Next Week

Next week will probably be one of the busiest times of the year.  With two kiddos born the week of Thanksgiving there’s a lot to celebrate!  We’ll celebrate Gwen’s fifth birthday, Josiah’s third birthday two days later, Thanksgiving after that, and then have a family birthday party for the kiddos on the weekend. 

Thanksgiving will be at my parents’ house but the gals in my family will contribute. I’ll be making Anise Honey Wreath Loaves from the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Entertaining cookbook, roasted root veggies from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids, and a version of this pumpkin pie:

Ginger-Pumpkin Meringue Pie – credit

Every year I think of combining birthdays with the holiday, but if I do that other people may not be able to come since they’ll be with their own families.  As it is, they’ll share a birthday for a while.  Hey, as a twin I grew up sharing a birthday and I loved it! 

People keep asking me if I have special birthday plans, and aside from cake, ice cream and some gifts, I’m going really low-key this year.  I almost feel guilty because of it – I’m not buying matchy character cups, plates and napkins; I’m not going overboard with decorations; I’m not setting up an elaborate dessert table that seems to be all the rage. 

Last year we had a really fun train-themed party, but it all came together because we found my grandfather’s old train set while going through his things and we had just visited the Essex Steam Train over the summer and Phil made some wooden train station signs and I really wanted to make a train cake like my mother made when we were little.

We want the kids to have a special day with family but we also want to keep it simple.  I have so many cute party ideas stored away – just take a gander at my Pinterest boards! – but I’m only going with a few this year.  Here’s some of the inspiration I’m feeding from:

ruffled streamers – credit:
2 cupcakes for a mini cake – credit:
pom pom cake banner – credit:
mason jar candy decoration – credit:
birthday wreath – credit:
Triple Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake – credit:
Homemade Martinelli’s – credit:

I plan on making a lemon-raspberry version of the above cake, have a couple kinds of ice cream and some various snacks (chips, hummus, fresh fruit, etc.).  We have out-of-town family coming as well, so I’m trying to figure out how much to make!   

Josiah’s birthday gift is all wrapped, the Melissa & Doug Low Loader that I got last year and put away.  He actually found it a few months back and started unwrapping it – he’s such trouble – but I’m sure he’s forgotten about it by now.  Since it was already out of its packaging I wrapped each of the elements separately.

I still need to finish Gwen’s gift. I’ve sewed up most of the “mattresses” but haven’t done all twelve – arrrgh!  I made a little pea from wool roving and asked Phil to make a little wooden ladder so the princess can climb into her bed.  I’m so excited!  I hope she likes it. 

She’s so easy to buy for, it’s been hard to decide what to give her now and what to save for later.  We’re fond of Veggie Tales and I found a bargain copy of “Sweetpea Beauty“, which we checked out of the library at one point and really enjoyed (guess I’ll have to save “Tangled” for another time).  I also found a whole slew of books at a secondhand store over the Summer – a whole set of brand new Angelina Ballerina books, a favorite character of hers.  I gave her Angelina’s Halloween on Halloween morning along with her butterfly wings, plan to give her Angelina’s Christmas on Christmas and am saving Angelina’s Baby Sister for when the little one arrives in February – when to give her the rest??  I also found A Birthday for Frances – she was always a favorite of mine and Gwen has become fond of her as well. 

Looking forward to next week, not only the family celebrations and giving thanks for all of our blessings, but having my twin brother and sister-in-law stay with us.  I’ve been cleaning most of the morning and am worn out!  I’m feeling huuuuge at just over six month’s pregnant and am not quite sure how I’m going to last the winter.  

Wish me luck!