Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Four years old and a birthday wish.

I finally got out and did Sydney's annual birthday photo shoot. (I managed to sneak in some shots with little sis' too!) My smart, sassy, (and very photogenic) four year old.

She is mine and I am hers.

"Hey Mom, can I put my hand on my hip?"
So hard to get these two in a frame together. Lillian is a girl on the move!

 A birthday wish for both of my girls:  May you always...

…know your worth, you are more precious than gold.
…stick up for those who need it.
…be brave.
…be kind.
…pray often.
…love with abandon.
...focus on what unites us and not what divides us.
...laugh, dance, and sing.
…believe in second chances.
…be yourself.
...give people the benefit of the doubt.
...find beauty where it's not expected.
…know the best things in life are worth fighting for.
…dream big.
…look for the good.

I love you both to the moon and back.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tangled 4th Birthday Party

My girl turns four tomorrow. I can hardly believe it. We had a blast this weekend celebrating her birthday with family and friends.

There was a time, BK (before kids), that I didn't care for the whole Disney Princess phenomenon and what it may or may not project onto our young girls. I swore I would never flood my daughter with princess paraphernalia. I believe the phrase "I would never" has had to be eaten, in one form or another, by every parent who has ever lived.

We adults have a tendency to over analyze sometimes. My girl loves princesses, especially Rapunzel, and I'm okay with that.

Behold. A Rapunzel themed birthday party for our princess-crazed four year old...

(Absolutely none of these party ideas are original, everything was stolen from pinterest, but it was still one of my favorite party themes yet! Probably because for the first time Sydney really got it, and was over-the-moon excited about all of the details and decorations that were for her 'punzel party. Oh, and since I'm adding disclaimers here, I should also mention that the photos below are a mixed bag. Some were taken by me and others were taken by friends and family who generously shared them with me because I was too busy running around during the party to take many photos.)

Dude, this cake. She LOVED it. My sister has mad confectionery skills!! (She also frosted the cookies for me because I was ready to throw the blasted pastry bag against the wall and call it a day.)
The Rapunzel hair was a huge hit. It's creation served not only as the most exercise I've ever gotten while watching an episode of The Vampire Diaries, but also as a jump rope, tripping hazard, leash, scarf, wig, leaf-broom, tug-of-war game, and conversation piece. Time well spent.
Making pascal party blowers and her new big-girl-bike!
What's a party without a pinata and a princess lair?
Exhibit 105: Rapunzel hair as fashionable scarf

The kids decided to play detective and figure out where Flynn was hiding so they could turn him in for ransom. They finally settled on Tyler. I think his facial hair swayed their vote in the end. Kristen was nominated as his Rapunzel. :)

We had so much fun. Thank you to everyone for helping us celebrate!!

Now you'll excuse me if I go cry into a pillow about my babies growing up too fast, while Sydney enjoys all of her new treasures...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Florida, Part Deux

"At the beach, life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun." - Sandy Gingras

We made it back to Florida. My happy place.

This was Sydney's first time going on a vacation that wasn't just a short trip one state over. Jon and I recently went on a trip to Florida in April and decided that Sydney was old enough to bring with us this time. It was so exciting to see everything fresh through her eyes. Being on a family vacation with my girl, relaxing, exploring, and playing, was everything I hoped it would be.

Pure Magic.

I cannot wait to do it again with both girls next time!

Her first time on an airplane:

She did awesome! Taking off was exciting and then she was frustrated that we were "going so slow" once we were in the air. That's a tough one to try and explain. Speaking of trying to explain things...once we were above the clouds, she was a little confused and asked, "But, where's Heaven?"

Her first time at Disney World:

Oh, this place. I love it.
It's a small world. Her favorite. She called it the "puppet ride". Uggh, not my favorite!

Her first time meeting real princesses:

If you know my girl, you how big of a deal this is. Especially meeting Rapunzel. She was the first princess Sydney got to meet. I seriously almost cried watching it.

Prince Naveen totally has that smile nailed! Sydney was SO shy around him.
Her idol! Rapunzel!!
She could not believe that we found Rapunzel's tower!
Her first time attending Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:

Sydney was a trooper. After a short afternoon nap we went back to the park and stayed until almost midnight. We did a little trick-or-treating, but she was more interested in doing rides than getting candy. There was also a special parade and fireworks show that were Halloween themed. 

Her first time visiting Tampa:

Tampa was great; lots of shops and restaurants and we enjoyed visiting Bush Gardens and the Lowry Park Zoo. (Sydney even got to feed a Giraffe!) We also stopped by Cigar City Brewing and spent several days over at Clearwater Beach.

That may look like the face of fear, but don't be fooled. That my friends, is the look of whiny disappointment because the ride is over! We did this particular ride 6 times in a row!

Her first time in Siesta Key:

Boston Cream mini donuts....BEST DONUTS EVER!!!

Her first time experiencing the ocean:

The sand was the first thing that grabbed her, not the water. She was in heaven in that giant sandbox! She liked swimming too, and was intrigued by the salty taste of the water, but the waves were fun at times and problematic at other times. She did NOT like getting salt water in her eyes at all. That's sometimes hard when a rogue wave catches you by surprise. One her absolute favorite things to do was to just walk up and down the beaches exploring, looking for shells and interesting creatures. On several occasions she said to me, "Wow mom, it is SO beautiful!"

Sydney, I couldn't agree more.


"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." — Jacques Yves Cousteau

Until we meet again Florida.