Tag Archives: birthdays

Some Assembly Required

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

I had a lovely experience with Christmas this year. My two oldest kids are old enough to really appreciate more complicated toys and notice when things are a little different. I spent a few hours setting up for Christmas morning, and making sure everything looked “just so”. I even made my brother help me with the Lego village. 

So naturally, on the eve of my son’s birthday, only 3 days after Christmas, I abhorred the fact that I was already wrapping more boxes and assembling a birthday celebration. This feeling was even more pronounced since I had bought a special surprise for him months ago, that I imagined being the favorite birthday gift. 

A friend of mine had bought a teepee for her son, on sale and very nice. Online, it looked similar to a pop-up tent thing my daughter has (in the shape of a princess castle of course) that J loves, so I thought it would be the perfect compliment to that. The box arrived amid several other Christmas gifts, so I put the entire box away to open later when I prepared for his birthday. 

Tonight, when my kids got in bed, I began to look at the Christmas crazy left from the last few days of slowly dwindling house guests and overflowing bins and boxes of stuff. I’m supposed to host a birthday party tomorrow?! I don’t care how small it’s supposed to be, that’s a little bit of pressure. So naturally I run the vacuum half-heartedly and pick up miscellaneous items from new toy sets and one thousand little scraps of wrapping paper I had so carefully folded and sparingly taped. And then… I remember the teepee.

I retrieved the box from the garage, and got to work. I’ve got a few choice pictures of my progress…  

 When I took it out of the box, I was surprised to find wooden poles. What happened to that pop-up tent I ordered? Along with the poles there was treated canvas. Was this thing an actual tent?! Is he, at some point in the future, going to ask me to camp in this thing?!

So, I got to work, in the middle of the living room floor, glass of wine close by for moral support. The directions seemed simple: Twist poles together. Put poles into inserts in canvas. Tie poles and grommets in canvas together. Enjoy your tent. Easy! 

 Forty-five long minutes later, I call my mom upstairs to help me tie knots, and we stand back and look at our newest abode within an abode. I could probably curl up and sleep in this thing. J is gonna LOVE it. I had envisioned it in his room. I’ll probably still let him keep it there, but it’s gonna be tight.  

 Moral of the story? J will love it. And I would do anything for my son, especially on his birthday, that I think he will love. Even after a week of crazy has just happened, I will open my home to even more crazy, because he deserves to be celebrated. I love him for who he is, but also (mostly) because he is my sweet, beloved son. Will he remember his second birthday? Nope. Will his adult self remember an awesome, surprisingly durable, traffic cone-like teepee? Maybe not. But will he remember the love his mama put into everything that had to do with him? I sure hope so. 

If I can love my silly, sweet middle child so much, after only two years, that it brings tears to my eyes, how much more can my Father, creator of the cosmos and author of my destiny, love me? I may be sweet, I am definitely silly, and I often feel lost in the shuffle, but I always know that I have the deep, secure love of a Father who would do anything to make me whole. 

Currently – Ella Kate’s Birthday!

Okay, so this edition of Currently didn’t quite go up on time, but I’ve been so busy celebrating my wonderful, smart, gorgeous THREE-year-old that I’ve barely had time for anything else!

We spent all of last week getting the basement at least partially ready for guests (I mean, not all the way, but there were places to sleep!) and getting ready for EK’s party on Saturday. As (I think) I mentioned before, her requested theme was “princesses, pizza, and painting” and I’ll say – we sure accomplished all three! Here are some highlights before I start my regular “currently”.

Sweet college friends who made my weekend!
Amazing tie-dye princess cupcakes made by my sweet friend, Lauren! (If you’re local, she’s for hire!)
EK was really impressed with the cupcakes.
Just a few of EK’s sweet cousins and friends who came to celebrate! I got everyone looking but her, ha!
Yesterday’s outfit. Underneath the hoodie, the dress says “Birthday Girl”.


Kiddos enjoying one of the presents… it’s a pretty cool little castle!


Now for my semi-normal currently – linking up as usual with Becky at Choose Happy and the other fabulous bloggers from all over! Join us!

