Our Beach Baby from Aunt NeNe

First off I want to thank Jessica for letting me guest blog and share my feelings about Cayden with everyone. I am so glad she started this blog and I love reading all the entries and remembering what good times we had with our Cadybug.

Jessica and I met over 8 years ago through my husband when they were working together at Skanska. Pretty much since that time we have besties J My husband always says that I am blonde Jessica and she is the brunette Whitney. Something just clicked with us immediately and I am so grateful for her friendship. She was my matron of honor at my wedding and she and Brenton gave me such a huge blessing by allowing me to be a part of Cayden’s life and be her Aunt NeNe.

Since the day she was born Cayden brought nothing but joy into our lives. She would come running up and give you the biggest hugs, share her snacks with Uncle Joel, and always be putting on a show for us to enjoy. She loved life so much and lived every day to the fullest.  For me it’s the little everyday things that I miss. I have spent hundreds of hours at Jess and Brent’s just hanging out and playing with Cayden. We would watch movies, cook in her play kitchen, color, splash in the bathtub, and play hide n seek. I can still hear her yelling at me in her tiny voice “NeNe go hide!” and how she would squeal with delight when she found you. We would hide over and over again. She never got tired of playing.

For those of you who knew Cayden well or from seeing her pictures through the years you know her favorite place was the beach. There were many times Jessica would text me during the week telling me how Cayden had cried that morning because she had to go to daycare and not the beach, so we would make plans for the weekend to head out to chick’s beach to play in the sand.  We always go to the same spot at chick’s beach. The water is calm there so we didn’t have to worry about Cayden running around and playing. We would load up the car, drive out there, and lug all our stuff down the long sandy path to the beach. Cayden would get so excited when she could finally see the water. We would let her pick a spot and set everything up.

We would spend hours at the beach just laughing, talking, and being together. Cayden would sit in her princess chair and eat snacks (especially when Uncle Joel would share his crab chips), run down to the water, build sand castles with me and Jessica, and go climb “the giant mountain” (the sand dunes) over and over again. Sometimes she played with other kids but most of the time she spent with us.  She loved to go in the water in her float and “swim” back and forth between us. When she would finally catch you she would “roarrrr” and we would all laugh.

Like I said, it’s the small things that seem to bubble up in my mind- Her little voice, the way she would yell for me to go do something, hide n seek, those are the things I miss with her.

As I think ahead to this summer I get sad sometimes. I know going to the beach will never be the same without her, but I think I will feel closer to her there than anywhere else. Now that Sutton is here I can’t wait to take her to the beach and make memories with her there.  I hate that Sutton never got to meet Cayden. I know Cayden would have been like a big sister to her, but Sutton will know Cayden, that I will make sure of. We will tell her about her cousin Cayden and show her pictures and share our good times with her. I hope that Joel and I can do as great of a job with our daughter as Jess and Brent did with Cayden. I love that little feisty redhead with all my heart and will be thrilled for Sutton to be like her.

So take time to enjoy the little things in life. I am so glad that I didn’t spend my weekends running around worrying about errands, but that I spent them down on the beach with a perfect little girl and her beautiful momma making lasting memories.

Aunt NeNe loves you baby girl!

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One thought on “Our Beach Baby from Aunt NeNe

  1. Gosh there are so many great memories of Cayden. I absolutely love the picture of her sitting with a friend on the beach watching the sunset. She was definitely a beach girl, wasn’t she? I will think of her each time I go there.


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