Celebrating our bookworm

I love my kids’ birthday parties. I love planning them, I love watching everyone enjoy them, I love the photos and memories afterward.

The theme for Lina’s 4th birthday party pretty well chose itself. You’ve never met a kid who loves books more than she does. A quick Pinterest search dug up a fantastic PBS resource for a book party, and we were off and running.

Lina understood what was happening much more this year. She talked for days about who was coming, and a party is just the thing for a girl who loves to be the center of attention. She loved the birthday song and blowing out her candle. She was able to do more with opening gifts, though she still needed lots of help. We served some of her favorite foods, and let me tell you, girlfriend can put away some chocolate cake and ice cream.

But enough talk. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Story time with the Village People

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Trying out a birthday present

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Anyone who’s seen Corin in the past couple days will have noticed his massive black eye. This is the exact moment of origin.

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Three for one more night

Tonight, for the last time in my parenting experience, I put a three-year-old to bed. Tomorrow, she will be four, and the girl who just weeks ago would rarely put two words together will hand me a book and say, “Mommy, help please. Read.” She will be excited for school in the morning, and when brother is too slow, she will yell up the stairs, “Corin! Come! Backpack! Bus!” She will belt out her made-up songs and dance with her reflection in the glass door. She will count to five or maybe even 10, and she might play hide-and-seek with brother. At some point, she’ll inevitably yell in astonishing volume at the unlucky soul who has crossed her purposes. She’ll laugh at silly faces and sibling antics. When she’s sleepy, she’ll rub my hair and suck her fingers and let me feel, just for a minute, that I have a baby still.

Tomorrow, she will do the million things she does every day to light up my world. But tomorrow, she will be four, and she will be just a little taller and just a little stronger and just a little wiser, and she will need just a little less of me. And I will be so proud and also sad, because I’m a mother, and it’s what we do.

Sleep well, baby girl. Another year begins tomorrow, and there are new worlds to conquer. I’ll be here with you, but just a little further back than I was yesterday.

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Four and flying high

Yesterday afternoon, I sat on the floor of the self-proclaimed largest indoor playground in Nashville and fought back tears.

Anyone watching probably thought I was going through some crisis. I wasn’t. I was looking at the clock and realizing that just about exactly that time four years ago, I was holding my son for the first time.

Corin’s birthday always takes me back to the years of longing that preceded his arrival. I think about the crushing disappointments, the yearning, the physical toll of fertility treatments. Then I look at my son, now four years strong and full of life, and… truly, words fail me. Everything I might say falls short of expressing the overflowing gratitude I feel. He is a walking, talking miracle, that boy of mine.

We had a party Sunday. Planes are Corin’s current obsession, so a planes party it was. My parents were kind enough to host at their house. As usual, I procrastinated and then spent several days working my tail off, but it payed off. Everyone had a great time, and I have the pictures to enjoy (no thanks to my son and his camera aversion).

Special thanks to my friend, Laura Wensell, for taking a lot of these photos.

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I may have forgotten to do the candles and song until Corin’s cake was half eaten…

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Like I said, camera averse

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