blogging about daily life from Griffin, Georgia

happy 6th (7.13.12)

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ August 4th, 2012   

Dear Brittain,

You turned 6 years old. Wow. Just typing that gives me a dull ache in my heart. Because all I can think is, “No! I’m not ready yet! I didn’t have enough time with the 5 year old Brittain.” But then I realize that this feeling isn’t new…because I’ve had this same ache in my heart each year that you’ve become a year older.

Your 5th year of life was a big one. You went to Kindergarten and you did so well, loving each and every day that you went; you sang a duet with me at your brother’s baptism in front of the entire church, and then you did it again at Livi Parker’s baptism; you performed in your dance recital (you had to drop out last year because you didn’t want to perform in the recital); you started taking gymnastics; and you learned to swim in the deep end without your swimmies!

I love it that you are no different than you were when you were 14 months old and refused to walk because you just weren’t ready. You’re still that same cautious child. And I like that about you…because you’re just like me. :-)

You remain my biggest and best helper here with Coleman. You go behind me shutting bedroom doors, you pick up small pieces of whatever off the floor when you see them (because you know all too well that he’ll put them in his mouth), you soothe him or make him laugh when he’s fussy (you know just the right things to do to distract him from crying), you watch him so I can take a shower. You’re just the best big sister Coleman could ever dream of having.

You’re the sweetest child anyone could ever have. I can remember being pregnant with you and having vivid dreams about having a beautiful, sweet girl. But never in my dreams did I imagine that you would be as sweet as you are. I hardly ever feel like I deserve you. You sometimes say, “You’re the best mommy in the world” and honest to God it’s like you know when I need to hear it the most. You and I are connected that way, just like your Mimi and I are. Of course the truth of the matter is that you probably know that I’m not the best Mommy in the world, but you know that I’m the best Mommy for you and whenever you say it I find that I have to thank God again that he chose to put us together. Obviously, he knew what I needed, and I guess he knew what you needed, too.

Happy 6th birthday, baby girl. Try to slow down with this growing thing, ok?


P.S. I’ve noticed that you’re starting to get a little bit sassy. Do me a favor and let’s go ahead and get that taken care of. Cause I ain’t havin’ the back talk, k?

P.P.S. I seriously love you more than I can ever tell you.

So, this year’s birthday parties is certainly one that I’ll never forget, and I hope you won’t either. You decided you wanted a slumber party, and I aim to please, so I started planning a couple months ago. I had this idea of what I wanted it to be, and I have to admit, it turned out exactly like I hoped. And what’s more is that I got the “Jenny Parker Seal of Approval” which is pretty much the same as being presented an Olympic medal. I’m just sayin’.

While I had been preparing for this party for quite some time, I realized the day before that I still had a lot to do. Fortunately for me, Amanda was in town and she volunteered to come over Friday morning and help me ALL DAY LONG. I graciously accepted her offer, but felt tha I would only need her a couple hours. Whoa was I wrong. We worked from 10 in the morning right up until time for everyone to arrive. I couldn’t have done it without you, Shmish (mine and Amanda’s nicknames for each other). Thanks for always being right there to help me, even after all these years.

Part of the party was the different “stations” I set up with activities for the kids. I had to have adults at each one and I have the sweetest friends who were happy to help do whatever I asked. I put Jenny in charge of the flip-flop station. One of the most difficult of all of them, the poor thing was stuck behind that table for the better part of the evening. But Jenny, let’s be real here, was there another person there that I could have put in charge of a GLUE GUN? You were the most obvious and best choice.

I knew Alison was great at doing hair because Emma Kate’s hair is always done in a fabulous french braid or something of the like. Also, she even does her OWN hair in such pretty ways. I knew she was the best person for the job. Everyone was as equally as impressed as me. If she ever decides that teaching just isn’t for her, everyone who attended Brittain’s party will be her first clients when she opens a hair salon.

Amanda and Holly did fantastic at doing the girls’ nails and toenails. I actually had requested that they do mine if there was time…but there wasn’t time. I was very jealous of the girls because their nails and toenails looked far better than mine.

Good ol’ Ash. The poor girl had no idea she was going to have any other responsibility aside from drinking wine. But when I saw that my mom was MIA and she was supposed to run the Quilt station, I quickly announced Ashley as the Quilt Making station person. She rose to the occasion and did a fantastic job.

Aunt CC surprised us again and appeared at our house to help celebrate Brittain’s 6th birthday. Both Brittain and I were beside ourself with excitement. Because I didn’t know she was coming I had not assigned her a specific job, but we quickly remedied that situation and put her in charge of the tattoo booth. Leave it to the cool aunt to be in charge of the tattoo station.

Having no idea how long everything was going to take, I also planned a few games to help pass the time. They turned out to be much more fun than I even thought. And the best part was that everyone was such a good sport!

Finally, we took a break for Brittain to make it official by blowing out her 6 candles. What a sweet moment with her and her closest friends celebrating the day.

Gift opening was pure chaos, but fun. I don’t know that I have a clue who gave what, but each gift was so thoughtful. She loved every single one.

You don’t think this party was just for the kids, do you? As you will see from these pictures, the adults enjoyed themselves just as much.

year 8 (7.10.12)

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ August 4th, 2012   

Admittedly, we didn’t do the best of planning when we got pregnant with Brittain, because it turns out that Brittain’s birthday is 3 days after our anniversary and is also within a few days of Matt and Cecilia’s anniversary. We added to the confusion last year when we decided to have Coleman baptized the same weekend.

In addition to all of that, I mean, we’re busy people! We have CHILDREN…2 of them, in fact. And they require a LOT of attention. They require ALL my attention and because of that, I have very little brain power. So, FORGIVE ME if I forget an important date or two. Am I embarrassed that the way Dan and I remembered it was our anniversary was because I checked the mail and opened a card from his grandparents that said, “Happy Anniversary”? Am I embarrassed that this is the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW we had to be reminded by ANOTHER person that it was the anniversary of the day we married?

Yeah, sorta.

But it wasn’t just me. Dan forgot it, too.

Fortunately, this year, we realized it early enough in the afternoon of the 10th that we still had time to have a romantic evening and reminesce about the day we tied the knot.

Instead, this was the way we spent our evening and night:

By far, the best celebration of our anniversary to date.