30th birthday: dirtieth and flirtieth

the past couple days have been filled with love from near and far. it’s been pretty magical and wonderful and little tiring because, hey, i’m 30 now and i get tired easily. a friend said “welcome to your 30s. every birthday from here on out is celebrated with thin soup and early bedtimes.” i can get used to that.

but 30 was GREAT. partly because i got tacos and buckeye cheesecake. partly because of the amazingly thoughtful gifts and cards i received. partly because i finished up the night with some really tasty margaritas and a great friend that understands my need to google amanda bynes, who coincidently shares my birthday.

mostly, it was great because i spent the day with two special little ladies. best buddies reunited. it makes me a little weepy to see how much they love each other. i’m lucky i got to spend my birthday with them, again.

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^^^1. they switched coats and had a great time telling strangers about it.  2. special VIP treatment at the french loaf bakery. 3. playground doings. ^^^

thanks to all of you who made my 30th such a great one. sending love vibes out in all directions!!! a special thank you to my husbeau and mother. you both made my day filled with lovely surprises. i love you both dearly.



yesterday was a reminder of how lucky we are to have such great friends and family. a small group helped us celebrate darla’s birthday. a large group helped us celebrate from afar by sending messages and well wishes, gifts & cards. thanks to you all.

here’s just a bit of our donut + coffee + cupcake decorating party. it took hardly any time to set up, even less to clean up and we listened to the first lady of country while we tore down. i’m never doing another veggie tray again. it’s coffee and donut birthday parties from here on out. until darla’s old enough to roller skate, that is. then….ohhhh then…let’s just say there will be some roller rink parties in our future. candy kiss photo candykiss_zpse930d69a.jpg

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we had a birthday celebration yesterday. can you tell which one of us was excited about it? jump

i really wish that pic had turned out clearer bc it was pretty great. darla was leaping over mike’s legs when we told her we’d do a backwards dinner: dessert first, dinner second. somehow, this worked. she ate more dinner than normal. but, i don’t think we’ll make it a regular thing.

a la mode

we had brownie rocky road a la mode.

darla and i gifted mike a custom, handmade leather belt fashioned by our friend, lance. it’s super sweet. so if anyone needs any leather work done…well, i know a guy.


happy birthday to all the december babies young and old :)

birthday buddies

i’m sure everyone remembers that we love to hit up pumpkin patches with these folks. we got to spend yesterday celebrating the birthday of our very best buddy and my favorite little guy at schacht’s family farm. can you believe how big these kids have grown?


birthday party


trunk party


these last two are my favorites. they were hissing like snakes and then laughing at how they amused themselves. these kiddos have their own inside jokes now. we’re slowly approaching the age when parents will be outsiders. i’m ok with that. especially if it means their bond will grow stronger. they’ve acted a bit more like twins in the past, but lately there’s been a whole lot of love.

happy 4th birthday burkeybuns! we love you.

we knew you were coming so we baked a cake

on friday we all waited anxiously for our new nephew -newphew- to make his appearance in the world. to celebrate, i helped big sis and big cousin bake a birthday cake for our newest member of the family. lots of spatula licking ensued:








and there’s the finished product. big sis got to pick out the cake mix, frosting and all the trimmings. i really enjoyed involving the girls this way and reminding them of another benefit of new siblings/cousins – another day of the year that you get to eat cake.

last week i…

did some things that were NOT birthday related.


we finally got the girl out of the house more. we ended up at firefly one day and it turns out firefly now has sing-a-longs. it was great fun watching the kiddos jump in front of the microphone. here’s darla’s turn, where she stood in front of the mic and looked proud but did not sing one syllable of the song. maybe she’ll get it the next time….


did some puzzles, mostly by myself. darla does not like puzzles for some reason. she likes dumping them, turning them over and sorting but not putting them back together. more for me i guess.


i found the perfect set of sheets for the tent bed at salvation army. i tried to encourage a tea party in said tent but, alas, that required too much sitting still in one spot for my girl.


i got darla a shake on her last day of being 2. just because.


triple reused brown bags to celebrate aunt colleen’s birthday. these bags were from our take out lunch, turned art project for daddy + darla, turned last minute wrapping paper idea for auntie’s 30th birthday gifts. after that we were satisfied with tossing in the recycling bin.

and that’s a wrap on last week. bye!

doing up a birthday

i’m going through friend withdrawl now that the last of our friendly out-of-town visitors left yesterday. luckily we had a birthday to celebrate yesterday and st. nic’s day to celebrate today. more on darla’s st. nic’s feast day presents to come.

here is some of what darla and i put together for papa man.  unfortunately i forgot to take a picture of the finished product. sadness over that. darla dictated that michael have a pink cake for his birthday and the wonderful father, who is secure in his manhood, of course acquiesced. he even helped darla ice it. hey, a man can do what he wants on his birthday and icing a cake with your girl has to be a fantastic birthday memory. darla also helped create the homemade cake toppers. birthdays are just so much fun with a little one around to help.

 our mirth on his day of birth:

birthdays abound

our best little dude friend and our favorite cousin/niece* share a birthday week so it really just bums darla out that she has to attend two birthday parties on one day every year. sarcasm! i use it!

yesterday was filled with lots of excitement and lovely treats and refreshments from two very well put together and thoughtful parties. also, the weather couldn’t have been better considering it’s been a little on the damp side in ohio lately. here’s what i captured of kiddos enjoying the revelry.

1.being the center of attention is a bit overwhelming 2. sesame street cookiesshe be climbing things e’rywherewhere’s the birthday girl? there she is!

you, umm, on your face…you got some on your face. blue. you got blue on your face.

present time. not as in “right now” but as in the gift unwrapping sense of the term. most parent approved gift

“first, i say we hang ‘im.

then we smash ‘im. then we stomp ‘im. then we kill ‘im!”

double fisting

our favorite dude

decorating pumpkins


*this is to mean darla’s cousin and my niece. not that she is a cousin niece all in one package. that would be off and i don’t know how that is even possible. i’ll ask kentucky.