Sunday, August 4, 2013

Liam's Big Day

I know I'm a little late blogging about this, but our household has been sick the entire past week!  Even though we had already celebrated his big birthday party early, we still wanted to make his actual birthday super special.  I have to say that I think Liam had just about the best birthday any one year old boy can have!  We made sure the whole day was all about him, celebrating from the minute he woke up 'til we tucked him in that night!  In Utah, July 24th is Pioneer Day (a big LDS holiday), so Conor had the day off from work.  I was thrilled that he was going to be able to spend Liam's entire birthday with him.  This will always be the case as long as we live in Utah, so I guess I'm okay with Liam sharing his birthday with this odd holiday. In fact, Conor's birthday is also on a rather obscure holiday, Groundhog's Day. Although I'm sure Conor isn't going to that that day off anytime soon...

The birthday fun began the night before, once we put little L to sleep....  Then, the Balloon Man made an appearance, filling Liam's bedroom with balloons!!!  Now typically, the child should be sleeping soundly in their bed while the Balloon Man quietly creeps in and gently unleashes all the balloons.  However, Liam still sleeps in our bed...  So instead, we snuck upstairs to little L's room with two glasses of wine and a lot of balloons and proceeded to flood his room with colorful helium!

As soon as he opened his little eyes that morning, we kissed his sweet cheeks and sang "Happy Birthday" (which was sure to happen numerous times throughout the day)!  We were excited for him to see his room full of balloons so we quickly took him upstairs to change his diaper!  Since Liam likes to play in his crib, I was able to snatch up some fun pictures of him!  Hopefully, he'll actually be waking up in his crib on his 2nd birthday... :-)

After all of the balloon excitement, I made Liam a special birthday breakfast of funfetti pancakes & bacon!  I love how festive these pancakes looked and thought it would be something fun to make on his birthday every year.  Well.... the pancakes were just so-so to be honest.  If I were to do it over (like I will for all future birthdays) I would simply add sprinkles to a pancake recipe that I already like, such as the famous lemon poppy seed pancakes!  Nonetheless, I knew Liam was barely going to eat them; he was much more excited about squeezing them.  As it was his birthday, we let him make as big of a mess as he wanted!  While he made pancake crumbs we aptly tipped back some delicious mimosas in his honor.  We put one candle on top of his pancakes and sang "Happy Birthday" for the second time.  As soon as we finished, he gave a huge sigh which actually put out his candle, perfect timing!  :-)


Happy Birthday Banner from Yellow Bird Yellow Beard

While Conor cleaned up the aftermath from breakfast, Liam & I took a nap before we continued to celebrate.  Our next bit of fun was a trip to the zoo! One of little L's favorite places!  We brought sandwiches with us, so we had lunch there while Liam chased a peacock around the tables.  Then it was off to see all the animals and ride the carousel!  We stayed at the zoo for hours and he was engaged the whole time!

Back in the car, L had some quick "nursies" before passing out for a long nap while Conor & I ran some errands to get things together for dinner.  His birthday officially marked 1 year of breastfeeding!!!  I am so proud of Liam & I for hitting this milestone and love the bond that we share because of it!

That evening we had a couple of our neighbors and their kids over for dinner & cupcakes!  We absolutely love our neighborhood and have finally made some good friends in Utah!  Liam's birthday dinner menu: beer can chicken, homemade pesto pasta with basil from the garden, & a blue cheese bacon apple salad!  I had intended on making an angel food cake for dessert, but I am still getting used to baking in high altitudes and it completely flopped!  Good thing I had back up cherry chip cupcakes to throw together.  Cherry chip is thee best cake flavor, hands down!  I used a box mix, but I made homemade frosting; so that more than makes up for it!  Since I've been asked before, I finally decided to share my beer can chicken recipe and thought I'd give my frosting recipe too, enjoy:

Spirit Lake Beer Can Chicken
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 can of beer
  • 3 ½ lb whole chicken
  • Brine chicken for an hour (for a crisper skin, we highly recommend injecting the brine into the meat instead of soaking the whole bird)
  • Mix together spices to create the “fragrant dry spice rub”
  • Rub spices all over chicken (on the skin, under the skin, inside the cavity)
  • Pour or drink ¼ cup of beer out of the can
  • Make 2 more holes in the top of the can with a church key can opener and slide the large opening of the chicken down over the top (it helps to use an official beer can chicken holder)
  • Barbeque for 70-90 minutes on indirect heat checking frequently with a meat thermometer stuck in a thick part
    • Rotate chicken half way thru cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly
 "Easy Peasy" Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Whip all ingredients together in a mixer until smooth and fluffy
  • Depending on what consistency you want, add more milk for a thinner frosting or more sugar if you like it thicker
Once again, Liam loved everyone singing "Happy Birthday".  Then hesitantly tried his cupcake; which he ended up absolutely loving!  After a a few huge bites, he crumbled the rest of the cupcake just like his pancakes!  My little mess maker couldn't have been more adorable!

Liam spent the rest of the evening chasing around all the big kids in the neighborhood until he was sleepy as can be.  Just as we were about to start his bath, I realized that we didn't take one single picture of the three of us... So we snapped this little gem of our tired little family after celebrating Liam's big day!

 I can't wait to see what this next year brings!
I'm sure much more joy, smiles, & laughs!
Happy Birthday Liamasaurus!


  1. I have to say I am so inspired by your commitment to breastfeeding and sharing your story and pictures. I have become a very strong breastfeeding advocate since I started with my son almost a year ago. I am envious of how open you are, I think it's so beautiful but I always feel I am making people uncomfortable :( I am doing a breastfeeding series on my blog now and I will be linking to yours as you are one of my all time favs for being so inspiring when it comes to NIP and breastfeeding in general!

  2. You are so sweet! This is probably my favorite comment ever. So happy to hear you are doing a breastfeeding series. I will be sure to check it out! Your son is lucky to have you for his mama!


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