All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


3 and 5

Over the weekend, we celebrated both Matthew’s and Bryson’s birthdays. Matthew, for the last 12 months, had said that he didn’t want a birthday or a party.  So, I put a very small party together because I couldn’t NOT have a party for Bryson and I knew that Matthew would, ultimately, end up wanting one if his brother had one.

I did not go crazy this year at all. The only thing I was over the top on was, of course, the cake. Besides that, there were no themes, no balloons, no decorations, no planned activities, etc. and you know what? It was perfect. I invited 16 kids between the two boys and we ended up with 12 coming, so 14 kids total with our boys included. Totally manageable.  We put a movie on in the theater room and setup the bounce house in the basement, and much to my surprise, most of the kids were perfectly happy eating their popcorn and watching the movie.  🙂  We did make the kids hot dogs and the girls ate while the boys did not, and we catered real food for the adults.  We’re still working on the catering leftovers, which was part of the plan.  HA!


Matthew is not a cake guy.  Actually, neither is Bryson.  But Bryson will humor me by asking for a cake while Matthew straight up told me, “I don’t want a cake, Mom.”  OK.  I got to work on the cake plan for Bryson (the boy loves firetrucks!!!) and convinced Matthew that a cookie cake would be a good idea for him.  I spent so much time planning the firetruck cake that I spaced off ordering the cookie cake.  I figured that I’d be able to get it same-day, but that was not smart given that the party was at noon on a Saturday and the cookie places opened at 10:00.  I was lucky, and Cookies By Design had one in stock and fresh baked from the night before.  I had a happy 5 year-old!


Prior to the party on Saturday, we celebrated Matthew’s birthday (Friday) with our tradition of letting him decorate his own cake for breakfast (freshly whipped up buttercream!!!), opening presents (a scooter and a keyboard), finishing up a week of swimming lessons (the kid is a fish), eating lunch where he wanted (Chipotle), going to the pool with Daddy, eating pizza at his favorite place for dinner, and watching Star Wars for the FIRST TIME EVER!

Bryson’s big day was the day of the party so the morning was rushed.  He, too, decorated his own birthday cake for breakfast with a fresh batch of buttercream and opened his presents (not his real presents because that is coming on Wednesday) before our guests arrived.  He had a great time at the party and took a nap in my arms in my bed afterwards.  It was bliss!  Because of his nap, he was all set for a late night so we watched “The Empire Strikes Back” in the theater room with the boys.  Bryson was begging to go to bed 10 minutes before the movie was over so I gave him his wish.  🙂

Another year has come and gone and we now have a 3 year-old and a 5 year-old.  Bryson seems older, all of a sudden, and Matthew looks older to me.  Bryson gave me the gift of being potty trained ON HIS BIRTHDAY so I’m super excited!  That only took 4 weeks.  HA!  (There was a small accident today but it was understandable (was pouring water from the fridge and well, you know, running water).)

We have two little boys.

No more babies.

Just big kids in this house now.




Happy 2 & 4!

Yesterday and today are all about birthdays! Matthew turned 4 yesterday at 11:54 AM as we ate lunch with Hottie, and Bryson turned 2 today at 8:03 as we decorated his cake!

These boys are full of spunk and energy and I think the next year is going to be exhausting! But I KNOW it’s going to be great!!!

Happy birthday, sweet (and naughty 😈) boys of mine! We love you both so very much!!!


Birthday Party 2015!

The party is over.


It was a busy day starting with lawn and yard work at 7:00 sharp before a quick shower and errands. I love a freshly mowed lawn, especially for the kids to play in! Everything was tip top in the yard by 8:15 and I had 45 minutes to shower and dress before picking up cupcakes. Hottie fixed the shower heads so I took my time, enjoying his hard work to make my showers relaxing (rather than painful from too much pressure). I love my rare showers without kids in there with me. 😁

Hottie took the kids to the store for buns, and to just get them out of my hair so I could wrap everything up the way I wanted them. He knows me so well! The cupcakes were ready on time so I got home quickly to construct the cake.

