Declan's First Birthday Party

I don't know what I was thinking when I had two babies with birthdays only three weeks apart. Clearly I was not thinking about planning birthday parties when I got pregnant. Totally kidding. I would never plan my family around a party. Maybe. I had Edison's party before his actual birthday and then Declan's after. I think we might combine parties in the future if they are up for it but I wanted Declan's party to be his own for his first birthday.

One-year-olds are not interested in playing party games so I invited friends over to watch Declan dig into his cake. Very simple party. I designed the invitation in five minutes and it was a pretty good representation of the low-keyness that would be the party.

 photo DeclanParty1_zpsa5c9fd9b.jpg

Sam blew up 80 balloons for the party. Declan loves balloons and he was so happy to play in them. Although he doesn't look very happy in this picture.

 photo DeclanParty2_zps45797df3.jpg

I like evening parties. I felt like I had plenty of time to get ready during the day and I even got to snap some pictures before guests arrived.

 photo DeclanParty3_zps22c6b115.jpg

 photo DeclanParty4_zpsbbaa8471.jpg

The cake was a yellow cake with whipped chocolate buttercream frosting. The cupcakes were chocolate with delicious magic frosting (made with flour and tastes like heaven). I pulled off the top layer of the cake for Declan and cut up the rest for guests.

 photo DeclanParty5_zps9518b2c9.jpg

The kids walked in and immediately everyone went crazy. It was a mad house. We have had a lot of people at our house before but it has never been like this. Sam attributed it to the balloons. All kids love balloons. I think it could also be that we had twelve adults and twenty kids in a small house with balloons and cake.

 photo DeclanParty6_zpsda43de04.jpg

Some of the moms had to hide out in the kitchen. It was the only safe place!

 photo DeclanParty10_zps688030cc.jpg
Larissa, Maggie, Olivia, Nikki, Karen

 photo DeclanParty7_zps15c6fcf5.jpg

Declan actually got into his cake. I was very pleased.

 photo DeclanParty8_zps2e3dfb21.jpg

He was such a mess!

 photo DeclanParty9_zps3f4df9dd.jpg

 After a costume change, Declan opened his gifts. I really wish I had asked people to not bring gifts. We have so many toys! I am so grateful for all of our supportive and loving friends though.

 photo DeclanParty11_zps481ffdf6.jpg

 photo DeclanParty12_zps9d8a6554.jpg

 photo DeclanParty13_zps7dcd0024.jpg

The photo wall was my only decoration. The kids thought it was hilarious. They were pointing and taking the pictures down and moving them around.

 photo DeclanParty14_zps93b796dd.jpg

The party started in the evening so it didn't last long. We were left with a big mess!

 photo DeclanParty15_zpsef5091b4.jpg

It was still a big mess a few days later. We played with balloons for two weeks. Every time people would come over, their kids would take a balloon or two home with them like a parting gift.

 photo DeclanParty16_zpsd65b5742.jpg

 photo DeclanParty17_zpsc05468c4.jpg

 photo DeclanParty18_zpscc8678ee.jpg

Declan got a cute outfit from Grandma Neil that my brothers wore when they were young. He also got some money from Great Gramma and Papa Neil. I put that in my wallet and it will be used for diapers. Too many toys!

 photo DeclanParty19_zps6bc3dd64.jpg

Declan loves the bubble machine he got for his birthday. It is no joke. That thing makes bubbles like a machine. Oh boy. I am so punny.

 photo DeclanParty20_zps7c4b3d54.jpg

Declan had no idea what was going on but I am still glad we partied it up for his first. Declan is an amazing baby. I am a lucky mom.

 photo DeclanParty21_zps46e40ef0.jpg


Earth Day Celebration

I don't think I have ever done anything for Earth Day before this year. I am kind of a bad person. I am changing my ways! Williston Toddler Days toured Handy Andy's, a nursery here in Williston. I loved it. It was so beautiful. The owner gave us a tour. As we were gathering a few minutes before the tour was supposed to start, I heard a customer ask him a question and he said, "Let me find someone else to help you because I am about to start a tour." It made me really like the guy! Most people wouldn't care about a bunch of toddlers. Andy took us to every area of the nursery and Alex and Edison were busy sniffing, touching, and pointing to everything. Andy never flinched. Not even when some kids were doing "He loves me, he loves me not" to the petals of Andy's flowers.

 photo EarthDay1_zpseda8eb0f.jpg

 photo EarthDay2_zps54bbb61e.jpg

 photo EarthDay3_zps75cf21c2.jpg

 photo EarthDay4_zps3790ec84.jpg

 photo EarthDay5_zpsb7ea0ac8.jpg

 photo EarthDay6_zpsdf635e0f.jpg

Alex was so silly. He kept saying, "Mom, you've got to smell this flower! It smells spectacular!"

 photo EarthDay7_zpsd5156b17.jpg

 photo EarthDay8_zpsb26bfb6c.jpg

We got home and everyone took a nap, then we went outside to pick up garbage around our townhouse. A few neighbor boys saw us and went to get their own garbage bags to help. It gave me the warm feelies.

 photo EarthDay9_zps49b1b08a.jpg

When Sam got home from work we walked to the park. The weather was incredible. I love the summer in Williston and look forward to many days spent outdoors in the next few months.

 photo EarthDay10_zpsfec0822f.jpg


Easter 2014

Sam and I made a concerted effort to focus our celebration of Easter on Christ's resurrection. I feel like these are critical years for the boys and making holidays about the true reason for them and not about the worldly holiday. Each day from Palm Sunday to Easter we read from the scriptures about the life of Jesus and talked about His resurrection.

