Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday, Elijah & Will!




The twins are 5! They had 3 awesome birthday celebrations...lucky ducks!

The first was a mini-birthday party while we were on vacation in August in northern Minnesota with their cousin Max, who also turned 5, four weeks before the twins. We did this so we could party with all the Vincelli family at the same time. We did a cute little and simple "build your own ice-cream sundae" party. It was a great time.

Next we had a birthday party with the Cox side at my parent's farm. We did this as a joint party with two of Eli and Will's cousins. Instead of doing a separate, individual party, we decided to do a joint party for all of them.  I think my days of big themed parties are coming to an end. As much as I enjoy themeing and party planning, it just isn't feasible anymore. On the Cox side, there are 8 grandchildren. Three of them have birthdays within 2 weeks of each other in May and four have birthdays in August/September within 4 weeks of each other. Therefore, it is sooo hard to plan separate parties for all of them where all of our families members can attend especially since they are so close in the same time frame. And also because we live 3 hours away from them. 

So this year we coordinated and planned all the food together and each had our own separate decorated tables with individual themes and cakes. I think it turned out great. And everyone could have pieces of cake from 3 separate cakes. Win-win-WIN! ;)

In May, we will do the same for the other three with birthdays then. And the other grandchild has her birthday all by herself in February, so we will see if she gets her own separate party. :)

And their last party occurred on their actual birthday, which fell on a Sunday. We had a little "friend" birthday party at a local park. It was a beautiful September day and the kids all had a great time. We asked for no gifts. We just wanted the boys to be able to play and enjoy being with friends. I made cupcakes with white frosting and used black/white checkered flag tooth picks. Simple!


The twins helped me put together cute little party favor bags, but I forgot to get a photo of what we put inside! There were crackers, granola bars, a pad of paper, a pencil, and a little gold toy trophy, all in a "race car" see through gift bag. 


Here's the invite I created and designed for their friend party:

And......

I didn't realize until right now that I misspelled Chief. Ughh! Crew Chief not Crew Chef!!! Seriously. Party invitation FAIL! Oops! I guess all I can do about it now is laugh. ;)



When I asked what kind of birthday cake theme they wanted this year, they both said, "race car!" And they said the same thing each time I asked. Thank goodness they agreed with each other and didn't change their minds.

All smiles!


It took awhile to get a photo of them actually LOOKING at the camera. I thought this one was hilarious. Must be a twin thing. Their smiles and eyes looking to the right are exactly the same. Ha!


I saw what I thought would be a super easy cake in a "Family Fun" magazine. I looked at the photo and thought, "Easy peezy! Just bake 2 round cakes. Cut it in half. Make a tunnel. Cover with white frosting. And BAM! Done!" Well, once again, I thought I was a better cake decorator than I really am and it was a lot more work than I intended. I made a few mistakes along the way but was able to fix it...thankfully! 

I also thought it'd be fun to do a red velvet cake. But what I didn't know was that the frosting was going to stick so much and it just kept pulling up the dark cake with it. So there were brown/red specks all over the white frosting. My sister saved the day and said, "Well, it's a race track, it just looks like dirt splattered up!" Yes, yes, nevermind. That's exactly the look I was going for. I totally meant to do that! Just don't look too closely and the cake looks okay. :)

Needless to say, I'm over cakes. So I will say I'm never making one again. Until I forget next year and start planning another one. Ha!


But turns out it didn't really matter what the cake looked like because the race track going through it totally rocked and worked great. The twins and all the kids LOVED it! Whew!

It ended up being soooo hot that day. Why does it always seem to be hot when my children have birthday parties? Crazy! I thought the cake would melt but it survived!


I threw in a few red accent colors to coordinate with the black and white. The punch worked great for that. I'm so glad I bought this glass jug for Caleb's birthday last May. I have a feeling we are going to get a lot of great use out of it over the years!

"Refueling Station!"


Here's a view of the whole table with cheap black and white checkered flag decor (flags, napkins, duct tape, etc.) I found at a party store and some at the Dollar Tree in my town. Great deals! And the 2 bigger nice race cars were a gift last year from a friend. Who knew that would end up being our theme and we could use them as decor!?


Little goobers! I can't believe they are FIVE!


Silly boys...


Shooting cars through the cake! We already had the hot wheels race track already so it worked out great!


Ryder turned 4 years old! She loves Sophia the First!


Eleanor turned 2! She had an adorable Minnie Mouse theme!


Happy Birthday Elijah


Happy Birthday Will


Opening gifts!


Silly cousins!


We had so many great celebrations with family and friends. 
So grateful!



Thursday, May 14, 2015

You Are My Sunshine - Caleb is 1!


Our little sunshine is one year old!

I thought "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" would be a super cute theme for our sweet little boy. Because he brings such joy and happiness into our lives and brightens all our days!

