Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a small handful of birthday pics

I will hopefully get some more soon. I'm still rounding them up, and it may take a while. But here's a few now, just for fun. (and because I'm looking for excuses to procrastinate).

Me and my dad

My beautiful cake, made by my good friend Keleigh

Catherine "helping" decorate

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The first official blog post as a 30-year-old

Yes, it actually happened. I turned 30. Instead of running from it (how many people out there have turned 29 numerous times?), I welcomed it with open arms. But it was still a big deal to me. Stephen asked why, and I had to think about it. Truly, I think that my reasons are two fold: 1) it has made me reflect on my last 30 years; and 2) it means that I am undeniably an adult.

1) I have been through a lot in the last 10 years. Good and bad, I bring it all. It all brought me to where I am now. It helps that I am very happy where I am at in life. Stressed, busy, crazy... yes, yes, and hell yes. But I am so thankful and grateful for everything I have. I am the luckiest mom in the world to have Catherine, I have the best husband I could possibly ask for, we own our home, Stephen has a great secure job that he loves, and I'm going to school to do something that I love. Add to that great friends, great family, and great support. What more can I really ask for? Why wouldn't I be happy? If this is 30, bring it on!

2) I know. I'm a mom, I'm a wife - why would I need further proof that I'm an adult? It's not that I need proof or that I was feeling particularly immature. But it's a symbolic time. Saying good bye to the 20's and moving on to the 30's. There's a song titled "my next 30 years" - and one of the closing lines is "I'll do it better in my next 30 years". I love it. That's where I am.

My birthday weekend was awesome. Choosing to do the big party the night before my actual birthday was better than I thought - it was somewhat reminiscent of parties in my early twenties. And to help with that, I got drunk. I can't remember the last time I was able to have enough alcohol to actually get me drunk. I loved it. Not enough to do it more often, mind you. But for my birthday, it was great. I got to see tons of people that I love. We even went out for a round of karaoke after the number of guests dwindled.

My mom, sister, bro Jason, and best friend Dawn spent the night. So the morning was filled with more fun. We all went to lunch, joined also by friend Lori and Papa Steve. When we got home, we had to say goodbye to family, and then settled in for the night enjoying the drama that only the Oscars can bring.

Just fabulous. If this could happen every weekend, sign me up.

(I wanted to add all of the other things that I haven't been sharing in the last few weeks, but I wound up babbling about how much I loved my birthday, so I'll post soon to catch up on everything else.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"MY party!"

Sunday morning
Me: "Who's birthday party is today, Catherine?"
Catherine: "MY party!" (with extra emphasis on "my")

She definitely knew, and she was excited for sure. We picked up her cake that morning, and it was "my" cake. And even though it was a joyful kind of crazy with so many people in our home, she was great the whole day. Despite the "mine!" phase that she's going through, she was even pretty good about sharing with all the other kids. Wow, I know.

The rest of the story can be told with pictures:

The beautiful birthday girl, munching on a cookie (sugar free, of course)
My too-adorable-for-his-own-good nephew, Toby

A bunch of the big kids watching the Super Bowl in the other room. Our house is perfect for these occasions: we set up the play room with all of the kid birthday stuff, and then the Super Bowl party was happening in the living room. Very nice, if I do say so myself!

One of Catherine's presents: cute Tigger ears. And further proof that moms will do anything to make their kid laugh.

We started a dress up trunk for her as our birthday gift to her. And thanks to a smart heads up from us, lots of her gifts were additions to the dress up collection. She loved the hats!

I forget which present she was looking at, but I love the look on her face.

And oh, did she love her feather boa!

Is it me, or does she kind of look like a turtle in this picture? (it's the stretching neck, I think)

She was so cute! She loved every present she opened. The first present she opened was a gorgeous handmade sweater from our Aunt Sue. She looked at it, appraising it up and down, and declared clearly "I like it!" So cute!

Another cute moment: When she saw the candles on the cake, she got this alarmed look and exclaimed "hot! hot!" Yes, we've taught her well. And, not really knowing what else to say, I told her that yes, it's hot, so let's blow on it! But this picture captures that first expression on her face.

All of the kids loved the train set from Papa Steve. Especially Stephen.

Catherine playing with Anna and her new teaset, on her new table and chairs.

The end of the long day. I collapsed on the couch after the last guest left. And then Catherine climbed up and laid across the couch, too. Unfortunately, Stephen was making me laugh when he took the picture, so it doesn't capture the true exhaustion that I felt.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Big week

Have you heard that Catherine turned 2? Yup, I'm officially the mom of a 2-year-old. Yikes! For some reason, it really hit me when I received my weekly email newsletter from and suddenly it's not "toddler", but "preschooler". What? When did that happen?

I'm currently taking a break from studying by searching through the tons of pictures from her party on Sunday. Hopefully I'll be able to post those... soon. But I have a lot to go through and tweak. I at least wanted to do this much and say hello. And brag just a little bit.

A "before and after" for you:

Our play room, the week before the party (and 5 minutes before this picture was taken, we also had part of the carpet pulled up):

The day of the party, just before guests arrived:

Yea for us!!! OK yes, I know the ugly walls and horrible carpet are still there. The room still has a long way to go. But to even clean it out and get it in a livable condition? That's all I asked for. For now. =)