I have to admit that we kind of blew it last year for Peter’s 16th birthday. He was in the middle of his swim season and didn’t want a party with treats since he was trying to eat healthy. We said we would do something great in the summer, but we never did. So, his 17th birthday needed to be EPIC. I had initially planned on doing a surprise party for him but with all the changes with social distancing and the quarantine, I knew that idea was out. Instead I decided to reach out to all of his closest friends and to our family members to have them write a birthday message for Peter and send it to me. I initially thought of putting together a slideshow but then thought it would be even cooler to have it all put into a book. The week before his birthday I collected all the birthday messages and photos so that I could put everything together. Being in the hospital all day on Friday really put a kink in my plans but Saturday morning I woke up feeling decent, so I hopped on my computer and put together the entire book. I don’t know how I did it so quickly. It was a real birthday miracle. I put everything in preview mode on my computer and when I showed him the book, he was all smiles. I think there is something so great about being able to see how much people care about you. The other half of his present was getting him an Oculus VR Headset. He had raved about his uncle’s VR system that he played in the summertime. I spent a lot of time trying to find the Oculus Quest. It was OUT literally everywhere I looked. Due to the high demand over the holidays, the delay in production, and COVID19 it was not looking promising. I felt so desperate that I actually bid on a headset on eBay and thankfully lost by $5. I was super grateful that I didn't pay over the original price for the headset because it was in that moment that I went back to all of the websites that sold the Oculus and by sheer dumb luck I saw that there were 5 in stock at my Walmart at the original price. I couldn’t believe it. I ordered it right away and went the next day to pick it up. What awesome luck that was. Peter knew that the Oculus was out everywhere, so he had no idea that I had struck gold for his big present. Mike and Andrew purposely leaked some info that had him thinking he was getting a giant Lego set. When he opened up his gift, he was so surprised and so incredibly happy. It was such a great moment to witness. We catered to Peter’s weird McDonalds craving and had a McDonalds lunch and Reese’s ice-cream cake. No one else likes McDonalds but every time we travel somewhere new, Peter is all about getting McDonalds. So, our inside joke with Peter became the inspiration for his birthday meal. His day truly couldn’t have been any better.
Instead of a big party with friends this year Emma decided it would be more fun to invite one friend to do something big. I took Emma and her friend Natalie up to Denver to go indoor skydiving at iFly. Both the girls were anxious but in a good way. After their instruction class they got suited up and were ready to fly. They each got 2 different flights, both one-minute long each, and the last one included a high flight with the instructor. They were all smiles the entire time. I was surprised at how quickly they picked up the correct form. Both of them had some moments where they were flying by themselves without the instructor holding onto them.
Afterwards, we headed over to the Park Meadows Mall for some shopping before eating dinner. The girls went to a variety of stores but spent a good deal of time on the outdoor mall area taking photos in the various chairs and enjoying the sunset. We all ate dinner at the White Chocolate Grill, and it was delicious. We all shared the egg rolls and then the girls had hamburgers, I had their famous veggie burger, and we all shared the white chocolate brownie and the French white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Emma was so happy with her fun filled day up in Denver with her good friend Natalie.
When I told Madeline that her birthday was coming up and asked her if she was excited to get presents, she said, "Is Santa coming to bring me presents?" I just chuckled because last Christmas she was finally old enough to understand that Santa equals presents. I had to tell her that presents this time would only be from mom and dad. Either way, it was pretty darn cute.
I decided to not do a full fondant cake this year and to simplify things a bit and just do cupcakes. I found the cutest examples of unicorn cupcakes and went in that direction for Madeline's 3rd birthday. Since the week was kind of busy we somehow managed to pull of a little party for Madeline with very little preparation. With some simple decorations and a few fun balloons and gifts, we had a very fun and exciting party for Madeline the day after her real birthday. This year she wasn't quite as scared of the candles but still wanted Peter to sit with her while we lit her candles on the cupcakes. She even piped in and sang Happy Birthday to herself while we were singing it to her. The cupcakes turned out really cute and they were actually really yummy. I tried a different fondant than I normally use and everyone gave it a thumbs up. Even Madeline loved eating the cupcakes. She also loved her chocolate dipped strawberries and lemonade.
Madeline loved her balloons and all the gifts she received. This year the kids gave her two new Little Blue Truck books. She was so happy to see her new books. Grandma and Grandpa Kelsch gave her the cutest castle card that lights up to go along with her fun gift. They gave her a pretend wooden makeup kit with a mirror, comb, two shades of lipstick, two shades of nail polish, eyeshadow, an eyeliner pencil, and a perfume bottle. She spent a good 10-20 minutes just playing with it on the couch before we gave her the last present to open. We gave her a pretend cash register and she just loved that too. We loved pushing the buttons, swiping her pretend credit card and playing with the pretend money in the cash drawer. It was definitely a perfect little party for our sweet little 3 year old Madeline!
Abby’s 11th birthday fell on a Sunday and since it was a family birthday this year it was the perfect day to celebrate with her. We had a nice pancake breakfast with her before we headed off to church. After church we let her open all her presents. She loved all the things she got. From Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz she got some kinetic sand in a variety of colors and a panda pajama suit. She just loved that panda suit. From us she got a fun journal and Paper Mate flair pens that she had been asking for. Then we took her outside so that she could see her big present. This year we decided to get Abby her very own red moped mini scooter. She was so surprised and extremely excited. We bought her a fun black helmet with a rainbow on it to match her scooter. She immediately took the scooter out to go for a ride. She didn’t even care that she was still wearing her church dress. The girls had fun riding their mopeds together all afternoon. After dinner we all helped Abby devour her chocolate mint ice-cream cake. It was the perfect day for our sweet 11 year old.
This year Emma decided that she wanted me to make her a fancy cake like I did for Madeline's birthday. She looked at a couple of ideas and came up with a Paris themed cake. I went to work trying to figure out what I would need and spent 2 days prepping and decorating the cake. It definitely was a team effort to make this cake. I did all the prep work and when it was time to finally decorate the cake, Mike helped with the actual drawing on the fondant pieces. We all think it turned out so cute. It was not just a cute cake but it was also extremely delicious. Everyone just loves the marshmallow fondant. The kids finished the cake by the next day. Wow!
For gifts Emma wanted some more clothes as well as a yoga mat and weights. I found some adorable new outfits for her Emma at Athleta this year. She got a new pair of black warm up pants, two fun shirts, and a cozy sweatshirt. I also found an adorable necklace with a little runner girl. She LOVED that. From her grandparents she got a reversable yoga mat and weights. She was beyond thrilled with all of her fun gifts. Even though it was only a family birthday this year Emma got some fun things from some of her best friends. Natalie gave her a pink fuzzy pillow and Ava gave her a cute little dog stuffed animal. Emma is so lucky to have such nice friends.