I wouldn’t be sharing the most important things in my life on this blog if I skipped over the happenings of this past weekend.  It was such a whirlwind.  I admittedly dubbed Monday a “sit at home in your PJs and play day”because I knew how exhausted I would be, but I must say that planning for and executing these celebrations brings me joy.

Saturday included a joint birthday party for Nora (3) and Bennett (1).  Sunday was a baby shower for one of my best friends (for over 16 years now).  It seems like a lot to take on, but I purposefully did this to maximize the time for out of town guests that would enjoy attending both events.


Nora’s favorite book is currently The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  She has the majority of it memorized and was so excited when I told her she could have that as a birthday theme.  I have a picture of her cake from last year saved on my desktop and she obsessively asks me to pull it up so she can look at it.  The kid loves a good theme, and I love that she gets so excited about little details.

The more parties we are attending (for kids) the more I was realizing that we’ve gotten out of the -although the party is “for the kids” it’s just a bunch of adults hanging out- stage and more into the -how on earth am I going to entertain the kids- type of party.  I knew with a couple of staples, the 15+ kids on our guest list would not be disappointed.


*Good Food that everyone enjoys – Nora’s request this year was for Sandwiches and Chik-fil-a nuggets.  Last year, all she wanted was Pizza.

*Fun/Interactive/Engaging (non-structured) activities available but with no expectations.  I just CANNOT fathom sitting kids down for an activity that requires a lot of guidance, supervision, and instruction…no thank you!  Our go-tos this year included…
13555955_10206822281106803_73680752_oInflatable water slide


DIY – Make your own sponge ball (pictured above)

Table with coloring caterpillar hats, tattoos, and stickers

*Good Dessert – We had the usual cupcakes, but I also like to use birthday parties as an excuse to have a surprise “treat”.  Teething one year olds LOVE anything cold on their gums so for Nora’s first birthday we had The King of Pops come set up in our front yard with popsicles for everyone.  For Bennett’s first birthday, we opted for the Kona Ice Truck.  Both were VERY reasonably priced (I’ve hear of people spending a small fortune on cakes for parties).  Instead, we had a family member make cakes (Thanks to Mandy for Nora’s first birthday cake and Kate for Bennett’s) and used those funds to splurge on the extra treat to end the evening with a fun surprise.

*Favors.  This one was new to us this year, but I again noticed the trend of goodie-bags and jumped on board.  I used Oriental Trading and simply typed in Eric Carle to find buttons, crayons, coloring books, stickers and tattoos that were reasonably priced and made great favors!

It was so much fun having all 5 sisters together, and I knew I could not have pulled off both parties without all of their helping hands.  They get it.  They know to get there early and stay late.  They ask what they can do to help, and more importantly often get stuff done without asking which always leaves me in a state of shock that they are able to read my mind and step up wherever and whenever they are needed.  It’s this bond with sisters that leaves me speechless the older I get.  In a constant state of giving and never expecting to receive.  I owe them all so much and hope they genuinely understand how thankful I am to have each and every one of them in my life.  Something else I’m thankful for?  Friends that are like sisters.  I have a group of them from Highschool that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  We all go back to middle school, but the bond really strengthened during our time at Hermitage.  This Sunday we were able to celebrate the newest member, baby Kennedy.13555917_10206822427710468_2135994914_oWhat a joyful day filled with fun, friends, laughs and love.  Brittany has been an integral part of our sisterhood.  She has accompanied us on many trips, witnessed us at our highest and been with us through our lowest.  We are so happy for her and Andrew and this new phase in their life. 13517863_10206822428630491_135148276_oI said it in my Maid-of-Honor speech at her wedding and I still think about this all of the time.  Sure you have good friends, but your best friends are the ones that love your children as if they were their own.  Brittany was so excited when I told her that Nora had requested joining us for the shower and was adamant I bring her along.  This warmed my heart and gave my girl the chance to feel included with the big girls.  She’s talked about the shower and Kennedy non-stop and I can’t wait for them to become quick friends.  I love how she feels a special bond with the children of all of my closest friends.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.13555973_10206822427950474_1778538776_oMy big 3 year old on her actual birthday.  Now, if you’ve made it this far – Congrats!  Here’s a little peak into what Nora got for her birthday.  No, not the ice-cream…take a look at the ears.  13518198_10206822468391485_117106170_o.jpgShe’s been asking for over a year to get her ears pierced so we figured we would do it before she gets to school and realizes that it involves pain.  I didn’t want her to ever worry about it hurting so we took her to have it done before she figured it out.  She loves her earrings and talks about them all of the time.

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