Good Friends

Thank you so much for all of the sweet birthday wishes everyone!  Your fun comments on my blog and facebook pages just made my day.  Or should I say week!?  I am the queen of stretching my birthday out as loooooong as possible and this year was no different.  The festivities started Saturday and (much to my dismay) ended today.  But it was a fun while it lasted.  :)

I especially enjoyed dinner with my darling friends last night.  
(Some people ask the waiter for more water or diet coke.  I always ask the waiter to snap a picture.)
I am so lucky to have these girls in my life (and a few who couldn’t make it and were missed!).
Really.  What fun is life without good good friends?
Friends who you can laugh with and cry with (a lot of times during the same conversation).
Friends who know you inside and out and love you unconditionally.
Friends who drop a little something off (a few cadbury eggs perhaps) just to give you a hug and say hello and make sure you are hanging in there.
Friends who would do anything for you.
That is how I would describe these girls.  
They are always there for me when I need them!

Time for a look back to celebrate my amazing friends.
Because that is tradition.  And I love a good tradition.

:)

{2009}
 {2010}
{2011}
 {2012}
 {2013}
I love all of these girls so much.   
And it felt so good to spend last night laughing with them!  
Oh my word.  It doesn’t take much to get us laughing.  
SO many of you reading have also been such a bright spot in my life. 
Some day I would love to meet and have dinner with all of my amazing blog friends as well.
 We would just need a bigger table.
:)  
I am one lucky girl.  
(Or should I say woman?  I am 36 now you know…)

Six years old today

My Addison turned 6 today!  
She loves to pose.
Wonder why?  :)
We have been celebrating for a week now.  
Last weekend we took all of her friends to Build-A-Bear.  
My girls were excited to say the least.  

The girls chose their bears and then stuffed their bears.  
They washed their bears.

And dressed and accessorized their bears.
Then they paraded around the store with their bears.
And their smurfs.  
(Ellie decided to buck the trend.)
One happy birthday girl.
She must have turned and whispered to me over five times that 
“this is the best birthday ever!”

I almost bought this bear for myself.  
Birthday girl and her dad who is such a softie when it comes to his daughters.
Mr. budget who saw 11 darling Kindergarteners accessorizing their bears with huge grins on their faces and said “forget the budget and let everybody get what they want.”  (Addie – you have got your dad wrapped!  Any pointers you can send my way would be much appreciated.)  
The partying didn’t stop there. 
We have been traveling and celebrating for lots of reasons.
And busy with end of school year stuff.
And knee deep in house decisions.
Appliances, cabinets, and fixtures.
Oh my.
Lots going on that I will blog about when I have time to catch my breath.  
And I’m itching to organize something.
It has been a while.
Still need to write my sweet six year old’s birthday letter.  
But for now I just want to say that I love my spunky little Addison so much.
Every night when we tuck Addison in bed we follow the same routine.  It started several years ago with her daddy and now Addison won’t go to sleep until Kenny and I have both given her our “goodnight kiss.”
 I kiss her, she wipes the kisses off, and I say “hey!  you wiped off my kisses!” 
 Then we laugh.  And I kiss her again.  And she kisses me back.
And then we hug and I whisper in her ear “you make me melt.”
Addison – you make us melt every single day.  
Happy Birthday beautiful girl!
xoxo,
         mommy

First day and a birthday

Back to school!  First day was a success!  My girls were both so excited.  Couldn’t wait to see their teachers and friends. I hardly took any pictures!  Can you believe that?  I can’t.  But we were so rushed in the morning so I figured I’d take some at the school and then of course the school was a zoo!  I’m going to have to take some throughout the week for my school pages in their scrapbooks.

Ellie was all over the place hugging friends and socializing.  I couldn’t get her to stand still for two seconds.  And truth be told, maybe I was a little busy socializing too.  It was fun to see so many familiar faces again!