Decorating the cake was, in a word, FUN! It turned out just as I wanted and I finished it right before the boys walked in. They loved it! And then they asked for their donuts. Ha!

We got all of the serving dishes out last night so we were really in a good place by 10:00. The cupcake toppers were on and the cupcakes were on their serving plates and platters, the cake was ready and safe from little fingers, and the banner and door sign were hung. We just needed the food to arrive.

10:30 came, and 10:30 went, and we had no food. No one was answering their phones so I was a bit panicked. Did I forget to verify the date on the quote? A quick check confirmed the date was correct. Whew! At 10:50, they called to say they were close. They arrived at 11:05. The party started at 11:00. But they were very efficient at setting it up and the food was ready by 11:10. Not bad considering the 35 minute delay!

Everyone but one family came, so we had 33 people including us. That’s small for us… Most of those people were family. It was a really good sized group. Manageable. The bounce house was setup out back, t-ball was ready in one part of the yard, basketballs were out by the court, and a water table was fresh and clean in the adult seating section. It was an outdoor haven for the kids. Inside, the kids played in the cool (I mean temperature!) basement and left the adults upstairs to eat and visit. Over half of the food was consumed and only two bottles of wine were drunk (and no beer… that surprised me).

The birthday song was sung at 12:05 (goal was noon) and the house was empty by 1:06 (goal was 1:00). The house was clean by 2:45 and the kids were napping by 3:00. And then I headed off to a friend’s son’s birthday… Because one party wasn’t enough for me. Ha!

The only pictures I took are here. We have some of the boys blowing out candles on the SLR, but they’re not that great. Ugh!

It was fun, but I’m glad it’s done!


Almost Ready!

My cakes are baked and leveled, my chocolate graham crackers are pulverized into “dirt,” my fondant decorations are hardening, my chocolate for the frosting is chopped, and my raspberries for the filling are thawing. I’m in a good place with this birthday party right now! I can’t construct my construction cake until the boys are in bed, for obvious reasons.

So now I focus on dinner… after I rest!

(I got distracted while writing Matthews name on the yellow “sign” so I made a new one. It was still drying, so I used the messed up one for the layout diagram.)


Party Re-Vamp

I’m exhausted.  My kids hardly give me a moment of peace these days.  If Bryson falls asleep to nap, Matthew fights his for an hour.  By the time Matthew is asleep, I get about 20 minutes to myself before Bryson wakes up (too early).  Today, Matthew fell right asleep and Bryson fought it and fought it, screaming and screaming, sending tension through my shoulders.

I just want to make their damn birthday cake, but by the time they’re both asleep, I’m only left 20 minutes and honestly, I’d rather just sit, dammit.

I had these grand (well, not really that grand) plans and now I’ve hired it all out.  I’m not even kidding.

Food?  Being catered.  By the time we buy everything I need to cook what I want to cook, it costs the same.  Then add in the time to prep and cook and my head was spinning.  My favorite place is catering the party with chicken skewer pita sandwiches with Gyro sauce and veggies (build your own).  They’re also bringing their amazing hummus (it’s ridiculous).  Done.

med fresh

Cake?  I’m only making the top tier for them to blow out candles.  I’ll be making white cake for their real birthdays on Wednesday and Thursday, so why make a whole other white cake now when I was always planning on having cupcakes in addition to the cake?  Stupid.  I don’t want a lot of cake left over like last year (really, I would like that, but my ass wouldn’t).  So I will just be making the top chocolate part of this little masterpiece (?) and will put some little fondant signs on the sides, make some fondant cones, whatever.  I can do those things late at night without making noise, and working with fondant relaxes me (isn’t that weird?).  They will blow out their candles and they will like it.  Then they will eat cupcakes (they don’t even like chocolate cake, but the digger can’t dig up white dirt!).  I’ll be making the awesome raspberry chocolate cake I made for Hottie last year for his birthday.  I’m ordering 4 dozen cupcakes for this party and the guests – we’ll keep the chocolate cake for us once candles are blown out.  Done.

