30 September 2015

Celebrating Finn

I was a total wreck on Finn's birthday. I was absolutely devastated about my baby turning one. My fear of my babies moving past babyhood seems to get worse with each child, even though I love the big people they turn into.

It was probably irrational, but I wanted his little party to be perfect in case it was the last first birthday party I ever threw. 

Unfortunately, I had very little time to put everything together. We had only been home a few days from a Labor Day weekend trip and were thick into school and homework. On the weekend of Finn's birthday, we had company staying with us, family pictures, a trip to the beach and a college tailgate and football game. We were hardly home at all. I decided to make his first birthday photo shoot at the beach my priority and tried to let the party details slide.

But on the morning of the big day, I couldn't help but put together a party display for Finn. Obviously he didn't care or even know it was his first birthday, but I just couldn't let the day pass without honoring him the best way I know how.
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I have to make a conscience effort to capture children number 3 and 4 as much as I captured children number 1 and 2. Sometimes I only get a few shots in each month but I am so happy to have at least monthly documentation. Even if it makes me cry to see how much Finn has grown.
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Our cute neighbors came to celebrate Finn along with my parents, aunt, sister-in-law and nephew. It was a small party filled with lots of love.
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Even though the star of the show dug into his first cake at the beach the day before, he of course had to have another cake on his big day so we could sing to him.
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Nash got the job done and helped him blow out his candle.
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His brothers were and are his biggest cheerleaders.
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Even though I spent a lot of the day in a cloud of tears, denial and party planning stress, the moment everyone huddled around tiny Finn to watch him devour his cake brought me so much joy. 
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I'm not sure if his tummy particularly enjoyed cake two days in a row.
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He stood up after a few fistfuls of cake and that was that.
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I scooped Finn up and the two of us left the party for some one-on-one time. I bathed him and rocked him as long as I could, trying to hold on to my baby with all my might. The only thing that makes me feel better is that he still weighs the amount of a six month old, has no teeth and isn't walking yet. So maybe I'll get to hold on to my baby for a few months longer after all.

Finn sure is loved. Happiest first birthday, little buddy.


28 September 2015

Finn | One Year

Have your cake...
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...and eat it too.
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I think he liked it.
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Some friends joined in Finn's cake party, waiting for him to drop pieces under his highchair. He willingly shared.
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I don't know how I could possibly narrow the list down to one thing I love about my one year old. He is just the tiniest, sweetest thing. His nicknames are little puppy, Finners, and Finner Winner. I love it when all of us run upstairs and he follows as quick as he can behind us. I see his tiny body emerge over the top stair and he crawls as fast as he can to join us. He exudes happiness. Everyone in our family simply adores him and we're so glad he's ours.


24 September 2015

Back to Disney

Along with back to school came another much anticipated event; the return to Disneyland. Our local passes were blocked out all summer and we sure missed our frequent doses of Mickey Mouse and roller coasters.

Usually we only go for half of the day and fit in a few rides or a parade or a show. But Troy's family came in town at the end of August for a wedding so we decided to make a whole day out of it; from park open to park close.
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My father-in-law, brother-in-law and I celebrate all of our birthdays within 6 days of each other and we happened to be visiting the park in between those days. We each received a birthday pin and passes to skip the line on any ride of our choosing. Finn especially enjoyed gnawing on my pin all day which meant the lettering for my name disappeared rapidly. But I'll admit, it was kind of fun to hear "Happy Birthday" from cast members on every corner.
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Finn fell asleep just before lunch which worked out nicely except he missed the first round of cousin photos.
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All of my Disneyland food dreams came true with the Monte Cristo sandwich at Café Orleans. We hardly ever sit down for meals at Disney so it was a rare treat that I've been anticipating for years. Happy birthday indeed.
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We covered more ground and more rides than usual, especially with so many adults to take shifts with the younger ones who didn't meet height requirements. Blake and Nash thought they hit the jackpot when they got to sit in the front row of Big Thunder Mountain with their uncle. They are becoming roller coaster maniacs just like their mama.
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Nash had a meltdown about not being tall enough for Indiana Jones, but other than that, the kids were real troopers to last all day long. 
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Grandpa and Grandma were beaming, surrounded by their six grandchildren at the happiest place on earth.
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We didn't mean to stay until dark but it just sort of happened that way after we found some treats and the last shift of us went on Space Mountain. The new Paint The Night parade and fireworks they added a few months ago to celebrate Disneyland's 60th anniversary was incredible. I've seen it twice now and both times the amount of detail that goes into the performance has blown my mind.
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It was magical to share our initial fall trip back to Disney with family. And we're glad that our summer blockout dates are history.