Wordless Wednesday: The Rainbow Connection

This past weekend we had Isora’s big 1st birthday party with all our family and friends at our favorite local kiddo hangout, Play. in East Lansing.

I really can’t say enough good things about Play. and it’s owner, Kasey. We LOVE it there and having birthday parties there is so fun and easy. If you’re in the area, do yourself a favor, book your little one’s next party there. You won’t regret it!

In attempt to stay on theme with Isora’s St. Patrick’s Day birthday I decided that her first party would be a rainbow party. Cause the rainbow leads to the pot full of gold and lucky clovers and leprechauns, doesn’t it? Well it does in our version of St. Patty’s lore 😉

I’ve been pinning rainbow ideas for months on Pinterest and took all of my favs, well at least the favs that could be done easily and by myself, and put a rainbow plan into action. And then with the help of my fast leprechaun helpers we got the whole thing put together just as our first guests were arriving.

The cake and present table with our Pinterest-inspired rainbow striped table skirt.

The food table with our last-minute-how-can-we-make-that-table-look-cute-with-tablecloth-scraps rainbow striped runners. I think the girls did an excellent job with it. Don’t you? And another Pinterest win…rainbow fruit kabobs!

The chalkboard lovingly decorated by Auntie Kylara. Though in fairness I did have to add the ‘1st’ and tell her how her how to spell Isora. ::smh:: Teenagers.

The goodie boxes were set on a shelf out of action until it was time to leave.

The kiddo table with little leprechaun hats that no one wore. I am SO taking those to Parade Day next year!

The Birthday Biz. So content to build a little tower all by herself.

My sweet big girl. Look how old she looks with those braids! Photobombed by Anna.

So busted. Daddy and Ella on the slide. Against. The. Rules. We went to Play. today and I had to explain 1,001 times why parents aren’t allowed on the slide. Thanks Daddy-O.

Sweet Juniper Monkey. I love her almost as much as I love my own babies. I wish you could hear her laugh. It’s infectious.

The adorable Olivia, very concentrated on her fruit. Isn’t she a doll?

Sir Anna was the knight protecting the ballerina princess butterflies. Or just being Brave.

Izzie and her cousin Salem. Salem actually took this picture and smiled for me. Even though when her mom asked her to take a pic and smile she ran the other way. Sorry Mary, they only listen when it’s not their mom talking.

Even the Dads were playing. Not sure what it is but these two were very intense about it. See what you missed Leslie and Kate? SERIOUS robot fort building.

And the grownups getting to the real business. The lunch.

Birthday Girl!! Thankfully Grandma Becky brought a new bib since that was one of the only things I forgot to bring. Thanks !!

And the show stopper. The Rainbow Cake. You’ve seen it on Pinterest and thought “That’s so cool but no way I could ever pull that off.” Right? Well let me tell you, if I can do it, you can too.

Cutting the cake. I love Izzie peaking out from under my hair in this picture.

And the money shot. Look at all those rainbow-y layers. Covered in real buttercream icing. It was divine.

Isn’t it pretty? The secret? Plenty of cake pans, gel food coloring and patience.

Don’t I look WAY too happy to be serving this cake? It’s cause I was so nervous it wasn’t going to turn out. Patting myself on the back for this one.

Grandma Linda will now be called The Cake Pusher.

Izzie loved it so much she felt the need to share.

The rest of the kids digging in. Olivia looks really happy with her cupcake.

And the gifts. I had two special helpers opening packages, until one of my helpers (aka Isora’s Big Sister) decided she was bored. But Anna stuck around to help. Because she loves her some Izzie. Turns out my baby really loves cards. So do I. Twinsies.

Anna helping us unwrap another cool toy.

And perhaps the best gift anyone has ever gotten ever. Three little tiny babies to snuggle. I think she likes them. And I think Salem can’t figure out what the hell they are.

Isn’t she the sweetest thing. Look at the smile. God I love her.

We had such a whirlwind tiring exhausting lovely day. And we are so thankful for those who came and showed their love for Isora. How lucky are we to have such a great family and such an amazing little girl?

Special thanks to our set-up and tear-down crew: Lucy (who was up with me making the table cloth until the wee hours the night before the party), Tracey, Mom, Kylara, Grandma Becky, Kristyn, Aunt Bea & Uncle Randy, Sabrina & Mike, Mary & Glen and of course Kasey 😉

But none of this would be possible without the man that helped me make this incredible creature. So thanks Mr. Eyebrowz. The road may be rocky sometimes but we always walk it together. I love you.

Happy WW all!! And in case anyone is looking for decorations for the SCOTUS Gay Marriage ruling party…I got you covered!!



Wordless Wednesday: An Incredible 1st Birthday

Last year on St. Patrick’s Day I woke up at 6am knowing that I was going to meet my baby girl that day. Being that our family business is a liquor store on a college campus though, any day BUT St. Patrick’s Day would have been a more convenient to have a baby. But babies have this incredible knack of reminding you that children aren’t about convenience, they’re about unconditional love. Isora’s been reminding us of that unconditional love with her easy laid-back demeanor since the moment she was born.

