The Best Day

What a difference a year makes! I am blown away by all of the joy that I have been able to experience in the past year. Cameron and I are closer than ever. Every night, we go in to kiss the boys goodnight and without fail one of us says, "Aren't they the best?" or "Can you believe they're ours?" or "What a beautiful life we have. We are so lucky."

March 9th 2012 was the best day of our lives. Without a doubt. And I have never been so excited to celebrate our miracle babies. I have looked forward to being a mom for so long and one of the main things I wanted to know was how it felt to make your kids feel special from sun up to sun down. I had a complete blast planning for their birthday. No birthday party. Just family time. But lots of traditions. And lots of dreams coming true for me and Cameron.

The night before, I went out to pick up the last few things we needed for the next day. And I was stung with the news that there was a national helium shortage. One of the main traditions my mom kept while we were growing up was having a birthday balloon for each year tied to your chair. I just needed one balloon for each boy. After a bit of a panic, I found two frog balloons at the grocery store right before I came home. Mission accomplished.

Cameron came home early from school so I could go get the things that I needed. He is so good at making us feel like his first priority. He does such a great job balancing everything on his plate. I am so grateful for him. The boys adore him. Nash never lets me cuddle him while he eats. But if Daddy is available, he is content as can be in his arms. Cam cuddled Nash and Gray scooted along the floor until he was snuggled up next to him too. What a perfect end to their first year. All of us together. The love in the room that night was perfection. I couldn't ask for more. My heart was so full.

I don't know what it is about special occasions and new jammies, but I just feel like they up the excitement for the next morning. We splurged on these dinosaur jams at Costco earlier in the week. They look so grown up! I love this picture. They are my babies.

After they went to bed, I set to work baking their cakes, wrapping presents and decorating. It was a busy night, but oh I was so happy! It was so exciting to me to see all these things that I had dreamed about actually happening. It's one of those things where you hope that the real thing is as sweet as you imagine it being for so long and it was. It is. And more. At one point I just sat back and took a few deep breaths because this. This is the life I have wanted for so long.

My favorite tradition growing up was my mom painting our sliding glass door after I went to sleep the night before. I couldn't wait until the boys went to sleep to start this. I painted the top half while they were still awake and finished it while their birthday cakes were baking. This milestone, I thought would be full of heartache at my babies growing up, it is just so full of joy.

The night before, I blew up an entire bag of balloons and flooded their bedroom floor with them. I was so excited for them to wake up! They played and played. I love this tradition because I feel like it is a simple way to show them that today is special. Even when they are still so young.

Moment of silence for the train.

At one point, there was too much playtime. Nash took a spill. Cam scooped him right up and calmed him down. It was such a treat to have him there with us all day! He worked really hard to be free the entire day. He is rarely at home in the mornings. I'm so grateful he was able to finish all that he needed to in order to be with us, undistracted, all day long.

We scooted down the stairs for breakfast. Nash has got the "feet first" thing down. Gray baby is still my baby and got carried down for breakfast. I can't turn down that face.

The boys could see something was different when they got downstairs. They crawled right up to the window and checked it out. Good morning birthday boys!

Growing up, my mom had this fantastic birthday tablecloth. I went out to try and find something fun to make a runner out of because we didn't have money for fabric for an entire tablecloth. Hobby Lobby was a major strikeout, but JoAnn's had the perfect stuff! It only took a couple minutes to sew together, and I made the lining out of an old bedsheet, so the entire thing only cost me about $4.

Nash coming to tell me about the excitement.

We put them in their highchairs for breakfast, and they checked out their birthday balloons. Cameron mixed up the waffles, and I made fresh strawberry syrup to go with. Aunt Jess had sent pink chocolate chip pancake mix for Valentine's Day. Since Cameron left for school at 5:30 on Valentine's Day, we saved it. And I'm glad we did! It was SO YUMMY!

It was a pretty dreary day and there were threats of thunderstorms so we took advantage of the decent morning weather and packed up and headed out to feed the ducks at this beautiful park just a couple miles away from our home. There were birds everywhere! And different kinds, too.

