I think it’s safe to say Maryland got about two days of spring before we were thrown right into an early April heat wave! The minute temperatures exceed 75 degrees, my boys are ready to strip down to the bare minimum and chase each other in the backyard. Yesterday’s weather was ideal for such barefoot, shirtless romping, so I chased both boys with the camera. The younger of the two is celebrating his second birthday today, so we incorporated cupcakes, which he was surprisingly reluctant to demolish. (This is probably because they were not his Uncle’s famous tie-dyed, whipped almond frosting cupcakes.) I’m no baker but who can resist a gooey, chocolate cupcake? Apparently he can. Happy birthday to my sweet, spunky, mischief-maker extraordinaire! Your snaggle tooth, scheming grin, and endless energy make you an entertaining handful and I love every bit of you!
Most days I wear a variety of hats: clown, poop-checker, janitor, referee, scraped-knee-kisser, nap nazi, and fort-maker-extraordinaire. Days can be tiring, and mountains of laundry threaten to form life-threatening avalanches. (This is no attempt at getting pity from anyone, it’s just part of life at home.) Some days, I let my mental stack of hats come toppling over in a big messy heap, but some days I tell the Everest-high pile of laundry where it can stick it. Several months ago, a friend lost her small son, when he passed away in his sleep. This experience hit me in the gut, with a healthy dose of perspective. It forced me to recognize the seemingly insignificant moments that really make up life. Suddenly all the tasks I resented became gifts because they were reminders that my boys were alive and happy. Today, I ignored dirty dishes in the sink so that the boys could enjoy a milkshake and I could enjoy their giggles, free from distractions. They slurped, slid, ran, screamed, and jumped. Shortly after coming home, both boys passed out and it gave me time to reflect on all the moments I enjoyed with them today. Over the years, my definition of joy has shifted and evolved, and this is what it means to me right now. Joy is:
-a $3 strawberry shake that can put a grin, a mile wide, on your boys’ faces.
-grubby little boots, with worn out toes from endless hours of running outside.
-your two year-old running up to you at the play place, every two minutes, to say, “Hi mom!” and hug you around your legs.
-your three year-old saying “abominable snowman” over and over again, the entire way home, until he gets it just right.
-cute little toes peeking out through the feet of pajamas because someone is growing.
-your three year-old yawning and rubbing his eyes, but begging for one more story before nap time.
Those two little boys may be the source of endless dirty dishes, laundry, diapers, scraped knees, and broken toys, but the joy they provide, completely negates everything else.
Candice is expecting a little girl in a few short months. She and her husband decided on the name Ruby, and from there, an amazing Wizard of Oz themed shower came together. Candice’s sister and friends took care of every detail, from ruby flatware to teeny tiny favor baskets. A yellow brick road took guests from the entrance, straight back to a buffet of mouth-watering food and a custom cake, adorned with little ruby slippers. (I almost died when I saw that cake. So cute!) The party was buzzing with excitement, as the mama-to-be mingled with close family and friends, talking about nursery themes and baby clothes. The anticipation of a new baby is fun and exciting, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with awesome decorations, incredible food and great friends.
Remember Matt and Jessica’s sweet baby girl? It’s hard to believe she’s already grown so much! With Christmas just around the corner, Matt and Jessica wanted to get family photos. This is their daughter’s first Christmas, so they’re especially excited to celebrate with her. The house was completely decked out in Christmas decorations, and it instantly put me in the Christmas spirit. The family was all smiles, and baby A was as cute as could be, giggling at her grandparents the entire time. What a fun way to get ready for the holidays!