Saturday, March 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Bea!


Today we celebrate the amazing miracle that is Sweet Beatrice Starling! 
Three years ago she came into the world and made us a family of four. We spent today celebrating Beatrice and kicked off a whole week of birthday fun!  


When Bea woke up in the morning, she realized right away that the big day was here. "Today's my birfdy" was instantly followed by "please I open pwesents." Josie ran down and grabbed one and she was opening in bed just after sunrise. 

By the time we had our first cups of coffee down, she had torn through all her gifts on what was turning out to be a beautiful sunshiny, happy day! (Not surprisingly to those who have been following along, her gifts were largely Frozen-themed this year. So there were a couple new dolls to add to the collection among several new books.)

Happy Birthday messages poured in from near & far. And from friends of all shapes & sizes.

Josie headed to ballet with Louie and Beatrice & I soaked up some much-needed sunshine outside while we waited for them to pick us up for a trip to the WATERPARK!
This sort of captures the essence of Beatrice ;)

Long story short, about this time last year we headed off on a Spring Break roadtrip to Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin with an overnight stay at an indoor waterpark. The girls had a BLAST. Up til this point, we hid the fact that such places exist closer to us than a 7 hour drive. We haven't yet decided if revealing this secret was a good or bad idea in the long run, but it did end up being an ideal solution to the fact that when we asked Bea what she wanted to spend her birthday doing, "go to da waterpark" came out of nowhere.

CocoKey Resort is just north of Cincinnati - about 20 minutes from us. If you haven't yet experienced the joys of such a place, here's a pano & a few pics.

Where's Josie?
 The girls were SOOOOOO excited!

What a FUN way to celebrate Bea's big birthday!

There was even an arcade.

Between the two of them, the girls hit every water slide in the park more than once. Josie tackled the big, big ones that even scared me & Bea stood on her tippy-toes to ride to 40 inches & over water slides that she saw Josie enjoying.  There isn't video of any of those (in an effort to save my phone from certain death), but I did get these gems from the kids area. WEEEEEEEEEeeeeeee!

We had to leave the water park action a little earlier then we would've liked to, because we had a school event we couldn't miss that evening. We came home to a special surprise from Grandma & DD who got to pick up where we left off with the birthday celebration. Bea was SO excited. In fact, funny story actually. When I told Bea at the waterpark that it was time to go home, she let out an ear-piercing, foot-stomping here-comes-the-three-year-old-meltdown of a "NOOOOO! I'm not going ANNNNYYYYYWHERRRRRRE!" When I told her we were going home to see Grandma & DD, the screams *instantly* switched over to "Oh, Okay, Yay!" and she skipped off towards the exit. (Stinker.)

After opening presents from Grandma & DD and face-timing in the Four Austins for some birthday fun, it was time to don the traditional birthday crown and blow out the candles on Bea's homemade pink cake from Grandma. She was eager, to say the least.

Does it get any better than grandparents?!

Lou & I headed to the school gala and the girls headed to dinner with my folks. The report from dinner was that Bea fell asleep in the booth with a tortilla chip in her hand, and Josie wasn't far behind her. They were exhausted. Totally wiped out. (And so were we, truth told, but that didn't stop us from literally closing the bar down with some school families who snuck away post-gala.)

We spent the rest of the weekend soaking up some sun before it would turn cold again, putting some new presents to good work and preparing for next weekend's big (Frozen-themed) birthday bash.

How cool is this chalk mandala maker? (Thanks Carrie for the hot tip.)

This moment was actually a little bittersweet. My parents bought this at a yard sale for the grandkids a couple years ago & Josie is definitely just weeks away from no longer fitting inside it. I had to push them up the hill because the two of them weighed too much to power it.

Here's Josie on the scooter we bought her the day she turned three. She was very excited to show now-three-Bea how to use it.

Bea's 3rd birthday was SO much fun, and it's just the beginning of a really fun week to come. But, there's one last thing I have to share here that has been on my mind since I recently read the words of a childhood friend. Like so many of us do, I reflected on the photo at the top of this post with the thought that it is so hard to celebrate birthdays each year because it means that another year has flown by and our little sweeties are growing up all too quickly before our eyes. She is a childhood friend who had her own miracle babies (TWINS!) born within a few weeks of Bea and spent the last year battling cancer in one of her sweet boys--facing what is no doubt one of the greatest fears that all parents hold in their hearts. This sweet friend reminded me that there is nothing worth lamenting around a child's birthday. The alternative is a birthday that comes and goes without a child to blow out the candles again this year.  I will truly never look at birthdays the same again.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET SWEET BEATRICE.  Watching you grow up too fast is the best job on the planet!

happy birthday beba!

happy birthday to bea.
happy birthday to bea.
happy 3rd birthday to beba.
happy birthday to bea.

(lots & lots & lots of birthday fun has been happening here. consider this the placeholder for a report to eventually follow.)