Love Overflowing

It’s a Gabba birthday!!!

Zachary’s favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba. He loves all the music and listens to the cds in the car on a daily basis. There was no other option than to party Gabba style for Zach’s 2nd birthday!

It was a pretty low-key event with grandparents, Stephen’s sister and boyfriend and Zachary’s friends Molly and Noah. Yet, in typical Karon-style, I had to make something. I couldn’t let even a low-key event not turn into a crafty attempt at something. I ended up making a Gabba banner (thank you Pinterest), a birthday banner, cut-outs of each of the characters and a Brobee cake. I really enjoyed myself, truth be told.

The guests were greeted by our Christmas Gabba inflatable. Yo Gabba Gabba music made a wonderful party ambiance while the kids played before lunch. Pizza, wings, salad and chips made up our yummy lunch. Zachary even ate three bowls of salad! Yum! After opening presents, we had CAKE!!!!! My Brobee cake was not professional by any standards but the squeals of happiness from Zachary helped me to overlook any imperfections that I was focusing on.

Like I said, low-key. There were no planned activities or games. The kids just enjoyed playing with Zachary’s toys and running around while the guests got to visit. A fun party if you ask me!

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Zachary turned 2!!!!

Last week, my favorite little man turned two. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two short years since he joined our family. It’s quadruply hard to believe that we have gone from this:

to this:

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate with the fun plans I had for Zachary’s birthday. It snowed, not a lot, but Emily’s school was cancelled and basically the entire interstate system in our area was snarled for many hours. But we flew by the seat of our pants and tried to make it a special day anyway.

Once the local roads were fairly clear, we ventured out to one of his favorite places, Dierbergs (aka “the cookie store”) for balloons and a cookie sample. We then went to one of his favorite restaurants for lunch, McAlister’s Deli, where he ate his favorite mac n’ cheese. Nothing is better than opening presents after a little snooze. I loved his face when he saw the kitchen we got for him. It didn’t surprise me in the least when the first thing he went for was the phone on the side.  He was such a crack up when opening presents. He tore wrapping paper into strips and had to make sure each piece was thrown over the side of the couch. He did NOT want help. I think he enjoyed all of his gifts.

Stephen even ventured out to Jilly’s to pick up the custom cupcakes I ordered. (Thank you Living Social for a wonderful deal.) After dinner at the place of Zachary’s choosing, we came back and had cupcakes with Grandma and Papa. More presents were opened and played with as well.

It was a long but good day. I think Zachary really had a great birthday. Despite the yucky weather, we had a great time.

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Sharing a birthday

Zachary was born on his cousin Cameron’s first birthday. We decided that we would hold a joint party in Centralia this year. We thought it would be easier and that it would eliminate the issue of travel and weather for my family to travel to our house. What we didn’t plan on was sickness. Emily missed three days of school due to bronchitis and a bad ear infection. Zachary still had an ear infection and started to develop bronchitis as well. Luckily, he wasn’t contagious since he had been on antibiotics and wasn’t running a fever. Poor Emily was devastated when she was told that she couldn’t go because she woke up with a fever. She really wanted to go play with her cousins. I did promise cake though so that helped ease the sting of staying home.

Zachary and I made the drive to Centralia by ourselves. It was our first solo road trip and I must say that he did very well in the car entertaining himself. He didn’t have his sister to play with or a dvd to watch. I was hoping that he would take a nap but should have known better. He did good with his books and trucks. He was ready to get out of the car when we arrived though.

Poor Chloe was outnumbered during the party. You see, there are 7 grandkids. 5 are boys and 2 are girls. We were missing Emily and Timothy. Chloe was still outnumbered 4 to 1. She held her own though like only a 4-year-old can. The kids played, the adults chatted and then we had cake and opened presents. It was a pretty short and to the point party. Zachary was starting to cough and run a low-grade fever so I decided to high tail it out of there so no one else could get sick and blame me.

It was a good party though. We had a good visit and both boys were spoiled, as usual. I am happy to announce that, from what I am aware of, only one person got sick- Timothy and he wasn’t at the party so it wasn’t from us.

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An Interview with Emily

I saw this idea where you interviewed your child on their birthday. The idea is to ask the same questions each year and see how much they change. This activity

Emily- age 5

was a lot of fun! Some of Emily’s answers were surprising and/or funny. The one with the biggest “awwww” factor was “Who is the coolest person on Earth”. I really didn’t get the answer I was expecting. Super sweet.

