Sunday, May 27, 2012

Julia & Kai turn 3!

It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing Kai & Julia home from the hospital.  Actually, sometimes it feels like a world ago!  Their birthday always brings back memories of the years that we waited (impatiently at times!) for God to answer our prayers for a child.  It brings back memories of hope, heartbreak, and a moment-by-moment dependency on His strength and grace.  Lately I have been thinking fondly of those times.  Although I would never want to go through that journey again, I long for that closeness that I felt to the Lord as He carried us.  Of course, He is still there and is carrying us.  I just allow myself to get distracted by the duties of the day.  Now I understand why Jared prayed that our kids would encounter suffering in their lives.  Although as I mom I want to protect them, I know that suffering is part of the life of a child of God and it is ultimately for our good.

Anyways, on a lighter note......our babies are three!!  They had been counting down the days to their birthday ever since Isaac's birthday two months ago!  When asked how they wanted to celebrate their birthdays, Julia said that she wanted a Princess birthday (Tinkerbell & Mickey Mouse at times also) and pink cake.  Kai said that he wanted Choo Choo birthday (Mickey Mouse also) with blue ice cream cake.  Now, how do I mix those two?!  The kids had preschool the day before their birthday, so we brought up Chick Fil A nuggets for the kids in their class and Rice Crispie treats in the shape of Mickey Mouse.  Jared took the day off of work to join us.  Julia & Kai were so excited to have us join their preschool class for a short while!  Isaac always loves going also when I drop off the kids and joined the class like he belonged there!  It was also "splash day" at school.

After having a big party for Isaac in March and going on vacation, we decided to have a low-key birthday celebration for the kids this year.  Although I love planning parties, it just takes so much of my mental energy and time away from the kids.  I realized that they probably don't care about cute decorations, hand made invitations, and a huge spread of fancy food, as much as they do just spending time with friends and eating cake!  This was a step forward for me to not try to be super-mom and just enjoy the moment!

We did start the day with donuts and balloons.  The kids loved playing with their tricycles outside.  Then for lunch, we kept our annual tradition (2nd annual, 2nd trip ever!) of going to Chuck E Cheese!
A lot of singing, "Happy Birthday to me!"

Thanks Papa & Grandma Jones for the helmets!

Lunch date!

Chuck E love!

Look at that follow through!

Another natural!

Then, we invited two of our neighbors over for pizza, play time in the sprinkler toys, and of course, cake!  We are so blessed to have good friends who live in our neighborhood and have kids our same age.  Thanks for celebrating with us!
M&M cake.....a happy medium for girl/boy three year olds!

Girl friends!


Boys being boys!

I will write again soon about some changes coming to the Christianson family.....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hilton Head Island

What is crazier than taking three active toddlers to the grocery store alone with mom?   Answer:  Taking three active toddlers on a 18 hour (each way) road trip/vacation!  Yes, that is how desperately we were needing a vacation!  Besides visiting family, we haven't taken a vacation in 4-5 years.  So, we decided to drive through "Low Country" and spend a week in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  It was a long drive, but worth it!  We tackled the trip all at once and let the kids sleep while we drove through the night.  Here is a few pictures of the kids in the van.
Isaac yawning

Julia is "chilling" and Isaac found a treasure (stick from sucker from the day before)!
The area was beautiful and the resort was right on the beach.  My parents flew in from Nebraska and joined us for the week.  The kids were so excited and surprised to see them there!  Julia kept staring at them and saying, "It's my grandma!"  Julia was also very excited to see the ocean.  She had been talking about going to the ocean/beach for months!

One of the highlights was definitely the beach.  Kai and Daddy would have spent all day making sand castles if they could.  Julia could not get enough of the waves.  Isaac was a beach bum and was non-stop action running from the waves to the sand castles (to knock them over). 

We also enjoyed swimming in the pool, riding bikes, playing at playgrounds, feeding the fish/turtles in the pond, and eating great seafood! Jared was able to get a little bit of golf in and I slipped away to do some shopping.  Julia and Kai really improved on their swimming skills.  They loved floating in the pools with their water wings and also would dunk their heads in the water often to find pretend "fishies."

We saw an alligator while on our bike ride!!!

Kai and Julia enjoyed an early birthday celebration with Grandma & Papa Jones.  We had a nice dinner followed by cake and ice cream.  They also opened a few early gifts.  They really think that the whole month of May is dedicated to their birthday!

We stopped in Savannah, Georgia, on our way home to let the kids run around for a while.  We went to the "Pirates House" for dinner.  The building was built in 1733 and had a ton of history.  The kids loved the pirate accessories and Kai kept saying, "Arrr!"


We added another daughter for a short while!!

Trying to resist jumping in the fountain
We were very happy when our van finally rolled into our driveway on Saturday morning.  We needed a few days to recover, but the memories made were worth it!