Happy Birthday Kater! The best thing to ever happen to the Cardinal family turns 21 today.
Some may think this is a dramatic statement, but it is 100% true.
While Tiffany remembers the day when Mom and Dad told us that they were pregnant as being "so excited to get to have a little baby to help take care of", I was pissed. I didn't want a little sister or brother. I was the baby of the family and that's how I wanted to keep it. I was only six years old at the time, so that should help paint the picture of my frame of mind.
It took some coaxing from Mom and Dad to convince me that having a little sister or brother would be great. I finally agreed, but naturally, I was pulling for a boy. Mom and Dad even agreed to let us pick the name of our new sibling. Tiffany picked "Katie" if it was a girl and I picked "Kevin" if it was a boy...again, I was only six, so cut me some slack on my name choice.
Being able to choose the name, definitely got me on the bandwagon that having a little "Kevin" running around would be cool. But, when I went to the hospital and saw the "It's a girl" sign, I was bummed again...that is until I saw Katie.
She was so little, so cute, so awesome. All I wanted to do was hold her...I was truly in heaven (see video below).
Katie's birth was a joyous occasion and she would soon turn into the savior of the Cardinal family in a lot of ways. Little did we know that within the year or so surrounding Katie's birth, we would lose my infant cousin Matthew and both of my grandmothers.
Going through a stretch like that is torturous on a family, especially a family as close as ours, but we always had Katie to cheer us up. I single-handedly give Katie 100% of the credit for keeping my Papa alive for the years following Mema's death. Katie gave Papa a reason to live. He may have lost the woman of his life, but he found a new love of his life in Katie...one that he could share JuJu (Gingerale) and Fudgies (fudgeicles) with, so that kept him going.
As you can see, Katie really is the best thing to ever happen to our family. She helped us grieve during the worst stretch that our family has ever endured and she helped keep Papa's spirits high. We can never thank you enough for this Kater.
But, even though those feats are truly remarkable, that doesn't really tell the whole story on the person that Katie is today. I have yet to meet a more amazing woman than Katie. And, if you know the women that I surround myself with, then you know this is quite a statement.
I don't know of anyone that is more thoughtful and compassionate than Katie. Whether it's a friend being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, a sister with a back troubles or parents that need a hand at work, Katie is there for EVERYONE.
She has an infectious and contagious personality. When you're around her, you are completely wrapped up in her presence and she always leaves you wanting more time to hang out with Kater.
She is also very beautiful, hilarious and insanely smart. Katie's the total package and now that she can legally drink, the world better look out :)
I occasionally long for the days when I would climb into her playpen to play with her or when I would time her as she would run out to the warehouse to get me a soda, but now more often, I long for the times when I get to hang out with her.
Happy Birthday Kater! I'm so lucky to have you as a little sis and I can't wait to hit the bars with you tomorrow...it's been a long time coming.
Finally, a video montage dedicated to the birthday girl. Enjoy!