Let’s see if I can remember to do this next year.

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And another party…

3 parties. 3 cakes/cupcakes. 3 opportunities to open presents. That’s how we rolled this year.

The Saturday after Emily’s birthday we headed to Centralia to visit my family. We were planning on going to their fall festival, Halloween parade and celebrating Emily’s birthday. We even booked a hotel room in Mt. Vernon so we could get a longer visit in and not feel quite so rushed.

We met my family in the downtown area. Emily decided that she wanted to watch the Kiddie Halloween parade this year instead of walk in it. She really enjoyed seeing all the costumes and floats. After it was over, we met up with my siblings and the kiddos. We decided that we were going to check out all of the fun stuff going on. Stephen and my brother headed over to the chili cook-off, Jason and the two boys went to check out the cars while Heather and I took the girls and Timothy to the bounce house. That was the original plan. After seeing the line, we decided the pig races were a better option. After lunch we headed over to the train area. We got to take a ride on the little train and boogie to the music.

After all the fun in town, we headed to the Tate’s house. Cupcakes and ice cream! And presents! Emily was really spoiled by everyone. We never made it to the big Halloween parade. It was really cold that night! And people had been securing spots since early in the morning along the parade route. We decided that it would be a lot more fun to stay at the house, be warm and not have to worry about the kids running into the road for candy. I think we made the right choice. By staying in,  we really had a good visit. It was really nice to get to talk to every one and unwind. The kids got some bonding time in while the rest of us had lots of laughs. We really need to do that more often!


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Emily turned 5 on a Monday this year. She woke up to find her bedroom floor covered in pink and purple balloons. I blew up 29 balloons the night before so she would have a surprise in the morning. We knew when she woke up when we heard the squeals of surprise. She LOVED all the balloons.

The balloon blowing was done in between cleaning up vomit and changing sheets. Poor Zachary had some 24 hour stomach bug. He started vomiting shortly after going to bed. He was so tired but couldn’t get to sleep because his blankets were in the washer. We tried using a different blanket and Emily even let him borrow one of her blankets but there weren’t the same. Even though Emily and Zachary’s blankets are identical except for color. Luckily, he was able to get some sleep that night. We weren’t sure how Emily’s actual birthday was going to pan out with him being sick.

After everyone got up, Stephen and Emily headed to Dierbergs for birthday balloons and donuts. Breakfast as requested by the newly 5-year-old.  After breakfast we decided the weather was beautiful and it was ok for Emily to play hookey so that we could go to the zoo as a family since Daddy had the day off. Zachary hadn’t gotten sick any more and was able to keep some water and cereal down so we headed out to enjoy the wonderful day.

We got to see so many animals, ride the carousel and the train. It was a wonderful trip to the zoo. The first one of the year for Daddy! Emily really got a kick out of wearing her “Birthday Girl” crown and getting asked how old she was. She really enjoyed seeing the baby elephant, Kenzi.

After the zoo, we headed over to The Hill for lunch. We stopped at Amighettis for some yummy sandwiches, cookies and a pickle. Zachary hadn’t been sick and was holding what little he ate down so we thought we were in the clear. Note to self: Do not give milk so soon after children being sick. He made it home, but barely.

After dinner, Grandma, Papa, Nina and Mike came over for cake and ice cream. Emily had more presents to open! This is one spoiled little girl! One of the coolest gifts she received was being a zoo parent for a year. She is officially a “mommy” to Kenzi. Which is super cool because she got to see Kenzi that day so it really made sense to her. She even got a stuffed elephant to commemorate her parenthood. Pretty cool!

I think Emily had a great day. There’s not much more a 5-year-old can ask for! I still can’t believe that she is 5. How did that happen so quickly?

What a day!


The inside of Emily's cake

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Birthday Party Uno

Better late than never….I keep adding things to my to-do list….

Emily celebrated her 5th birthday with her friends at the bowling alley. What a super fun party! They dimmed the lights, turned on the disco ball and had the fog machine going. The kids were rocking it! Even Zachary got in on the bowling action!

The party really was a lot of fun. The kids were able to bowl and have fun. There was pizza, cake and video games. Really what more could a bunch of kids ask for?

For me, the party was easy! All we had to do was bring the cake, the marshmallow pops that I made and show up. They did all the rest! Emily was super excited that she got to bring home a bowling pin shaped water bottle and a bowling pin that her friends signed. I’d say the party was a success!

