30 April 2014

Ball Popper Heaven

I've learned to mellow out when it comes to birthday and Christmas presents. Not only do we have a house overflowing with toys for boys, but one year olds in particular could care less about new presents. 

So for Crew's birthday, I bought him a new swimsuit and everything else was found in the playroom and wrapped up. 
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Naturally, we had to stuff Crew's shirt with plastic Easter eggs before the unveiling of the gifts.
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Hands down, his favorite present was the ball popper. This toy has received lots of love throughout the years, and a fresh set of batteries did wonders for rediscovering the magic.
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Crew has gone to ball popper heaven every day since his party. Sometimes simplifying feels so good.


28 April 2014

Ice Cream Bar Party

Sandwiched in between Easter festivities, we celebrated Crew's first birthday with an ice cream bar.
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I pre-scooped the ice cream into Mason jars and put them on ice so they were all ready to go.
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The birthday boy relished the extra attention.
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He didn't mind diving right in to that cupcake either.
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My favorite part of first birthday parties is watching those sweet babies devour more sugar than they have ever tasted. We're so glad we had family in town to gather around Crew and laugh hysterically as he shoved fistfuls of frosting and cake into his tiny mouth. It was a happy birthday indeed.


24 April 2014

Easter Sunday

My plans for slowing down on Easter Sunday after a busy weekend didn't exactly pan out. My family came into town for a few days, so in addition to Easter basket finding, Easter dinner and another egg hunt, we crammed in Crew's birthday celebration. We also carved out some time to set up the trampoline since we had extra helpers around and Troy couldn't really complete that task on crutches. It was an exhausting day, but the sugar high and being surrounded with family helped keep the adrenaline flowing.

After attending uplifting church services, it was time to tackle the agenda. Somehow, in the midst of all the festivities, we forgot to snap a family photo. Troy was still in church meetings when the boys found their baskets and by the time he got home, Crew was down for a nap. So, the three boys will have to suffice this year. Just imagine Troy on crutches and me with a hint of a baby belly.

The Easter Bunny (with the help of my brother during the last 15 minutes of church) attached each basket to a trail of yarn as per tradition. 
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The boys are getting faster and faster at following those trails that lead to their baskets.
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Crew's grandpa assisted him along his yarn trail.
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Crew tried to hide from us to dodge naptime, but he couldn't help but peek out from underneath the curtain.
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Later that evening, we had one more front yard egg hunt for the grandparents' sake, in the matching shirts their grandma tucked in their baskets. The boys were pros at egg hunts by that point and didn't mind dragging out the festivities one bit.
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We wrapped up Easter 2014 on a high note. Our house felt a little empty on Monday morning when everyone headed home and the residual evidence was strewn across the house. Jelly bean trails. A counter full of dirty dishes. Crumpled up wrapping paper from Crew's birthday celebration. Plastic egg halves with no match in sight. 

Sometimes, in this exhausting stage of having young children, I am tempted to let some traditions pass. But in the end, the memories made are worth the effort. I know we would regret it if we missed out on their expressions as they followed their yarn trails and collected more plastic eggs than they could ever need. Plus, having a reason to gather with friends and family always makes the effort worthwhile.


22 April 2014

Easter Weekend

We celebrated Easter all weekend long. We kicked off the festivities on Friday with our traditional egg hunt with friends from the neighborhood. A couple of the families moved away since last year, so the kids were delighted to be reunited again. They didn't even seem to mind the sudden cold front that hit right as the hunt commenced.
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They showed off their bunny ears, not to be confused with the peace sign.
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On Saturday, we met up with more friends for another egg hunt and barbecue.
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Blake was meticulous, as always, about the number of eggs he collected.
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One of the families put names on the eggs. It was such a great idea because it made the hunt last much longer, and the kids loved finding the special eggs with their names on them.
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Of course, checking out the loot was the best part.
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After every egg that Nash opened, he ran across the field and plopped in between the older boys to show off the contents.
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He probably went back and forth at least 15 times. It took him quadruple the amount of time to open all of his eggs, but he was on cloud nine when those big boys showed so much interest in his collection of tootsie rolls.
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With two egg hunts out of the way, we crammed in a funeral, a wedding reception, a movie, and birthday party prep before Easter morning, when we could slow down and focus on the true meaning of the celebrations.