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birthday, evangeline, spring, st. louis

Four is Fantastic

I’m afraid to even put it in writing but I think we have finally exited the season of sickness in our family! The past few months were rough but I am grateful that all the sicknesses were just minor and that we are all finally back to our “normal” selves.

I’m behind on my blogging but I have multiple posts lined up if I can ever find the time to sit, edit pictures, and write. But of course I had to start with Evangeline’s birthday. On May 5th, our little Cinco de Mayo baby turned 4 years old. Our baby girl, my best friend, our firstborn daughter. The girl I had been dreaming of for so many years. There were many days when I thought I would forever be a boy mom (and that would have been perfectly okay.) But I am so thankful that I have been blessed with, not one, but TWO precious girls.

At 4 years old, Evangeline loves all things pink and purple. She loves changing her outfits approximately 357 times a day. She loves princesses, fingernail polish, lipstick, and braids. She loves My Little Pony and all things girly.

But at age 4, she also loves playing with Legos with her brothers (what she is currently doing.) She loves playing in the dirt and racing with the boys until she eventually falls over and scrapes her knees–which then leads to the next 5 hours babying those scrapes. She loves Star Wars and Transformers and doing everything her brothers do.

If you ask her her name, she will give you one of a few different answers: Miss, Missy, Miss Evangeline, and rarely, she will let you know her name is Evangeline.

She spends most of her days sitting at the table, drawing and coloring pictures. And writing “miss” in her sweet handwriting.

She is the sweetest, outgoing child with a hidden switch somewhere that turns her into a shy, stubborn, sassy little girl (I’m still working to find that switch to make sure it gets permanently set to “sweet” haha) She loves all of her siblings so much and has such a special unique relationship with each of them.

We are so blessed to have this sweet girl in our house!

On her actual birthday, we went to the usual Mcdonald’s and came home for her choice of dessert, “a heart cake.” I know you all are currently in awe and praising my decorating skills on that cake but I have to just let you know, I charge a high price for cakes like that. (Can you read the sarcasm there?)

A few days before her birthday, we headed out to the zoo for the morning. Of course it was the first nice day we had had in quite a while. We had so much raining and flooding leading up to that day so I’m pretty sure everyone flocked to the zoo all at the same time.

We ended up at the park that evening, trying to find some photo locations for a project. We ended up not caring for any backgrounds but took a few shots of the kids while we were there.

Clem’s face makes me wish for the heart eyed emoji on here.

Actually, so does Desmond. Most pictures of him involve him pointing at the sky and saying “bird” so I’m glad Don caught a candid smile as Des was running towards him.

Okay, and one more time…this picture of both of them together. Des loves his baby sister with all of his heart–he even shares big bites of his food with her. Food that she doesn’t even know how to chew. That is love.

The past 4 years have zipped by so quickly. I can barely remember Evangeline as a baby..which is so sad. But I absolutely love having this sweet 4 year old.

also–a little throwback

Evangeline’s first birthday pictures and her first birthday party

Evangeline’s second birthday

Evangeline’s third birthday

I hope you all are having a great week! I (along with Don and 6 of our closest friends) are on day 7 of Whole 30. I was actually considering writing up a few posts about it. Not as an expert, but as an honest perspective from the pickiest eater in the world. So I’m hoping to recap the first week pretty soon! In the meantime, I hope you all are thoroughly enjoying cheese right now. Because I am not 😉 Have a great day!

birthday, Blog, kai

Wallowing in Birthday Fun

How do you like that title? A good pun can never be resisted. A couple of weeks ago, Kai (our second oldest,) turned 7 years old. It always amazes me how quickly time goes by. I feel like just recently, Kai has grown up quite a bit. Don had asked me to find a picture of Kai to use for the thumbnail for his birthday vlog. But as I was scrolling through the pictures, I realized how much his looks have changed over the past 6 months. Even a picture from 2 months ago made him look so much younger.

With all the birthdays, I have the kids get a picture on the front porch. I totally slacked this year and didn’t take these pictures until last night. And you may notice something about the door behind him. It’s not teal anymore! We loved our teal door but I was wanting to change it up. And my super kind husband agreed to a pink door (though now he’s acting like he doesn’t remember saying that. Too late now 😉 ) I thought it may look like too girly of a background for his birthday pictures but I kind of love it. Anyway, I feel like these pictures sum up his personality pretty well. He is fun, silly, joyful, and so very loving.

On his actual birthday, he requested donuts for breakfast. We drove to 2 different places that he had picked out and neither of them were open. We ended up at Krispy Kreme, which was not as exciting to me but it made him happy so that’s all that matters. We had to take a detour to the doctor for his brother before we went to the park. We had hoped to see pigs but there was only one super fat pig hanging out so we didn’t stay too long. The big deal for birthdays is always the trip to McDonald’s. As we were trying to unload the kids to get inside McDonald’s, the skies opened up and poured all over us (while Evangeline kept saying she didn’t know where her shoes were.) I grabbed her shoeless self and we ran to the restaurant. But not before I got soaked and my eye makeup ran all down my face.