Cake front

(After inserting that picture, I’m feeling guilty about not doing the whole damn cake.  Hmmmm… we’ll see.  No, we won’t see.  I’m just doing the top tier, dammit!)

Party favors?  Purchased as planned.  They are cute, they smell good, and they sent them in the bigger bags I requested so I can add something to the bag.  But what to add is the question.  I don’t want to put any food in there because it will absorb the soap smell.  I wasn’t thinking on that one.  I may just leave them with just the soap and call it a day.  Yes, that sounds good.  Done.


Decorations?  Purchased as planned!  They arrived the other day and they are just perfect.  I wanted these same decorations and theme last year for Matthew’s birthday but hopped on the Cur.ious theme because I knew he’d outgrow it by now (and he did), so I put this on the back burner.  Good thing I did, because this theme is perfect for the two boys who play trucks and construction site all day long together.  The banner, door hanging, and toppers look as great as, even better than, the photos.  Done.

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I am doing purchasing/hiring out just enough to make it look like I know what I’m doing.  I do know what I’m doing, I’m just burned out beyond belief and don’t want to work on party supplies, cakes, and favors this year.  I just don’t.  I’d rather use my limited free time to sit at my computer and hammer out a few posts on my blog (loser!).  I told Hottie today via text that I feel like a bad mom for not wanting to work on this.  He said, “No need to feel terrible.  They’ll love the party just the same.”

He’s right, they will love it no matter what, and Matthew keeps saying that he doesn’t even want a birthday, so who cares if he doesn’t love it!



Birthday Time… Again!

I can hardly believe it, but I have TWO birthdays to plan in the next month!  We’re making it easy this year – the boys are sharing a party.  They’re best friends and honestly, all they care about is that they have each other at their parties, so we’re combining them.

And it’s more for us than for them.

Not really.

Well… really!

We have not had one of our big parties since before the kids came into our lives.  We used to have epic parties – the types of parties that people would ask us when the next one would be so they could be sure to be in town.  And we LOVED throwing huge parties!  The bigger, the better… and we like to go BIG.  Well, we’re not going HUGE, but it’s going to be big and it’s going to be FUN, goddammit!

Real food.

Real drinks.

Great cake (I always have a great cake because cake is my favorite thing).

Fun friends.

Babysitters for the kids.

I’m whipping this up and I feel like I’m pulling the kid-friendly aspects of the party (theme, invitations, banners, favors)  out of my you-know-what (really, I’m just pulling them out of, but I want to focus on the real details.  I want to focus on the food we’ll make, the drinks we’ll serve, and the cake I’ll construct.

Here I come, birthday season 2015!




It’s All in the Details

The 4th of July weekend marks a very important milestone for me – the end of 2 months of celebration!  With B’s birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Matthew’s birthday, and Bryson’s birthday, we have a very busy May and June.  It’s no secret that I go a little crazy for the boys’ birthdays, and I start planning months in advance.  For Matthew’s first birthday, I think I was planning in February.  This year, with two birthdays to plan, I started in January.

May was my “practice cake” month and B got a (to die for) chocolate cake for his birthday that made us learn that Matthew doesn’t like chocolate cake.  “Just white cake, pwease!”  I tried out an orange mimosa cake that was terrific, but a little more involved than I wanted to do with so many other things needing to be done leading up to each party.  We settled on a terrific white cake (wedding cake recipe) with real buttercream frosting.  By the end of Bryson’s party – we were all caked out.  Matthew didn’t even want cake for his own little birthday party with family after Bryson’s party.  “No cake.”

