Thursday, June 30, 2016

Race on Over - Bennett's Three

And just like that, his third birthday came and went ... and we head into another year of watching our little guy grow! I've said it before and I'll say it again ... it's true what they say ... the days are long but the years are short! I sometimes have to catch my breath when I think about the fact that three years have gone by since that little bit of spunk entered our lives. This year we made sure to celebrate the little mister and did so in race car fashion!
A quick look back at Bennett's previous birthdays:

And now onto the Third Birthday recap. I designed his little birthday invites, and was excited with how they turned out. This is the invite:
 And along with each invite in the mail each kiddos also had a lanyard with their VIP Pit Crew Member pass that explained more details:
I ordered him a 'three" shirt from one of my favorite Etsy shops. I bought a bunch of cute and extra cheap race decor on amazon, Pinterest'ed' some food items, and used the mass quantities of cars we already have in the house, added some water (i.e. a car wash) and we partied all afternoon. It was a great day for a great little guy! 

We decorated the place with all things racecar/car/driving and made sure little man felt celebrated at every corner. 

Chocolate covered donuts were spare tires, chocolate dipped pretzels adorned with M&M's were traffic lights, his sheet cake included hot wheels and a Ready, Set, Eat Cake chalkboard sign.
 The mantel we covered in pictures of his year in rewind. Highlighting things like his first day of school, becoming a big brother, etc.
 The re-fuel station included beverages, trail mix 'aka' nuts and bolts, and fun party straws in the Bennett Cup trophy complete with racing flags.
 The food had fun play on word games too ... like 'dip sticks' by way of veggie cups, race cars made of apples and grapes, sidecar slaw, etc.

 We had tons of family in town, because they were there to see little miss Lainey get baptized. And we had plenty of friends too. A house filled with all the people I love is the perfect day to me.
 Aunt Toby, MaKenzie, one of the four "grills", Salem, and Grandma Motsy.
 Uncle Ted and Sissy
 A momma and her babies, no matter how old! Grandma Motsy, Aunt Toby, Uncle Gary, Dad and one of the twins :) Why can I never tell them a part?!?!
 My sister from another mother. The best there is.
 And my other bestie, Laura. The best of the best.
 And these two. No words under the sun can explain how blessed I am to have them for parents.
 And the cutest cousins around. Bennett loves Brody more than anything.
 And miss Emmie too of course! Along with Jack and Elliott.
 And Lainey's like, hey don't forget about me!
The Three Musketeers! Bennett, Jack and Brooks!

 The Big Boy Brigade.

And after we ate all the food and played and splashed until we couldn't any more. We lit the candles and added a little sugar buzz to help push us through to make our energy levels last until it was time for presents. 

 Apparently Bennett regressed to First Birthday status and thought he could eat the entire cake without utensils. Haha!
And then we dried off and headed inside to cool off and tear into our goodies! It's a shame no one brought him any presents (sigh, total sarcasm ... this kid made a haul)!

And when most of our out of town guests headed back to their respective states, our local pals stayed and we hung out and let the boys skip their naps and bounce into the evening. We had some adult time and enjoyed our friends. And the boys ... We even let them have another piece of cake! Yummmy!

It was literally one of my most favorite days this summer. Truthfully, I cried putting the kids to bed Sunday night because my heart was so full. To have a house full of all of the people that we love (mostly, we had several there in spirit as well), and to know they love us back enough to make the time to drive and celebrate my precious littles and hug me tight is what it's all about folks! I can't say thank you enough to everyone that came to make his day special. It truly warms my heart. As we head into year number three, I head in with a happy heart and dreams for this little boy that stretch far beyond the race track. Happy Happy Birthday Bennett. 
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bennett's Birthday Letter - Age 3

Mommy's Birthday Letters to Bennett Archives:
And now we add ... your THIRD BIRTHDAY!!!!


This year has been a rough one for me. A good one too, but it's been tough. It's been incredible to see you grow and watch you become a big brother. Before my very eyes I have watched you grow and excel in such a short time and I could not be more proud of you. Mommy found out she was pregnant just months before your second birthday, and I had a pain in my chest that it meant it was my last year of just you and I. We had only had two short years together but you were the boy that made me a mommy. You were the one that showed me how deep and how hard a mommy can fall in love with her little, and I wasn't sure how I was going to manage having to share my time with two littles! So, I vowed to myself to make sure this year counted for us. I know you won't remember being two, but I can promise you I always will.
You blossomed this year sweet BUB. Your vocabulary grew, and your silly personality shined through every day. We were thick as thieves you and I, together every single day for nearly every waking moment. And when your daddy wasn't working he was right there with us and we became the Three Musketeers. They are days I will forever cherish and watching you grow has been one of the highlights of this year. I cried wayyy harder than I thought I would when we dropped you off at school for your first day of two day twos. I knew I would be one of those moms, but man, was I one of those moms! Tears all day I tell you. Of course, you were superb and couldn't wait to go back and learn more as soon as you could. That's your style. You love to learn. You are our little bookworm and love nursery rhymes. We can always count on you to bring a story to life or relish your imagination to bring forth some of the most hilarious stories.
And later, last fall, when it was finally time to say goodbye to our single baby, and become a family of four you impressed me once again. Of course I once again struggled and cried like a baby that it was the last time we'd ever go to bed with just you. I was so excited for your sister (I didn't know she was a girl yet) but you were my BABY and again, I didn't know how I would be able to split the time/love/energy. But you helped ease that for me and just like everyone said, the moment she was born my heart knew exactly what to do. But you my son were amazing, you were my little helper. Always wanting to make sure "Wainey Woo" was okay. Or letting me know she needed me. Running to another room to get a diaper to ensure little sister was okay. You played such a big part in that and you were born to be a big brother. Lainey is so lucky to have you. And I am so lucky to have been blessed with the both of you. You are my greatest joys.