Kenny took Ellie to her class and I took Addison.  My little Kindergartner was so brave!  We did our usual hug/kiss routine (with Addison there is a routine for everything) and then she walked over to her little desk, sat down, and started coloring.  I walked out of the room feeling so happy for her and I wish I would have just kept on walking.  But instead, I stopped outside the window and stood there for a while looking in.  And I watched her thinking how did this happen?  When did she get so big and become so independent?  And then the tears started flowing and I couldn’t get them to stop.  I turned a few minutes later to face Kenny (who was patiently waiting with Kole in the stroller) and he looked at me like really?  Are you kidding me?  And then my neighbors walked by, saw me sobbing and said “really Erin?  Are you kidding me?”  They thought I was crazy to be crying – especially since I still have a baby at home – and especially since I’ve probably been more excited than anyone for child #2 to start Kindergarten.    And I AM excited she started Kindergarten.  But what can I say.  I cried.  I’m a cryer.  Is that even a word?   Kindergarten is a big step.  Especially for this sappy/sentimental mom.

I came home and the house felt so strange and quiet without the girls.  It made me sad and lonely for about ten minutes and then Kole and I started cleaning and I quickly got over being sad and was loving how much I was able to get done with only one “helper” in the house.  I seriously scrubbed my house from top to bottom.
I especially attacked the playroom with a vengeance!  (Quick shout out for The Wiggles who kept my little one entertained while I worked.  Greg, Murry, Anthony, Jeff – you are my heros and I love you.)  I was so anxious to resume some order in my house after having very little control all summer long.  

My girls were all smiles at the end of the day and couldn’t wait to tell me about everything that happened.  Just as soon as they changed into pajamas and checked on their ponies of course (who had been patiently waiting for them all day).  Addison was excited because her boots made her the tallest kid in class (an observation she made in the lunch line).  Ellie was pumped about their class behavior system, although she only got “good” instead of “fantastic” for the day because she may have talked to a few friends in class…  Mmmm hmmm.  Sounds like we picked up right where we left off last year with daughter #1.

Last weekend we celebrated Kenny’s birthday.  I felt bad because this was NOT my best year as far as planning goes.  In past years I have written posts about 33 things I love about him (the age he was turning), thrown surprise parties with friends, and have given him little surprises all week leading up to the big day.  This year?  I couldn’t even get a babysitter so we could go out!  I think I called over ten girls – all busy.  Plus the week before was so busy with back to school shopping and I had all three kids at home so his gifts were less than stellar.  His birthday came and went and was for the most part like a typical Sunday.  (I’m totally linking to past birthday posts in hopes that Kenny will read this and remember that I actually am a good wife, just one who is having an off year…)

I did manage to put together this bulletin board for the kids to give him.  He has been saying he’d like some of the kids’ artwork to hang in his office and I thought this would look better than random drawings all over the place.

**Happy Birthday babe!  Sorry your day was so lame.  The good news is that #1 – I still love you the most and #2 – after the birthday you had this year, things can only go up.  ;)

B-day and Project Life

Thank you so much to everyone who took a minute to wish me a happy birthday!  You are all incredibly kind and it was so much fun hearing from friends throughout the day.  I had a great birthday weekend and was completely spoiled as I’m sure you can tell by the picture above.  The girls made me a lovely birthday cake topped with 34 candles and a few favorite “friends.”  I got the piece with Ariel on top because “Ariel is mommy’s favorite princess!”  :)  And yes, this was my second yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  The treadmill and I will become fast friends this week.  
Also thanks to my sweet friends who brought by gifts and flowers on my special day.  They all know me so well.  My house is full of tulips, Cadbury eggs, and shiny silver gift cards.  :) 

Now on to Project Life!  I’ve been working on Ellie’s album and once again my kitchen table looks like this…

