We celebrated her Birthday last Friday with an awesome party at The Hop (a bounce-house place). A ton of her friends came, and we had the best time! Audra was so excited- and Grandma and Grandpa High and Aunt Melissa and two of her daughters even flew out to enjoy the fun!
As soon as Audra woke up on Friday, she said, "I want to go to my Birthday party." She also COULD NOT WAIT to blow out the candles- she wouldn't stop talking about it. Unfortunately, she had to wait until the afternoon, but it was worth the wait- and I have the pictures to prove it.
This was a latter and slide the kids
could climb. I was impressed at how skilled Audra got at climbing this rather steep latter.
Unfortunately, the party was scheduled right during naptime, so this is what Daddy and Claire got to do for part of the party. Seriously, Ben has the magic touch when it comes to getting Claire to fall asleep outside of her crib. I can't do it- but he does it in about 2 minutes every time. What an awesome daddy!
A basketball area.
I LOVE this picture!
They even got to play baseball.
The cars were everybody's favorites- the kids fought over them a little bit, but I think everybody was happy in the end.
I gotta have some good Claire pictures.
The flash made the picture turn out funny, but I still think it is a cute picture.
In the interest of privacy, I purposely tried to not post pictures of all the friends- but rest assured, there were many there. Audra has so many wonderful friends- she is truly blessed. She also had a lot of family there to share her special day, and that meant the world to us to know that both our girls are surrounded by so much love and support- what more could any parent want for their child?
Wow- three years. As any parent knows, it is a wild and adventurous ride! So far, here are a few things we know about Audra:
-She loves people and is very social- she is quick to make friends
-She is incredibly empathetic- it really bothers her when other people are upset
-She wants everyone to be happy. She is constantly saying, "Are you happy, mommy?" And my response is always the same: "I'm happy because I have you."
-She is very thoughtful
-She loves to sing, and often comes home from nursery at church surprising us with another song she has learned
-She LOVES Family Home Evening- she wants it every night
-Hide-and-go-seek is her favorite game
-She knows Grandma High always has fruit snacks for her, and that when she leaves Grandma and Grandpa Marriott's house she MUST have a cup of crackers to take with her
-She is a mooch- she loves to eat, and if you don't watch out, she will take your food. She prefers to snack ALL DAY LONG rather than eating nice meals
-Even though she is a mooch, she is incredibly good at sharing- except for Dolly and her stroller. She will share those, but she doesn't like to and needs to be reminded to do so. Outside of those two toys, she is great at it.
-She loves fruits and veggies. If we would let her, that would be the only thing she would eat
-She loves dress-up and princesses, even though I don't think she has ever watched an entire Princess movie
-She loves playing in her toy kitchen downstairs
-She loves Claire and ALWAYS call her "Claire-Bears"- I think she thinks that actually is her name.
-If she falls and hurts herself, she doesn't like to cry in front of others. She will come running over to me for me to hold her, but rarely will she cry if anybody besides Ben or me are there
-She is pretty tough- she hardly ever cries- shots don't bother her one bit
-Pink is her favorite color
-She loves art projects- especially painting, when I have the energy to let her do it
-Her prayers are the sweetest thing ever. We aren't totally sure what she says, but we always hear, "Mommy, daddy, Claire-Bears, Hannah, Chloe, Tessa, Shanelle...." in them.
-She loves to laugh and make us laugh
-She has the most beautiful and radiant smile in the world
In thinking about the last three years (as I go philosophical), it is mostly just amazing how much things have changed in the last three years. Of course, as anybody knows, children change you. But it is amazing how completely it changes you. So many things that used to matter just don't anymore. So many things I never thought about are at the forefront of my mind constantly.
I see the world differently. My life is completely different. I no longer have a career and I don't even care- I couldn't imagine being anywhere else than with my girls. Now instead of talking about exotic travel locations Ben and I talk about discipline techniques (we love Love and Logic, by the way- great way to discipline firmly but with love. If any of you know of any other great books out there, let me know- I love new ideas for the discipline front!). It is interesting how the kids are now the reason behind virtually every decision we make- including where we live and how we spend our time and money. I feel like a completely different person now than before I had children- and that new reality started three years ago today.
WOW. A lot has happened in these past three years- and they have been the best changes of my life! I am so incredibly grateful to have Audra and to be her mother!!! Happy Birthday little Love Bugs!!!!!