Double the pleasure, double the fun.

3:20 PM


   For someone who loves to throw a party, I sure got handed the short straw on kids' birthday dates.  I have a Christmas baby (Dec 20) and twins, a week apart (June 18 and 25).   And so when it comes to party planning, I have to get a little creative.

   This year, we threw a joint party for Charlotte's 4th and William's 1st, and it went splendidly.  It really wasn't even that different from Charlotte's 1st and 2nd parties, which were also combined with a cousin.  So I guess the joint party thing just works pretty well for us.


   We were blessed with beautiful weather and were able to spend all of our time outside, which was a huge blessing.

   I strung up the photos of William that I snapped for his monthly updates and am still in disbelief that he is actually one whole year old.  When did that happen??  I know that every mom says that (every time) but it really feels almost unbelievable this time.  Probably because I am about 8 weeks away from having a brand new little one and I feel like I JUST DID THIS.  This summer so far has been a strange sense of de ja vu with the strawberries ripening and my belly growing and feeling like, wasn't I just big and pregnant last summer? Oh yeah, I was.  It is SO weird.


   At one point I thought since they had to share a party that I would at least make them their own individual cakes. And then the entire top layer of this cake fell off and after thinking I would have to just throw it away and start all over and just barely managed to salvage it.....I thought, one cake will suit juuuuuuust fine.


The piñata was a hit.

Don't hate me for that pun.  The kids are napping and the iced coffee just isn't cutting it and my brain is doing it's clock-out-at-3:00-pm ritual.



  I still remember Jocelyn's big, wide eyes and hesitancy to even touch her cake.  Charlotte and less hesitancy, and this guy really, truly, enjoyed it!  So I finally got to enjoy the whole baby-diving-into-cake-thing.  Although he still didn't just go crazy.  Maybe this next baby will be the one who tries to shove the whole thing in his/her mouth.  One can dream.  



  I am always amazed at how children are able to truly actually SHARE in other children's joy.  Just watch them at a party sometime.  They sit and observe, sharing in every possible emotion....the anticipation, the excitement, the joy.  They don't sit off to the side, pouting in their own gloomy little raincloud, wondering why it isn't their party or their present.  They just throw themselves full force into the moment, relishing the delight of their friend.

How much we can learn from children.


I gave William his first haircut on the day of his party, and it was so hard on me!  Why I chose that very day, I have no idea.  Probably the same reason I chose to stain the picnic table hours before company was due to arrive.  Hosting always causes me to be possessed by this insatiable urge to do ALL THE THINGS and then of course leaving me frantic and frazzled by the time the first knock is heard on the door.

Nevertheless, we had a good time.  Still miss those baby curls something fierce though.



   Grandpa and Grandma Smucker with the birthday girl and the birthday boy.  They spoil us all and we are so grateful for them.


And the only one I managed to sneak with them, as moms never have any time for pictures at parties.  Of course I look puffy and tired and Jocelyn is wired and William is sleepy and who gave Charlotte more sugar right before bedtime?? But it'll do. 

   I was so sad to see the chapter of "Charlotte being 3 and William being Baby" come to a close.  What a sweet, sweet time that was.  3 has been one of my all-time favorite ages, and each time the girls have moved on to the next one I have mourned a little bit.  I LOVE THREE YEAR OLDS.  And now I have girls who are 5 and 4 and ready for school and learning and soaking up new facts and informations and bursting with questions and I still can't quite figure out how I got here.  

A bit about the birthday girl:
   Charlotte is her own person.  She adores her big sister, but doesn't let the differences in their personality overwhelm or eclipse her.  The moment I knew I was pregnant with a second girl I started dreaming about sisters and the love, memories and lives they would share together, and I LOVE watching it happen now. Those two are the best buddies, playing inseparably all day long and a little lost without the other one if they are ever separated.  She is a peacemaker, and will even go out of her way to make sure everyone is happy, giving up a toy or coveted item to her sister before even being asked.  I love seeing her generosity, but I also want to be cautious that she doesn't get walked over.  She is silly and light-hearted, finding humor in goofy things and making us all laugh at her funny little quotes.  She is the counterpart to her sister's serious nature and brings out a sparkle in whomever she is around. She lights up our lives and I cannot even being to imagine our family without her.  

A bit about the birthday boy:
   William is the counterpart to his sisters' (and mom's) range of emotions.  He is steady, laid-back, relaxed, easy-going, easy-to-please, easy-to-love, just easy.  He makes me want to have 10 more.  His labor felt like it nearly killed me and of course each day after that has been making up for those 3 hours of torment.  The moment he was born, I scooped him out of the water and clutched him close to my heart and sobbed.  My son was born.  I had been waiting for this moment my whole life, and it overwhelmed me.  I felt dizzy with love for him then, and of course it seems in that moment that you CANNOT love them more, and then you do.  They grow, the love grows, and here he is at one year old and our lives will never be the same.  I envision him as a young man, much like he is now.  A steadying presence in our lives, smiling calmly at his sister's wild antics and his mother's passionate ideas and Anne of Green Gables emotions, and bonding with his dad in their low-key likeness.   I am so grateful he is here and a part of our family, and of course, we couldn't imagine life without him.  

It was a day of celebration of two of the best parts of my entire life, and I hope for many, many more.  





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