NOTE: I will post more pictures later. Our internet is running really slow right now because both our exchange students are video skyping to China, chatting with other friends, and playing games all on line.
Today was Nathan's and Owen's 2nd birthday party. They had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends. The theme of this year's party was The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It is a very cute children's book. In addition to just the party I am planning to decorate their room in Very Hungry Caterpillar so all the party guests assisted in the art work for their room. Preston, the incredible artist that he is, painted a large picture of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for their room. On four smaller canvases, guests painted their own versions of the Caterpillar. The big caterpillar on the small canvas was done by Logan for his brothers. Tomorrow all the paintings will be hung in their room. (I will post a picture.)
Their delicious cake was made by Laura Perry, my sister's sister-in-law and long time family friend. She does such a wonderful job making cakes and I was so excited she was able to make the boys cake. She lives at Lake Martin and met my sister in Prattville to deliver the cake. Thanks to my awesome sister who drove very carefully all the way to Birmingham with my cake!!
Along with the cake we had ice cream, pizza, munchies and gumballs. Watching people eat the gumballs became quite hilarious. Everyone expected for them to be peanut M&Ms. They would all grab a handful, start chewing, continue chewing, make a funny face, put back the rest of their handful and then say, "Oh, I thought those were M&Ms." So, not to disappoint anyone I got out the rest of the Halloween M&Ms and at one point I looked in the living room and just about everyone had a little fun size bag of M&Ms.
Nathan and Owen loved having so many people here.
They were all smiles, until it was time to sing and cut the cake. Neither one of them enjoyed everyone singing Happy Birthday to them. They also did not want any part of the cake. After cake, it was nap time.
All the guests left while the boys were napping. When they woke up we did their presents. They loved pulling the tissue paper out of the bags and ripping off wrapping paper. Logan enjoyed helping them too and was so good at patiently holding the gifts so the boys could pull the paper.
These two, along with big brother Logan, are such a joy. I am truly blessed to be their Mom.
After all the presents were opened, I headed to Publix to get a few food items and some flowers for Mia. I was excited to find some beautiful star gazer lilies and a dozen white roses....my two favorite flowers. I was enjoying my trip to the grocery store, quickly going through my list...and with great ease since I did not have three kids in tow. I was thinking of all the fun we had during the morning. As I was checking out the friendly clerk asks me, "if these flowers were for a special occasion". Immediately I thought, "well, they are to put on my daughter's grave"...but I generally don't like to mention things like that knowing the people are asking to be loving and kind and I don't want to ruin their day (because usually they feel awkward, guilty for asking, etc). So after a second I said a birthday. Well, driving home it hit me.... for Nathan and Owen I had the best time creating a fun birthday party (invitations, decorations, personalized labels on their caterpillar craft, getting canvas and paint, etc) and for Mia I got to buy flowers, but not to share with her and see her enjoy their beauty and smell...but to put on her grave. So tonight after everyone went to sleep I got out my flowers and created an arrangement to lay on her grave tomorrow afternoon.
Each year the days surrounding November 14th always bring such a strong roller coaster of emotions: excited the boys have reached another birthday because let's be honest their was a time we weren't sure they would reach 1, the joy in putting on another fun birthday party, the pride I feel for the great accomplishments they are making every day, the melting of my heart when they smile at me and the pain that another year has gone by and another birthday celebrated without my precious baby girl. I will say, I am eternally grateful that she is in Heaven spending eternity with God and I can't wait to spend eternity with Him and her.
As I was running the other morning I was listening to Steven Curtis Chapman. He wrote an album after his 5 year old daughter died. The song, Our God Is In Control, really spoke to me and I wanted to share a part of it with you.
"This is not where we planned to be, when we started this journey.
But this is where we are.
Our God is in control.
Though this first taste is bitter.
There will be sweetness forever when we finally taste and see our God is in control."