Monday, July 18, 2016

An All-American Birthday Party

It's time for E.J.'s 2nd birthday party!

On July 2nd, we held E.J.'s second birthday party down in St. Petersburg and had a blast. In honor of E.J. turning [red, white and] TWO, we threw him a patriotic bash!

As I usually do for party recaps, I'm going to talk about all the fun we had today, and in my next post I'll share more of the details with you!

First, of all, I want to thank all of our guests for coming and enduring the July heat to celebrate with us. We loved having our family and friends there and I know E.J. had a great time! So thank you for helping us to make it so special for him.

The morning of the party, we left E.J. to hang out with my dad (Ellie had spent the night at my mom's, so she was still there) and Eric and I went to get things set up. We were encouraged that we did not encounter any of our previous set-up challenges: rain, heavy winds, bug infestations. Set-up went smoothly and everything looked great, with plenty of time to spare before our guests arrived! We really have this down to a science by now!

As people arrived, we did some mingling and the kids played with some of the games we had set up (bubble machine, t-ball, etc.). The nearby swing was a hit, as always!

Cousins on a swing!
We were able to schedule E.J.'s party to coincide with my cousin Molly's visit to Florida, so they were able to be at E.J.'s party again this year! Hooray!

Eric chatting with Aunt Patty, Uncle Steve and Colton

With my sweet niece Milena

What a doll! This dress is an Ellie hand-me-down and it was one of my favorites. Milena looks so dear in it!

Speaking of Ellie and Milena, look at these sweet cousins going for a walk together!

Meanwhile, my dad took the boy cousins exploring!

Of course, we also had people sign the guestbook and pose with our patriotic photo props.

Photo props!

Five adults acting like lunatics to get my favorite photo props picture of the day....


My dad was kind enough to man the grill for us, and he cooked up some tasty hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch. While everyone ate, we finally got hit by a rainstorm. All these parties we've hosted at this pavilion, and we've never had rain during party time. But, our luck ran out this year! It was fortunate that it happened right as everyone sat down to eat, though, so we were under cover anyway!

Lunch is served! Thanks, Dad!

Kids' table, plus Molly

Food and conversation

Hungry guest of honor!

The birthday boy finished his meal before the rest of us, so he took advantage of the wet weather and went for a little run (and t-ball playing) in the rain.

Running in the rain

Rainy day baseball

We had planned a whole "Olympics" activity, with various events for people to compete in, but the rain (and heat) caused us to scrap that and we played a little USA trivia as we finished up our lunch. Eric was a great emcee! When the winning teams had been decided, we awarded (candy) gold, silver and bronze medals in an Olympic-style ceremony, complete with playing of the national anthem.

Winners of the EJ's Birthday USA Trivia Olympics!

Then, it was time for cake. E.J. was just the sweetest. We sang to him, and he tried to blow his candle out but ultimately, Ellie had to help him. He thought about that for a second and then asked, "try again?" Bless his little heart. He wanted to do it himself! So, we obliged, and he had another go at it. Ellie cheered him on, and he was successful! Afterwards, Ellie praised him like crazy and it was all very sweet. Those kids, man. What a lucky mama I am!

Those eyes! What a love.

A little help from big sister

Second attempt!

"You did it, E.J.!"

VIDEO: Happy Birthday, dear E.J.! Candle-blowing attempts 1 and 2


In addition to his cupcake, E.J. finally got his hands on an eagle cookie that he'd been eyeing since he woke up that morning! (More on those in my next post!)

After cake, it was time for presents. E.J. had lots of help from his cousins and sister as he opened his gifts, and he got really great things! He wanted to open everything as soon as it was out of its wrapping so he could play with it right away.

Opening gifts


Lots of help opening (and playing with) his new toys!

Shirtless George Washington on his new Harley: a must-have for every party.

And that was the party! Everyone started to head out after the gifts, and we got things cleaned and packed up. That was that!

It was such a great day for E.J. and for the rest of us. Thank you again to all of our guests for joining us! Happy birthday, dear E.J.!

We love you, E.J.!

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