Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Party

This year it was going to be casual.  I wasn't going to stress.  Just a little party for toddlers.  I was feeling great about this plan.  With a new baby & a three week vacation prior to Liam's birthday, I figured we would keep his birthday really low key.  But then, exactly a week before his birthday, I had yet to decide on a date & the freaking out began!  I designed a quick invitation (initially I had decided no formal invitation, ha) & started making to-do lists like crazy!

After much debate, I finally decided on an evening barbecue!  It can be a bit more work to serve a full meal at a party, but Conor & I love hosting events so we rolled with it.  I like to keep things small (big groups are so not for me), so this year we only invited Liam's friends that are all close in age as opposed to every single person that we know in Salt Lake City.  14 adults, 8 toddlers, & two babies...the perfect size!




The day of the party, Conor & I were far busier than I was anticipating.  Cleaning, decorating, and cooking, all while keeping Liam & Finn happy!  We got our hustle on!  I used decorations from previous birthdays & borrowed a few things from the neighbors to pull it all together.  It all came together better than I thought!  Ultimately I just wanted Liam to have this awesome backyard bash.  Sandbox & water play for the win!  And that is exactly what happened!



Liam was all smiles the entire evening!  All the kids played wonderfully together, and their giggles were contagious.  Especially Liam's.  You could feel his excitement all around.  Not too long into the party, none of the kids could steer clear of the presents, so we did the most fast & furious present opening before dinner.  Liam had help from multiple friends but didn't seem to mind in the least.  After barely eating dinner, he quickly put back a cupcake and then proceeded to eat the frosting off at least 2-3 more.  I didn't stop him.  It was his birthday, so I let him run wild & free enjoying all the frosting he could, while leaving a considerable amount on his face!



One of my dear friends offered to take pictures the whole evening, and this was one of the best gifts!  I literally didn't take one photo.  Conor took care of all the food once our guests arrived, so I truly got to sit back & watch Liam enjoy his party!  Such a treat for me!!!  I wish I could share even more photos, but in true toddler fashion... there was a whole lot of nudity!  It was a hot summer night & they were all covered in water & sand by the end.  So they stripped down & kept on partying!

That night, after Liam was snoozing away, Conor & I rehashed all the festivities.  It really was one of the best parties & perfect for our Liam!  We were all exhausted by the end of his birthday weekend, but we made so many memories throughout it!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Birthday

In years past, we have always had Liam's birthday party on his actual birthday.  But we mixed things up this year (big deal for "I hate change" me), and instead threw his party the day after.  This left his entire birthday for all day fun, since I didn't have to worry about party prep.  Best decision ever!!!  Liam's birthday is July 24th, which is also Pioneer Day (a Mormon holiday that is a really big deal in Salt Lake City).  This has always bugged me a bit (ridiculous I know), but because of this Conor always has Liam's birthday off of work.  So we celebrate!

The morning kicked off with the annual visit from the balloon man!  This was the first year that Liam actually woke up in his own bed and was completely in awe of the surprise.  "There are balloons EVERYWHERE!  The boo-man is sneaky!"  I simply love carrying on this tradition that my dad started.  Then it was time for Liam's favorite breakfast, which is currently crepes.  He likes them strictly with nutella (and he put back three) while Conor & I devoured huckleberry crepes, picked by yours truly.  




For our morning activity, we headed to one of the local reservoirs for a little beach time!  One of Liam's birthday presents was a set of new pails for his sandbox, so he was pumped to bring them along!  It was pretty crowded considering the holiday, but Liam didn't seem to notice.  He was busy digging & swimming, just completely in his element!



We tried to relax as much as possible in the afternoon since we had an exciting evening ahead.  We took Liam to his 2nd Bees (baseball) game, but it didn't start until 6:30pm.  We were looking at a potential disaster of an evening, but we took the optimistic route.  Liam seemed to love the excitement of the stadium, but particularly enjoyed the peanuts and foam finger that he just had. to. have.  He may have been a tad bored by the end, but immediately after the game was over we went down on the field for a Pioneer Day fireworks show!  It was extra special just to be on the field, and the show did not disappoint.  It was short (which is perfect for a toddler, especially a toddler awake in the 9 o'clock hour), but pretty incredible.  Liam was mesmerized, letting out a "wow" during a short pause in the show.  Finn was pretty into it too!  