And then we brought our focus off the baby for a little bit and back to you. It was time to start Big Boy Things! You were older than your baby sister and you knew it, and so we succumbed you letting you grow up (a little).  We began potty training you, and again you excelled. I was so amazed and so proud of you! And seeing you be proud of yourself and eager to try new things made my heart smile. And then another big boy thing, we said goodbye to your crib and moved you to your very own big boy bunk bed. You loved every second of it and once again I beamed with pride at how much of a big boy you've become.
I battled some hardships a couple of months ago, most of which I hope to tell you about someday. And we can walk through them together. I hope to be a part of your story in an impactful way and as we walk through your own hardships together in future, we can use this as a night light to remain in your faith - it will take you far. You, my sweet prince, along with your sister and your remarkable daddy, are the reason hearing about the health issues all so hard. I want to be your mommy. I am so blessed to be your mommy. And you, my dear boy, are also one of the reasons I was able to walk through that strife courageously. Because I am bound and determined to be your mommy. And everyday I had to sit on the sidelines and watch our friends, family and our village of people help raise you during the last months of your second year because I was unable, you continued to impress me.
As a two year old you reminded me, it will be okay. You may be more comfortable in your own home, but you can make whatever is thrown at you work too. You had an "I will go with my friends without fear and make the best of the day, even if my mommy is home sick" attitude and it put me at such ease to watch you be so brave. And you my sweet boy would do just that, at two years old. You would head out for the day and come home and couldn't wait tell me all about it. I could be having the worst day and in you would come with stories from your day and a kiss to make everything right again. And every morning when I couldn't get out of bed you would come bursting through the door with a good morning hug and a concerned question of "mommy is your 'weg' feeling better?" Because sweetheart that is who you are. You have the kindest heart and a longing to always educate and understand the situation. And I hope you always remain that way.
You are my boy, my B Bear, Bennett Bernard and the best son a mommy could ask for. I am so proud of you and cannot wait to spend year three with you! Never lose site of your youth ... it is you and should always remain in your heart ... and it will take you far beyond your wildest dreams. Happy Birthday Buddy. Let's race all day!

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Lainey's Baptism

It's hard to imagine that nearly two years and six months ago on November 10, 2013 our entire family gathered and we baptized our little baby boy at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Louisville, KY. It was such a special day and all of our family drove in to help surround us with love and agreed to support and help us bring up Bennett in a Christian/Catholic home. And today I'm here to recap that we had a near repeat of that amazing day and celebrated that once little boy's (who will be a big three year old tomorrow, sad face!!) baby sister and had her baptized!
 Lainey wore an adorable Christening gown with overlay from Amazon, a headband from Amazon as well, adorable baby moxies just like her brother, and she even had a romper to change into after the big Sacrament for her brother's party.

 Her future husband even made a special trip to be there with her on her big day. A little foreshadowing in the white dress? Maybe....hehehe
Lainey's baptism ceremony was held on Sunday June 26th, 2016 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Nashville, TN. We were honored at the ceremony, and nearly missed our cue to walk to the front of church because we weren't listening. Insert monkey covering eyes emoji here. Sheesh! And then after mass, we headed to the Baptismal font and all of our family gathered to watch.

Once again, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from our families. Every single one of them driving at least 2+ hours and many even more than that to come and support our newest little. People are awesome, and our people are awesome-er!

 It's next to impossible to get that many people and that many littles to look at once, so here are our best efforts!

 And our little family. Heart bursts.
Lainey's Godparents are the same as Bennett's, Chris and Laura. We can't think of better folks to be in our littles lives and show them guidance in the Catholic faith better than this family. And we're so blessed and honored they would agree to take on that role with not just one, but two of our babies! We love y'all!
It was a perfect day. And we are so blessed in so many ways for the outpouring of love from our family and Lainey's biggest fan club. We love you. God is good. All. The. Time!
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