Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Henry turns one!

I'll never forget the moment Henry was placed into my arms. He was an easy delivery and came out within a couple pushes. When they handed his perfect little body to me, I felt so close to heaven and to my Heavenly Father. I remember weeping the happiest tears while saying silent prayers of gratitude. My whole heart was bursting with love for him and I had an overwhelming sense of honor come over me. My Henry is so special and I thank my Heavenly Father every day for sending him to me. He gave me butterflies then and he gives me butterflies now. He is just so handsome and sweet and funny. And we all adore him!

Jake had to work late on Henry's birthday, so we waited until about 10pm to do all the festivities. What baby doesn't love to be woken up to cake and ice cream though? He was on cloud nine! Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of all that. Ahh :( 
But I'm still wanting to have a mock birthday cake smash for him. I mean, those are some of his childhood rights. Maybe an 18 month cake smash? That's totally a thing.
So the above pictures are of him on his actual birthday - I did, at least, get that right. Isn't he just dreamy? I love that boy.
And the below pictures are from the next morning when he was awake enough to enjoy his present. He's still figuring out how to get the cars down the actual runway, but those cars are prized possessions around here. He seems to always be carrying one around while making the c u t e s t  little boy car noises. Oh my. I am in love.

Henry, you're our silly little guy. Annabelle adores you and calls you her "bud". You give the sweetest kisses and have a serious thing for your daddy right now. We took you swimming the other night and both daddy and I took turns helping you down the slide. It was fun to watch your face light up when it was daddy's turn to help you. You had the biggest grin on your face and I could just see the pride in your eyes knowing that daddy was cheering you on. Riding down the slide itself made you happy when I was helping you, but having your daddy cheer you on was what really made you smile. You are a true daddy's boy!

You are my sweet boy and you will always have a special spot in my heart. I love you! Happy Birthday, handsome.

Snow Snow Snow

We had some serious snowfall a couple times this winter. A couple times too many in my opinion, but Annabelle would disagree.
I think this was the first time she was really old enough to enjoy it all, so we decided to build a snowman. A little tiny baby snowman with toothpick and chocolate chip accessories. She named him Pootie and she  l o v e d  him. I mean, he was pretty adorable. She started giving Pootie tons of kisses and ended up kissing him so hard that his head fell off. 
Bye bye, Pootie.
She was devastated. And I'm just happy I caught it all on camera :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Annabelle's 3rd Birthday Party

A couple months before Annabelle's birthday I was browsing through pinterest for party ideas and decided to let her choose a cake. I'll be honest, the first cake she chose was a hot pink 3-tiered cheetah number. I quickly talked her out of that one (yikes!) Her second choice was an adorable lamb cake. Perfectly sweet. And very 3 years old. And sooo much better than the teenager one she had chosen first.
We then decided to throw a princess party, especially since getting her dress-up station had put the princess obsession into full swing.
So I started gathering ideas and had imagined up the perfect party. (Think cardboard castle, Lissie dressed up as a fairygod mother, etc. AKA way too detailed for a 3rd birthday!)
I love throwing a party and I love paying attention to detail, but I've come to learn that a big hot meltdown has created a permanent space the night before any big event. It's so lovely. And Jake looks forward to them. 
These meltdowns have actually become so common that before I announce that I'm throwing a party/hosting some event Jake makes me promise him I won't try and cancel it. Because that's what I want to do. Every single time. (I'm in stress management:) )
So, as you've guessed, the night before Annabelle's big party I just wanted to hide in a corner and cry. I had a list a mile long and I wanted everything to be perfect and pinterest-worthy. On top of that Lissie was in the back room puking (poor thing!) and I was terrified of getting all those little kids sick. (So really, cancelling was a valid option!) 
Instead, Jake called in a favor and got us the nursery at the church :) Such a stud. And he was so sweet and stayed up until midnight making these flower poofs out of tissue paper to hang on the doors. He looked so cute crafting. I'm really sad to say I don't even have a picture of them, but they were perfect. And he was so helpful. While he made those, I finished up her lamb cake. And I am very proud of how it turned out. It looks just like the one on pinterest and I think it is so adorable. In fact, I want to make it a tradition to only make animal cakes for my kids' birthdays.

The party itself was so fun. I was actually nervous the kids wouldn't enjoy themselves and had way too many backup plans. 
Note to self: All they want to do is run around and eat sugar.
I had finger painting and canvases and coloring ready to go just in case there was an abnormal 3 year old. There wasn't.

