If you live in Knoxville, TN, chances are you recognize these faces--or at least, their work. These two wonderful people & talented architects, who also happen to be the founders of Open Door Architecture, have done so much to help their town grow and blossom over the past few years, and now their family is growing, too. I'm lucky to call them friends, and to have been able to spend a lovely vacation week with them in the Outer Banks, NC, where we did this mini maternity session. I can't wait to say hello to their sweet little baby!
My first cookie just turned four, and we celebrated with many of his favorite things: friends, hayrides, cake and make-your-own "Sunday ice creams". It was one of those days where he ate sugar from sun-up til sun-down and, though I knew we'd pay for it dearly later, I felt like he deserved the chance to do it (I believe the closest thing he had to fruit that day was a strawberry Skittle). He clearly had a blast, at least until it dawned on him that, even on your birthday, you eventually still have to go to bed.
It's always a challenge for me to try to document these types of events for my kids; I'm constantly torn between capturing the moment or being in it. So if it seems like this set has a few holes in the story, well, you may be right, but I'm OK with it. Thanks to my husband's insistence, I've realized that I don't just want the kids to look back and say "Mommy took really nice pictures of my birthday", but also "I remember that Mommy made me a race car cake, and she got muddy with me in the pumpkin patch, and then she held me like a very loving crazy person because she was paranoid I'd catch on fire when I went to blow out my candles." (To be clear, it's not that I actually *want* them to liken me to a crazy person - I'm just being realistic.)
Happy fourth birthday, my sweet boy; I can't wait to see what amazing things this next year holds for you!! xo
The day my baby turned one: it started with watching the Ting Tings sing the birthday song on Yo Gabba Gabba at the crack of dawn, and ended with everybody collapsing from exhaustion and too much sugar at the end of the evening. Exactly how a birthday should be. A huge thank-you to the wonderful family & friends who came out to celebrate with us, and extra hugs to those who pitched in to make the day possible at all, in spite of the last-minute venue change and my persistent tendency to go Pinterest-crazy over silly details. This little guy sure is lucky to be surrounded by so much love. We all are.
A little peek into what our "fun days" look like right now. Not pictured: trips to the spray park down the road, the occasional explosive tantrum, too many cartoons and bathtime (because, well, maybe you guys are sick of seeing my bathtub by now). The days sometimes feel so long as they are unfolding, then instantly reduce to a blink by the time the sun sets.
As did countless other families along the East Coast this weekend, we went strawberry picking. I'd like to be able to tell you that we enjoyed leisurely strolls through the field while the kids happily took in the fresh air & scene while stuffing their faces full of berries plucked at the peak of their perfection, and then, after we returned home, I casually threw together some jam while everybody sat around the table and remarked what a perfect day it had been.
Not quite how things played out. A sweltering heat wave was in full effect by the time we got there, and all of us had woken up on the wrong side of the bed--some of us (me) may have even been so cranky we were kind of ready to go back home almost as soon as we arrived. The berries were picked over already, there was much crying about why we couldn't just circle around endlessly on the hayride, the little one was inexplicably fussy, and did I mention the unbearable, oppressive heat? But, we stuck it out long enough for my nephew to gobble up his first few strawberries of life, and I came away with more than enough fruit for a generous batch of ice cream, and, by the next day, all Dev (who was the crankiest of all at the orchard) seemed to remember was that "hey, remember when we went to the strawberry farm and had so much fun picking BERRIES?! I love to be a farmer!". Funny how that little kid memory filter works, isn't it?