Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily and America!

A little more than four years ago, I was wondering if and when my baby was ever going to decide to come. My due date was for the end of June and I was hoping for a June baby but found myself already three days into July. What I didn't understand about my Emily (who was also Grace for a few days) was that she was going to live life to the fullest and enjoy it all. And this meant having a very special birthday. A birthday that the whole nation celebrated with parades, BBQ's and fireworks. I forgive her for being late and can't imagine it any other way. Of course she was going to be a 4th of July baby!
This year she celebrated her 4th birthday on the 4th of July and came out of her room beaming and ready to party. I first read the birthday wishes Heather sent from Africa and let her open her presents that Heather had left for her. And as if that wasn't enough, she got her own birthday call all the way from Africa. You have to understand that these two have a very special bond. I've always joked that Emily was supposed to be Heather's but Heather was taking too long so she came to the next best place. We were all so happy to talk to Heather and anxiously await her return.

We decorated for Em's birthday and she got a new birthday outfit-like she has every year since she was born.
All the kids dressed in their red, white and blue.
I can't believe my baby Emily is already four years old! Sure love this girl.
Last year we started a tradition that we hope will last. We let Emily invite her friends and then we include their families as well with it being a holiday. We make an awesome breakfast. This year Emily requested waffles and sausage. So we made chocolate, blueberry, plain, Belgian, and Robin even made her super yummy pumpkin waffles. And we had all the fixens. We always make too much food. I tend to do that-I would hate for anyone to go away from a party of mine not feeling completely satisfied. The birthday girl and her buddy Maia chose to eat their breakfast in the empty pool. And thanks to those of you who fed and cared for Holly during it all. I was busy with the waffle irons and didn't pay much attention to her.

Emily was thrilled with her presents. Tom even made an emergency trip home to get the birthday chips they had forgotten. Years ago, Tom (one of our friends) was able to win Emily over with chips when the kids would be playing at his house. He's been giving her a bag of chips for her birthday every year since. I think it's one of her favorite presents.

She hugged the present from Zach, one of her preschool buddies. As you can see from the pic, he wasn't so comfortable with the whole thing.
After presents we give the kids a bunch of noisemakers, snaps, and a bag of candy. Then the kids line up for the parade and head down the street. We always hope there will be someone to watch us. This year we sent out
flyers to encourage the neighbors to come out and watch. we were thrilled when there was someone at the end of the street so the kids could wave and throw their candy. They really don't seem to mind the lack of spectators.

Berkeley was totally awesome on his stilts.

We were glad to have the Barker family join in the fun. Also glad that Dad made it for the breakfast and parade but missed him at the fireworks later on that night. No one should have to work on the 4th.

After the parade we have a few daylight fireworks for the kids to watch. Rick had fun putting on the show for the kids.
Daphni became the wicked witch and was casting a spell with the green smoke bomb.

And Holly clung to me through it all. She wasn't so sure about fireworks this year. Too noisy for her. I liked cuddling with her for a bit.

Once we got away from the fireworks and she got her morning nap she cheered right up. I love these pictures!

We spent the afternoon recovering from our very busy and fun morning and then walked up to the Andrus' for dinner. We were so glad for the invite. It was great not to cook and so fun to be with them. On our walk up to their house the kids were pushing and being mean, I lost my cool, yelled at them, and forced them to hold hands while they both thought of five nice things to say to each other. They held hands for a long time but were able to end it all with a hug (forced of course) and some giggles. Hopefully I haven't emotionally scarred them from the mean things I said in my moment of frustration over all the fighting that goes on. I don't know how my parents survived my siblings and I as we fought. But they did, and I suppose I'll survive as well. If nothing else, we got a cute picture out of it all.
Here are the kids eating at the Andrus'.
After dinner, games and pool time Emily finally got to enjoy her Ariel cake. Steph wasn't able to be there for the birthday (which I still am not ok with) but made Emily's cake before she left. What an awesome aunt. She did a marvelous job as always.

Emily loved it.

After cake and ice cream we went outside for fireworks. The sparklers were the biggest hit.

Thanks to Brenda's brother Karl for sharing and lighting sparklers for my kids over and over and over.

Even Rick had fun with the sparklers.

Sam lit lots of fireworks. I loved the extra precaution with the safety goggles.

Connor happily went around with some weapon in his hands. He wanted me to take a picture of him with it.

And because the day was all about Emily (she's still convinced the fireworks are all for her!) I have to include these final pictures of her.

Thanks for the joy you bring into my life and everyone who knows you, Emily. I love you!!


vaxhacker said...

Happy Birthday! Since Cassandra's birthday is the 3rd, she was always convinced the parades and fireworks were celebrating her birthday as well for quite a few years :)

Stephanie said...

Oh my, what a day I missed! I must say, I'm very impressed with it all. I LOVE Emily's outfit, I loved that all the pictures from this year, look like the pictures from last year, I love Abbie and Connors random fight in the middle of it all, and I love those 2 pictures of Holly, and the last of Emily. Your kids are so cute. I was checking all night to see if you had posted this, and gave up around midnight. You must of been up late posting all those pictures. Heather will be thrilled.

Rachel said...

I can't believe Emily is 4! I'm glad she had a good birthday, I wish we could have been there.

Stacie Raddatz said...

I have been waiting for this post, wondering all the details of the big day. Happy Birthday, Emily! Love the big breakfast. Wish we could have been there. Such a great idea. And the parade! Cute about the chips/Doritos gift.

Danielle said...

Happy Birthday to Emily! She was so happy when we sang to her on Sunday for her birthday! What a sweetie! And what a fun day to have your birthday.

I'm so glad to hear that your kids fight because on Sunday I was just thinking "Why can't my kids act like the Bruno kids. I think they are perfect!" And you are a fantastic mom--the 5 things idea is great.

Sounds like you had a great day!

Andrea Lei said...

How fun Heidi! My favorite are your girls' outfits! I have got to get some of those! Emily is a supercute darling, I can't resist her curls!

Robin said...

what a day, what a day! we loved it. you sure know how to celebrate.

Tonya said...

Happy birthday to Emily:0) I totally laughed about the yelling and making your kids hold hands and say 5 nice things about each other. Just tonight I yelled at Sophia and Eli for not getting along and made them sit on the couch and hold hands for 10 minutes. Actually 12, because they got an extra minute for every time I had to remind them to love each other. I HATE that I am a yeller sometimes, but I just can't help it! Dang!

hedrad said...

Thank you so much for the details on your blog. Going through your day made me feel like I had been there myself. I love the pictures. I didn't realize there were so many traditions on Emily's birthday. I guess that's what I get for missing so many of them. I love your little family.

Breezy said...

Wow! Big weekend and so much fun. Love the pictures and the new outfits. There really wasn't anything to get Greyson that was blue and red and white so we opted for a blue baseball cap. But we did get to spend the weekend in Boulder.

Anonymous said...

Heidi, these pictures are adorable and it looks like a great time was had by all! Thanks again for inviting me and mom. And we need to get that amazing pumpkin waffle batter recipe from Robin!
- Mackenzie