Monday, September 30, 2013

Giddy Up

As I already shared, Kennedy really wanted to ride a horse for her birthday. When she initially came to me with her request, I really didn't think we'd be able to "make it happen" if you will. I was thinking we'd do a trail ride somewhere or something like that, but when I started researching farms in our area I wasn't coming up with much. There are lots of local farms that will charge you out the wazoo to have a horse themed birthday party on their premises but that really wasn't what I was going for. Just about when I was about to throw in the towel I found a local farm called Chestnut Lane Stables and lo and behold they had coupons on their website for a free first time riding lesson: {insert hallelujah chorus here}. 

So, on the Saturday of Declans birthday party, after Kennedy got her ears pierced - she got her 2nd birthday wish. She got to ride a horse. 

What is better than getting your birthday wish? Doing so with your BFF! 
Up she goes. 
This horse was old, slow and super sweet. Did I mention she was old? She was old! 

Girlfriend rocked a permagrin the ENTIRE time she was on that horse. 


The riding instructor was so incredibly nice - she spent one on one time with each girl and really taught them about how you act around a horse, what type of posture is important, how to give them appropriate commands, etc. 

Becca's turn:

The big horse-riders! 
Before the trainer put the horse away she offered to walk Avery around for a minute and I thought Avery would be all about it. We get Avery on the horse and start getting the saddle adjusted and what not and the horse makes one tiny movement and Avery freaks out and starts crying and I couldn't get her to recover. She kept saying she wasn't big enough but when she was a "big girl like Kennedy she would be able to ride". Too funny!
Before we left, we walked through the barn looking at all the horses - there were some beautiful horses and the girls loved it. 

We had a great experience with that farm and Kennedy had an amazing time. I've no doubt she'll remember that lesson for a LONG time. I'm planning to send the trainer some of these pictures with a thank you note because hello - it was all free and it was AWESOME.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


On September 7th, we celebrated Declan's 2nd birthday at his Curious George party. 
 Melissa did a really great job with the party and most of her stuff was from PBS (which is code for FREE). 
 Of course Kennedy was a big fan of the coloring table - she's my little artist. 

 Melissa and I often joke that Declan and Avery are going to be partners in crime when they get older and I foresee a similar future for these two. Ellie had the biggest grin every time Grey went over to her exersaucer to play. Melts me! 
 Is there anything more attractive than your man loving on and or playing with your kids? I think not (except for if he were simultaneously vacuuming) and therefore I kind of heart this photo. 
 After Grey polished off three hot dogs, he then happily plowed through what appeared to be THE BEST CUPCAKE EVERRRRR!
 I hear ya brother, if I could get away with cramming my sweets like that - I totally would but it wouldn't be as cute. 

 Avery was a fan of Auntie Melissa's cupcakes as well. Note to self: when your kid requests blue of anything - just say "no". 
 One of my most favorite moments of the little mans party was when he unwrapped this puppy. I wish so very much that I could have captures his utter awe and fascination better because it was too adorable to sum up for y'all. Oh my word, his little face just lit up with wonder and excitement and just "do you see this totally awesome firetruck I just got?" kind of expression - LOVED IT! 
 Because my sister lives so very close to the mall and I knew I'd be able to rope her in to watching the "littles", we took advantage of that timing and proximity and headed to Claire's after Declan's party: ear piercing time! 

Although there was some minor anxiety: "will it hurt, how long does it take" etc. etc. she was a total champ and was ready. Here she is before with her perfect little lobes:)
 Next were the carefully placed target marks: 
Then it was "go time". She had her take some deep breaths and she held my hand and there was nary a tear - there was the welling up of some tears, but none actually escaped out and then the reward: 
 She was so excited and couldn't wait to show off her new bling. The earrings are super cute and they should be because y'all - it is not cheap to have your ears pierced. I don't know what I was expecting, price-wise but I was not expecting what I paid (lets just leave it at that. Basically you are kind of peer pressured in to your selection because there are basically two categories of earrings - those that are "highly reactive" and those that aren't. If you want the non-reactive earrings lets just say you're not leaving without spending >$50. Yep, you read that right. Yikes! 
Silver lining: the look on her face when she looked in the mirror afterwards - PRICELESS! Her look of confidence and happiness made the expenditure completely worth while. Happy Birthday big girl! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My baby is 6

How did that happen? No, really: how.did.that.happen? Six! My first baby is officially a 6 year old and it just seems crazy to me. She is a 6 year old and a kindergartner. Madness! For months Kennedy has been developing her birthday plan. No joke - MONTHS! I think weekly I was answering the question: "so, when is it going to be my birthday again Momma?" Needless to say, although I had my work cut out for me I was happy when her birthday finally arrived so we could move on with things if you know what I'm sayin'. 

The first part of Kennedy's celebration (oh yeah - there's parts, so get comfy) was her "school party". Thankfully, Kennedy's teachers make quite the fuss over birthdays and she was really looking forward to being fussed over. Birthday kids get a crown/sash for their birthday and they get a special birthday book made for them from their classmates. Parents are allowed to send in birthday treats (home made or store bought) and are also allowed to come in and read to the class. Well - y'all know I was home makin' something for sure and I was all about the opportunity to go in and read to the class too. We tried to chose our treat based on our book selection and at first she wanted to me to read Pinkalicious and make pinkalicious cupcakes. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Pinkalicious, but I kind of figured that might be a repeat theme so I tried to suggest to her we pick something else and we decided on a book called Dinosaurs for Dessert. Kennedy loves this book, she loves Dinosaur Oatmeal for breakfast and I could totally envision cute little dinosaur cookies for her birthday treat offering. Let the fun begin: 

 She loves Quaker Dinosaur Oatmeal so very much, that we decided we'd share a packet with her friends, so here she is painting little treat bags for the oatmeal. 
 This girl loves all things crafty - she's after my own heart :)

 The night before her "school party" we made and iced the cookies. Unfortunately, sugar cookies are really just plain ole' sugar cookies but if you really want them to look like something, you've got to ice them. I found a pretty easy royal icing recipe and we went to town. ps: if anyone needs a good sugar cookie recipe - I've got one!
 I piped on the icing and Kennedy put on the eye balls - ha!
 Oh my word -  I loved them so very much that I hated for them to be eaten but I knew the kids would love them and I'm happy to report they did! 

 My taste tester gave me a thumbs up. 
 Jennifer was nice enough to keep my two little babes so I could just go and focus on Kennedy and be able to read the book to she and her friends. She was so excited! All of the kids listened well to the story and were most excited about trying out her cookies. 
 Overall I would say it was a big success and I was so happy I got to hang out with her in the classroom a little bit. 
Part two of the birthday celebration will be in the next post. I'll give you a little teaser: she's been telling us for months that all she wants for her 6th birthday is #1  a kitten (bless her heart - NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) #2 to get her ears pierced and #3 to ride a horse. I mean, that's all people. Psssht - she might as well have asked for a pony........or so I thought. Stay tuned!