27 January 2013

The Search for a Winter Wonderland

We are well into January and the snow here in Western Washington has been non-existent. We have been teased with a few light flurries. Building our hopes for white snow covered lawns and cancelled school; only to be sadly disappointed with a quick follow up of rain to wash away our optimism. Kaydence has been eagerly awaiting the chance to build a snowman and has even asked me to just buy her one so she doesn't have to wait any longer.

I think the conversation went something like this:

Kaydence: "Mama can we build a snowman?"
Me: "We have to wait for it to snow in order to build a snowman, sweetheart."
Kaydence: "Oh, we do?"
Me: "Yes, pumpkin, we do."
Kaydence: "Well, can you just buy me one then?"

Kevin and I have both stated that if the snow didn't come to us we would go to it (the beauty of living in Washington). So earlier in the week, when once again Kaydence broached the subject of wanting to play in the snow, we finally decided that this weekend we would would follow through with our promise of taking our little girl to the snow.

Saturday morning we packed the SUV full of coats, mittens, boots, and food and headed out with our favorite uncle and cousin for the two hour trek to the mountains. The ride was beautiful and calming, a gentle reminder of my love for this state. We traveled up in elevation, becoming more and more nervous about the lack of snow. I was worried about disappointing my sweet girl. It's hard to explain to a two year old that there is no snow, when we promised her that there would be. My worry was needless. As we reached the base of Mount Rainier the snow accumulation began to grow, and soon there was more than I had even expected or hoped for.


We trekked through a large wooded area searching for perfect clearing of fresh snow. The snow was high, and us adults sank knee deep with every other step, while the kids floated weightlessly across the compact snow. We found a small clearing and the kids immediately went to work indulging in their winter wonderland. We built the most epic snowman, had snowball throwing challenges, and tasted the pearly white ice.

Our epic snowman!
Ok, so it's not SO epic. 

The day was amazing and I was sad to leave. But as a parting gift we were lucky to experience a wonderful snowfall. Kaydence was trilled and reached high to sky while exclaiming, "It's snowing!" The twinkle in her eye as the snow fell gently on her face was magical and I am so happy we were able to make her two year old winter dreams come true...if even for a day.

That smile!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

16 January 2013

Big Top Birthday

Phew... We are already four days post birthday party fun, and I am still exhausted. Our house is still fully decorated as is was the day of the party. Crate paper still drapes from the windows, balloons half deflated still float haphazardly throughout the house, and I have no ambition or plans of taking down anything any time soon. 

As time consuming and overwhelming as they can be, I love throwing parties. Creating themes, diy projects, decorating, baking, hosting...it all makes me so very happy. Even more enjoyable than the fun involved in creating these magical memories, is the happiness I bring to may children. 

Birthday's have always been and will continue to be a very big deal to me. There is nothing more special than the day of person's birth, especially your own child's; and I hope that every year on my children's birthday they know just how exceptional and precious they are to me.

Since before Kaydence was born I had known that I wanted to do some sort of birthday tradition each year for our kids. I thought long and hard about what it was that I wanted to do and right before Kaydence was born Kev and I had come up with the idea of filling the birthday boys/girl's room with balloons the night before their birthday, as they were sleeping. I imagined them waking up on their birthday to a room filled with hundreds of balloons and knew that it would be a fun tradition to carry out. We have successfully created birthday magic each morning for both of Kaydence's birthday's so far, and this year was Kameron's first. 

It was the sweetest sound to wake up the screech of both kiddos, as they discovered theier new balloon pit of a room. It was even more heart warming to hear my little girl excitedly exclaim  "Happy Birthday, Buddy, Happy Birthday" followed by the sweetest serenade of the Happy Birthday Song!

The day went off without a hitch, and our house was filled to the brim with an outpouring of birthday love for our sweet boy! The entire day was somewhat surreal, and I still can't believe that it has been a year since I gave birth to the most precious little baby boy. I wanted him to have a magical 1st birthday (even if he won't remember it) and I am so very happy everything came together!

This years birthday theme for Kameron was The Circus, and I had spent the last month and a half working to create a Big Top Birthday on a budget. Because of my budget restrictions I spent a lot of time in DIY projects but am quite thrilled with how everything turned out. 

See for yourself!

Chocolate mustache greeting cards
Red velvet cupcakes

Circus peanuts
Regular peanuts

Animal Crackers
Animal Crackers

Pop corn
Cotton Candy

Thirst Quinchers
Ella the Elephant and Squeak the Mouse
Parting gifts
Balloon Bouquet

Party Hats
Party Games

Circus Tent

Kameron seemed to enjoy himself the entire day, and surprisingly had no melt downs despite the fact he hand't napped all day.

He wanted nothing to do with his presents, so Kaydence (to much of her enjoyment) got to open all of brother's birthday gifts. 

The most surprising moment of the afternoon was cake time, when my son (who never refuses food of any kind) happily turned down an entire birthday cake in exchange for broccoli and a corn dog! I shouldn't be surprised. Until this point in his life he has never had cake so when faced with the option of cake or the yummy corn dog and broccoli sitting in front of him, he quickly choose the option he knew.

Delicious homemade red velvet cake!

Trying to convince him it is good to eat!

Happily munching away on his broccoli and corn dog!

His untouched delicious red velvet cake (still in my refrigerator)1

It makes me smile to know that both of my kids happily choose broccoli over cake for their birthday's this year. I guess I am doing something right :-)

Kaydence's 2nd Birthday/Kameron's 1st Birtday
All in all the day was amazing, the company spectacular and the occasion (though bitter-sweet) was totally worth all the work! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate this special day with us!


Happy Birthday Kameron Andrew, we all love you very much! 
(Birthday video coming soon)

One pooped out party boy!