Foto Friday, My Week in Review: November 21-27

Foto Friday is the collection of photo collages from my week. What used to be seperate daily posts are now conveniently bundled together by the week. This one is full of traditions, celebrations and love. Enjoy!

November 21
Today was Eva's 2nd birthday. She is such a sweetheart. We went to Target this morning, and she requested something from Starbucks. I really wasn't going to stop there today, but I couldn't say no to her on her birthday… What can I say, she twisted my arm. We had a fun day together! 

The kids were biting at the bit for her to open her presents, which we were going to save for her party tomorrow, so they picked one for her to open tonight. It was an American Girl-type doll named Eva, which my mom had gotten for her some time ago. She loved it, and Ruby is quite excited to play dollies with her now and share clothes and accessories. 

November 22: Eva's 2nd Birthday Party!
Party Day! The theme was a combination of babies and Frozen--her two favorite things. Baby fish, baby donuts, baby oranges, yummy breakfast and "candy" {pink gum balls}. I asked her repeatedly what she wanted for her birthday, and her answer was always "candy." 

She squealed when she opened up the baby presents, and she was oh-so-blessed by everyone today. Thanks guys!!

P.S. We did something a little different for this birthday party, and I'll share the details about all that after the holidays. :)

November 23
Christmas is in the air, and it materialized as a tree in the living room today. I love watching the excitement in the kid's eyes, especially the baby, who was thrilled to participate this year and hang up some ornaments.

November 24
The kids have been doing "pickle training" since we got the tree up yesterday. One of our Christmas traditions is that we put the pickle ornament in the December 24th cubby in the advent box. Before I go to bed on Christmas Eve, I hide it somewhere in the tree for them to find in the morning. Santa leaves a small prize for the winner along with the presents.

Ruby has disproportionately won over the years {she credits her glasses for that because "they make everything look HUGE" and thus easier to find}, and the boys are determined to have a better shot this time. They started "pickle training" and conducted pickle drills all morning to practice for the big day, taking turns hiding and finding. So funny. Ruby still found it most of the time…

If that's a tradition you'd like to start, too, we got our pickle at Target. The kids love it. Our original one broke, and this one may too by the end of the month. It's well-loved.

November 25
I've loved having the kiddos home this week. It's been a sweet time of rest and a chance to spend some quality moments together. I'll be sad when they go back to school next week…

November 26: Pie Day!
We always spend the day before Thanksgiving baking a few choice pies that we have for breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. Eat all the good stuff first, right? I was reminiscing about two years ago when our pie-making plans got stopped short and we made an impromptu visit to the hospital instead to meet our beautiful baby girl.

The more years go by, the more excitement there is about traditions, and the more little hands there are to help prepare them. In my heart, I have a peace about being "done" with babies, but a part of me knows that another one would blend seamlessly into our family like all the others have before them. That we would look at them in the years to come and wonder what life was like before them and think about how we couldn't have lived without them.

Love is funny like that. In our finite understanding, we underestimate it's capacity for inclusion. For bending, molding, and stretching to accommodate lives. There are never too many to love, because love  has the infinite ability to expand if we allow it. So there will always be a part of my mother heart that will wonder, what if there was another? Because I know I would love them, too.

November 27: Thanksgiving
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

August 24: Toby's 4th Birthday Party!

Toby wanted a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, so that's what he got! :) He was so excited and everyone seemed to have a great time. He's such a smart, silly, funny boy, and I feel like he's been 4 forever already...

Batman cake, Batman presents, and a big boy bike and skateboard and tee ball set and more. He's one lucky guy, and not the only one who will be enjoying all those wonderful goodies, I'm sure. 

He was so funny in that ticket blowing machine--he got smart and just started picking the big ones up off the floor instead of trying to grab them out of the air. 4,000+ tickets to spend. Jackpot!

My day:

My claim to fame today: I ALMOST won the skeeball jackpot...


And also, I think I could make a hobby out of photo-bombing little kids on that one ride. lol

April 26: The Artist Within: Jen's Birthday Abduction

To celebrate my sister Jen's Birthday, we showed up in the morning with coffee & doughnuts and took her to a painting class in the afternoon. Great food, lots of laughs, some mad painting skillz, and a really good time!! Our day in photos:

Ah, the proverbial blank canvas...

Birthday girl

"Maybe if you weren't so self-loathing you would enjoy yourself more."




And what would a birthday celebration be without some shopping…

Happy Birthday Jen!! 

April 11: Ruby's Friend Birthday Party

We were busy getting ready for Ruby's party tonight with her friends. It was a small crowd, girls only. Old neighbors, new neighbors, and finally a little girl from school who stopped by. Everyone seemed to have a great time! Ruby wanted to make bracelets and have pizza and a movie {Frozen}, but everyone ended up outside after the cake. It was a beautiful night for that! Here's the day in pictures.

Girls are SO DIFFERENT then boys!! They are sitting there excitedly and meticulously stringing beads onto their elastic, making fabulous bracelet creations. If the boys were here, they would be tearing around the house chucking handfuls of beads at each other. And farting. #noboysallowed

Love this pic. Such concentration and precision. 

Little girly dinner party. :)

A rainbow ice cream cake. #howappropriate

The boys crashed the party towards the end. He was excited about that. Basically for the cake.

Playing with all her new little treasures. Soaking in the night. #happy

December 14: Clayton's 7th Birthday Party

He was so excited about today and had been counting down the days all week. He had a great time & was blessed with some amazing gifts!! Art stuff, science stuff, and spy stuff. All right up his alley. Just add some Garfield stuff and you're peering through a window into my childhood. :) Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us!!! I still cannot believe I have a seven year old... Sheesh.