They played with bubbles and balloons, ate goodies, and ran around and danced. Then we did presents and Annabelle got every princess accessory I didn't know existed and then some. She seriously got soooo spoiled - such sweet friends.
After that we sang to her and she blew out her candles. It was a really fun morning celebrating that sweet little girl. 
She was in princess heaven and after experiencing her first real friend party, she's a fan. :)

Thanksgiving 2013

Pumpkin pie and whipped cream is the most perfect combination of tastes and textures, it should be in all year round. I think Ash, Lissie, and I dug into the pies about ten minutes after we got there. And we did it in secret too. So the boys wouldn't know. Haha. Speaking of arriving, the moment we drove up Danny greeted us at the door. Looking, well... interesting. I think I said: "Oh my, he looks so gross." And Annabelle walked through the door and repeated me. Word. For. Word. Ahh! Small children have ears! (Danny, I still love you... and I hope you still love me too.)

Here are some highlights from our Thanksgiving together:

- Watching Jake toss all the little kids around.
- Our bacon-wrapped turkey. Yum.
- Maddy and Annabelle screaming and playing together.
- My Henry-Boy and smooching his cheeks
- Having Lissie there -- I am  l o v i n g  having her so close.
- The rolls. Oh, they were so good and so not homemade :)
- Hailey took her first steps! And it was adorable to watch.
- The girls being crazy together and throwing leaves all over each other. They also ate sticks together. True besties.
- The pie. Oooh, the pumpkin pie.
- Watching "Home Alone" to kick off the Christmas season. (We move right along with our holidays)
- Being together.

It was a really relaxing day. We enjoyed each other's company and ate a lot of food. And then took turns falling into food comas. Well, partial food comas 'cause the kids didn't really give us a break. But that's ok! I love my family and am so thankful they're mine :) 
And thank you Danny & Ashley for hosting us.

Birthday Lunch at City Creek

When one of her only wishes is to have lunch with daddy on her birthday, you happily oblige. After nap-time we drove up to Salt Lake to meet Jake for lunch at City Creek. While waiting for him to arrive she climbed all over every big boulder and threw pebbles in the stream. She was so cute and happy and 3 years old!!
Another birthday wish was to have Aunt Lissie come celebrate with us. So while we waited for Jake I called her to make sure she was on her way -- Lissie was coming and we were so excited!! 
Just a few minutes after getting off the phone with her though she called me back. I don't think I'll ever be able to replay that conversation in my head without crying. Lissie had been in a car accident. My sweet baby sister was bawling and shaking on the other end and I could hear how terrified she was. And so was I. I've never wanted to be somewhere else so badly in my life. She was an hour outside of Twin Falls and I was nowhere close. My heart hurt so badly hearing how scared she was and knowing I couldn't wrap my arms around her. I remember standing in the middle of City Creek and just sobbing. I'm not one to make a scene, but I was definitely making a scene. Jake arrived shortly after that and helped me get it together. // Gosh, this birthday post is taking a really dramatic turn. I promise it ends happily. //
After lots of phone calls, another ride was arranged and Lissie was able to get home to us. And Annabelle got a birthday lunch with her daddy. And they all lived happily ever after. Haha. :) 
I definitely won't forget those moments though. Especially the one when I realized a miracle had taken place. The car rolled multiple times and barely missed being hit by a semi. And she walked away. 
Aunt Lissie was definitely our favorite birthday present that day.

Annabelle turns 3!

I am so happy that I was sent a beautiful little girl to make beautiful little girl things for. I found this cute dress-up station idea on pinterest and decided Annabelle needed one. So I started collecting princess dresses (the post halloween sales were bomb) and assigned Jake the building. It looked pretty simple to make and Jake said he could do it. Well, he is amazing at many things, but he's not much of a handyman and it wasn't really all that simple to make like we thought. So instead of building it he made sure that it got built -- by a really amazing carpenter friend. He did, however, spend a couple hours at Lowes finding the right wood, measuring it, and getting it cut. And that effort has daddy-love written all over it.
So once he had it built I got to work painting it. I felt like a little elf working away on her birthday's eve setting the room up just perfect for her. 
After hanging all her dresses inside and wrapping it up with a big bow I started blowing up balloons and filling her room. I hung streamers and imagined her excitedly waking up to it all. Well, I should've known she'd sleepwalk her way into our room in the middle of the night and miss the whole shabang. So after she woke up I made her go admire the birthday party going on in her room. It didn't really go down like I thought, but she still loved it.
Watching her open her big present and then frolick around the house in princess dresses was perfect. To this day it's the first thing she does in the morning: put on a princess dress. It's actually become a real battle to get her to wear  r e a l  clothes. But you're only 3 years old once :)
After she tried on every dress we had a yummy breakfast of bacon and eggs. Then later on the couch I told her about the day she was born. I explained how she was in my tummy and how excited we were to hold her when she came out. It was a really sweet moment until she declared she'd be returning to my belly in two weeks. Yikes. 

Annabelle, you are my girl! You are so smart and caring. And because of you I want to be my very best self.

I love you! Happy Birthday, my very so beautiful princess!