Sunday, June 24, 2018

Birthdays in Review - Part 2

Shortly after Georgia turned 7, Nick was facing down a big milestone... 40!

I had looked into a bunch of different party options to help us celebrate, but kept coming back to the fact that most of our friends have young kids and renting out a bar/restaurant or really any night event would lead to a bunch of people all looking for babysitters!  So, instead, we invited all our local family and friends over to celebrate at our house and we had the event catered by one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.

Before the party could get underway, I had a little surprise in store for Nick.  On Thursday evening, an announcement went up on our front lawn.



Not long ago, Georgia and I spotted a different birthday announcement in front of a house in our neighborhood.  Georgia never forgot it and kept asking if I was going to do something like that for Daddy's birthday.  So, I hunted down the company (website HERE).  It was so easy - I picked out the colors, saying, and did everything right on their website.  

Nick and I were watching television when the truck pulled up and some sneaky little elves came onto our lawn to set up the sign.  Nick never heard them while I was secretly watching on our RING doorbell camera app.  It wasn't until we were headed up to bed that Nick looked out the front windows and spotted the sign!



The entire weekend was filled with rain, but we got a decent look at the sign the following morning.



By Sunday morning, we were finally able to grab a few family pictures with the sign before the company came to take everything down. 


Rewinding a bit... we celebrated Nick's actual birthday on Friday with our immediate family.




On Saturday, I was a busy little bee setting up for the party.  We had hoped to have an outdoor party on the deck and in the back yard with a movie to entertain all the kids, but we had to switch up the plans as it rained all day... again!



Items purchased through Party City, Oriental Trading Company and a variety of Etsy sellers (including: PeanutGalleryStore, CharmingTouchParties, and PRINTSbyMAdesign)

My favorite item for the party were these cupcake toppers that I ordered from Etsy seller PinkFishShop.






They also made a great hair accessory
Grant wasn't quite sure what to make of Daddy's face on a cupcake!



We ended up with about 50 people at our house for the party.  The food was delicious and my go to white sangria recipe was a huge hit!  There wasn't a drop left at the end of the night.



The kids watching a movie in the basement instead of in the back yard
Grant may have met himself a match in Miss Collins
A few of my fave co-workers
Under the influence of sangria!



When you are up way past your bedtime, but you're still chowing down on snacks under the dining room table!

Thanks so much to all our friends, family and neighbors for joining us in celebrating the birthday boy... and for some very entertaining gifts!!








Friday, June 22, 2018

Birthdays in Review - Part 1

Before our crazy fun Iceland trip, both Nick and Georgia celebrated birthdays this spring. 

Up first, Georgia turned 7 at the end of April!




In lieu of a party with friends this year (I mean, how many times can we rent out jump places?!?!), we took her to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The best part for her... we left Grant at home with Mimi, who flew in for the weekend.  #donttellGrant.  Georgia was so excited to go on an overnight trip with just Mom and Dad!  Her only child fantasies were achieved.

We woke up early on Saturday morning, snapped a few pics and were off.

Mimi & Georgia
Grant loving all the balloons in the house
The trip to Williamsburg was fairly quick - 3 hours and we were pulling into the parking lot.



We figured that our room wouldn't be ready and we thought that we'd notify the front desk that we arrived and grab food, but we were happily surprised that we were given the green light to head straight to our room and the water park!

Lunch poolside with the birthday girl
While Nick was grabbing us sandwiches, Georgia and I were on a mission to figure out whether or not she would earn the coveted green band (meaning, she is 4 feet tall and could go on any ride in the water park).  At home, she kept measuring right around 47 inches, so I wasn't too hopeful for her.  But, shockingly, they measured her with her flip flops on and she was suddenly 48 inches tall!


After a quick lunch, we were onto ALL the slides and pools for the remainder of the day!


Back in Maryland, Grant was obviously devastated by our absence...


Nick and I's day vastly improved once we realized that they sold frozen margaritas poolside!


After a full day of swimming/sliding/riding, we were starving!  Since we were celebrating Georgia, we let her pick dinner (from the variety of restaurants available).  Her choice... pizza!



Just because the pool fun was over for the day, it did not mean our night was over.  After dinner, we spent the next few hours doing the Magiquest, visiting the arcade, hitting up the stores/shopping available at the facility, and so on.  We were shocked by how much there was to do that didn't involve the actual water park.  Georgia loved Magiquest!  Her and Nick roamed around the hotel for hours completing quests.  



We finally headed back to the room and to bed some time after 10pm. Unfortunately, it didn't last long because around 1am, we were awoken by the sound of the fire alarm going off.  Nick was smart enough to grab our car keys and we went and sat in the car for the next 30 minutes or so.  We watched the fire trucks show up, as well as hundreds of guests (including an entire high school and their prom attendants) march out in the parking lot.  I was just so happy to not be a chaperone or teacher in charge of that group!

We jokingly told Georgia that everyone was out there to celebrate her birthday since it was after midnight and she was officially 7 now!

The next morning, we were up bright and early for breakfast in bed and some presents!  She was pretty surprised to learn that we'd be going to the Kidz Bop concert later in the summer with 60+ of our neighbors and friends!



Since we didn't have to check out until 2pm, we hit up the water park for some more action!  We also managed to squeeze in bowling and more Magiquest time.





We wrapped up our 24+ hour stay with the outdoor ropes course.  Georgia was determined to do it, even though she was also slightly terrified and the wind was howling!

Getting suited up





I was shocked by how high Nick and her got up onto the course before coming down via the zipline.




Even though we were only at the park for one night, I think we managed to squeeze in 99% of the activities offered.  The only thing missing was a playmate for Georgia.  The next time we go, we'll definitely bring her a friend or cousin.

As for food, Great Wolf Lodge has a good reputation for food allergies.  I wasn't necessarily impressed by their labeling, but the poolside grill and the pizza place were safe for her.  The teenagers working at all the locations were more than happy to grab bags/boxes for me to check labels.  There were other food options right outside the park too.  Nick grabbed us breakfast at the Burger King, which we knew was safe, and was only a 1 minute drive away.  We didn't attempt the buffet since I'm always concerned with cross contamination.  I brought safe cupcakes for us from home since I wasn't sure about the snack/treat options available (and there was a fridge in the room).  There was an ice cream place with other treats, but there were also nuts everywhere, so we didn't attempt that.



After a lovely 4 hour drive back (because 95N is always a nightmare on a Sunday afternoon/evening in Virginia), we arrived back home.  Mimi and our neighbors left a message for Georgia as we pulled into the driveway.


Georgia and her birthday tree... always in bloom for her birthday!
Then it was onto presents and more cupcakes before Mimi had to catch her flight back to Massachusetts and we all had to get ready for Monday morning back at school/work.





And that's a wrap on 7!  Nick had brought the Go Pro with us an put together a video to celebrate our little trip.


Up next, someone in our house turns the big 4-0!