So this year on St. Patrick’s Day I got up at 6am and got ready and went to work at the store from 7am to noon, precisely the same time I was in labor with Isora. It was kind of cool to work for the same time I labored. Then to come home to her smiling face. A new tradition perhaps? You know how I love my traditions!

After we celebrated for a while with Michael before he went to work and opened the gift he got for her we packed up the car and drove to Detroit for the day. Because as luck would have it (holy bad St. Patty’s joke) my Grandma Rose is also a St. Patrick’s Day birthday. Out of 16+ grandkids and 12 great-grandkids only one shares Grandma Rose’s birthday. She is Isora Rose in honor of her incredible Great-Grandmother. What’s really great is that they seem to share a special bond that only birthday twins could share.

We were joined by my cousins Chris & Katie and their sweet Ava Jane who is only one month younger than Isora. And my Uncle Steve and Aunt Joanne prepared an entire Corned Beef and Cabbage feast. It was so incredibly yummy.

Of course the day would not have been complete without at least one accident, right? Well, I was holding Izzie on my lap and she tried to take the cup out of my hand, when I pulled it away she went flying forward and hit her mouth on the edge of the kitchen table. Blood and screams ensued but in the end she had chipped her tooth and cut her lip on the chip. I got her cleaned up and sang her “Alouette” a few times and she was fine. Nothing a little Grandma love and some cake couldn’t fix, right?

Well after our feast and all those tears my Mom had a cake for each of the special birthday girls.

88 and 1.

Isn’t that incredible? Incredible that my Grandma who has seen 88 years on this planet, who has survived the Depression and starting a small business, and cancer and losing a child, is still with us? Is able to know her great-granddaughter and to celebrate with us? We are so blessed for that.

And incredible that this little being, so full of smiles and sunshine could go from tears to giggles in just a few minutes. So incredible that it’s hard to look at this kid without crying. She’s that cute. And yes, I’m biased, but really, she IS that cute.

Just look at her trying out her cake. My Mom kept giving her little tastes of frosting, so she was dipping her finger into the frosting so delicately.

After a while she must have struck cake cause she started digging in with her whole hand. And then, it was a free for all.

And just to return the favor (and also because she loves to feed people right now) she decided to feed her Grandma. It was priceless.

Once we got the girls all sugared up they got to open presents. Izzie got a slide (from us), a ride-on Lady Bug (from Grandma) a Little People Castle (from Great-Grandma) and a new phone (from Steve & Joanne). Though at this point the play phone and the slide are the only things she actually has time for.

And Cedella got her present from Great-Grandma (who wasn’t able to make it for her 3rd birthday).

Bunk beds for Mia & Bia. She was a little excited, no?

Admittedly I have been so worried that Isora’s birthday was going to be overlooked and under-celebrated because it falls on such a busy day at the store, and with her Jido & Teta out of town. Everyone helped to make Cedella’s first birthday such a big and important occasion, I have been worried that by being #2 Izzie will get the short end of the stick and not get the same showering of love as Cedella. So I was not expecting such a lovely day, so full of family and celebration.

Because though it was a bitterly cold and windy wintery day it was full of sunshine and love. Thanks to all who made Isora’s actual birthday such a special one. Looking forward to celebrating her birthday party this weekend with all the rest of our loved ones too!!

How did you spend your St. Patrick’s Day? Happy WW to you!!

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: One Year Ago

I’m going to keep this as wordless as I possibly can because I’m getting weepy just thinking back to one year ago and the urge to ramble about how my baby isn’t really a baby anymore is strong.

Something happens when your baby is about to turn one.

You lose it.

Even if I’m finally managing to get out of the house with two reasonably clean and well dressed children and make it to any function only ten minutes late, I still feel like I’m losing it.

Because I really wanted to savor every single moment of Isora’s first year, to document every new word, every single milestone. But it’s all gone by so fast. And here we are, days away from her big day, and I am a weeping emotional mess.

But today I went back. Call it a flashback. Here’s what I remember so clearly from one year ago…

It was HOT. In the 80’s. In Michigan. In March. We were playing outside for hours. In the water table.

And twirling around in the grass.

Cedella and I were spending some last amazing moments together. Like taking silly pictures. Notice the wedding rings around my neck. Yes, I was a bit swollen.

And eating crepes. Something I always wanted to do with her. We were both licking Nutella off our fingers. They were incredible.

Spending our last few moments of solo nursing. And snuggling.

And then just two days before I went into labor, on St. Patrick’s Day, my love came home with all of this. Flowers, a card and a Shamrock Shake. Mmmm…now I want a Shamrock Shake.

The card told me how proud he was that I had made it all nine months and that the end was in sight and he knew I could do it. I love him so much.

And then there’s this photo. Taken a mere 24 hours before Isora was born. Don’t I look thrilled? Did I mention it was HOT.

I look at that picture and can feel just how exhausted and yet excited I was. How much I wanted all of it to be over so I could just hold my baby already. It’s so vivid. And now she’s been on this planet for an entire year.

It’s crazy how time literally flies right out of your hands when you’re too busy living to pay attention.

Ok…I’ve got to go snuggle my Izzie and cry a bit about how big she is.

Happy Wordless and Wonderful Wednesday to you!