What a mess!  
At least it’s a fun mess.  :)  
End of February 2010
I added some art work and her Kindergarten class list.  The mermaid picture above is a blog post I printed about Barbie in A Mermaid Tale and my girls’ obsession with it.  We’re big fans of the Barbie movies around here.  :)
Another blog post I printed about Ellie’s morning friend “Snakey.”
Some of my favorite pictures of my girls and their daddy riding bikes at the park.
Ellie made the above picture with the pink ribbon around the time Kole was born.  It is a portrait of our new family of five.  :)
I also included some other random artwork from last March along with one of the many pictures of cakes she drew me last year on my birthday.
Kole is born!  The note she wrote last year (top right page) says:
“Dir Erin I cant wat for baby Kole to pop awt.  Love Ellie.”  
I will never get tired of little notes like this one.  I’m seriously sad that this year she is learning to spell everything correctly!
The girls meeting their new little brother for the first time.  Such a special day.  I treasure these pictures and I’m so glad my girls will each have their own copies of them.
Newborn pictures of Kole and some sweet notes from Ellie’s grandma’s soon after he arrived.
I also love this little turtle Ellie drew.  She hung it on Kole’s door when I was decorating his nursery in a turtle theme.  It has been there for a year and I just took it down last week to include in her book.  More fun Kindergarten spelling — “trtl”– exactly how it sounds. :)
On the left is a page from her journal writing in school.  They were supposed to write what they did over Spring Break.  Ellie wrote: 
“I went to the Easter egg hunt.  I got a new baby.”
And of course another picture of our new family of five.  Along with the sun, a butterfly, and a flower.  Because what picture is complete without those three things?  :)  
So so sweet.  
Wrapping up April!  I’m still pretty much a year behind but I’m making progress!  Whenever I feel overwhelmed with these albums and trying to catch up I hear Dory from Finding Nemo in my head -
“just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”  You can tell what’s been on at our house lately.
If I can just catch up on the girls’ albums I can get going again on this little guys baby book!

The two of us had a day date on my birthday.  I brought the party hats, he brought the party.  :)

Maybe finally

Well.  This is it.  It’s almost 11:00 Pacific time so I have just over one hour left to be 33.  Tomorrow is my birthday (woot woot!) and 34 will be my new norm.  What will 34 feel like!?  I’m sure it will be such a huge change.  I bet I won’t even recognize myself tomorrow when I wake up.  I’ll look so ….. mature?  
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to start going to bed at night before mid-night.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to stop eating my kids’ leftovers.  Especially the spiral mac-n-cheese.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to really learn how to use my computer and camera instead of just faking it all the time.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to start learning the real lyrics to songs instead of just singing my own versions. 
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to stop eating a turkey sandwich every day for lunch and start mixing it up a bit.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to pay attention to Kenny when he starts talking about finances instead of just completely tuning him out and going to my own little happy place in my head where budgets and savings don’t exist. 
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to stop speeding and to be a much more cautious driver.  
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to learn actual directions and stop relying on my passengers to get me where I need to be (especially since my most frequent passenger isn’t even a year old yet).
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to enjoy cooking.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to stop dreaming about being the star of So You Think You Can Dance and practicing in my kitchen every now and then when nobody is looking.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to feel like a real mom and wife instead of just a kid who is playing house and totally winging it most of the time.
Maybe I’ll finally be old enough to stop feeling positively giddy every time a holiday is around the corner.
Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and realize that I’m not finally old enough for any of that stuff.  Maybe I’ll finally be old enough for all of that when I turn 35.  :)
My adorable friends took me out for dinner last night to celebrate at my favorite restaurant.  It took us over 15 phone calls and text messages to finally realize there wasn’t one night this week that everyone could make it, so we were missing a few friends.  Our solution to that little problem?  Two dinners.  You all know I have no problem spreading my celebration out for as long as is humanly possible.  :)
Here we are last night…
And the year before that…  (K – I’m a WHALE in this picture.  I so remember my birthday wish last year.  Get. this. baby. OUT!)

And here we are the year before that. 
We haven’t changed much and I’m glad.  I LOVE these girls just the way they are.  Shari made me the most delicious homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting (my favorite) and we ate cake and chatted and laughed the night away.  They had to kick us out of the restaurant which seems to be the norm for us.  :)  I had successfully lost two pounds in the last few weeks and after this week I’m quite sure I will have successfully gained them right back.  But it wouldn’t be a true birthday without a little weight gain — right?  
Maybe tomorrow on my birthday I’ll finally be old enough to stop telling myself it’s perfectly ok to pig out at certain major milestones in my life.  
Maybe I’ll also finally be old enough to stop thinking that about every two weeks is a major milestone in my life.  
Nah.  
Bet that comes at age 35 too.  :)