Happy Birthday, Carter!

A few Fridays ago, on the 10th, Carter celebrated his 4th birthday!  
 It would be hard for me to believe that he is 4 if it weren't for the fact that Walker now gives us a new perspective!  When I look at Carter next to his baby brother, he seems HUGE to me and like he's aged ten times over in comparison!  We have loved these 4 years with our Carty and look forward to another year of seeing him grow and mature.  
 We are in a beautiful stage where birthday parties are not quite on his radar yet and celebrating at home with our family is equally as thrilling.  Mostly because a birthday equals presents and he doesn't really care how to go about that, as long as he can open something!  He's been a trooper for a while, asking for certain things he likes and then understanding when we say "Not now, but that could be something you could ask for on your birthday?" It's always such a joy to come up with (some of) those things later and to see his joy in waiting and being rewarded.  
 We knew our birthday boy would likely wake up at the crack of dawn, all ready to go on his big day. Mornings are not usually his cheeriest times, he prefers to ease into his day if you know what I mean...But on the morning of the 10th, he was all smiles and sunshine!  ha ha!  
 For the last few years we've been doing a family birthday breakfast followed by present opening.  It's so much easier to let them open their gifts in the morning so that they have all day to play with them and so we don't have to answer a million questions about when it's time for presents!  But this year was a little trickier with Ava headed to school.  I knew I didn't have time to make a big breakfast for all of us and get the present opening in, but I also knew she would feel left out if we did all of that without her and there was NO WAY Carter could wait until after school to tackle his presents!  
So we compromised.  
We just let the birthday boy dive into his presents as soon as we all got up! 
He was one happy camper when we spotted the table all full of things for him!  We were fortunate to have his Texie with us also and several things had come in the mail for him, so it was full from lots of family members, not just us :) 
 7:00am birthday pics!  Ha!  So thankful for my sweet Carter and the ways God has blessed us with him! 
 Carter and Trav.  
He adores his daddy, as he should, and as he gets older and older their relationship is constantly transforming.  Carter lives for the moment Trav walks in the door at night so they can PLAY!  And by play I mean, wrestle, shoot dart guns, go for a run, go to the park, play hide & seek, and as Carter likes to tell Trav "play that game where we beat on each other, Dad!"  Ha ha!  I believe that game is basically where Carter climbs all over Trav and pretends to tackle him while Trav makes the appropriate sound effects.  I can only imagine what this will be like when Walker is old enough to get thrown in the mix too!  
 There was a definite theme to the toys, "Planes: Fire and Rescue" is Carter's fave and he was one happy camper when he opened all these fun characters from the movie to play with!  It wasn't long before there were sound effects galore and planes zooming around my head all the live long day! 
 After we sent Ava to school, we asked the birthday boy where he might like to have breakfast and he chose...
 McDonalds!  Ha ha!  
Not quite what we were thinking but totally up his alley simply because of the play-land! 
 So of course we indulged the birthday boy's request!  
Walker hung out with his Mom but next year I bet he'll be trying to do everything his big brother is doing!  Doesn't he look older in this picture??
 Carter was like a flash in the pan the whole time, racing from one thing to the next, missing his playmate Ava but making friends with whomever he could! 
 Love this boy and that grin!

 Trav had a wedding rehearsal to do that night so he got his prep-time in at McDonald's to the tune of kids yelling and running around! ha!  We always try to do a family dinner and movie night for birthdays, so after breakfast we stopped by Target to pick up the cake! 
 As you can see we carried the planes theme on!
 I ran to the party store a few days prior to see what I could find and lucky me, they had just a small amount of planes stuff that was all on clearance!  Gotta love when that happens! 
 In lieu of a party with friends, I love to make our family dinner special for the birthday kid! 
Trav did a quick Wedding Rehearsal while I made dinner.  
His Mom took our picture when he came home  :) He's a keeper! 
 Even Walker got in on the action this year!
 The kids could not stop laughing when this hat landed on Walker's head!  
I think he was just happy to be at the table with the rest of us, checking everything out! 
 The birthday kid always gets to pick dinner and Carter chose Spaghetti, his favorite!  
 Love these two and their special Father/Son relationship!!  
 So thankful to be Carter's Mama!!  
 The birthday crew! 
We watched a little Mickey Mouse movie Carter chose and then we had some cake.  
Love Ava's face when Carter blew his candle out!!
 Oh Carter, you are such a source of JOY in our family!!  You are a ball of energy and passion, always on the move and usually on the lookout for fun!  We love your tender heart and pray that the Lord will continue to pursue you until you surrender it to Him.  We know the Lord has great plans for your life and we praise Him for the way He has made you and shaped you.  You are a gift to us!  
We are so thankful to be your Mom and Dad and we love you buddy.
Happy 4th Birthday!!!  
We loved spending your big day, celebrating YOU!!

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