These are from September of last year. You can see that around this time I decided to start trying to grow the front of Lily’s hair out.
A few weeks ago Waldo and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. When we woke up I told Waldo “happy anniversary” and he replied with his usual heart melting mushiness. “It’s great that we’ve been together for 5 almost 6 years and things are just the same; great, today as they were when we first realized there was something there”. Alright I did paraphrase a bit, but that was the jist. And his comment about ‘something there’ is because we were friends, really good friends for about 12 years before we went on a road trip together (not for the first time) and both of us realized that we were way more than friends.
I guess because we had 12 years of practice at being friends and we had that history (both of us going through some real big ups and downs and being there for each other) really helps. We knew what we were getting into and we knew we already got along.
When we had been together about 6 months one of our friends mentioned our honeymoon period and it probably ending soon. We are very happy to report that our honeymoon period never ended. Even though we spend literally 24/7 together we have the same great, close relationship we did when we first got married.
I love Waldo with all of my heart and I know he feels the same for me. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 5 years brings along with the next 50.
We just can’t stop going to the Zoo and Aquarium. We went to the aquarium a week or so ago and had a blast.
We bought Lil a camera for Christmas because she loves to take pictures. She had a great time taking pictures at the aquarium.
The best part was the octopus. Every other time we’ve been there he’s just a glorified rock on the bottom of the exhibit if you can see him at all. This time he was showing off.
For the last part of Lily’s birthday we did do something very slightly Christmasy. Well maybe more wintery with a slight Christmas bend to it. Anyway we went to the Boise Botanical Garden Winter Garden aGlow event. I had seen a few commercials for this event last year, but didn’t even know where the Botanical Garden was so we didn’t go. I also saw the little brochure they sent us and it had a few nice pictures on it. Between these two things we decided it would be fun and we were so right. I could never have imagined what we would find and we were so happy with it all. My pictures will not do this wonderland any kind of justice, but I had to share them.
Almost every available surface had lights on them.
They had a awesome toy train display setup. We went once and then again before we left. Lil loved it.
We were freezing our butts off. They had fires in cans setup all over the place, it was a very welcome addition. They also had Santa that you could take pictures with, but Lil totally has no interest in taking a picture with a strange man. Even better than Santa, they had a real live reindeer. That was pretty cool.
After hanging out with Dancer for a bit we decided it was time to leave. I grabbed a few more shots before we headed to the trains and then our car.
At one point we ran into a Garden employee and she informed us it take something like 6 of them working 40 hour weeks from September to November, plus a few volunteers to get all of the lights set up. I say it was worth it.
We loved this so much. I’m going to try to make this a yearly tradition. So much fun! I’d say that Lily’s 4th birthday was a smash hit.
I seriously can’t believe that Lily is 4. I swear that it was just yesterday that I was in the hospital having her. I don’t know where the time goes, but I’m totally scared that I’m going to blink and she’s going to be all grown up. So I guess it’s good to remember to make as many memories as possible.
Since Lily’s birthday is 3 days before Christmas I try to make sure her birthday is totally separate from Christmas. I mean we do have a Christmas tree and decorations all over the place and there’s just nothing I can do about that, but for her birthday celebration I try to keep it separate. Since Lil’s birthday was a Saturday this year I wanted to make a day of it so started planning a few months ago. Not that I spent every waking minute thinking about this one day, but there’s a cake to decided on, tiny bits of decorating to think about and fun things to do to pick out. All year Lil tells me what kind of cake she wants and it changes all the time. At some point in November I told her she had to decide for sure and she knew without a doubt she wanted chocolate cake. She also said she wanted Minnie Mouse decorations, this surprised me since my Girl loves Hello Kitty like nobody’s business. But whatever, Minnie is a new find and so I ran with it. AT the end of the day my Girl had a wonderful time and I’m super happy with how everything worked out.
The day started out with balloons strung from the ceiling. I wouldn’t have done it again since we did it last year, but Lily insisted that is how birthdays are suppose to start.
Lily was thrilled with her hanging balloons. I missed her first opening the door because I got up earlier than her to do my makeup so I’d be ready to go, but she was a good sport and ran through them for me again.
Once it was time to get ready to start getting ready for our day she was very excited to put on the special birthday outfit I put together for her. Lily and I went to Target and found a cute pink shirt that I could decorate and she picked out the perfect black pants with a skirt attached which her new uniform these days so they were perfect. She loved her special birthday outfit.
To go with the Minnie Mouse theme I ordered Lil some amazing Minnie ears.
Lily loves the mall escalators and asks to go there all the time. We don’t shop at the mall that often for a multitude of reasons so I figured we’d go and ride the escalators a bunch for her birthday. We also decided to go to build-a-bear for the first time for Lily’s main birthday present. Two birds, 1 stone and all.
At Build-a-bear Lily picked a cat to make; which really didn’t surprise us at all.
We made it in and out of the mall before 10 in the morning. Even the weekend before Christmas it was just starting to get crazy right before we left, it was prefect.
I had originally planned to start Lil’s birthday with donuts for breakfast, but we decided to do a good diner lunch after the mall instead. And it was delicious and Lily was very happy with the food. After eating we went home so I could finish getting ready for Lily’s little party. I did everything I could before went to bed the night before, I just had to do the last few final things.
For almost the whole week before her birthday I spent night after night making Minnie Mouse heads for a birthday banner. I’m really happy with how it turned out. It just had to get hung up behind the table once we got home.
I made the cake and cupcakes the day before and put a crumb coat on them to keep them from drying out and to seal the crumbs. I also made the buttercream the night before. The recipe I found for the buttercream said I could refrigerate it without any problems. That was a LIE! When I got the buttercream out it was hard as a stinking rock. I thought I’d put the Minnie Mouse banner up and let the frosting come to room temp and everything would be fine. I was wrong. It refused to soften up so I put it in the mixer and thought I’d whip it up a bit and we’d be good to go. Boy howdy I was fricking wrong. I have never seen a frosting (or anything other than a glass) break so fast. The butter separated out and it quickly went into the trash.
I ran upstairs and looked up a super quick frosting recipe to replace the broken buttercream and Waldo ran to the store and got me the things I needed. When he got home I had just enough time to whip the frosting together, but it worked out great. While he was gone I convinced Lil to let me take some pictures of her and I’m so glad I had the time to do it.
Another thing I made the week before were little chocolate Minnie Mouse heads for the cupcakes. They were very easy to make and super cute. Once the cake and cupcakes were frosted I grabbed the Minnie heads from the freezer. They started to melt almost immediately, but they were tasty.
Then I grabbed some pictures of Lily with her cake and cupcakes before Waldo’s brother and his family showed up.
This next picture is a face that Lily was doing for a while. It was an adorable face and I’m glad I got a picture of it before it went away.
After Waldo’s brother and his family showed up we did gifts and then cake. I really went back and forth over singing happy birthday or not and in the end we sang and it nearly killed Lily. Unless she’s hates the spotlight less next year I think we are going to skip it.
Oh and then there’s the whole stress of blowing out the candle.
Thankfully Daddy’s are great helpers.
After hanging out with Waldo’s brother’s family for a while we got ready to do our last birthday celebration thing. That will be a separate post though because it’s going to be very picture heavy.