Tag Archives: birthdays


Dear Riley,

Today you turn nine years old, and just like every other year, I’m shocked. It’s your last year in single digits, which I reminded of you yesterday, and you thought was so cool. Parenting has gotten more complicated. I laugh now at parents who think the toddler years are so, so hard. They are, yes, but parenting an older kid brings a whole new set of worries.


But you, Riley, you’re a dream of a child. You’re magic. If I could have 5 more of you, I would. Though I’m sure I’d have a constant headache because you’re a pretty loud kid who is constantly singing, humming, talking or yelling.


I can’t mind too much. You love to be around your family. You still love to cuddle us and sit on my lap. You sometimes interrupt me just to tell me you love me. These are not things parents are allowed to complain about.



Your 8th year of life was a big one. We moved from the only house and friends you’ve known to a new house and a new school. You were so brave through it all. You appreciate that we have a bigger house, with more space to run around. If you were overly sad about us moving, you never showed it.



You have a genuine appreciation for us as parents, which I did not expect to find in an 8-year old. Today, you told me I didn’t have to get you a cake to enjoy on your actual birthday because I “do enough” for you. Who says that? What 9-year-old boy notices and understands how much their parents do?

You do.

And that’s reason 1,276,899 why I love you so, so much. To infinity and beyond.

Love, Mommy



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Charlotte is 5!

Dear Charlotte,

I almost can’t believe it, but you’re 5 years old! You are the baby of the family, but you are really turning in to a big girl. Bravery, hilarity and kindness are some of your best personality traits right now. Plus you’re the cutest little girl ever. I mean, look:

Charlotte - 5 years old

To say this has been a big year for you is an understatement. I think the year between 4 and 5 always is, but you’ve had a big one.

You started full time, all day school. Not by my choice, but by our school district’s. This fall, you began going to 4K all day every day. And you rocked it. I shouldn’t have doubted you for a minute.

First day 4K

So proud to be in school with your brother all day. And I was a little surprised, though I shouldn’t have been, by how much you loved it and how much everyone loved you. All the teachers commented that you give the best hugs, that you’re the happiest little girl, and they’re right! You lost two pair of sunglasses and a fleece during your first year of full time school, but I can’t even be mad. You made tons of friends, learned to read, and couldn’t love school more. Score!

The other big event of the year was our move from the only house you’ve ever known to another one. And again, why did I doubt you? You rocked it, too! You love your new pink room. You love our big yard. You are just the happiest little girl and we couldn’t be happier.

I love the way you say things that you know aren’t true, with such conviction, just to see if we will actually believe them. I love that sometimes you call sneezes “bless yous”. I love that you always notice when I have my nails painted and make a fake angry face because I did it without painting yours, too. I love that you are a girly girl, wanting to wear dresses and necklaces, but then you can skateboard right alongside your big brother, too. I love that you are never, ever stingy with hugs and kisses and I love yous. Never lose this , sweet girl.

Happy 5th year, baby girl.


Thanks for being my best friend!

Love, Mommy


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Charlotte’s Frozen Birthday Party


When our Frozen-obsessed daughter asked for a Frozen party for her third birthday, I was a smidge disappointed. I love going DIY for the kids’ birthday parties and I felt like if we did a canned birthday like Frozen, it would be a little well, boring for me. But in this Pinterest age, I should’ve known that I’d be able to find cute crafty-type things to make it seem a little more homemade.

And I will say that it is pretty sweet to head to Target three days before the party and buy all the plates, tablecloths and even paper crowns in one simple trip. Now I see why people do these type of parties.

We held the party for family in our backyard. My husband had just finished building a ginormous 400 square foot deck, so the party doubled as a deck-breaking-in party as well.


The birthday girl had one request – an Elsa dress WITH A CAPE. Thankfully I found this one with a sheer cape velcroed to the back. Since the party, she has been trying to get that cape to stick to just about every shirt she has. Life is better with a cape, obvi.

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We got Pinterest-y with the food. See above for the “Do you Want to Build a Snowman?” station, white chocolate covered strawberries for Frozen Hearts, blue candy melt marshmallows as Elsa’s Icicles and Blue Hawaiian punch with pineapple juice and white soda which became Anna’s Frozen Punch. The rest of the menu included cold cuts for a sandwich bar, fruit and a bunch of salads.

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The punch was a hit.


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But I would say the biggest hit of all were these water balloons. I had seen the “Watch Out for my Butt” sign on Pinterest, and my graphic designer husband Photoshopped it to look like big bro Riley had turned into Olaf. Also, apparently it’s nearly impossible to find actual white waterballoons. So I just bought regular white balloons and figured we’d be fine. Well, you can probably see where this is going. They were virtually impossible to break. Slamming them on the concrete patio, squeezing them with all our might, nothing worked. HIlarity ensued. The finale was my 89-year old grandpa finally getting one to break, right over my head, while I cowered in fear. From my 89-year old grandpa with a water balloon. Good times.

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I was kind of disappointed with how my two-tired Blue Velvet cake turned out. I wrapped it in Frozen ribbon and put Anna and Elsa on top, along with blue sanding sugar, but I just thought it looked a little meh. But when Charlotte saw her cake, she gasped and squealed and asked if it was for her. The birthday girl loved it? Sold. Perfect. Donesies.

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