Sunday, April 14, 2013


The past few days have been full on birthday and the actual birthday has not even happened.  Tomorrow my girl will be turning eight.  EIGHT!!!

I know it is so cliche, but I just can't believe how quickly the time has gone.  Eight years have gone by in the blink of an eye.  This was all the more evident as we caught glimpses of baby Ava on the home videos I had on in the background during her party.  I love pulling out old home videos and baby books each year on their birthdays and really reminiscing.  Soaking up the memories and keeping them fresh in my mind so I never forget.  A birthday is a perfect time for this type of thing.  Thinking back to holding my Ava for the first time.  Knowing my life was forever changed for the better.  It seems like just yesterday I was rocking her back to sleep in the middle of the night, singing her Christmas songs because I didn't know the words to lullabies.  Watching the videos yesterday took everyone back down memory lane as we got to see all the kiddos as babies and toddlers and think back to those days of diapers, bottles, sleep deprivation and with that, happy, happy times.  I'll only say it one more quickly it all goes.  From this adorable, chubby smile...

To beautiful young lady...

Same infectious smile and good nature.

I find birthdays somewhat bittersweet.  Sweet because I am grateful each year for healthy, growing children.  Bitter because it means the time is slipping by.  Also sweet because I love me a birthday party celebration.  In hopes of getting off the mushy train with all the memories talk I'm gonna talk party time.  

Ava's artist party was a big success.  By this morning I found myself so very tired from all of the planning, setting up, cleaning up, baking and cooking.  But, it is so worth it.  Especially when I could tell how much fun my girl was having.  A look at the party fun.

Pre Party...

The cake turned out!  I usually have great visions of what the cake will look like.  More often than not, it turns out looking like a kids craft project.  Maybe that is why this one was supposed to look like a craft project.

Kids Craft (and take home gift!)  A bucket with their first letter initial glued on it for them to decorate.  

All kids love to paint so this was perfect because we had a wide age range- 2 to 13.  And, it was so inexpensive...buckets were from the dollar store and letters were in the half of bin at Michael's.  Bonus!

Paint brush rice krispy treats...

These were the treats Ava wanted to take to her class for her birthday so we made some extra for all the party guests.  Again...something that I imagined cute in my head turned out cute in real life.  I'm getting good.  

Then it was time for the party to begin.  
Very serious birthday girl

Little Miss Graci

I said it was fun for all ages...even my sister had to get in on the action.

Another very serious artist
We had one game planned...blindfold art.  The girls picked one thing each person had to draw.  You were then blindfolded, given a marker and had to draw it on a big piece of butcher paper.  I had hopes to hang it on the fence and have everyone outside.  However, Montana had different ideas and there was a snowstorm, so it was moved to the garage.  It was a lot of fun for all.  

And then it was present time!  When all the kids were younger, the gift portion was always a bit chaotic.  Trying to open them as fast as they could before younger kids tried to open gifts that weren't theirs.  Now, it is so much calmer.  Ava opening cards first, actually reading them and then going in for the gifts.

Jacob was so excited to give her his present
Jae reading the most creative story about the fairy berries gift.  Love Greg's face in this shot
And, then of course came the birthday cake and homemade chocolate ice cream.

The party did not end with the cake.  My girls both wanted different things for their birthday parties.  Layla wants to invite all her friends from her class.  Ava wanted just her cousins (we consider our friends Dru and Graci cousins so they are in that group) at the party and wanted Greg and Kim to stay for a slumber party.  So, after everyone else left it was just the four littles.  I know they aren't really the "littles" anymore, but I will always think of them that way.  We made pizzas, they played and then they all snuggled in Ava's room and crashed out after the exhaustion of the party.  (Wait, that was me).
Slumber party time...
Twin PJ's

I tell you what...there is something about these kiddos...

And, then of course there's this kid..

They all just melt me.  

For Ava's actual birthday tomorrow she will be at school and I'll be at work.  Part of me wants to have us both play hooky and go spend the day together.  The responsible part of me knows you can't always have your birthday off and she might as well know that.  However, she can drag it out for a week like I always do for mine.  Therefore the celebration will continue tomorrow despite it being a boring old Monday.  She requested homemade gnocchi and bread from dinner.  I think I'm setting the standards a little too high around here...what's wrong with going out for pizza?  I did also make her a cheesecake this of her favorites.  I know she already had a birthday cake, but she has to have something on the actual day and I can't bear to have her blow candles out on a cake that is already half eaten.  And, I am never one to complain about having too many desserts around the house.  I want their days to be as special as they are.  

One party down and now it's time to start thinking about the next.  It's a little unfair...I always have a ton of energy in the beginning of April for birthdays.  By the time Ava's is over, I'm not quite as ambitious.  I'll just give it a couple days and then I'll be ready to jump into the next one.  We'll be going from an artist party to planning a pig party.  I don't know where Layla's love of pigs has come from but that's all she wants her party to be is a pig party.  Not a lot to work with, but I'm starting to get a few ideas.   I'm thinking pin the tail on the pig and little pink cupcakes with two black jelly beans so it looks like a snout.  They look cute in my head...time will tell how they'll look in real life.  

I still can't believe tomorrow my baby will be eight.  Freakin crazy.  

Happy Day to my baby girl.

Funny face shot to wrap things up...
I'm not playing on my phone...just trying to have the video ready for singing!

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