We kept the focus on Christ but I am all about a good party. And there were a lot of opportunities to party! First we went to the Williston CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) Easter Egg Hunt. The boys got to find 10 eggs each, take pictures with the Easter bunny, and eat some snacks. I don't know why I didn't stop by the CVB when we first moved here. I am glad I went into the building finally and got some good ideas of things to see around here.

 photo Easter1_zpsddd1b530.jpg

 photo Easter2_zps6ddba980.jpg

 photo Easter3_zps208ef07b.jpg

 photo Easter4_zpsf3e06b39.jpg

This series of pictures makes me laugh so much. Declan gets one egg from Alex, one from Edison's basket, and then takes off.

 photo Easter5_zpsf81ce7e2.jpg

 There was a lot of candy on the floor and Declan thought it was his birthday again.

 photo Easter6_zpsc8327c49.jpg

Almost all of the eggs were filled with m&ms.

 photo Easter14_zps4e2362e2.jpg

I planned an Easter egg hunt for our ward playgroup. I asked each person to bring 12 filled eggs per child. Then each child got to find a dozen eggs. It was all fair and happy and I only had to fill 24 eggs. It worked out splendidly.

 photo Easter7_zps48a570e0.jpg
Kara and Jenn

 photo Easter8_zps9f7bafcb.jpg

Alex convinced my friend to lift him up.

 photo Easter9_zpsf026d045.jpg

 photo Easter10_zps862d5f66.jpg

 photo Easter11_zps3908d37b.jpg

 photo Easter12_zps936b1edf.jpg

 photo Easter13_zps346486ea.jpg

I made these super cute gifts for the ladies I visit teach, Alex's preschool teachers, and a few friends. The eggs are eos lip glosses.

 photo Easter15_zps1e1245e6.jpg

The library had several egg hunts/storytimes. First we listened to a story then the boys got to make their own bunny ears.

 photo Easter25_zps5505ba32.jpg

 photo Easter26_zpseb5e27a2.jpg

 photo Easter27_zpsc4cdc465.jpg
Edison, Leta, Alex

 photo Easter28_zps76075db8.jpg

 photo Easter29_zps106cec4a.jpg 

There were 600 eggs hidden throughout the library. They were all empty. The kids went to town finding eggs then turned them all in and got a gift bag. It was brilliant.

 photo Easter30_zps67ff61fe.jpg

 photo Easter31_zps2e184097.jpg

 photo Easter32_zps5fd94478.jpg

Williston Toddler Days had a huge Easter egg hunt last year. We did it at the rec center and there were so many eggs in such a small area that the kids were stepping on them! We decided to have it at a park this year. We didn't count the eggs, but Kirsten and I spent over an hour filling eggs and I think we went overboard. It was a very cold day (around 35°F) and not very many ended up coming out to the park. The kids were circling the park and choosing the eggs they wanted. Then I would dump the eggs from the boys' baskets into our car, and they would circle around the park selecting their eggs again. The hunt took quite a while before all of the eggs were picked up. I was so happy that most of the eggs were filled with stickers, bouncy balls, and tattoos instead of candy.

 photo Easter16_zpsca03fd47.jpg

 photo Easter17_zps2ece98de.jpg

 photo Easter18_zps56428810.jpg

 photo Easter19_zpscdca92d5.jpg

 photo Easter20_zps0c1df448.jpg

 photo Easter21_zpsa2035eeb.jpg
Dahlia and Cael

 photo Easter22_zps18437ca3.jpg

 When we got home and opened the eggs, Alex took all of the chocolate from his eggs and put it in Edison's basket because Alex apparently "do[es] not like chocolate at all." It is bizarre how much that child is like me.

 photo Easter23_zpse665c5e6.jpg

 photo Easter24_zps8cd9d0c4.jpg

On Easter morning, the boys ran upstairs to find their baskets. Sam listened to me this year and only put one jelly bean in each egg. A big improvement over that one year where he filled both halves of every egg and somehow still got them to close. I am glad there was only one candy per egg because they had mastered egg hunts by this point and were opening the eggs and eating the candy immediately.

 photo Easter33_zpse76a34d4.jpg

 photo Easter34_zpsf581ed9d.jpg

 photo Easter35_zpsce07817d.jpg

We went to church all matchy smatchy.

 photo Easter36_zps7c682b42.jpg

 photo Easter37_zps59485a14.jpg

After church we went to the McBride's for brunch. It was delicious and I took one picture. The kids had a blast playing outside. It was such a beautiful day.

 photo Easter38_zpscc48c35d.jpg

We got home, I made dinner, then we ate again. So much food!

 photo Easter39_zpsa3d65713.jpg

Of course I made the au gratin potatoes. I think it is a tradition now.

 photo Easter40_zpse933c792.jpg

We finally dyed Easter eggs. I planned to do it earlier but we were too busy.

 photo Easter41_zps31cd6c8d.jpg

 photo Easter42_zps7546cf21.jpg

 photo Easter43_zps901316f5.jpg

It was a great Easter. I love teaching my kids and learning beside them. We are so grateful for our Savior's sacrifice and resurrection in our behalf. Happy Easter!

Blog Archive