Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Birthday Dinner - Remixing Tradition

Howdy, Islanders!

Yesterday, I shared some pics in honor of Hubbs' birthday; it was a great day!  Normally, I start planning pretty early on.  This year, however, I found the perfect gift (totally NOT like me) and I set the wheels in motion to get it.  He's going to love it (it needs to be built).  I was so focused on and distracted by the gift that I almost let the day slip by.

Our family has a number of traditions and our birthday tradition includes a family spaghetti dinner.  I picked Munch up from school.  We were off to pick up things for the dinner but Munch was fed up with spaghetti and wanted to try something different.

"Daddy always wants spaghetti! Can't we try something different?"

We brainstormed for a few minutes then we decided on spaghetti pizza!

Yes.  You read correctly.  No, seriously.

Taken November 2014

On one of their daddy-daughter dates, Hubbs and Munch tried the pizza and came home bragging about it.  They CLAIMED they brought some home for me but, after about 30 minutes, the two piglets gobbled up "my" leftovers.

Because I'd never tried it, I had to rely solely on Munch's taste buds' memory.  I tried to Google a recipe as we walked into the grocery store but none of them involved a crust so, we were really forced to wing it.

I picked up all of the ingredients, we picked up last-minute decor supplies and we headed home for cooking, baking and set-up.


We taped up the wall mural and Munch slid on the guest of honor's chair cover.  She set the table and placed his cards on his plate.


Oh, and have I told you that she has become quite the drink server?  Well, she made a fancy drink for Memorial Day and it was a hit among our guests.  I'll share more on that later. For now, check out her awesome set-up.


She even cut that strawberry on that cup all by herself!!!  I pulled out some platters and we set-up a birthday spread fit for the Birthday King of the Keese castle.



Did you see it?  No, not the gummies, the spaghetti pizza!


We weren't sure how it would taste but it smelled awesome and we were certain it would be a pleasant surprise for Hubbs when he arrived home. 


He was excited to dig in and gave me an obligatory smile just before he said grace.


I was sure the pizza would taste okay but, when I decided to remix his favorite meal of all time, I was nervous it wouldn't measure up no matter how good it was.  We cut it, we served it, we started to eat and...


HE LOVED IT! He actually said our version was BETTER than the big fancy restaurant's!!!!


We also made his favorite cake (strawberry cake with strawberry icing) and surprised him with the birthday song when he and Nuke returned from their evening walk.  It was a great evening and an awesome birthday for Hubbs.

I know this family dinner is nothing like the events we talk about here on the island.  There was no fancy sweets table or fun games to talk about.  There was no two-tier cake custom-designed or any table linen or time-consuming hand-made decor.  


Not because I don't love a good party or because I don't appreciate what those events require but because I'm reminded of the time I threw Brian a low-key surprise birthday party.


There was a cake.


There were friends.


There were video games.

There was also a moment, after everyone left, when Hubbs pulled me into the room and got emotional.  REALLY emotional.  He said he was so grateful for the party because he knew I put a lot into it and it reminded him of the last party he had when he turned five years old.  His grandmother called all of the neighborhood kids over to share in some of the cake she made him.  Hubbs recalled how special he felt with everyone surrounding him and wishing him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  He recalled how much he enjoyed sharing in his favorite flavor of birthday cake and he recalled longing for that feeling ever since.

As my obsession with event planning and crafting grew, I wanted to host more extravagant events for Hubbs.  Every time I'd begin the conversation, he'd shut down.  All he wants every year for his birthday is his favorite dinner with his favorite cake.  I appreciate him for that.  He keeps me grounded and, in his own jerkface-butthead way, he serves as the balance I need.

I love that he knows our family traditions and reminds me to place more value on time together than capturing the fabulosity during holidays and milestones.  This little ol' dinner may not be anything special to you but for us this work of heart was MAJOR!

Here's hoping you remember to make milestones more than picture-worthy posts on so-called social media!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Snapshot Saturday

This time last week, I was supporting this little cutie's school performance.


She did such a good job singing and dancing!


She did everything just as she was supposed to.


She got a flower at the end of her performance for a job well done and goodness was she sweet!


Those eyes get me every time! Today, I started the weekend with my cutie.


I noticed during our SOL studying that she was struggling with the computer work.  She was straining. Her eyes were red.  She wanted to enlarge the font to be huge.  She's been complaining of headaches.  



I knew it was time for an eye exam.


Let's just say the appointment was eventful. More to come!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pregnancy - From the Paternal Side


Islanders, I've had countless pregos in my life.


The past 3 years have been full of expectant joy and celebrations for some of my closest friends.


I've shared my journey, as a supportive and excited friend, with you guys along the way.


We've had a number of baby showers featured on the island.


It's interesting because it wasn't until the news of my nephew coming that I realized I have always been on the maternal side of pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lea's Rio2 Party - The fun!

Yesterday, I shared the Rio2 party decor and how we used affordable large-scale decor to create the perfect party space for toddlers.  Today, we're talking about the party fun!

Jay enlisted the school music teacher to provide entertainment for the kids.  


He played all the toddler hits and brought instruments for the kids.  All of the little ones LOVED him!


Between dancing with Mr. B., Lea's play tent, riding toys, and the splash pool, every tiny guest was having a blast!



There were sidewalk chalk and bubbles too!



It was so lively and fun for the kids!

After two hours of fun, it was time for the birthday song!  I mentioned yesterday how Lea couldn't have cake so I came up with a sherbet buffet.  We pre-scooped the cups for kids and placed them in the freezer.  When it was time, we placed the sherbet cups in a cupcake tier on the buffet, Lea got a special bowl and everyone gathered around for the birthday song.


Can you see that bump in the top right?  Yep, that's my nephew baking in there :)  #justsaying



It took her a moment but she blew out the candle :) I came up with the idea for the sherbet but I wasn't totally sold it would be a great replacement for cake.  Seriously, who doesn't love birthday cake?  To my surprise, however, it was HOT outside and the sherbet was the PERFECT cold treat!  I'm so glad the orange, rainbow and pineapple sherbet was a hit!  No one even asked about cake!


The party was a success.  People had fun.  Kids didn't want to leave.  Parents were glad the kids would crash in the car.  All was well BUT, before we go, can we just talk about the guest of honor's fab little 'fit now?  

I mean, I was LIVING for her cute bathing suit but when I slipped her tutu on top, I 'bout fell out.


Those feathers!  That train!  It was just too doggone much for me!  Then, as if the tutu wasn't enough, Lea was killing the hair bow game with that head piece!


She wore it all day like such a good little-big girl!  After passing out hugs, we prepared to open gifts.


I tried to document the fabulous outfit in front of the favor table but Lea wasn't trying to be still!



Like a little dancing Rio bird, Lea was wiggling and shaking. She almost took a tumble...


... but that blurry limb in the lower corner was me snatching her up, lol.  It looks like she's flying in the next pic because I caught her and swung her to the ground.


She landed and took off wiggling into the house for presents.  Lea is so tiny (like the size of a one year old) and it was kind of funny to see her open bags that were just as big as she.


I didn't mind watching her unwrap gifts because that train was giving me so much life.


I hope Lea-baby enjoyed her party as much we enjoyed pulling it together for her.  She's such a tiny little lady with a big personality!


Happy birthday, Lea-baby!  

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