Saturday, November 30, 2013

Throwback: That Grace Turns Four

I'm not big on birthday parties for my kids in the first few years of their life. To me it seems like a lot of hassle to put a party together for a kid who doesn't understand what is going on. Instead Aaron and I try to make every moment of the day of their birthday special for them and have a little party with just our family. No hassle, just fun. I wasn't sure when we were going to transition out of that phase but I figured it would be around age 6, when Grace would want to invite her own friends to a party instead of me inviting my friends kids. However, after attending the birthday parties of her friends after her 3rd birthday, Grace wanted a party and it was all she could talk about. Suddenly, we were there, party throwing age.

I was worried that it would be stressful, that Grace would get upset it's-my-party-and-i'll-cry-if-I-want-to style, that something would go wrong. Aaron and I had a good long talk about it. We came to the conclusion that as long as it's fun we'll keep doing what we planned, and the minute it becomes stressful we'll cut out the unnecessary stuff. I waffled for awhile on whether we should have it at a park or throw a party with planned games and activities. Since I waffled so much I cut it close when sending out invitations and I didn't have time to order some according to the theme, so I just grabbed some at Target. Grace was thrilled to be part of the stamping, having me read the name of each friend that she hoped would come. She was giddy with excitement at the Post Office. I knew from her reaction that this would all be worth it.

We decided to go with a party at our house with Party games. It was The Lorax themed, Grace's favorite movie at the time. It all worked out perfectly since Grace's birthday fell on Labor Day we were able to do the party on her actual birthday.

The only unforeseen drawback was that it rained all day and we planned to have most of the activities outside, but it worked out for the best.

I forgot to take pictures during the party, but the kids watched certain parts of the Lorax and did activities that correlated with the scenes from the movie.

At first we did a Once-ler Marshmallow toss, where the kids had to catch marshmallows in their mouths.

Second with did an O'Hare Air balloon pop race. Two teams race across the room with a ballon and had to pop it by sitting on it, once it was popped they ran and tagged the next teammate.

Third we did Musical Blanket by dancing to the intro theme song and jumping onto the blanket, the last person to jump on was out.

Last we planted seeds in flower pots to "Let it Grow"

The kids watched the movie while they ate lunch, and then Grace blew out the candles on her cake, at least I got a picture of that right?
 After cake came present opening and then the parents came by to pick up their kids and head home with Lorax goody bags.

By the end of the party my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Not only did everything go well, but I had an incredible time. I had a lot of help from my amazing husband and friends, and the excitement and smile on Grace's face throughout the whole party was the absolute cherry on top. Suddenly I found myself wondering why I waited four years to do this, parties were fun.

After some serious sugar and pizza induced comas on everyone's part, we headed out to Red Robin for Grace's birthday dinner. She beamed as they sang Happy Birthday to her and was beyond excited that she got a free Sundae just for turning four.

It was by far my most favorite birthday celebration for her. She loves parties and having one of her very own seemed to put her over the edge on her life-is-so-awesome scale. We had a great time making this little one feel special, she deserves to feel special for so many reasons and we jumped on the opportunity to do just that. We love this Gracie girl of ours.

And she is already asking when her next birthday is, and telling us she can't wait to turn 5. That Grace.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cut Your Losses

The last time I blogged was two months ago, the content I blogged about was from July. There comes a point and time in every bloggers life (read: in just Kara's life) where they have to cut their losses and start blogging about things that are current and relevant. We can't spend our lives living in the past, am I right? Deep thoughts here on this blog, deep thoughts.

In my head I envision those old life events, you know, major holidays, family trips, good stories, will trickle in as a "throwback thursday" sort of thing. But I also didn't envision not blogging for two months, so don't hold me to anything.

Right now it is freezing in Texas. In a 24 hour period of time it went from 75 degrees outside to 35 degrees outside, and a big part of me wishes I was joking about that. For heavens sake I was wearing shorts last week! Everyone is complaining about it. The heat here has made us all weak when it comes to the cold.

We've bundled up and my kids had to start wearing socks. I'm pretty sure I had to dust off my socks when I put them on, its been awhile.

On an unrelated note, did I mention that we got a dog? Her name is Charlotte. Grace named her at the dog store when we went in to pet the puppies. This was before we knew we were getting a dog. Events fell into place that prompted us to get her but we love our new addition. The kids are smitten with her. She is a Zuchon, Which is a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise mix. She kind of looks like a very small polar bear.
Alright people, here is to moving forward, and not catching up on the past (but hopefully later catching up on the past…. who knows). Onward and upward!