I was kind of an idiot and forgot to charge my camera battery so of course it died! I didn’t get any pictures of Emily blowing out her cake or the kids playing in the game room. Luckily, my friend Julie took some for me. I’ll just have to get them.

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Chloe turned 4!

For 10 days, Emily and her cousin Chloe are both 4. Emily thinks that is pretty neat!

Last weekend, we headed to celebrate Chloe’s birthday with the family. This year her party was held at place where she takes dance class. They also do gymnastics there so the kids got to play and have a great time. A lot of time was spent on the trampoline and in the block pit. Even I got my workout in! I was throwing kids into the pit. A great way to relieve your frustrations I might add.

All the kids had a great time. I think Chloe had a really good birthday. I know Emily enjoyed playing with her loot afterwards. The kids had a great time getting to visit back at my sister’s house. It was great to get some time to hang out and have fun.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures. I decided that I wanted to enjoy playing with the kids and visiting with the family. 🙂

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Timothy turned 3!

Cousins. Cousins. More cousins. With 7 first cousins, really 8 considering Kaleb just flows in the immediate cousins, you are bound to be celebrating a birthday. This party was for Timothy, who turned 3 at the end of June. That makes me think….We have Kaleb (my cousin Jessica’s little boy) who is 5. Emily is 4. Chloe is 3, Ben is 3, Tim is 3, Cameron is 2. Cole and Zachary are both 1. We know how to stair step it, don’t we?

We weren’t real hopeful about the kids getting to play outside as we were driving into town. It was pretty rotten and overcast. It even rained for a short bit. Surprisingly, it cleared off and it wasn’t too muddy. It even cooled down quite a bit. The kids were able to play outside, eat snow cones and be as wild as they wanted to be. Which is really wild.  I am so glad that there were able to be outside.

It did start to get really windy so we moved inside for cake. The kids got good and sugared up and then played dress up. Even Ben and Cameron got in on the action. Blackmail photos. Just wait until they bring home their first girlfriends. Mean old Aunt Karon….. The kids had a great time. I hope Timothy had a wonderful birthday!


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Zachary only slept for about a half hour in the car on the ride home, much to our dismay. I am really glad we headed home when we did because a huge storm was rolling into the area. As we were crossing the bridge, we saw some scary looking wall clouds, complete with fingers dipping down. And then it started hailing! Luckily we were in the subdivision so we were able to speed into the garage. After a brief downpour, we were able to get the kids into bed. Just in time too. The heavy, stronger storms were later that night. We were very lucky that we escaped the flash flooding that affected many residents in our city. Way too many storms recently.

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Another birthday in the books

Turning 30 didn’t really bother me. Neither did turning 33. Now ask me again in two years how I liked turning 35…

The weather around my birthday is either pretty chilly or hot. This year was unpredictable. They had been calling for rain all week and it had been spotty at best. I was hesitant to plan anything outdoors in case it was wet. I wanted to have a plan though so I scheduled myself a massage. Stephen very generously gave me a gift certificate for a deep tissue massage for Mother’s Day so I thought my birthday was the best time to enjoy it. It was DIVINE! One hour is never enough. I could lay on the table all day long, I was so relaxed.

The rain came in the afternoon. And it poured! I was a little sad as it ruined our BBQ plans but we quickly came up with other ideas. Later in the evening, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her boyfriend came over for cake. Yummy goodness. I absolutely LOVE J. Noto. He can seriously make just about anything you can dream up. My dream involved chocolate and marshmallow. He created a fabulous cake for my birthday. It was a super moist devils food cake with marshmallow filing. It was covered in a chocolate ganache shell and decorated with creamy ganache and chocolate pieces. It was so very rich and delicious. I know I just spent a paragraph talking about a cake but if you had tasted it you would understand why.

I was very blessed that my husband was able to take the day off and spend it with me and the kids. We had a really great day together. I was totally spoiled by all of the gifts and attention. A girl could get used to that you know! Not having to change diapers and do the dishes? That would have been enough for me. But Stephen really topped himself this year. My favorite gift by far is my new Coach purse. I have never owned one. I had never even wanted one. I am/was in the camp of quantity over quality but he finally wore me down. I always told him no. I am in love. With my husband. My kids and my purse.

Seriously though, I have the best family in the world. I am truly blessed. It was a wonderful day. Turning 33 really wasn’t that bad. If I could have cake from J.Noto each time, I’d do it more often.

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