{My Grandma Cox used to sing the "You Are My Sunshine" song to me when I was a little girl. She lived right next door to us on the farm but passed away when I was just 9 years old. I always wish I had more time with her. She was lovely. I know that popular song holds a special place in so many people's hearts!}

And here's the Birthday Boy! 
{not walking on his own at that time...
holding on tight to daddy's hand}


Caleb is such a sweet little guy. He's very easy going and such a calm, happy baby. He's a great napper and LOVES his pacifier. He can say "dada" and "momma"." He loves to clap and wave "bye-bye."  He is a music lover and "dances" by bobbing his body up and down or shaking his shoulders back and forth every time he hears music. He squeals with delight when he is excited and waves his arms around. He now weighs 19 pounds 14 ounces (10th percentile) and is 29 inches tall (24th percentile). He started walking one week  after this photo was taken (on Mother's Day!). Two more teeth just popped through this past week for a total of 8 teeth now. That smile, those big lips, and the little curls in his hair...such a cutie pie. 

I asked my friend, Karli, to create this adorable onesie for Caleb. 
Didn't she do an amazing job?!? I love it. It's just perfect!


I made the invites off of a print I liked that I found on the internet. 
This is the invitation front:


And then I designed the backside myself:


Cake & Lemonade Table:

You'll have to excuse the lovely "garage wall" behind the table! I wanted to have this table outside in our backyard with a better "view" but it was so hot out, the cakes would have started melting! So inside the garage it was. ;)


For the theme I went with yellow, yellow, yellow with a mix of white and light blue. Most everything I already had around the house and used that to decorate. The photo of newborn Caleb was in his bedroom along with the "Caleb" metal word decoration his Uncle Josh made. And I used inexpensive, fake flowers in mason jars for some random decorations. I did purchase the "you are my sunshine" sign at Kohl's a few days before the party. I randomly saw it as I walked past and just had it get it because it was only $2.50. Meant to be and a perfect addition.


The cakes were amazing! Not only gorgeous but incredibly delicious! A local woman here made them and I was so pleased with how they turned out. I went with lemon poppyseed flavor to stay with the "yellow" theme. Something a little different, but I think all the guests enjoyed it! Thank you, Anna!


It was so gorgeous, I didn't want to cut into it! I painted the wooden number 1 and meant to put it on the cake, but totally forgot! I was also going to write "Caleb" on the number 1 but just didn't have time. 


Here's Caleb's smaller smash cake with one candle.


I made the "art" in the white frame. I already had the frame and then I copy and pasted the top part off the internet. (Same as invitations.) Then I designed Caleb's name and birthdate to match below and printed it off. Easy and inexpensive art!



Me and my precious little guy!


Food spread:



Here's a view of our guests partying in our backyard. But we weren't out there long. It was so hot and humid...well over 80 degrees and super sticky out. Not your normal May day in Minnesota. I wish it could have been a little cooler so it wasn't so uncomfortable, but we survived. ;) And I'm thankful the rain held off until toward the end of the party!


I printed off a photo of Caleb from every month (newborn through 11 months) and displayed on this old wood pallet. I attached them with blue clothespins that I had in my craft room. Worked perfectly!

Click on link to see close-ups of pics here:


And we had a Bouncy House!!!!

Our wonderful neighbors own this and about an hour before the party, I received a text asking if we wanted to use it for the party. Umm...YES!! They helped set it up fast and it was a great surprise when everyone arrived.  So kind and thoughtful of them. We were so grateful. Thanks Kory & Melissa! The kids all had beat red faces from jumping in the heat. But they all had a BLAST!


I had a blast too! ;)



And so did Caleb!


Singing "Happy Birthday!" This was right before he tried to grab the candle. Oops!


But poor Caleb didn't have a blast with his cake.


"This is a smash cake? And you WANT me to rub it all over my face and make a mess? I'm so confused. Everyone, stop staring at me. Stop taking my photo. Too. Much. Pressure!!!"


Quite the audience! We also wanted to do this outside in the backyard, but by this time it started raining outside. So stuck in the garage it was. At least we all stayed dry!




Nick cut a piece of cake out and Caleb finally tried a little bit.


Opening gifts with daddy:



 The Cox Family: my parents, my 3 sisters and their families.
A total of 8 grandchildren. What a blessing!


 Papa & Grammy Vincelli with their 5 grandsons!


We decided to try the cake with Caleb again the day after his birthday party. But as you can clearly see, he still didn't want anything to do with it. Poor kid is probably traumatized.



It was a great party and I am so thankful to have celebrated it with family! Happy 1st Birthday, my baby Caleb. You are so very loved!



I have to share a very special moment from the party. As the party was ending, the rain finally stopped and we opened up the garage door to see this view: 2 beautiful rainbows. I call Caleb my rainbow baby, so this was just incredible. In fact, I almost did a "rainbow" themed party but then changed it to sunshine. {A "rainbow baby" is known as a baby born after the loss of an angel baby.  Caleb was born almost exactly one year after my miscarriage. Click to read that post here: My Rainbow Caleb.}

The double rainbow we saw made me think of our angel baby in heaven and also our sweet boy, Caleb. Two rainbows. Just for them. I'll never forget that moment. {And this double rainbow happened on May 3rd, which is the exact day that I met my husband, Nick, 14 years ago! If we only knew at that time first meeting each other what our lives would hold together!} 

Thank you, God, for this beautiful artwork in the sky. I love how He creates these amazing moments just when we need it. If only we take the time to really see them. I'm glad I caught this one...

"The beauty of a rainbow doesn't mean the storm and the devastation never happened; but that something beautiful and full of light has emerged from the darkness."


There is a rainbow of hope at the end of every storm.

I choose to believe that.