a first birthday party for theodore louie!

we had a sweet little party for theodore louie this weekend.  the warm sun warranted bare feet and shoulders and urged everyone to see things through squinted eyes.  our backyard, flooded with golden rays and melodies of the avett brothers, put us all in a cheery mood.  it was lovely.

our darling theo boy turns one early on this upcoming week but we chose to celebrate a few days early so some our our closest family members could take part.  they traveled from iowa to make his party extra special and i know it meant the world to him.

i kept things simple for this birthday: a nap-time crafted garland made from eucalyptus and found feathers, a gold crown, homemade pumpkin spiced apple pies (a mini smash pie for theo and one larger pie for us hungry adults), a few of his favorite wooden blocks, sugar cookies, a new tee pee birthday present from his nanas and papas, flowers picked from our neighbor's garden, and one giant white balloon for the birthday boy to play with.  the focus was set on spending wuality time together and less on elaborate party games and expensive decor.  in learning from the past, simpler is always better despite being the obvious, it being more manageable.  i am sure glad i went this route because it gave us more time to focus on family and just plain ol' hanging out together.

we set our little brown haired chap in his new fort and gave him his tiny homemade pie that i had baked earlier on in the week from apples we had picked ourselves.  he knew right what to do with it.  he dove in face first, as all pie lovers wish they had the tenacity to do, and showed that pie who was boss.  with an ever so sly grin and very present twinkle in his eyes, he licked his bowl clean and got pumpkin apple filling all over the place.  it even found its way in-between his darling baby rolls.  watching him in his new tee pee you could tell this was his best moment ever.  he was so happy.  glowing, even.  we looked on with grins ourselves, snickering as he fearlessly kept going back for more, lifting the wee tin to get as big of a bite as he could.

afterward, when there was no more mess to be made, i took him inside and hosed him off in the kitchen sink.  i washed the pie away and out came a clean and rather slippery baby boy.  a boy that wanted to cling to his mama in the warmth of his towel.  as i felt the weight of his chest fall onto mine i held him there, my almost one year old, whispering "i love yous" into his still wet ears.

happy, happy birthday sweet boy.  i love you, i love you, i love you.


motherhood // an apple orchard playdate

sometimes you just need to pack up the kids and get out of town to prance around an orchard and pick some apples with your babies and good friends.  so that's precisely what we did and i cannot think of a better playdate.  this orchard place was one of the most enchanting little pockets of missouri we've ever been to.  it was untamed with apple tree rows that seemed to go on forever.  for those who live in the area, i'd make a trip sooner rather than later.  it is simply gorgeous.

the morning was a misty one and the apples were ever so abundant, falling off of trees and spilling onto a bed of clovers.  stella ran through the maze of trees, picking red ones, blush ones, and green ones.  theodore, comfortable clung to my hip, munched on a pink lady for about an hour, happy as a clam.  i'd plop him in the grass to add some apples to stella's growing bag and he'd sit there, his hands clenched tightly around his apple.  my heart bursted about a hundred times.  

between picking apples, stella collected rocks and got as dusty as she could possibly muster during our time at the orchard.  she picked wild grass, pressed her nose into a few red delicious branches, and never stopped running. our little girl is a tomboy through and through.  despite her quick pace, she reminds me to slow down and savor life's little gems.

in the end, we filled a bag big enough for about five apple pies!  i am already dreaming up a lazy weekday morning when my girl and i can roll out dough and perfect our apple pie recipe. i prefer ones with crumbly brown sugar toppings, so that shall be our first.  and since there is no such thing as too many pies we'll be on a baking kick until those suckers are gone.