...and she has been for 18 years and 9 days now. Cassidy had her magic birthday on Saturday, April 18th. She turned 18 on the 18th. It only happens once in any one's lifetime. Amidst all the party preparations, my birthday tribute blog to her was delayed. But since she is a once-in-a-lifetime-kind-of-girl, I'm sure that a few days will make no difference. Here are 'only 18' things I love about this 'beauty queen of only 18'...
- From the moment she was born, I knew she would be something special. Tiny and helpless, looking a little bit like Yoda, but with quite the mind of her own. She has certainly left her Yoda-like baby wrinkles behind, but has kept the force with her from day one. With Cassidy it is always Do. Or Do Not. There is no try. Whatever she sets her mind to, she does it all the way. A challenge does not scare Cassidy. Looking like Yoda scares Cassidy.
- She used to be my quiet, shy girl. I had a friend in Lehi who used to say, 'If you want to find Cassidy, check under Joy's arm, because she will always be tucked right there, safe and sound.' She grew out of her shyness, and away from my arms, but she will always be tucked right next to my heart, safe and sound.
- Just like Jan Brady, Cassidy is stuck in the middle as a sister. Unlike Jan Brady, Cassidy can never be heard murmuring, 'Marcia, Marcia, Marcia' about Whitney. She worships the ground Whitney walks on and wants to be just like her. Before Eli came along, she was the baby, and enjoyed that spot immensely. I think it got to be a little lonely for her and one Christmas she asked Santa to bring her a baby brother. It took a little longer than any of us expected, but we are always thankful that her wish came true. There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than Cassidy.
- Laughter is her best medicine. Her laugh is infectious. The minute you hear her laugh, you want to experience the exact same emotion she is feeling. I could listen to her laugh all day. And some days I do!
- "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Cassidy doesn't have a dog, and she's afraid of the dark, but she LOVES to read. In our family, books are a part of you from day one, and Cassidy is no exception. Her taste runs towards romance and mystery, and anything in between. It has been a blessing to have not one, but two daughters to discuss books with. They read my recommendations, and I read theirs. If you want to find Cassidy in the summer, check our front porch first...she's usually there with a good book in hand and a smile on her face.
- Cassidy wears her heart on her sleeve. Not unlike the Tinman in The Wizard of Oz, she is extremely tender-hearted, and a great respecter of other people's feelings. Her heart is very perceptive to other people's hurts. She is the first one to apologize, and the last one to leave a sad friend behind. She knows when someone needs a little extra attention, or a little more love. She will be there in good times, and she will be there in bad times. And if you are lucky enough to have found a special place in her heart, you can rest assured that you will be in her heart forever.
- Once she grew out of her shyness, Cassidy discovered the art of making friends. She is always surrounded by friends. She has a way of making everyone feel good about themselves, and everyone loves being around Cassidy. When Cassidy goes away, I will miss her desperately, and I will miss her friends almost as much. Almost.
- She has P-A-S-S-I-O-N! She's passionate about oh so many things. Olympic swimmers, U.S. Open and Wimbledon winners, David Archuleta, glistening vampires, and yes, even Mr. 17 Again himself, Zac Efron. When Cassidy likes someone, or something, she likes them all the way. She cheers for them LOUD! She supports them at concerts and in the theaters and in basements full of friends wishing she wasn't quite as passionate with her cheering. All I can say is, "You Go, Girl". If you love something, let the whole world know!
- She wouldn't be a part of our family if she wasn't a lover of music. We have introduced her to car singing and the Beatles and the Beach Boys. All by herself she discovered Michael Buble' and Josh Groban. And, not wanting to be satisfied to just sing along with the radio, she actually went one step further and developed a beautiful singing voice. Many a compliment have been paid to her for her solos in choir, in church, and for various high school musicals which she participates in. Her highlight this year was a solo in NIGHT ON BROADWAY, presented by the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre. Her rendition of 'I Could Have Danced All Night" brought the house down. I see great things in her future and thank Heavenly Father every day for bestowing her with such a beautiful voice and such a humble willingness to share this talent with those around her.
- She is a connoisseur of all fine foods...macaroni and cheese, Ramen, Olive Garden Fettucine, and my own Penne pasta with pesto sauce. Do you sense a carb-o-holic here?
- They say mothers give their daughters virtues and vices. Hopefully I have shared more of the former and less of the latter. We do share a passion for a certain liquid refreshment. Coke. Straight Up. With Ice. No lemon. No lime. No D-I-E-T! Have a Coke and a smile!
- She is a bit of a 'drama queen' but not in a bad sense. When she was little she would spend hours with Whitney putting on plays and shows. She starred in a 1st grade production at Meadow Elementary in Lehi, and her first role here in Idaho Falls was that of a cow in the chorus of 'Beauty and the Beast' with the Missoula Children's Theater Company. She has had parts in many musicals, and a supporting actress role this year in her high school production of "The Univited." Appropriately, she played a psychic actress and conducted a pretty believable seance. So, if you ever need someone to conjure up dead spirits, sing a broadway tune, or play a beautiful bovine, Cassidy is your ACTRESS!
- Speaking of acting, Cassidy is also a lover of movies. Anything with Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, or Cary Grant. Anything involving superheroes, like Batman or Superman or Batman. If it will make her cry, she'll watch it more than once. Pride and Prejudice. You've Got Mail. A Walk to Remember. Charly. If it involves handsome men playing sports, she's all over it. Miracle. Remember the Titans. Glory Road. The Sandlot. The Rookie. If it makes her laugh, it will make you laugh. Napoleon Dynamite. Meet the Deedles. 17 Again. If it scares her to death, she'll watch it only once. The Village. Signs. The Others. If there's popcorn, she'll watch anything! (Did I mention anything with Batman?)
- She has a flair for fashion. Shoes. Nice Clothes. Jewelry. One of the first car songs she ever learned to sing along with was, "These Boots Are Made For Walking"...and that's just what she'll do. Buy enough pairs of boots and shoes to walk all over you!
- She is also a collector of purses. And things that go inside of purses. Lipgloss, mascara, i-pod, cellphone, love notes, gum, money, wallet, driver's license, Personal Progress Book (only for a few more weeks) the latest book she is reading (The Christopher Killer--Alayne Ferguson), pomegranate lotion...this list could go on and on...but as long as it's all in a purse, she's ready to rock-and-roll!
- She has a strong testimony of the gospel. She loves to study the scriptures and share what she knows with others. She is a shining example of choosing the right, even when it sometimes takes her out of the crowd and leaves her home alone. It takes great courage to make hard choices, and Cassidy has shown great courage on more than one occasion. She knows what she belives and she lives it every day. I learn daily from her example and I feel privileged that we have been blessed to raise such a spiritually strong daughter.
- She loves to learn. She likes the challenge of discovering new things, whether it be AP Government, AP Literature, or even Computer Applications, she puts her heart into her studies and manages to always come out on top. There's no need to sing "If I Only Had A Brain" about Cassidy. We are proud of her accomplishments in school and the example she has set for Eli to follow. When she graduates on June 1, it will be at the top of her class!
- She has great vision. Her eyesight is good, but her vision for the future is even better. She knows how to set goals and she knows how to achieve them. There is nothing in the world that Cassidy can't do. Once she sets her mind to it, we know she will do it. And do it well. Because from day one, it has always been: Do. Or Do Not. There is no try.
Happy (Late) 18th Birthday, Cassidy. May you always look beyond the rainbow to find your dreams. Just follow the Yellowbrick road and you will get to wherever you want to be. Just don't forget your ruby slippers. And always remember...There's no place like home!