I don't know if I can put into words how humbled I am by the responses of my children to their birthday parties.
That kid. His enthusiasm is palpable. Everything about life is SO! EXCITING! And that face right there? Yeah, it makes every second of party planning so very worth it.
So, welcome to our birthday carnival!
If I'm being really honest, this is one I've been planning for the last two years. We were going to do a birthday carnival for Logan's first... but he awoke with croup on the morning of his first birthday.
Fortunately, a carnival is exactly the right thing to satisfy a 5, 3 and 1 year old!
Leah and Logan's friends range in age from about 7 to 3, and of course we also have a wonderful array of little ones.
The carnival was perfect for all ages!
The highlight for my birthday boy was getting his face painted.
Because, um... Spiderman is like, better than Jesus. Yes. He will tell you this if you are foolhardy enough to ask him who he likes better.
Leah told me adamantly for two weeks beforehand that she was going to get a unicorn and a fairy on her face.
...I learned that five year olds are notoriously unreliable and flighty.
Being the sophisticated little lady that she is, Olivia elected not to get her face painted. Have to keep things classy when you're one.
The kids had a great time taking photos.
The adults had some fun, too...
I love that the kids are big enough to actually do things at birthday parties. You know, besides making messes and drooling on things. We really have come a long way.
Although, of course they did a lot of running around like wild maniacs, because, well, that's pretty much a constant state of being when you're a kid.
We had some old fashioned carnival games. The first was a water balloon race.
They had to carry a balloon on a spoon and pass it off to their partner.
Which of course they all totally cheated at.
But it was super cute and fun all the same.
We also had a potato sack race.
Trying to get seven 3-7 year olds to all put on those sacks, line up and start at the same time was a task and a half. I think we finally just let them go because we couldn't wrangle them all!
And can I just tell you how very much I love this photo? Yes, that would be my kid - the super all-for-justice, always-do-the-right-thing kid - totally cheating and literally jumping the line like a crazed, potato sack maniac.
Fortunately, karma - and the big kids - caught up to her.
We also did the ping pong ball fish game. Which really just turned into splashing around in the cups of water, but everybody had fun taking home a little fish.
Olivia loved watching all the kids from the safe distance of Mommy's arms.
Although, for posterity's sake, she did let someone else hold her.
Yep, it's true. And she was exactly as happy about it as she looks in that photo. Regardless, that was maybe the first time ever she's let someone else hold her for more than about 4.8 seconds.
We managed to corral the little ones for cake time, and it was really fun.
Logan's exuberant faces are so cute!
Unfortunately, the wind was blowing so strongly that I couldn't keep the candles lit for anybody to blow out. So we let him do it directly from the lighter. You have to blow out a candle on your birthday, right?
Olivia was thoroughly unimpressed with Mom's hard work.
Logan wanted a blue cake (of course), so that's exactly what he got. I also got brave and made a chocolate cake entirely from scratch, so this year we had one blue french vanilla and one chocolate, both with an Oreo-whipped cream filling that was so stinkin good.
Why are kids eating cake photos so darn cute?
We had such a wonderful time. I just adore those kids. All of them! We're pretty lucky and blessed to have such a fun crowd to celebrate with.
Three and one. I can't even believe it.
This may have been your first real birthday party, my big boy, but I hope you feel special and loved each and every day of your life!