The Reign of Tae

 

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My baby girl is ONE!!! It’s such a cliche to say I don’t know where the time went…BUT IT’S TRUE!!! I am a bubbly mess as I look back on her first year because I am just so proud and excited to see the little girl she is becoming. I am not worthy to be her mom!

Of course we had to celebrate her journey to a whole number! And so I created an invite fit for my fairy princess, sent the announcement throughout the land (aka to family) and began preparing for her highnesses royal banquet. After all, we do live under the Reign of Tae.

It was really fun preparing for this! I basically lived on pintrest and made Matt a little crazy, but I wanted it to be perfect for her. Yes, I know she won’t remember, but I will.

First step, PICTURES!!! I found her crown on Love Crush Boutique , her dress is from Gap and her romper is from Screaming Owl.  The balloon we got from Zurchers. And let me just say, helium is NOT CHEAP! I had this grand idea of a huge balloon in Tae’s pictures, and I was so excited I never stopped to see how much it wIMG_7597ould cost until it was already blown up and I was standing at the cash register. Any other decorations I made from supplies I got at DI, Walmart or Target.

Taking pictures of a one year old is not an easy task. I kind of forced my mom and sister to come help me “reign in” the kids. So even though they had a million other things to do, they sacrificed their afternoon to help me get a few good shots. Tae was not at all interested in getting her picture taken. This shot basically sums up how she responded to me trying to get her to pose for the camera.

She was taking her reign quite seriously throughout the photo session. She managed to dump a water bottle all over herself, stomp on and break her crown, chase a snake and give her momma a run for her money. My parents would say it was owed to me from my own childhood. But, for my lack of training, I am in love with how the pictures turned out! They show off her personality to a “T.” Here is a sampling. Okay, more than a sampling.

I also have to share this hilarious meme one of my friends made from Tae’s picture. I mean, how awesome is that?! HAHAHAHAHA

The fun thing about making Taelynn’s birthday theme, “The Reign of Tae,” is the many possibilities. When I was in Kindergarten, each child had a day that they were spotlighted. We got to make a big poster about ourselves and present it to the class. I still have my poster somewhere, but on the top my mom put in big letters, “Aubree the Queen!” So it is really fun for me to do a similar theme for my oldest daughter. However, I didn’t want to make it the cliche pink and purple frilly event. I really liked the idea of being very whimsical and foresty. In my head, I see Tae as this grand leader whose presence helps flowers and animals thrive and grow. People flock to her because they love to be around her. (Is that cheesy enough for you?) So with that in mind, you can see where my thought process went as I created her celebration.

Matts parents flew in the night before and the four of us got to work making sure all the strawberries and pretzels were dipped, the decorations were finished, the banners made. Seriously, my in-laws are amazing. We didn’t get to bed until 2 in the morning. Then we all woke up early and started the baking. I will add, me and my MIL invented some pretty amazing frostings (peanut butter, strawberry and coconut).

We had the party at my Mimi and Papa’s house. My goal was to set up croquet outside and a castle bounce house for the kids…BUT then it rained… so my vision didn’t quite go as planned, but it was still really pretty.

The Menu

  • BBQ Pork sliders
  • Strawberry Vinaigrette Salad with Candied Nuts
  • Red Jello
  • Chips
  • Watermelon
  • And of course Miss Piggies Pink Punch

For Dessert

  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels
  • A Brownie with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting and a Blonde Oreo
  • A Yellow Cake Cupcake with a Strawberry Compote Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries
  • A Confetti Cake Cupcake with Coconut Chunk Buttercream

Everything tasted so delicious! I made way too much, but I am not a very good judge of quantities. Tae and Ty were obsessed with the jello!

The cake smash was probably the highlight of the event! Tae LOVES cake. I made a two layer confetti cake with buttercream frosting. She went as far as hugging the whole entire thing. Good thing I made cupcakes for everyone else. She ate nearly 1/3 of the cake before we finally forced it away. Tyce even got in on the action. He loved it up until Tae smeared his face with her frosting covered hand.

 

I was used to my nephews, who barely poked at their cakes on theirIMG_7945 birthday, so I wasn’t expecting quite the mess. So we had to plop her right into the sink to try and clean her off a little. You have to admit, she is pretty, stinking cute!!

She was completely spoiled and had such a fun time playing with cousins after she opened gifts. Tyce was a little jealous, and as now taken possession of several of the presents she got.

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For party favors we saved up a bunch of baby food jars and spray painted the lids with gold and glitter spray pain. Matt and my FIL spent hours trying to get the sticky stuff off of the glass. I am pretty sure they used up a whole jar of peanut butter in the process. After the jars were all clean, we filled them up with homemade caramel that my mom made (this caramel is seriously so good, several people were drinking it! I won’t name names…but I won’t lie and say I wasn’t one of them…) We then gave everyone a jar of caramel and an apple to dip into it.

It may not have been exactly how I was imagining it. BUT It was so much fun and turned out perfectly. Taelynn loved the attention and the sugar. I guess I better start planning Tyce’s party so I don’t have to stay up until two in the morning the night before…

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAELYNN!!!!

