Bronwyn's art party

Seven

Bronwyn's art partyMy baby turned seven on Saturday.

Seven is a lot like six, jut a bit taller, louder and more insistent that she gets her way.

We don’t normally celebrate birthdays with a party every year, so although Bronwyn had a big party last year, I managed to convince myself (and then Dean) that a small craft party held at home didn’t really count as a “party” because we could do the whole thing for less than a hundred dollars. Dean must be getting soft in his old age, because he barely put up an argument.

streamer and Balloon wall birthday party

One of the mothers suggested I keep the streamers up since I’m set decor-wise for Pride week!

The backdrop for the entire party was a streamer/balloon wall that I saw on Pinterest. I tried to get a head start setting up the focal wall on Thursday night, but I forgot to factor in two playful kittens. The streamers didn’t last ten minutes before the cats were tearing them to shreds, and Pete was chewing on the ends. It was going to be an early morning Saturday…

Cupcapke bar

Grandpa made me the extra large paint palette for the cupcake bar. It was my favorite part of the party – the kids too, I think.

I had planned for a three-hour party, thinking it would take the kids a long time to paint their birdhouses. Big miscalculation on my part! Within an hour and a half, birdhouses were done, pizza was devoured, sprinkles scattered all over my kitchen floor and the kids were chasing the cats around the house. And we were only halfway through the party.

April 11, 2015, Birthday Party-6

Bronwyn and Grace enjoying the cupcakes

Even Pete wanted in on the painting party action. Until the kids started showing up, that is...

Even Pete wanted in on the painting party action. Until the kids started showing up, that is…

Once the stressed-out throwing up started (cats, not kids) we shipped everyone out to the yard to burn off some sugar. Except for one small incident with a small gardening trowel and a little girl’s cheek, I was surprised at how well everyone got along: taking turns, sharing and having a good time on a Saturday afternoon. But I was definitely ready for the last kid to go home so Lee and I could have a much needed glass of wine. Or three.

Lee and I are smiling here because what you don't see is that finally, the kids are gone and the wine is poured.

Lee and I are smiling here because what you don’t see is that finally, finally, the kids are gone and the wine is poured.

Birthday parties are a lot like childbirth. Excruciating at the time, but the pain seems to dull as time goes on. You almost forget about it by the time the next birthday rolls around. I think I’ll pull this post out next year around this time, when I start thinking that spring is a great time for a birthday party…

Tearing the Doors of the Closet

Waistlines expand and grey hairs appear with age; time and money seem to vanish with the appearance of children; and as relationships mature, the romantic Valentine gesture is replaced with something more…. practical. They do at my house, anyway.

After nearly 20 years together, gone are the days of red roses (never my favorite), fancy dinners (not my style anyway) and romantic getaways (unless you call an out-of-town hockey tournament romantic). This Valentine’s Day, I got something a bit more substantial to mark the occasion.

Dean, hopeless romantic that he is, bought me a new closet. And it was the best gift I’ve gotten in a long while.

We’ve been meaning to update our bedroom closet since we moved into this house. Seven years ago. Seven years of cramming my clothes in baskets and bins at the bottom of my closet. Seven years of messy piles that swallow your favorite jeans, never to return them. (It was so bad, I can only show you the “in progress” picture. The “before” was too much.)

FullSizeRender-1Finally I feel like a grown up. My new semi-custom closet is so well organized and pretty, I can’t help but spend long hours laying in bed admiring its tidy beauty. I may never put the closet doors back on!

Thanks for your help, Cousin Ben – Dean would never have gotten this amazing piece of art put together without you!FullSizeRender-2

Homework Heaven

I loved school. I could have been a professional student, if my husband didn’t insist I earn my keep. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils (yes, they do have a smell), the crisp white pages of a new workbook, the metallic click of closing binders  – magical.

IMG_1059I live to “help” them with their homework assignments so when the kids bring home class projects, I get a little giddy. And when Bronwyn brought home her Flat Stanley-themed project I was in heaven.

After reading Flat Stanley in class, each student was tasked with creating their own “Flat Self”. The assignment was to take their “Flat Selves on a few adventures and document them in a workbook to present to the class. The project coincided with a hockey tournament to Buffalo, so Flat Bronwyn took a little road trip with us. Since it was a hockey tournament, Flat Bronwyn needed a team jersey, and there would be a pool, so she’d need a bathing suit too – nothing a little construction paper couldn’t fix.

I do admit, I got a bit carried away, but the pictures turned out great and I think Flat Bronwyn really enjoyed herself. I know I did!

I have my fingers crossed for an A+… I put a lot of effort into this assignment.

    IMG_1150 IMG_1140 IMG_1147 IMG_1138