Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Double Trouble

Eight years ago my life  was changed completely when I became a mama of not one darling little boy, but two. That first year was a whirlwind. I am not sure I had time to exhale during those early days. And I know I didn't have time to shower. My apologies to those who knew me then.

I was thrust into motherhood, and much like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes. I don't think I had ever known the depth of love...or exhaustion...that these two little men would teach me.
2015 Mr. N.

2015 Mr. W.
Their energy is a force to be reckoned with. Their personalities are as distinct as their fingerprints -- two unique halves of the same whole. Their rivalry is fierce, but their friendship grows stronger every day. Both individually and as a team they are capable of great things and never cease to amaze me.

2014 at Grinter Farms
2015 at Grinter Farms
When you've lived in 4 different states, it makes it difficult to have a party with all your friends. No matter what, you are going to have to pick and choose. This year they decided to have their party back in Illinois. Luckily, Grandad has a nice back yard and a kitchen to use. I didn't have to try to load everything into the car. Only some things. And I had to have a clear plan of what needed to happen in the limited time we would have before friends started ringing the doorbell.

Star Wars.

It's just a minor obsession of ours right now.

It's our Halloween theme. Our birthday party theme. It might just be the theme of our day-to-day existence, if I'm honest. The moment-by-moment struggles not to let our passions, our fears and our anger control us...not to be wooed by the the Dark Side.

The struggle is real, people.

Naturally, every young Jedi apprentice needs to have his or her very own lightsaber as a party favor. And to avoid injury (as much as possible, anyway), those should really be pool noodles.

The snack table was complete with cake, veggie sabers, Leia's braids, and more!

The Trooper Army was an adorable way for me to give up my need for control. And as I've mentioned a few times before, it doesn't have to be beautiful for it to be perfect. The boys loved taking ownership of their own party by drawing the faces on the marshmallows storm troopers (among other things). It was perfect.
 The Trash Pit Pudding came complete with an one-eyed gummy worm trash monster.
 Freeing Han Solo from the Carbonite Jello was a tasty diversion.
 No party is complete without an EPIC lightsaber battle!
These very intimidating boys were the real champs of Tug-of-War Dark vs. Light, although we recruited a few adults to give the smaller kids on the other side a fighting chance.

We also defeated the Clone (balloon) Army, took some Target Practice against an X-Wing and a TIE Fighter (cornhole), used the Force (to play blind man's bluff), and destroyed the Death Star (piñata).

It was crazy, chaotic, exhausting, and so much fun. Everything a party should be.

Happy 8th birthday, you silly boys!

Mr. N, you make me so happy. I love your big animal-loving heart, your tender spirit, and your desire for peace, fun, and comfort in every situation.

Mr. W, I am so proud to be your mama. I love your drive and determination, how you crave encouragement and give it to others, your sense of humor, and your desire to always to your best and be the best you can be.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Did I forget to mention...?

This amazing boy had a birthday a month ago.
He took us by storm 6 years ago and has manged to melt my heart just about every. single. day. since.
2014 at Grinter Farms
Our creative little man wanted to celebrate his big day with a Lego party. He was voting for Lego Star Wars, really, but we settled on just plain Lego to make Mommy's life easier.

After all, we were going to be having this party in a hotel room at the Lake of the Ozarks.

I asked him if he could cut me a little slack. Thankfully, he agreed. We scaled back his dream party enough that it was able to travel in the back of the trusty Honda.

So, off we went to our little piece of Midwestern paradise. Sigh.

Before the festivities got underway, the Birthday Boy had to endure a few hours out on the lake. It's not his favorite part of the trip, but he snuggled in and suffered through some choppy waters while the rest of us had fun. Despite the chill in the air, the water was incredibly warm, and the kids did decide on a dip before we had to turn back.

Back in the hotel room, the spread was ready and waiting. There were snacks and games and presents enough to make a new 6 year old giddy.

Lego head marshmallows were both adorable and delicious.

There was a whole army of chocolate Lego men surrounding the ruins of a chocolate brick wall.

The cake was topped with gummy Lego bricks and multicolored sprinkles. It looked like the floor after an afternoon spent creating. Shorty called the cake "blue surprise" because it looked white until you cut in and...SURPRISE! The cake itself was bright blue.
By the way, those Lego gummy things were just chewy masses of tastelessness. Lovely for decorating the cake, not so much for the taste buds.

 We had a hilarious game of Stick the Face on Lego Luke Skywalker.

The tiny pinata proved difficult to defeat.

So much fun opening the presents (and playing with the new stuff)!

Later on, there was even time for a game of Foosball with Grandad.

And an evening dip in the cave pool, despite the chilly temperatures.

Thank you, Little Man, for the ways that you enrich and liven up our little household. I couldn't imagine our life without you and your effervescent spirit.

We love you tons and bunches.
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