We ended the evening with his favorite, homemade pizza–aka “mommy pizza” and his dessert of choice, this giant scoop cake from Sams.

This is a caption that I shared that night on Instagram. I wanted to include it here too.

At the end of the night, he gave me a hug, told me he loves me, and thanked me for all of the fun things we did today. You guys. We went to mcdonalds (and we even had to make a pit stop at the doctor to get his brother’s ears checked.) We didn’t throw some party that would be worthy of Pinterest (though those are amazing and I wish that I was able to always do that for my kids.) He loved this day because we were present. He loved this day because he felt loved. He loved this day, not because of what we did for him, but because of what we mean to him.”

He loved his birthday and I loved that he loved his birthday. But he had no idea that we were about to make his dreams come true. You see, Kai has a major obsession with pigs. If you want to have an engaging conversation with the boy, start talking about pigs. I had asked around on Facebook to see if anyone knew where we could find some pigs to pet. Multiple people suggested Purina Farms. So a couple days after his birthday, we told him we had one more surprise for him. We asked him “if you could do anything in the world for your birthday, what would you want to do?” His response “See a piggy and pet it!” So he was extremely excited to find out we were going to do just that. Don recorded that whole conversation on the GoPro but for some reason the audio didn’t work–which is a huge bummer because his reaction was adorable. And this look really tells me the whole day was worth it.

Kai and Kingston have a small brotherhood rivalry–Kai loves pigs/hates dogs. Kingston love dogs/hates pigs. They like to make it known to each other that they do not enjoy the animal that the other brother loves. But even Kingston couldn’t resist the pigs that day.

Sorry for the overload of pig pictures but that was the highlight of the day. It brought him so much joy and it brought us joy to see him so happy. But, of course, there were other animals too. Liam was particularly fond of the bunny.

And Desmond really wasn’t interested in much that day (more on that on the vlog.) He’s just at a hard age right now. 


I don’t think we’ve ever done Easter bunny pictures before but since it was free, we went ahead and did it. You can just tell from Desmond’s face how much he loved it.



We had so much fun and hope to go back again sometime (maybe on a day that it doesn’t end up raining.) And here is his birthday video–which is pretty adorable

Happy weekend!!

birthday, Blog, Family, kids, liam

birthday and bowling

birthday boy
8 years ago, I became a mother for the first time when Liam was born. It amazes me how fast that time went. I mentioned on my instagram/facebook how I’ve realized that all those mom clichés are true. When those old ladies come up to me at the grocery store and say “Enjoy them, they grow up so fast,” I always let them know that I’ve already gotten a little taste of how fast it goes. And with each child I have, it seems to go even faster. That’s why I try to savor every stage (including pregnancy!) I can barely remember what life was like with only one child…and even harder to remember life before kids.
boy and younger brother bowling

We had planned to take the kids to play some miniature golf during our staycation but changed our mind (literally, at the last minute.) We pulled into the parking lot and, for multiple reasons, decided to not play golf. There was also a bowling alley at the same location so we decided to do that instead.

boy bowling

 

So we kind of turned it into a birthday bowling outing. Evangeline didn’t want to play and Kingston dropped out after the first game. But Liam and Kai loved it. It was kind of hilarious watching them struggling with those 6 pound bowling balls. They started out by cheering each other on until they both realized that they actually wanted to win. So they started celebrating each other’s mistakes instead haha.
kids activities

Gotta love that pose, ready for a victory dance! If you know Kai, you may know he has always celebrated everything by dancing–this started before he was even a year old. Just wishing I didn’t cut off his foot in this picture.

young boy bowling

 

4 kids sitting on wall

The next day was Liam’s actual birthday. We started the morning by attempting to check out garage sales (and not finding many!) Liam really wanted to try a donut shop called Ex Cop Donuts. We thought they were pretty good. The real treat was when a worker gave us free donuts as we were about to leave because she found out it was Liam’s birthday. So I think that made his day. He also requested banana pudding as his birthday dessert. I didn’t find out until later that he had never actually tried it before. He was just in it for the vanilla wafers (which would have been a much simpler dessert on its own haha) But I did get help from him and a couple of the other kids when I made it (was it really helpful or was it more work??)

ex cop donut shop

And birthday pictures on the front porch are a must–right before we headed out to his fancy birthday dinner at the McDonald’s playplace (always a request by the birthday boy/girl!)

boy smiling

 

dad and boy
This sweet moment–captured by Kai, ruined by Kingston.
mom and boy photobomb
young mom and birthday boy
big family

 

large family group shot

 

5 kids

 

married couple with boy
I wish I could go back in time when Liam was a newborn. I would be able to give myself a lot of advice–to snuggle more and worry less. He has taught me so much through these past 8 years that I have been able to use to raise the others. The poor kid has had to put up with my navigation through motherhood but he has always given me grace as I’ve learned. It’s been amazing to see the fruits of our labor with him, that all our hard work has paid off. We love our little 8 year old!

 

bitthday cake

 

boy blowing out candles