I cleaned up the party decorations in record time this year.  I couldn’t get them down soon enough.  With Matthew’s first birthday, his banner hung for MONTHS before we finally took it down.  Bryson’s hung for 24 hours.  HA!  I was anxious to move his banner into his room though, so that’s really why it came down.  But by Sunday afternoon, there was no hint of birthdays with the exception of the poms and stars hanging from our entry light because we just really like them.  🙂

I’m anxious for next year – we won’t go crazy for Bryson since he’ll be turning two and won’t have a bunch of friends to invite because, well, he’ll just be two!  We’ll probably just do a family party for the two boys together and then Matthew’s birthday party.  I’ve already decided that the family party will have that wonderful chocolate cake I made for B’s birthday this year – they deserve something different!  I need to start thinking of themes for Matthew’s party.  We have plenty of time for that… but come February, I’ll be ready to start planning out the details!  😉

Matthew’s Party:

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Bryson’s party:

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Birthday Boy #2

Bryson Boy, I’m so sorry this is late.  You turned one 5 days ago, but we were still getting things ready for your party and I didn’t want to do your post until you, and your birthday, were fully celebrated!

At one year old, you weigh in right at 25 pounds.  You’re our solid little big guy who loves to eat and nurse whenever there’s an opportunity.  You don’t look as big as you feel – you’re thinning down at record speed which means that much of your baby look is melting away, which makes me so sad.  BUT – you’re still very much my baby!  You have very little hair (yet it is coming in more) and you have the cutest baby face on the planet  🙂

You love many, many people, but you love your mommy, daddy, and brother the most!  You are really attached to me right now, which is fine by me!  If I am anywhere within eyeshot or earshot, you MUST be with me.  I can hand you off to others to hold and play with you, but I can’t look at you while doing it or you’ll get very upset.  Even Daddy has to wish me away so he can play with you.  You are your mommy’s boy!  Daddy and Matthew are a close second though.

You like to be in the thick of whatever your big brother is doing, and you handle his antics quite well.  We went through a phase of you getting very upset every time a toy was taken from you, or every time you got knocked down (this happens all the time, poor boy), but you’re taking those episodes in stride these days and have learned to stand up for yourself a bit.  It’s cute to watch you yell at Matthew for taking your things – he’ll give them right back and then you’re best of friends again!  You two share so well with each other, and play together like true friends.  I truly believe you’re each others’ best friends, and that makes me so very happy!  Matthew loves to share his food with you (even his ice cream) and you enjoy his generosity very much.  You laugh so hard at what he does and try to mimic his actions.  He cheers you on, and you cheer him on.  It’s so special!

You love many things, but specifically you love green beans, all green veggies (so far), mashed cauliflower, carrots, bratwursts, cows milk, balls, books, the train table, stacking toys, shooting hoops, playing in water, and clapping.  Your favorite times of the day are shower time in the morning, and bath time at night.  You are willing to shower with anyone who will let you in with them, and you would shower 5 times a day if we’d let you!  You scream for Matthew to join you in the tub each night and the two of you make quite a fun mess.  We love it!

I love you so much, Bryson!  I love that you’re still my little baby!  Your brother turned one and was ready to conquer the world without my help,  but you’re holding onto me extra tight and that makes things very sweet for me.  You may be our last baby and you’re prolonging your babyhood, which I greatly appreciate!  I am in no hurry for you to grow up!

Happy birthday, little man!


Birthday Boy #1

Matthew turned three today. He woke up to the sounds of his dad’s and my voices singing, “happy birthday,” to him; then heard Zoom sing his birthday song from outer space for the first time to him; ate cake for breakfast; went to summer camp (where they made a special birthday crown for him that he wore all morning!); had lunch at his favorite restaurant (chipotle) where his dad met us; took a nap snuggled up to his mom; went to speech therapy which he enjoys a lot; played soccer with his coaches and friends; had his first-ever ice pop; had dinner at “the chicken house” (Panera); opened his presents (a scooter and a remote plane), helped put together his gifts; played; bathed; and went to bed exhausted. I think it’s fair to say it was a fun birthday!

Matthew, you are the light of my life! Your snuggles melt my heart like nothing else on this planet and your smile can change the course of any day for the better. You are my first gift – the one that softened all of the pain leading up to finally getting you. I love you more than you know, and I already worry about the day that you replace me with a new woman of your dreams. 😉 I love you, I love you, I love you! Happy birthday, sweet boy!