Celebrating Julia’s 2nd Birthday

Over the weekend, we celebrated this little girl’s SECOND birthday. Time sure has flown. I’ll write a little more about her milestones and personality soon, but I’m here today with a little recap of her coloring party we threw to celebrate!

I hadn’t even decided to throw her a party until about two weeks beforehand. I scrambled together an invitation and sent them out, thereby locking myself in to some kind of lunchtime birthday even on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. With Christmas and pregnancy taking over my life, I was actually pretty okay with taking her out to dinner and calling it birthday quits. I also tend to have a little birthday-guilt about putting yet another activity on our friends’ calendars on the weekend. But people were asking about a party, and I swayed back to the realization that it was my last opportunity to celebrate Julia as our littlest baby! Lately, Julia has been obsessed with a nursery rhyme book full of all kinds of rhymes and pretty pictures. This served as my inspiration for the party. I settled on coloring as the “token” activity for the party – age appropriate for toddler to adult and most importantly, no mess. I’m learning winter birthdays are a little more tricky because you can’t count on entertaining outside, even in North Carolina. Most of the decorations were snagged from her gallery wall in her bedroom, and we wrapped up coloring books for all her friends to open, color, and take home! I put a dozen cupcakes on order, whipped up a teetering four layer birthday cake, and hit up the grocery store for all the kid-friendly, mess-free finger food I could find. I think my favorite idea was to cover all of the tables with paper for the kids (and parents) to doodle on! Who needs labels for food when you can just write what everything is on the counter?!

The menu consisted of uncrustables, grapes, mini corndogs, deviled eggs, cookies, cake, and cupcakes! 

I was completely blown away by all of the friends and family we had there to celebrate. We had military friends, bible study friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family from Kansas all there! It amazes me thinking back to our empty base house that I moved into, with Steve in Afghanistan, six years ago. It was a completely fresh (and a little scary) start. I spent two months with my husband before he deployed, moved to a totally new city alone, with no friends, no job, and not even puppy Zoe to keep me company yet! I spent a lot of time at the gym that summer. We have met some amazing people in our six years in North Carolina, and while this military life isn’t an easy one, it certainly comes with its perks – and making lifelong friends is one of them!

Julia was cracking me up when we brought out the cake! Our normally wild and outgoing girl couldn’t push herself farther away from those two little candles! Maybe it was the fact that the cake was taller than her, ha! We sang her happy birthday and with no help from Mitchell (normally I can always count on him to blow out candles!), we blew out the candles and wished her another happy and healthy year to come!

She was much happier with a manageable-sized cupcake (or two). I lost track of the food everyone was sneaking her. No such thing as too much sugar on your birthday. 

And then onto the presents. I told people not to bring her anything, but everyone spoiled her right up! Some of her favorite gifts were the most thoughtful Little Bo Peep board book from her little friend Addison (I had just been talking about how she is her favorite!), and a complete collection of baby doll supplies from her Auntie Lindsay! 

And just like that, we wrapped up Julia’s celebration in disbelief with how many awesome people we have in our lives and that my tiny little redheaded baby isn’t a baby at all anymore. 

We were especially sad to send Grandma Brim back to Kansas at the end of the party. We could have kept her here forever!

And of course, a few family pictures (Lindsay is officially part of the fam) before everyone went their separate ways. Grandma Brim headed back to Kansas, Lindsay and Maybree to Pennsylvania, my dad and husband to the gun show for the afternoon, and I was left alone in a quiet house (plus two kids) for the first time in weeks feeling a little strange. It just doesn’t feel quite right not having this house full of people! 

I’ve got a whole bunch of posts and plans in the works for this week. Some more on my best friend Lindsay, who drove from Pennsylvania to help me throw this party (she drove to FLORIDA to help a few years ago!). Y’all, she’s an amazing friend and an amazing person all around and we’re so grateful to have her in our life. A few more thoughts on Julia turning TWO, and the special day I have planned for us on Friday on her actual birthday. I took the day off work to spend together and I can’t wait to celebrate with no boys allowed! Until then, you’ll find us spending this rainy holiday inside, still coloring away and resting up for the week! 

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