And then even though Liam's eyes were practically glazed over with tiredness at this point, the stadium let all the little kids run the bases, so of course we didn't pass up that opportunity!  Liam insisted upon running it himself, so off he went with all the speed & confidence he could muster!  He hit first base & kept at it... About half way to second, he slowed way down and the tears started flowing.  Break my heart!  But nevertheless, he kept running so we waited at home base.  He rounded third base with tears still coming and calling for Daddy.  It was the saddest & cutest moment all in one.  Our boy was tired, and it was quite the long distance for his little legs.  He was all smiles once back in our arms, so all was well again.  




We talked about fireworks the entire drive home as we kept seeing them pop up all over the city!  I think his special day went perfectly, ending with one worn out boy!  And this was only Friday, we still had the whole weekend to keep celebrating!!!



Liam: 3 Years Old

Get ready for an overload of my newly three year old,  as well as plenty of birthday shenanigans this week!  I don't normally get weepy about birthdays, but three seems like a really big deal and in need of some oversharing! Today, I have a little update on Liam.  He would only answer some of my questions and cooperate for so long... Therefore, Liam's answers (when he would give one) are in quotes, and the rest are what I think some of his favorites are.  So Liam at three...

 glow-in-the-dark shirt

Stats: 38.5 inches, 30 lbs (these are rough measurements; his Dr. Appt. isn't for another few weeks)

Favorite Book: "The Diggers"

Favorite Food: "Yogurt"

Favorite Game: "Matching Game"

Favorite Toy: "My Backhoe"

Favorite Place to Go: "Aviary"

Favorite Song: Thinking Outloud - Ed Sheeran & Sugar - Maroon 5

Favorite Thing to Do: Sandbox play & hiking

All of sudden, Liam looks & acts like such a big kid.  Three should be an adventure for us all!  He is brave & daring, yet cautious at the same time.  He is incredibly smart; watching his brain at work amazes me each day (he definitely has Conor's engineer mind)!  He is happiest outdoors & has quite the free spirit.  He's a snuggler all day long (I'm pretty sure physical touch is his love language).  He still naps once a day, but I think they are going to be happening less & less.  For most of the year he slept with his monkey & blanket, but decided he no longer needed them on the day Finn was born.  Liam is the most loving older brother and already wants another a baby, "a sister baby!"  I could gush about him all day long!!!  However, if I had to pick just two words that would describe him best, they would be sweet & gentle.   

We love you Lamb!
You've given us the best three years of our lives!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Announcing Finn Ryan

Today I not only wanted to share Finn's birth announcement, but also a little about why we still follow this somewhat dated tradition.  I'm still pretty old fashion when it comes to many things, particularly with Christmas Card & Birth Announcements.  First off, I absolutely love receiving them!  They immediately go up on our fridge, so I can see the sweet faces of my friends & family on a daily basis.  Having lived far away from home for over 7 years now, I don't often get to see all my loved ones that often.  But getting those cards in the mail puts a huge smile on my face & makes me feel a bit closer to them.

Now many would argue that with social media, there really is no need for the formal announcement.  I couldn't disagree more!  Various pictures are constantly popping up on our feeds, sometimes rarely getting more than a glance.  And aside from that, it is a completely different experience to hold & touch a photo as opposed to seeing it on the screen.  And far more effort & thought is put into the design of an announcement & addressing of the envelopes.  I don't want to miss out on those experiences.  I want Liam & Finn to always have pictures of family & friends to look at throughout our house, not simply on a screen.

So yes, everyone already knows that Finn was born.  They know he is a boy, they know his name, they most likely have already heard his birth stats.  And more than likely they have already seen plenty of pictures of him.  But my hope is that his announcement was still received with a bit of joy.  That those people know they are important to our family & we are excited to share our new addition with them!

And of course now that I've said all this, surely someone was accidentally left off the list or I didn't have their correct address.  What has happened to the "We've moved..." card.  It is nearly impossible to keep my address book up to date these days!  I find myself going through my book every Christmas and asking myself "Did so & so move?  Do we have the new address?"  Frustrating people, very frustrating!  

Now the rambling is over, & here is the announcement we mailed out!
I love the sweet & simple design from westwillow.


Monday, July 20, 2015

This is Montana

Has it seemed like we've been vacationing all summer?  'Cause we practically have, and it has been glorious!  Week three was spent in Montana with Conor's family.  Another week on another lake!  This visit was particularly exciting because it was the first time we had the opportunity to meet our new nephew Solomon (4 months old) & for everyone in Conor's family to meet Finn!  There were toddlers & babies everywhere!  Let's just say our boat rides were a tad hectic & chaotic with plenty of noise, but being with family was simply the best!


