Emerson Grace is two years old. It's amazing to me how fast these two years have gone by. I still so clearly remember finding out I was pregnant with her and how completely shocked Clay and I were as she was a quite a surprise. But she was exactly what our family needed and I can't even put into words the joy she brings to everyone who is lucky enough to know her. I wanted her birthday to be very special and so I put a lot of work into it (like making the tulle wreath, the invitations, and the tulle poms) and I'm happy to say it paid off. My girl's second birthday party - her tutu party - was an absolute fabulous time.
Clay, Narls and I decorated the whole house with pink & orange tulle and we had goodies such as pizza, cheese & crackers, fruit, and chocolate covered pretzles to munch on.
To keep the kiddos occupied, we had little wooden ballerina fairies for them to color. This was a big hit as the girls loved coloring their fairies.
My girlfriend Sarah made Em's strawberry cake and it tasted even better than it looked, which is saying a lot because this cake was gorgeous!
Em got so many awesome and thoughtful gifts! And I may be a bit biased but I do believe her favorite was her tricycle from her daddy and me. ;)
There was a pull-string pinata which the kiddos loved...
...and each girl got her very own tutu! The girls danced and played and laughed and sang.
So after exactly a year and a half of homeownership, Clay and I experienced our first house-related problem. A four inch deep problem. As in our entire basement was flooded with a good four inches of water.
Now the basement wasn't especially fabulous to begin with, but it was tidy and we had rugs on the floor to soften things up and THERE WASN'T THIS GROSS POOL TO WADE THROUGH. Ugh. It was awful.
But we handled it like champs, especially Clay. He figured out what happened (our sump pump had quit working), researched new pumps, bought one the next morning at Home Depot and installed it himself with just a bit of help from our friend Mike. He made it look easy.
The worst part was definitely dragging the soaked and ruined rugs up through the house to get them out of the basement. But the best part? Kid Day at Home Depot! Em and Narls got to build periscopes and received another pin for their aprons. Yay for bright sides I guess.
My baby brother just celebrated his 13th birthday.
He's a teenager now. Unbelievable. A milestone birthday such as this deserves a pretty special birthday present so Clay and I and the kiddos got him an iPod Touch (in addition to the concert that I took him to last month). He's pretty spoiled but that's ok because he's a great kid.
Our mom threw him a rad birthday party. He had some friends over and she decorated the basement with streamers and balloons and blacklights and let the kids write all over the paper-covered walls with blacklight pens. I took Narls down to show him and when it was time to go back upstairs, he declared that he was staying at the "pawty with the boys". Well ok then.
He even got to sign Uncle Lukey's shirt.
I'm not entirely sure who had more fun- Luke or Narls.
Narls and Emerson just completed their swimming lessons. This is a
HUGE accomplishment for these two as just eight weeks ago they barely
tolerated their baths, let alone any bigger bodies water like pools
Em was in a parent & me class and for whatever reason flat out
refused to swim with Clay. It had to be me- every. single. week. All
of my bathing suits are a bit... skimpy... and the last thing I wanted
to do in the middle of March is get in a not-even-quite-lukewarm pool.
But for my girl I did. With a tanktop on over my bikini. It was a
labor of love.
Narls was in a class without parents. Clay, Em and I sat on the bench
and watched him make remarkable progress from week to week. His first
class? He literally cried and screamed for us to come and get him out of
the pool for the entire 30 minute class session. His instructor, Coach
Brian, assured us he'd be fine and to leave Narls in the pool with
him. His patience was incredible. I was a nervous wreck, ready to pull
my boy up and out of the water and never bring him back.
But Coach Brian was right. Narls came around by the second class and absolutely loved the rest of his swimming lessons.
Now he has a certificate that lists all of his achievements, like
entering and exiting the pool by himself, blowing bubbles through his
mouth for three seconds, submerging his face and rolling from front to
back while in the water. He's as proud as a peacock.
And so am I. Even of my stubborn girl who only wanted her mumma in the water with her.
I briefly mentioned in yesterday's post that Clay and I go away to celebrate St Patrick's Day (we actually celebrate the entire weekend). We have an amazing group of friends who go too and this is our seventh year celebrating at the Doherty Hotel, which is located in an Irish town about two hours from our house. The entire town celebrates and it is one green celebration the entire weekend. It's something both Clay and I look forward to each year.
We load up the kiddos and they stay with Clay's mom for the weekend. It's nice because she doesn't live too far from the hotel where Clay and I stay. And both Narls and Emerson have an absolute blast staying with her.
Only an hour into our mini Irish vacation and the drinking had commenced.
Only two drinks in and I started with the self-portraits.
My favorite part of the weekend? Hanging out with Clayton <3