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Thankful for || an amazing weekend (and day today!) of celebrating my incredible daughter, who I CANNOT BELIEVE is 3! It seems like just yesterday that she was a teeny little squish, and now she’s talking 90 miles a minute, running, dancing, playing and showing me she’s an incredible person, inside and out. It totally rocks me if I sit and think about it. Okay – I’m gonna cry. Moving on…

I’m thankful for several more things, so I’m going to lay them all down, list-style: my mom, who spent the entire week helping us clean, entertaining the kids while Hubby and I organized and rearranged the basement, and letting us go on TWO dates while she was here! Total win, Mom. Thanks!. Also, thankful for a mother-in-law who helps move furniture, hang pictures, work in the yard, and spoil children. She’s a great lady, as well! Thankful for sweet college girlfriends who slumber party with my in my partially-furnished basement, spoil my daughter, and make me feel like I’m ten years younger again. Thanks, gals. I love you. Lastly, thankful for an incredible husband, who puts up with my hormonal mood swings and my never-ending honey-do list, loves our children in a way so mind-blowing that I can’t describe its awesomeness, and still manages to have time to do wonderful things for me and make me feel special, even when I feel like a crazy, sobbing, way-too-pregnant cow. Yep. I went there. Love ya, babe.

Eating || my mom’s homemade spaghetti recipe, with a little change. It’s canned tomatoes and sauce, basil, oregano, garlic, onion, and ground beef. Last night, I used fresh tomatoes, fresh oregano (from our garden, that had somehow survived (and flourished after!) winter – not so for the basil), and added some grated carrots and some frozen spinach. Surprisingly, the kiddos couldn’t tell about the veggies, and the oregano made the whole thing pop! Yum.

Dreaming of || my facial on Friday, and the fact that I might ALSO get my nails done. Y’all, I need a couple of hours of pampering after a busy and stressful few weeks, and I’m MORE THAN EXCITED about it on Friday. Can I get an amen?!

Planning || big blog things for the next few weeks and months. I’m going to start asking for opinions, stories, and requests for what you’d like to hear about. In fact, go ahead and leave those in the comments! I’ll start collecting today!

Thanks for joining me on my birthday edition of Currently! What have you been up to?

How Not To Lose a Birthday in Your Christmas

Photo Credit: www.rottenecards.com
Photo Credit: http://www.rottenecards.com

Friends, I have a December birthday. It’s December 13th. And every year, my mom would do pretty much whatever I wanted to make my birthday special, and make sure it didn’t get lost in the midst of the Christmas hustle and bustle. (Thanks, Mom!) That included many things, but most importantly always, always making sure to wrap my birthday presents in birthday wrapping paper. My number one, biggest ever pet peeve? Getting a present on my birthday that’s wrapped in Christmas paper or in a Christmas bag. You know what the grocery stores and drug stores all sell year-round? Regular, plain ol’ paper and bags. Even if it’s a solid color! Just not a teddy bear in a Santa hat holding tinsel. Come on, guys.

Anyway, because I’ve got a mom who made my birthday special, and because I managed to have a son sandwiched in between Christmas and New Year’s, I figured writing a post about making your December-birthday kid feel special was appropriate. (Note: This can also be applied to a birthday on any holiday – Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, etc.)

I think one great thing I always got to do was choose whether or not I wanted the Christmas decorations to be up yet. I went back and forth pretty much every year about whether I wanted them up. Sometimes, it felt too rushed to have them up already – I mean, the first two weeks of December were about my birthday, right? But other times, it made the occasion even more festive to have everything decorated and lit up! Most important part: the choice being mine.

Another really wonderful thing my mom did was let me have a party. It must’ve taken some planning, too, to get the decorations and favors and treats that weren’t Christmas-themed. Usually, all I wanted was a ridiculous number of my friends over to spend the night (aka not sleep) but she still let me do it, even though we were always horribly busy (read: we were musicians), already exhausted, and there were already a thousand other parties happening that month. She was a champ, let me tell you, with my room right over hers, full of dancing, singing, giggling girls, playing weird games and calling boys on the phone all through the night, and still making us all pancakes in the morning.

I’m sure lots of things she did were just regular moms-doing-nice-things-on-birthdays stuff. But it really made me feel special in the midst of a season that is (thankfully!) not about me. The season of advent can be celebratory, but it can also be contemplative and somber. Not losing sight of the birthday celebration in the midst of that will make a December birthday feel special.

So bottom line, thanks Mom, for not wrapping my birthday presents in Christmas paper. Not one time. You’re the best!