Day Eleven: Home is for Celebrating!

One of the many things that has endeared me to our home is remembering all of the sweet celebrations we have enjoyed here.  For the last couple years we've opted out of hosting birthday parties with our kids' friends in favor of family time together.  We have nothing against parties and in fact we've offered them to our kids, but they've been content to do something simple together and we've decided to ride that wave as long as possible! 

This past week our Carter turned the big 3.  Our 10/10/10 baby blew out a candle on another year and we celebrated with him!  I opted to spend that day playing and taking pictures and just enjoying that milestone, instead of being on my computer or working around the house.  I know these birthdays are fleeting, the simplicity of kids who play all day with their new toys will one day wear off.  But these ages, 3 and 4 are so much fun to me.  I love to hear their chatter, observe their imaginations at work and  giggle at the results of their creativity.  Here are a million pictures of the big day and our big 3 year old!  
I stayed up late on Wednesday night to get the kitchen decorated for a birthday breakfast and to get Carter's presents wrapped.  We only had a small window on Thursday to be home with Trav so we had a special breakfast together and then let Carter open his presents before Daddy had to go to work.
I knew he would be a happy boy when we he woke up and spotted all of this waiting for him!  It's very simple, nothing fancy, but in the eyes of a 3 year old it's still magical.
*Side note: For anyone who's ever been tempted to think that my house is always "picture ready" or totally organized, I invite you to gaze upon the disaster looming in the background of the following picture.  It was such a mess we could hardly walk, let alone play in there, but sadly this was not as bad as it got that day! Ha!  Keeping it real...
 Anyway, we waited to hear some stirring from the kids' room and when we did we went back to greet our birthday boy!  
Carter's favorite meal of the day is breakfast and he is a big eater when he wakes up.  
He typically asks for fruit, yogurt, cereal and juice or milk to begin with...
...before he requests his favorite, pancakes with sprinkles and maybe some bacon too, Ava's favorite! 
I don't make all of those things every day, but those are the major players in his breakfast rotation so we sampled a little of everything in honor of him.  
 Love that little face! He didn't notice the presents around the corner when he went straight for the balloon and the table, but as you can see, he was pretty happy with what he found!
I love these two so much!  
 I had some funny props in my party stash so I pulled them out for some breakfast entertainment.
 They did not disappoint!
 Especially on this little nut.  
 Hard to believe this snuggle bug was giving me some major pain and trauma 3 years ago as he made his loooooonnnngggg entrance into this world!  Without a doubt I'd do it all over again for him.  He was SO worth it and then some! 
 After breakfast he did in fact find his presents and he managed to give me the most forced smile ever so he could start ripping into those gifts! 
 Ava was always within 6 inches of the gifts,  in the event that he needed any help at all.  
Thankfully he pulled it off all by himself, or mostly anyway.  His big sister tried to take over about every 5 minutes.  She was eager to to discover what was behind all that wrapping paper too! 
We had a definite "Planes" theme and he loved it all! He spent the rest of the morning and afternoon playing with all of his new stuff and testing it all out.  So fun!  I will miss the days when I can no longer walk the toy aisle and pick just about anything, knowing he'll love it.  This age is pretty easy to shop for, although at some point I do wonder just how many planes/trains/vehicles we can own before it's considered enough??  Our boy is in fact, all boy.  If it moves and has wheels of some sort, he loves it! 
 We were planning to have a family dinner and movie night together, but Trav's soccer team won earlier in the week and their next sectional game got scheduled on Carter's birthday instead.  I was disappointed for him at first, but it ended up being tons of fun for the kids anyway.  We went to a field we've been to before with an amazing, fenced in playground for them to run around and enjoy.
 It's a beautiful park and it's literally right next to the field.  It was a gorgeous Autumn night and they played for every second of the game.  It actually turned out to be a nice break for me!
 And did I mention the view??  Not too bad.
 As it worked out, Carter did get a night with friends!  All season long Ava and Carter have LOVED playing with their new friend Bella and they had such a fun time on this night too.
Carter is definitely loved by his big sister! 
We love you buddy and we hope your birthday was as special as you are. We're so glad God gave you to our family, what JOY and adventure you bring to our days! 
Happy 3rd birthday Carter!!  We loved setting aside a day to celebrate YOU!!

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