Thursday, February 13, 2020

Cadence's 17th Birthday Celebrations

Happy 17th Birthday to the girl that made me a mother.
How do I have a 17 year old?

And how do I get SO lucky to have HER as my amazing daughter?

Cadence's birthday was on a late start day this year so she got to get up later & enjoy her birthday breakfast without having to rush off at 6am for seminary.  It was really nice.

For her birthday breakfast she wanted homemade crepes (I'm getting good at crepes), raspberries, & heart shaped ding dongs to celebrate.

Cadence's crepe was filled with Nutella & fresh strawberries & bananas.  Yum.

After breakfast we opened up presents from family.

My friend Nancy sent her some fun shoes & clothes
for her birthday.

Opa & Oma gave her a beautiful new dress &
some new markers.

Grandma K. gave her a lovely card with $10.  Mimi & Baba sent her a face mask & an adorable sweatshirt.  Justin & Cari gave her an amazon gift card, & Auntie Char put some money into her college fund.  Trek & I got her "Words Of Radiance," the 2nd book in the Stormlight Archives, & her brothers & sisters got her a pink controller for the Nintendo Switch.

For her birthday party this year (YAY.  We're back doing parties again!) she wanted a Stranger Things themed party.  However, she wanted it to be more of a hangout rather than a planned party.  She's getting to the age where hanging out is SO much more fun than mom planning games & I totally get that.  But I still got to decorate & serve Stranger Things themed food.

I made a huge Eggo Waffle bar where the kids could eat as many Eggo waffles as they wanted (I made over 100) topped with butter, syrup, fruit, whipped cream, sprinkles, whatever they wanted.

They seemed to enjoy it.  Never underestimate how much food a teenager can eat.  Some of those boys were eating EIGHT waffles!!!  I'm SO glad I made over 100.

The majority of the party happened upstairs & I didn't want to bother them so I didn't take any pictures when they were up there, but I took a few whenever they found themselves on the 1st floor.  They played a killer game of spoons, had a Nintendo Switch Smash Brothers tournament, sang some hilarious karaoke, sat around a guitar singing, & just hung out.  It was really chill & fun.  They all seemed to enjoy themselves.

Cadence really wanted an ice cream cake this year, so I ran to Baskin Robbins & was able to get her a chocolate cake / chocolate ice cream cake.

Canyon helped her blow out the candles.

We had teens coming & going all night long.  I think we had a grand total of 25 at one point.  It was crazy fun having so many great kids around.  My girls have the best friends ever here.  We love them so much.

The day after her party, we did a big birthday dinner for Cadence.  She opted for Hawaiian Haystacks, peas, & ALL the toppings.

Happiest of birthdays to my sweet grown up girl.  May this year bring as much happiness to you as you've brought to me in my life.

I love you.

Trek's 41st Birthday

Happy Birthday to the best thing that ever happened to me.
Trek turned 41 on January 25th & we celebrated with a delicious birthday breakfast of biscuits & gravy, extra bacon, & a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.

We spent the morning opening presents the kids made for him.  Trek loves it when the kids make little people out of toilet paper rolls or paper.  Our kids are so creative & we love celebrating their creativity.

So for Trek's birthday, he spent the majority of the day carrying out a huge youth activity he's been planning for months for our stake (6 congregations of youth ages 11-18).  The youth met up at the church from 3pm to 10 pm where they attended workshops, had dinner, went ice skating, & ended with a dance.  Trek ran a good chunk of it & Trek & I both got to teach a workshop together for 2 of the hours.  It was really really fun.  I can't think of a better way to spend your birthday than to spend it serving 200 amazing youth.  Trek is such an example of selfless service & love.  Of course that was a dream birthday for him.

We celebrated his birthday dinner a day late because of the activity on his birthday.  I made him his favorite:
mock chicken, au gratin potatoes, & bananas.

Happy birthday to the greatest human being I've ever met.  Every day you surprise me with your compassion, patience, love, & selflessness.

Happy Birthday Trek.

Schloss Vianden, Luxembourg

One of my very favorite castles in Europe is Vianden Castle in Luxembourg.  It's not super well known, but it's fabulous.  We hadn't taken the kids there since Taya was just a baby.  This was a first time for all 3 of the boys.  We toured the castle all day & then of course had to take some re-enactment photos of 
"then" vs. "now."

Vianden really is a beautiful castle.

My kids love to just explore the grounds of old things here in Europe.  We love getting lost in the nooks & crannies of old walls, castles, caves, forests.  Europe is so beautiful.

Trek & I have always been suckers for antiques.  Look at this amazing trunk.  Locksmiths were some of the most brilliant people in the world.  How crazy is that lock mechanism?

I love the windows in this castle.  They overlook every valley in every direction.  Though it was quite cold the day we visited, it was beautiful.

The kids were fascinated with the old well & how deep it went down into the mountain.

And I absolutely LOVE cafe's inside castles.  They always have the best hot chocolate in the world.  It was delicious.

So here are our re-enactment photos from 13-15 years ago.  It's crazy how time flies.

It was a fabulous day of memories, new adventures, & family time.  If you haven't visited Vianden yet, GO VISIT.  It's well worth the trip.