We had such a fun family day yesterday. Jarrod always takes the day off work on the kids’ actual birthday (Note to self: talk to Jarrod about upping his PTO because of the rate we have children.) There’s something about the actual DAY that I like to stay special. Throughout the day together, we’ll say, “Well, Noah, we were just holding you for the first time EVER, RIGHT NOW 11 years ago…2:22pm.” 
“Noah, this is when our first visitors arrived.”
It makes the day a special one.
There’s something about your firstborn. The one that made you a mama, that’s nostalgic. It’s hard too, for sure. As Noah gets older, we have to deal with things we’ve never had to deal with as parents.  “How hard is too hard.” “How passive is too passive.” “How do we teach the hard stuff??” “At what age do we let him do what??”
He’s our guinea pig baby…bless his heart. I’ve been saying it for a long time.

He’s outgrowing parties a little bit. He had a big camping weekend last weekend and he has a big church retreat this weekend, so it was hard to fit a party in anyway, but we had a super fun filled day regardless.

It starts with donuts, as always.  I eat one and then immediately feel sick. Then I need protein bad and can’t function til I get it.  Ugh.

The boys both had enrichment classes, so we brought treats for Noah to give his little class buddies and Jarrod and Soph and I got to spend some time alone.

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We surprised Noah by picking him up his favorite lunch (Jimmy Johns) and whisking him away to the bowling alley after that…

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I have to just say about bowling alleys…ewwwww! I know they’re fun and all that. There’s a sort of American pastime about it that makes for happy memories and great photo ops, but just ewwww.  I have fully embraced the fact that I have a germ issue. It’s true. I am willing to admit it.  But sticking your fingers into a ball numerous times and the bathrooms and all the video games and and and….
Ok. I’m better. I survived. The kids always have fun. It’s just hard for me.
Moving on….

After bowling, I thought the kids would nearly explode if we didn’t open gifts that VERY moment, so we did. The little ones each bought Noah a gift with their own money. I love that. They were so excited to give him their gifts. And he was so thankful. Sweet little birthday moments…
Since there was really no party or theme I asked Noah if I could just make him a cake to my liking. As long as it was chocolate he didn’t care much.  The little ones and I found these great plastic dinosaurs in the $$ section at Target.  The cake was simple; just a double layered chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  We went all out and made him a cake from scratch.  Only the very best.  I usually use the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s baking cocoa container. So good!
We added Jelly Bellies that looked “rockish,” one of the dinosaurs and some parsley for greenery.  I was happy with it. 
I’ve also been wanting to add a little green to my house with some terrariums and I thought this was a perfect time.  Love what greenery adds to your home. Instant spring.

Jarrod and I are amazing at how fast time flies. They always warn you it will…and they are right.  It does. Poor Noah has to endure our downfalls as parents as we learn how to do it, but he’s so forgiving. We love what a little man he’s become. He’s protective and gentle with the little ones.  He’s been strange about Spring Chick…like he’s apprehensive…not really excited or nonchalant.  I secretly can’t wait to see him hold his new little brother or sister for the first time.  I know his heart well and I know it will be one instant puddle of mush. 
Last night as I was tucking them in, he said…”I can’t believe I’ll be 12 next year!” Twelve was a big deal for me too when I was little…I remember that. I told him we couldn’t talk about that for a while…it was too hard on Mama.  He said it would be ok because the baby would make it easier because I’d still have a really little one.  It might. But it’s never easy.
Oh, a mother’s heart…

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  1. every word is true.
    those first borns made us mamas and we are so thankful for them…
    they are our little "test runs"….I think everyone has said "bless their hearts"… so I will, too.

    He looks like he has the sweetest spirit…he also resembles you to me. Do you guys think so?

    Happy Birthday to your big man!

  2. How exciting. I find that those kind of cakes are the BEST:) birthdays are so exciting. Our girls is today…2. As you said..where does the time go. Hope you are feeling well, your getting close:)

  3. so sweet!
    makes your heart swell.
    you are a good mama, making the birthday about him.
    not you.
    that is hard for some 🙂
    congratulations on an even year old young man.

  4. k..found you:)
    i agree with you on the guinea pig..that is my nikki. bless their hearts. i am a firstborn.
    your kids are adorable. really. can't wait to see spring chick
    …can't wait to get to know you better..oh..and do you mind if i put your shop on my sidebar?
    ok i will shut up…praying for strength for you momma's heart tonight. i had five kiddos so i kinda really get your "self" this time..number four.
    ok night

  5. Sweet birthday moments and memories. I have to say that JJ is kinda over the party thing. This morning he was like "Mom… I'm not really all that into the fun napkins and straws and stuff. Balloons are okay but I don't really care about much besides the cake… and presents of course!" I laughed and laughed. So I guess I'll be ditching the "party decor."

    No I won't.

    That was a lie.

    I think it's against my religion.

  6. You are right about
    the oldest being the
    guinea pig; even with
    two I found that to be
    true. Now I can forgive
    my parents for letting
    my little brother have
    privileges earlier than
    I got them ~ just the
    way it happens : )

    Fun, sweet day. Once
    they hit twelve things
    like deeper voices and
    mega growth spurts
    are on the way, so hold
    on tight little mama!

    xo Suzanne

  7. You are such a good momma! What a special day for your guinea pig boy:) (I love your story about becoming a mom! so sweet!)
    I've thought of you often knowing that you are trying to figure out your living situation. But I must say that you've fluffed your "current nest" so beautifully! I love seeing glimpses of it in your photos!
    Thanks for the inspiration:)

  8. bowling alleys are the grossest! I can barely stand to be in them! The cake is the cutest. I think about my poor oldest and all the things I have done differently with my other kids after finding out it wasn't the best choice with him. We live and learn. Glad you are able to have a fun day!

  9. Happy Birthday Noah!! I can't believe he's 11! That's more than 2 hands now!! 🙂 What a fun day you guys had. You are such a fun tight knit family- such a blessing for your kids. That cake rocked!! So fun! And I'm with Noah- my cake can be any shape, but give me chocolate with chocolate frosting. 🙂

    I hear ya on bowling alleys- I hate sticking my feet in the shoes- imagine all the sweat that's been in there! But it's all worth it in the name of good ol' fashion fun.

  10. Happy Birthday to Noah! It looks like you all had such a great day. I love that you think about the actual moment that he was born and reflect on it…I do that too. My son just turned twelve. I can't believe he'll be a teenager next year…it makes me sad.

  11. Fun day. Love the bowling alley pics even though it's ewwwww:) And that cake was adorable. You are the master at party ideas. Love that j takes the day. That's pretty incredible.

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