Granger was so cute. He loved watching the ducks swim everywhere and the seagulls try to steal their bread. Nash gave us more of a pity smile, but he lit up a few times, I just wasn't quick enough to catch it on camera.

We hit the park right next to the canal for a few minutes and let the boys climb around and go down a few slides. We were so excited about this twisty slide, but it was too flat for the boys. They got stuck unless we went down with them! No matter what, though, the park is always a hit. There was a smaller double slide that brought out the grins.

Not 2 minutes into the drive home and the boys were zonked. We kind of avoided naptime because of the nice weather, so I knew they would be exhausted.

Nash didn't wake up like he normally does when I get him out of his carseat. I adore these pictures. He was completely out. I took him all the way upstairs, changed his diaper, and tucked him in without him moving a muscle.

When they woke up it was time for a late lunch. I actually had to run to a baptism for one of my young women and I was sad to have to leave on their special day. I ended up only being gone for about 20 minutes and the boys got to eat and Skype with Meme and Papa while I was gone. I returned in a much better mood. The baptism was great, and I took the extra cupcakes so they weren't sitting on our counter waiting for me to consume them the rest of the week. I didn't really miss out on anything, which made me feel much better.

And then it was time for cake! I made two little double layer cakes. The top was devil's food, the bottom was party chip. I used sprinkles to put their initials on the tops of each one. Red for Nash, blue for Granger. I had baked and frosted them the night before and kept them in the fridge so I would be prepared for cake time. I didn't count on the buttercream hardening! So the boys had a bit of a time getting to the cake and figuring out it was for eating, but after that we had a ball. Before they got started we skyped in my parents too, so all the grandparents got to watch the cake smash.

We lit a star candle on each cake and Nash pinched his out before the song was over. He didn't like that very much. I think it scared him more than burned him, but we lit it again and held his hands down. Gray didn't really know what to think of the whole thing. Nash drummed his cake for the most part. Gray flipped his over and found the underside that had no icing on it. He liked that a ton and dug right in. Both of them smashed their faces straight into the cakes at one point. It was so fun to watch!

About halfway through, we figured they could use some milk. They guzzled it down, threw the bottles and went back for more.

The aftermath.

We hauled them upstairs to put them in the tub. They were covered, and cake crumbs were everywhere in our house, but they were so happy! Their poor little shoulders in these pictures. I promise they are fine. I didn't realize they looked so stretched. They were MESSY!

Dad dumped them in the tub, pants and all and sprayed them down with the shower head. Once they were all clean, it was time for another nap. Cameron and I laid down too. Celebrating is exhausting!

When they woke up, we got dressed up and hair gelled and headed to Spring Creek BBQ for dinner. Since Gray ate about 2/3 of his cake, he didn't really touch his dinner. Nash loved it though. [Gray loved the leftovers later. haha.] Granger was so funny to watch. He was in a total sugar coma. He kept staring at people or the ceiling with this dazed look on his face.

Dinner was so great. We love Spring Creek BBQ because they have real high chairs for the boys. It makes such a difference when they aren't able to grab our plates! They are happier, and we are happier.

When we got home, we opened presents. We almost forgot to open anything because we had such a full day! My parents bought them a few books. Tickle Monster with monster gloves and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. They are so adorable. Cameron and I each put a glove on and did tickle monster with the boys. They LOVED it! Oh I love hearing their belly laughs. They were so giggly!

My Grandma Frost sent the boys birthday cards. These cards are so special to me. I love that they have a note in her beautiful handwriting written just for them. She is always so thoughtful and remembers everyone's birthday. I hope I can be more like her as I mature.
We actually put them to bed right after reading the stories and I completely forgot to measure them. Since they hadn't quite settled down yet, I asked Cameron if we could go get them up! This growth chart project made my heart so happy. It was like I could tell my future self was so happy I was doing this from their very first birthday. I think recording how little they are puts me at peace for letting them grow up a little bit.

It was a perfect day. Better than I could have hoped for. I know the boys are young, but I truly believe it is possible for them to understand when special days are. Days that are different from the normal routine. Days when they feel extra loved. Their birthday, without a doubt, was all about them. Happy Birthday, Gentlemen. Thanks for making your dad & mom's dreams come true. You are the best!

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