Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, MC!

Celebrating another year with our spunky girl! She adds so much light and laughter to our lives. It is an honor and a privilege to be her parents.

{Click through for video if you're in a reader.}


Monday, June 15, 2015

MC's 3rd Birthday

We had MC's 3rd birthday party at a park near our house on the weekend before her birthday. It rained every day for the entire week leading up to her party, but the sun finally came out on Saturday, and it was a beautiful (but hot!) day.

We chose a Daniel Tiger theme for her party, since that is her favorite TV show, and kept it very simple this year with a few colorful decorations and toddler-friendly snacks.

We invited about 10 of her little friends and their parents/siblings to come play with us, and I think everyone had a great time celebrating our little tiger.

As usual, the cupcakes were the highlight of the party for MC. After we'd been there about an hour and she'd played for a while on the playground with her friends, she started saying "I want to do Happy Birthday, Mama!" She got a little overwhelmed during the actual singing, with all eyes on her, so I had to blow out the candles on her cupcake for her.

But she rallied quickly once it was time for the cupcake eating to begin!

We spent the day of her birthday together, just the 3 of us.

We opened presents first thing that morning. She got books, a set of pool toys, a t-ball set, a baby doll, and a baby doll carrier.

Later that morning we went to the mall to ride the escalators

and ate lunch at Chick Fil A.

After nap we continued our tradition of having Cafe Carolina cupcakes. It's hard to believe there are 3 candles on that cupcake! 

Happy, happy birthday to our sweet girl!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Backyard Playset

One day last week, in a span of about 3 hours, our backyard went from this:

to this:

MC got a cool, custom-built play set or "playground" as she calls it. (Local friends, if you are in the market for a play set, click that link - we highly recommend Mark and his team. We had a great experience working with them!)

It has two swings, a slide, a rock-climbing wall, and a two-story clubhouse.

We have already spent hours upon hours playing on it, and we've had several friends over to check it out. It is a big hit with the almost-three crowd. And, as you can see, it appeals to the four-legged crowd as well.

Piper says, "Look at my super cool new dog house!"

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Butterfly Garden

MC got a Painted Lady butterfly growing kit and book as a gift for Christmas last year, and it has finally gotten warm enough here to order the caterpillars. The caterpillars come in a self-contained cup with food and instructions.

Day 1

The caterpillars eat and grow rapidly for the first few days.

Day 3

Then they attach to the lid of the container and begin to form their chrysalis.

Day 6

After their chrysalis is fully hardened, you move them to the butterfly habitat.

Day 8

Where they eventually hatch out into beautiful butterflies!

Day 12

You feed them fresh fruit and nectar for a few days.

Day 13

And then release them into the wild to continue their life cycle.

Day 15

We all thought the process was fascinating and educational. Each day MC was so excited to check in on her butterflies and see how they were changing.

I would highly recommend this for any age kids - even BD and I really enjoyed it! The book is also really great, especially for the younger crowd, to help explain what exactly they are seeing.

And now every time MC sees a butterfly she asks, "Is it one of our butterflies, Mama?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

We had a lovely long Memorial Day weekend. BD took Friday off, and we went to the NC Zoo. The weather was perfect for a day trip to the zoo - sunny and low 70s with no humidity. There were a couple of school groups there doing end of the year field trips, but it didn't feel overly crowded.

(Excuse me, but who is this big kid and where did my little baby toddler go?!)

We saw all of the animals that we wanted to see except the polar bear and gorillas. The polar bear has a new, expanded habitat since our visit last year, but unfortunately she was no where to be seen. MC was really looking forward to seeing her, so we checked back twice, but she was never out. They are currently expanding the gorilla habitat as well as adding more gorillas to the troop, so it will be closed until the new exhibit is complete.

We also rode the carousel twice and had soft-serve ice cream - two of MC's favorite things from our trip last year.

Piper went to doggie daycare for the day, since we were gone from the house about 7 hours, and she is not used to spending that much time alone in her crate. She came home exhausted and happy, so we all had a fun day!

We were invited over to our neighbors' house for a cookout on Memorial Day. There are a whole group of us that have kids in the 5-and-under age range, so the kids had fun playing together while the adults chatted (and supervised). It's funny how although we all live right here together, we don't often see each other since everyone is so busy all the time. So it was nice to just slow down for a while and hang out with our neighbors.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Each season is sweet in its own way, and each will be missed when it's gone. Don't miss the beauty of the bud while you're waiting for the blossom. Each stage of a child's life offers us a chance to know him or her a little better and to grow a little closer. Each stage also gives us a chance to grow into a better parent as we learn the lessons they teach us about loving unconditionally, living wholeheartedly, and giving and receiving grace.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Last Day of Gymnastics

April was our last month at MC's gymnastics class; both she and I were getting bored with it, so it's time to move on to something new. We started the class when she was just barely walking, so she has learned a lot of important skills in this class over the last (almost) 2 years.

I snapped a few pics of her favorite stations on our last day of class.

Trampoline! She especially loved the trampoline when Ms. Amy got out the bouncy balls or the hoops.

Forward roll on the wedge mat! (Backward rolls, too!)

Bar hang! Her favorite hang positions are spider hang and possum hang. On the bars you can really tell how incredibly strong she is; she can almost do a full pull-up from this position. Ms. Amy would ask her to "sniff the bar" and she'd pull her nose up to touch the bar.