Thursday, September 24, 2015

nora's turns two

Things got a little complicated with schedules this year so we decided to celebrate Nora's birthday a little early.  Her Godfather's wedding was happening on her birthday so we knew it was going to be tricky to celebrate it.  We were taking her with us to Dallas for the wedding, but we were pretty sure her brothers (who were not going) were not going to be happy about not being with her for her birthday.  We came up with a plan to keep everyone happy.  Our 9th wedding anniversary fell on the Wednesday before we left for Dallas so we told the boys we were switching the celebrations of our anniversary and Nora's birthday.  That way we would celebrate her "birthday" with the boys and get to go to the wedding for our "anniversary."  Fortunately, you can get away with something like this when the birthday girl is two.  The boys were cool with it and it worked out perfectly.  In fact, the boys might possibly have been more excited for her birthday than she was.  She didn't quite know what to expect until it was all happening.  She knew there would be cake and we would sing and she heard something about presents, but that was about it.  Second birthdays might just be the best because it is the first time the kid really gets it, but they also don't have any expectations yet so they are just really excited about everything.  This year, the boys helped me clean up some of my old Cabbage Patch Kids to give her.  I had three so we just decided we might as well get them all out of storage and into play.  They helped me give each one a bath, wash their clothes, and scrub them.  Gus even used q-tips with nail polish remover to get of scratches and other marks.  I cut some of their hair and sewed a few ripped seems and all three of them came out pretty well.   Three seemed a little excessive, but after all that work we were so proud of them that we just decided to go for it.  Watching Nora pull each one out of the giant gift bag was priceless.  
 She named the girls Elsa and Anna (which I thought was exciting since I won't ever need to buy real Elsa and Anna dolls... right?) and she named the boy one "Boy."  Pretty creative.
Her brothers were so happy with their gift as well.
 That evening, we had just a few family and friends over for a small celebration.  
Cinderella is still Nora's favorite so she was pretty excited about Mimi's present...
Mimi also gave her this carriage that is a purse.  Nora couldn't quite imagine anything better.
 Nora has said for months that she wanted a Cinderella cake for her birthday thanks to the ones she always looks at when we are at Target (and Gus constantly asking her if she wanted it).  I wasn't about to buy one, but she was more than happy with the little one I came up with. 
 Of course, she was more interested in all the toys than in the actual cake.
I can't believe my baby is already two.  People can complain about two all they want, but I think it is one of the best times.  Sure she is super opinionated and bossy now, but she is also so smart and so cute and so darn funny.  Kids say the funniest things when they are two and that bring enough joy to outweigh the hard stuff.  I need to start writing more of them down and then when I look back on this time, I will only remember how great it was... mostly.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

the start of summer 2015

We started our summer off with lots of friend time and lots of swimming...
 The first week of summer was already time for Vacation Bible Camp at St. Joan of Arc. 
Nora was sad that both her boys left her, but Gus was thrilled to finally get to go.
It was a great program and I really appreciated all the work that went into it.  The boys loved it and came home with many crafts, prayer cards, stories, and songs.
 We had a splash pad day at City Scape with the Burches...
  FYI, Nora still thinks Dot is just about the best person ever...
 We had two weeks of swim lessons through Phoenix Parks and Rec...
 The last day "popsicles" are always a highlight...
We entered the Disney Coolest Summer Ever Contest with this gem...
 But we lost.  
I won't elaborate about how a lot of the winners were not the impressive and it was probably all rigged and about how the weird Instagram/Twitter contest rules almost drove me out of my mind.
We had lots of fun creating our Peter Pan "Summer-Themed Attire" and I will always treasure the photo.  There were some other good outtakes and I got some solo pictures as well...
A stay in Cinderella's castle would have been nice, but Nora and I play with our little version of it quite often to help cope with the loss.
Just remember... "No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, a dream that you wish will come true." Right?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

may happiness

Amid a lot of sad things that happened for us in May, we managed to have some good times as well. 
I am going to dedicate this post to only those things.
We got to go to a fun Mickey birthday party for two friends...
 We celebrated May the Forth with some dress up..
May the Forth Be With You.
We watched the Princess Bride for the first time and the kids were all pretty much enthralled..
 Gus thought he was going to like Wesley the best, but by the end he realized that Inigo Montoya was the coolest.  Jimmy actually got to dress up like a good guy this time (he is usually a good sport about being the bad guys since Gus refuses to ever be a bad guy).
 Princess Buttercup hung out at the sword fight for awhile like a good sport, but then she opted for a tea party in her room with all her babies...
 We went to the May Crowing at our church...
I thought that Mass would count as having a productive day, but Gus insisted on a craft.
We made cardboard crowns on our porch on a nice rainy day...
Nora decorated hers with stickers of Mary and flowers.  
Gus modeled his after Edmund from the Chronicles of Narnia, but made it green instead of silver.
(They are modeling them a nice sunny day when they were finished)
We got some good Dot and Nora time in while the boys were off golfing with Dad one morning...
 We had a visit from Aunt Nat...
 And who wouldn't be happy about that?
Perhaps most exciting of all we got a new cousin!
My sister, Erin, and her husband, Gene, had their first baby.  We sure love baby Helen!
 Thank you God for all our blessings!