All the Sun For You

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


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!


The Monday Snapshot – An Obsession with Cake

There is something about me that many people don’t know.

I love cake.

And more importantly, I love to make cake.

I took a fondant cake decorating class years ago so that I could decorate a fancy cake for B’s 30th birthday.  A great friend of ours was also turning 30 a few days after him, so we combined their events together into a big night out at a local summer camp.  This was extra special for me because we held the event at the summer camp I attended from the time I was 7 until I was 14.  We had a rocking good time, with a flier invitation and camp events scheduled for the entire 2 days we were there.  It was, in a word, AWESOME!

So the cake.  I made a 3-tier cake (chocolate, white, and strawberry tiers) and it took HOURS.  12 hours, in fact.  I had  to ask B to help me finish it the night before because we were cutting it close.  He pitched in and it was a lot of fun.  Getting the cake to camp was a BIG deal – it was very heavy and needed to be constructed on-site.  No biggie, but it added stress.  It looked pretty good… but it didn’t look as good as I wanted it to look.


It didn’t taste good.  It tasted normal, and decent enough, but not GOOD, you know?

After making at least a dozen cakes including the big birthday cake, I packed up my cake decorating kit.  I was burned out.

For Matthew’s first birthday, we had a fabulous birthday cake from a local bakery.  The design was clean and simple, but the flavor was amazing!  One tier was strawberry daiquiri (pretty good) and the top-tier was orange mimosa.  Oh my, that orange mimosa cake was a hit.  It quickly became my new favorite, so much so that B got it for me the next year for my birthday.  On my birthday, it was dry… not good.

For Matthew’s second birthday, we just got cupcakes.  I love cupcakes, but let’s be honest… they’re a cop-out for someone who loves cake.  😉

This year, for both of the boys’ birthdays, we’re getting proper cakes.  I was thinking of doing cupcakes again, but then saw my friend’s son’s cake and I was obsessed instantly.  I quickly found examples of what I’d like done and sent them to the cake maker.  The cake that she made LOOKED terrific, but it was a box cake.  Again – box cakes are great… but they’re just sort of… meh.  If I’m going to have a gorgeous cake, I want it to taste as good as it looks.  So…

I’m trying out a new cake tonight!  B is out-of-town, and I am making an orange mimosa cake from scratch.  It looks very straightforward and sounds fantastic!  If it’s good, I’ll do one for B’s 35th birthday to ensure I can do it again (because you know, the cake is actually ALL about me!) and then make it for one of the tiers of Matthew’s birthday cake.  I’ll have the cake gal decorate it, but I’m going to see if I can make and frost the cake and then deliver it to her for decorating madness!

Wish me luck!

Cake ingredients





The Monday Snapshot – The Last First Birthday?

I have two birthdays to plan this year – one day apart. We’re actually doing them a week apart, but back-to-back weekends. If we have a third baby (please, God!), we have vowed to do everything we can to avoid another June birthday. However, the crazy in me says to have another baby in June and just power through that month every year! Ha!

I keep wondering, “is this our last first birthday?” It sort of hurts to think that it could be. I don’t want it to be… But if it is, then we’re going to do it up right!

Our theme is simple – ADVENTURE! Because Bryson Boy is a very adventurous, curious dude. I took his photo today for his invitations. Cuteness!

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Repurposing Party Decor

If you were reading my blog a year and a half ago, you may remember that I was WAY into planning Matthew’s first birthday party. No detail was missed. It was a lot of work! I did a couple of projects knowing I’d repurpose them in his nursery, namely the mobile that hung above the party table and the animal bouquet centerpieces (that not even one person noticed!).

Surprise surprise, I never got around to doing those repurposing projects! All I had to do with the mobile was hang the darn thing, but that involved getting a hook for the ceiling, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line – I was lazy and exhausted after 6 months of planning and working on that party. And I was sick of it!

Bryson is in the nursery now and I really wanted to make the room his own, and not just a hand-me-down from Matthew. I hung the mobile last week, and I just finished the garland I made with the animals from his centerpieces and the pom pom cupcake toppers.

That silly little garland was more work than I thought it could ever be. I’m not sure it will last for the long run, but for now, I’m loving it! However, make no mistake, this is a one-and-done project. I will NEVER make another one!

Now if I could just get Bryson’s newborn photos hung above the crib. Sigh. The last frame arrives Wednesday so they should be up soon!