Princess Party.

FOUR. Really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby girl is growing up.  She is developing into a smart, loving, honest, kind, witty, stubborn at times, hilarious, independent, athletic, artistic young lady. For her birthday this year we decided to throw her a princess party with something every little girl dreams of…….a REAL princess! Her princess of choice – you guessed it – Rapunzel.

It was a blast planning her big day.  I spent hours crafting up banners, lanterns and other decorations which included my coolest creation to date…..a huge 4 foot braid made of yellow yarn and adorned with flowers which wrapped around our column at the front door.  I took the Rapunzel/Tangled theme and ran with it!

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Our little princesses anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rapunzel.

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Story time with Rapunzel! This included a treasure chest, music, bubbles, dancing and face painting – FUN – and you can see it written all over their little faces!!!

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After story time inside we all headed outside for more pictures! I must say, having the princess here at the party was a huge hit with the little girls.  So worth it to see the looks on their faces as they interacted with Rapunzel! Jensen was so excited and still talks about getting to meet Rapunzel.  In fact she has already asked me if we can have another princess come to her party next year.

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I set a kids table up outside (too bad it was like a million degrees and humid) and immediately after Rapunzel left the kids got to sit at it for a bit and munch on sailboats made from orange wedges which sat on cup of blue jello, goldfish and fruit snacks – yum!

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After some snacks we headed over to the jewelry station – every girl’s dream! There were crowns, wands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all.  I even had some crowns for our little princes.

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J was so happy when everyone was singing to her. Makes me tear up every year as I think about how quickly she is growing up.

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The finale of the party – her big girl bike!!

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Happy 4th birthday to our princess!  Mommy, daddy and baby brother love you more than you’ll ever know!!!

Loves.

I’m back. I know. Unacceptable. Honestly.  And I have to admit there have been several times over the last month and a half that I have thought about blogging but of course I come up with a million reasons not to…..too tired, too many other things to do, too much work, and every other excuse out there.  Tonight after reading through several of my favorite blogs I was inspired to get back at it.  Tonight I focus on Love.

For only being a four letter word, I find it to be one of the most powerful yet sometimes difficult to fully express.  Love can have so many different meanings and expressions.  Love is shared by families, friends, communities and complete strangers are often times brought together by it.  In my reflections of Love in my own life, I think about the deep Love I have for my family.  My mom and dad, my sisters, my niece and nephew, my mother and father in-law, my grandma, my aunts, uncles, cousins. Love.  My husband.  The Love I have for him seriously deepens everyday. He is my rock and provides me with strength and courage and helps me to be a better wife and mother. Love. My job.  I feel so fortunate to say that I Love my job.  It fulfills me. Love. My friends. I cherish those who I have known for years who have been there with me through life’s journey. I have been so blessed over the last year to meet some wonderful women of which I can say have become pretty awesome friends and supporters.  I feel it to be rare in life when you find those “forever” friends and I’m so blessed that I have several. Love.  My children. Wow I ‘m not sure I ever really knew Love until these two.  I’m pretty sure the definition of Love is being a parent…right?!  My two kiddos teach me so many things each and everyday and they too give me strength, and sometimes test it, and make me want to be a better mother to them.  My biggest wish in life is that my babies grow up knowing how much they mean to me and how much I Love them. Love.

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Omaha.

The first time we had been to Omaha as a family was back in August of 2010 – Jensen was 11 months old.  We love Omaha because of its amazing zoo, fun downtown atmosphere and exciting children’s museum.  Because Jensen had so much fun as an 11 month old, we were really hoping to make it back in 2011.  We came up with several excuses to not go on our trip in 2011, the biggest being the fact that I wasn’t feeling so great because I was 2 months pregnant, so I was determined to not let anything get in the way of our trip this year.

We left on a Thursday morning after breakfast and Owen’s first feeding.  The car ride took about 3 hours and for the most part it went well.  Owen struggled getting comfortable and falling asleep until I crawled into the backseat and put my hand on his chest.  We had some quite time for about an hour.  Jensen always does really well in the car.  She has had lots of practice going back and forth from Wichita 🙂

Since I am still mostly nursing Owen, I prepared everything for pumping in the car.  It worked out great!  I was disappointed I hadn’t ever thought of doing this before.  Earlier this year, we stopped at a rest stop in Emporia on our way to Wichita so that I could nurse Owen.  That delayed us by about 45 minutes.  So for all you nursing mommies out there, pumping in the car utilizing your battery operation function is definitely worth it!!

Our first stop in Omaha was the zoo.  We LOVE this zoo sooooo much!  Beautiful, clean, well organized, great exhibits, just an all around wonderful experience.  Owen took a long nap and Jensen had a great time walking around with us.  We thought about renting a double stroller (we have debated on whether we should own one, but can’t seem to justify it) but decided not to and Jensen did really well for walking almost the entire zoo with only having to be carried a few times.  A few things had changed since the last time we visited.  The aquarium received quite the make-over and was pretty extraordinary.  We were all fascinated – well except for Owen who slept through the entire exhibit!  Here are some of our pics from the zoo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jensen’s first time on a carousel!  She loved it!!

After our long afternoon at the zoo we headed to our hotel to check in.  We rested a bit, fed Owen and decided to walk downtown for dinner.  We LOVE downtown Omaha.  A great atmosphere with an abundance of restaurants and shops.  We decided to have dinner outside at Spaghetti Works.  After dinner we stopped at several shops on the way back to the hotel.  Once back at the hotel we all took showers and crashed……what a day!!

The next morning we woke up and went to breakfast at a cute little dive in downtown.  Pretty good food and yummy coffee which is exactly what this mommy needed!

After breakfast we went back to the hotel, packed up our things and headed to the Children’s museum.  The museum is a lot of fun and Jensen had a great time!  We played, explored and used our imagination.  Such a great time!!

Awww, just like mommy!! 😉

Grocery shopping!

She loved playing on this huge floor piano!!

After the museum we did a little shopping, had lunch and headed back home.  We had a great time in a great city and I’m looking forward to going back again soon!