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Down and Dirty

A party isn’t a party unless you are rolling around in the mud! It’s natures natural exfoliant. Although, it hurts a little more than a sugar scrub…

For Matt’s 26 birthday, we celebrated by running The Dirty Dash in Soldier Hollow. It was an absolute blast! Our team was called the “Birthday Suits!”(in honor of Matt). Somehow that was interpreted to mean short shorts and cut t-shirts. We were joined by my brothers and our friends Jared and Dalton. My parents and Jared’s adorable pregnant wife Whitney came along for the party and to play with our kids while we were on the course.

Now for any of you that are wondering, this is an out of shape persons Spartan race. We gave up trying to run after the starting line went straight up a muddy hill, although, to our credit, we did go the full 10K. We trekked though mud, swam through swampy water, crawled through tubes, climbed up rope nets and walls. We were shot at with water cannons, thrown over slides of doom and dropped into questionable pits. BUT we survived.

There was one particular challenge that almost ended my game. I always thought I loved water slides until I met this particular death contraption. They set it up to make you believe you are racing to the top with three of your friends, when in reality, as soon as you go over the side you are shooting to your demise. Matt, Camden, Jared and Dalton went first. I could hear their screams, but assumed they were screams of Joy. Ethan, Baylee and I were next. Being the competitive family we are, we didn’t hold anything back. I grabbed onto the rope that helped you climb the air filled steps and shimmied my way to the top. I could see that Ethan and Baylee were neck and neck with me, so rather than setting myself up to go down the slide on my rear, I just dove head first. I regretted that decision immediately. Now, when these huge blow up slides are set up at fairs they are dry and you land in a soft pad of grass, however, in this case they were more like a muddy waterslide that dropped off into rocks. I was going so fast, there was no possibility of stopping and I landed in what I would describe as a baseball slide, belly flop. My body skidded along the rocky floor a good several feet, knocking the air completely out of me. My legs and belly looked like I got in a fight with a tiger and the tiger won. To be honest, I don’t even remember if I won or not.

Right after us, another group of guys went down and it ended badly for them as well. They had blood coming out all over the place! We weren’t surprised when we saw several ambulances make their way up to the spot as we were farther along in the race.

After that challenge, our energy was basically gone. But, by inspiration, my dad and Taelynn met us on the course to cheer us on! Both Taelynn and Tyce were completely fascinated by all of the dirt and grime. And I am happy to report, it didn’t stop them from diving at Matt and I, wanting us to hold them.

Finally, after “racing” 3 hours we walked across the finish line! A glacier cold shower, some peanut butter cheerio squares and a big drink of water later, and we were ready for a nap!

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But, instead of sleeping WE HAD TO KEEP CELEBRATING! We went to CPK for dinner with Whitney and Jared and then made a pit stop at Roll With It for dessert. It was DELICIOUS! At CPK this lovely old man couldn’t take his eyes off of Tae and Ty. He literally came over to our table 2 different times to tell us how adorable they were and to pinch their cheeks. A little weird…but I can’t blame him because I think they are the most perfect beings to ever be on this earth!

I dare say, it was a pretty spectacular birthday, wouldn’t you agree Matthew?

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The Age of Curiosity

This year is a big one for me. It’s my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! Which means I turned 24 on the 24th. But not only that, it was my first birthday with kids. And let me just say, the kids made it that much better!!! Sure, I didn’t get to spend it in a Russian bath house with a bunch of 90 year old woman in their birthday suits, but I would definitely add this to my list of favorites.

Matt planned out an awesome day for us at The Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. It was so much fun to see the kids get a bigger perspective of the world.

The water table was the biggest hit! Well…for Taelynn. Let’s just say Tyce had a nervous breakdown when I tried to set him in the little chair. I should have guessed, he also hates the bath tub. Although, it didn’t help that the kid next to him was like the hulk of the sea and figured out how to get that water to splash from one end of the table to the other.

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Tae, on the other hand, didn’t want to get out. She was splashing and laughing and having a grand ol’ time. I mean, just look at that smile! She looked like she had participated in a wet t-shirt contest by the time it was over.

Luckily, we had grabbed a second outfit, on a whim, before leaving the house. Otherwise, we would be in trouble. However, we did forget to take her shoes off, and so I spent a good amount of time holding them under the bathroom dryer so she could still walk around.

Ty was my little velcro child for the majority of the time, but we finally found an activity that got him excited… a mirror. 😀 This kept him occupied for quite awhile… until Tae came and knocked him over.

We ventured to the rope bridges, giving Matt and I quite the leg work out. And eventually made it outside so the kids could eat tire shreds. I will admit, I turned full momma bear when an older child started throwing tires at Taelynn and trying to get her to eat them. So I guess it was fitting that I was wearing my Momma Bear shirt.

It was such a rewarding experience to watch my kids discover new textures and possibilities. I could see their minds moving a mile a minute. As soon as we put them back in their carseats they were asleep in a flash.

It was a good birthday celebration!

One of the highlights of the day was when I met a mother that was there with her two kids.  She asked me how old my kids were and I told her, preparing myself for the slew of questions that usually follow, and instead she told me, “Your kids are beautiful!” It seriously made my whole day. She didn’t compare them, or ask how it is possible to have two kids so close together. She just let me be a mom and focus on my kids. So thank you!

Side note: I don’t mind answering questions, but sometimes it is nice to focus on my kids and my family and whatever activity we may be doing.

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