plus, mac-and-cheese just so happens to be at the top of Billie's list of favorite foods, so it worked out rather nicely.

Her favorite animals were first and foremost the tiger, who prowled alongside the fence about five feet away from us so we got a nice good look at him. Billie was beyond excited and kept pointing her finger at him and yelling something along the lines of, "dah-dah-bah-da-da-ba-gah-ba-da!!!" over and over again to make sure we knew saw the cool, big cat and could share in her excitement. She also really liked the orangoutangs and the elephants. We stood right up next to a napping grizzly bear (the only thing separating us was a big, glass wall-- but she was too interested in pounding her hands against the glass to notice the big creature trying to snooze on the other side of it.

Billie's all-time favorite food is actually french fries (can ya really blame the girl?), so we googled "best french fries in Salt Lake" and ended up at Bruge's Waffles + Frites, which definitely did not disappoint. Billie fell asleep during the ten minute drive from the zoo to lunch, so we tranferred her to her basinet stroller and let her snooze while we sat outside of the little cafe and across the street from the farmer's market on that cool, Saturday autumn afternoon with a couple of our best friends. We stuffed our faces with waffles and fries and talked about what a whirlwind of a year it has been and shook our heads in disbelief of the fact that the baby girl we all held in a hospital room a year ago was already a year old.

After lunch, we headed back home and let Billie open her presents and indulge in her first-ever cake. She ate the whole dang thing all by herself-- she was dainty about it at first, but that certainly did not last for long. It was such a blast watching her start so timidly and end by picking up the whole dang cake and smashing her face in it. We were lame and left the cake in the fridge so it was a little more difficult for her to eat it, but she didn't let that stand in her way. As far as presents were concerned, she didn't show much interest in opening them, though she did love playing with all of her cool new toys. Her favorite things lately have been stuffed animals (she hugs them tight and smothers them in her love) and cars! She was so spoiled by so many loved ones!

We ended the night at Cornbelly's where we'd hoped to be able to take Billie to see the goats again, but we weren't able to get her as close as she was last time we were there because they had put up another fence around them. Instead, we got some donuts to share and watched the fireworks together while whispering, "these are for you, birthday girl!" in her little ears.

It's weird having a one year old. I'd even say that having a one year old is far more weird to me than I felt when we had a newborn. Having a baby made sense-- having a one year old is blowing my mind. I imagine it will just get weirder and weirder to me as my baby girl grows with each passing year. I'll just have to soak up each precious moment as I'm blessed with them.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Billie Rose.

Here's the video I made to commemorate her first year of life (it makes me want to cry each and every time I watch it). I can't believe how much she's grown over the course of this last year. She's our angel girl and we're so grateful that she's ours!


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