A Birthday Party for our Wildflower!

Someone please tell me how all of a sudden I had a newborn, and now she's a full blown walking, jabbering baby that had a first birthday party two Saturdays ago?!  

We celebrated her with a June Carter Cash themed party because JUNE!!!!  
We played up the cheeky idea with the song Wildwood Flower, and I totally called dibs on having the first birthday party at my friend Mary's new shop in Wichita because
a) soooo much cuter and brighter than my house, and b) not my house. 

These are pretty much my requirements for a party lately. 

I pulled a bunch of things I already had from home, and then Mary totally hooked me up with theeee cutest party supplies and one of her crazy talented contacts to create these custom invites for me because #thirdkidprobs...I just didn't have time to design them myself this year for the first time ever.
I didn't see Junie complaining because alll the heart eyes for these.

She was so funny...she walked into Mary's shop,
and totally knew the day was about her.  

I mean, clearly. 
She was wearing her new party dress afterall, but still.

She was so animated and was all about being a big kid -
walking around like she was surveying her party digs,
and then trying to sit in all of the prettiest kid chairs there ever were.

I was thinking the flower crown making station was going to be hit or miss so my three babes and I got a head start while we were waiting on guests to arrive, but as soon as other tots arrived the kids were obsessed!  I was so busy trying to help Ham (who wanted his flowers to go allll the way around, obvs), that Andrew had to make one for June (A for effort), and Nelle was happy as can be cutting rose petals into 1,083,924 pieces because SCISSORSSSSSS!
Artistic shot by Andrew!  A first birthday party is not complete without one.  ;)

Guess who won the award for flower crown on for the entire party?

He was all about it.

It does make him look very angelic. 
Perhaps he should start accumulating them for wearing at home?

June was kind of into her cake, kind of more ready just to get down so she could be hostess with the mostest at her party.  Now, had I made it out of ice cream...
well, we'd still be there.

Nevermind she has no bloomers on.

The big kids have been giving us concerts with those wooden ukeleles Andrew whipped up for the last week and a half, and it's kind of amazing.  What's more amazing is that no one has hit a sib with those things!

So thankful for our family and friends that joined us, and SO incredibly happy to have Mary in my corner when it comes to parties.  She saved my booty with this one because I was a wee last minute!

Happy Birthday June Margaret!
We love you, our little wildflower!

custom invites + place mats - Love Lore by Lark+Raven
cups + plates + cupcake wrappers & toppers - Meri Meri (bought at Love of Character)
napkins - Harlow and Grey (bought at Love of Character)
one and love balloons - Northstar Balloons (bought at Love of Character)
Candle - TOPS Malibu (bought at LOC - pretty much Mary's the best!)
florals - The Plaid Giraffe
wood ukeleles - my sweet husband!  xo 

Three Cheers for Family Vacation!

There's a reason people always say a vacation with kids isn't actually a vacation at all, but a trip.  A trip where you are still 100% accountable for doing everything you always do for them, but in a new place, without all of your things that make all the things you are in charge of doing more practical and safer.

Like childproof door locks so your toddlers don't wander on to your downtown Denver balcony while you and your husband + baby are still sound asleep, only to groggily hear knocking from the glass doors and watch your husband sprint to the said doors to find the children.

(Telling this anecdote for illustrative purposes, obvs.)

In reality, this vacation actually did feel like vacation.  Most of it anyways.  Probably 70% of it, which is the majority so count it as a win!

I started stock-piling car gear for the kids well in advance and had three entire tubs full of snacks, new lap toys and books.  And guess what...we used nearly all of it, and the kids were ahhhmazing in the car.  Like really, really good.  Like so good we only used the iPad for a movie once for an hour and a half.

Preparation and low expectations are the keys
to traveling with our brood at this point in the game.  Ha.

We VRBO'd this great cabin about 10 minutes from downtown Breck and loved the location and the national forest in our backyard.  We spent hours there finding sticks for the fire and hunting for bears (and Andrew and I praying we didn't stumble upon one).

Seriously, we spent so much time in these woods, and the kids took their job of finding the best firewood sticks very seriously.  Give them a task, and they're allll over it.
(Surprisingly we didn't see Henry's pants around his ankles out in public but one other time on this trip!  Too bad that other time happened to be in a restaurant right next to our table.)

We listened to a lot of country music in the afternoons while the kids played outside and we watched the sun disappear behind the mountains.

We tried to say yes more since it feels like we say no 1,542,399 times a day in real life.  Cookies for snack for the third day in a row?  Why not?!  We even tried to let Henry and Nelle share the cute kids' room in the matching twin beds until they wouldn't fall asleep EVER.  We gave them second and third and fourth chances at the next naptime and the next bedtime and so on, but they just. can't. handle. it.

Henry asked when he and Nelle could share a room foreeevbbber, and I thought to myself, "probably never."  (At least not a room with a balcony.)

We picked hikes that even Nature Girl Nelle could handle,
and June hitched a ride on me pretty much the entire trip.

June started walking while we were in Colorado!
She spent her time alternating between practicing her steps and eating dirt.  Ha.

She was so proud about both so we didn't get in her way.

On our last morning in the mountains, I drank my coffee out on the deck
and Nelle found me asked to play red light/green light except with pink lights too
which meant neither stop or go, but dance.

It was probably one of those you-had-to-be-there-moments, but it was so funny to me and SO Nelle.  I wondered if we would have had it without family vacation time, and that made me smile.  All these things we got to see and do together and just be and the moments that came from them.

We thought about driving the entire way straight through even though we didn't leave Breck until after lunch on our last day there until we crossed over the state line and were snapped back into reality with the time change and the math put us home at midnight at best.  We pulled into the Holiday Inn Express parking lot in Goodland and snagged the second to last room for the night.

We asked the kids what they liked better, the beach or the mountains, to which they replied, "the hotel!" so three cheers for Goodland, Kansas once again.

And three cheers for family vacations and perfecting fake smiles.