Liam & Dagny have the exact same birthday, just one year apart!
While they had their squabbles, these two were just the cutest together!


Liam also had some special time with his Godfather Paul...


...while Finn finally met my best friend!  


Liam had quite the busy week! He rode the alpine slide up at Big Mountain & skinny dipped in not only Whitefish Lake but also Flathead Lake.  Had one icecream cone everyday, because when it's the family business...you indulge!  Fed the chickens at his cousins house (and now insists that we too buy chickens & build a coop).  Took a sunset ride on the John Deere lawnmower, & a few special trips in Grandpa's truck (with no slow plow on it for summer, much to Liam's dismay).  He captained the pontoon boat & walked up the river.  Liam is happiest when he's outdoors, so he fully enjoyed all the wide open spaces Montana had to offer him!



Conor played a couple rounds of golf on the course he grew up on, & then brought Liam out on the range with him.  We borrowed a small set of clubs from the Junior Golf league which gave Liam the first opportunity to swing some real clubs around.  Watching them walk to the range with their bags on their backs was just the sweetest thing.  Liam could barely walk straight since the bag was so big, but it was cute nonetheless.  The clubs were definitely too heavy for our little guy, but he gave it his all.  I think he enjoyed shagging all the balls far more than anything else however.  Seeing all my boys together on the course gave me a brief little glimpse into our future.  I hope Liam & Finn develop the same love for the sport that Conor has.
 


 My favorite part of the trip was our huckleberry picking adventure!  Since Conor & I are both from the PNW, huckleberries speak to our hearts.  So tart, so hard to find, so delicious.  They only grow in the wild, and sometimes it's fierce competition (with bears, deer, & fellow pickers) to find the best patch.  Picking on Crane Mountain right outside Bigfork, MT has always been a fun tradition of ours.  This was the first year Liam joined us, and it lived up to every hope I had for the trip.  Finn slept soundly the entire time (2+ hours), so it was really a moment we got to enjoy with just Liam.  He proudly wore his tin can around his neck, picking every huckleberry he spotted.  Our fingers were purple & our legs pretty scraped up, but he loved it!  I cannot wait for more huckleberry adventures, & perhaps our little Huckleberry Finn will get in on the action next year!




Montana treated us well.  All the family time was simply the best!  We were well fed, taken care of, & loved on by all!  It was incredibly hard to leave our families after such an extended vacation.  I had a very rough day our first day home just trying to handle the emotions of it all.  I'm already stalking Delta's site for any price changes so that we can get back to the PNW for one more weekend this summer.  Here's to hoping I can make it happen!  


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Comfy & Cozy

It's the best sale of the year, & a time when I really go a little crazy in the shopping department!  My mom & I were at Nordstrom at 8am on the first day of early access, so I literally had first picks at anything!  Now don't think I'm about to give you all some amazing fashion advice or insight, because that most definitely won't be happening.  But I can share all the super comfortable pieces I snagged up that will be the staples for my "momiform" this fall!  The prices were on point (all my purchases were under $50), & seriously the comfort level is amazing (especially for my postpartum body)!
 
*No fancy collages today, since I'm still on vacation*
 
 Bobeau Open Drape Front Cardigan
(incredibly soft)
 
 Caslon Tunic Sweatshirt
(fitted sweatshirt that I can wear with leggings...need I say more?!)
 
Pleione Tunic
(can be dressy or casual; it's perfect legging length - and
I think this color is a bit moody & dramatic)
 
Halogen Relaxed Tee
(again so soft - this doesn't look all that exciting online,
but it's amazing - so many colors & it's only $16!!!)
 
Sandra Plaid Shirt
(perfect plaid for Fall, especially paired with a vest)
 
Hue Leggings
(everyone raves about them; now I know why - and
they are not one bit see through, even when you bend over)
 
Lounge Pants
(only thing I haven't seen in person yet, but I'm pretty sure I will love)
 
While I loved many of the goodies I snagged for myself , I was very disappointed in the baby & kids section this year.  I bought nothing for Finn & only a couple things for Liam: winter/ski coat & fleece jacket.  And Conor has been too busy to really shop the sale yet, but I did get him a couple of the trim fit shirts.  I didn't go as crazy as I normally do, although I'm sure I'll keep making a few purchases and everyone shares their favorites!
 
Happy Shopping!
 

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