Another Birthday Party?

Last year, for Evan’s 1st birthday celebration, we threw him an elaborate birthday party. Randy and I rented a nice party hall by the marina, we ordered an abundant amount of food from Olive Garden, we prepared giveaways, laid out lots of gifts, toys and activities for all the kids, and we had plenty of in and out of town guests.

We were thrilled to be able to throw a memorable and beautiful party for our sweet son. It was Evan’s first birthday, a special occasion that we wanted to mark with a stand-out celebration. Although I must admit, conducting such an extravagant children’s party was a LOT of work, and needless to say very costly!

So this year for Evan’s 2nd birthday celebration, to save our wits and our wallets, Randy and I vowed that we wouldn’t throw another huge party like his first one. We kept saying all year that we would just celebrate simply, have a nice dinner at home, with maybe even just the three of us.

But then, we discovered this BEAUTIFUL local park and quickly changed our mind.

mysandiegolife.com

Randy and I absolutely fell in LOVE with this park (named Mountain Hawk Park in Chula Vista, CA) and we decided that we just HAD to celebrate Evan’s 2nd birthday here.

What we love about Mountain Hawk Park is the serene setting and its breathtaking views of Mt. Miguel Mountains and Otay Lake. Also, the entire park is clean and so well manicured!

Most important, Mountain Hawk Park has wonderful amenities designed for families and small children: a tot playground (perfect for Evan and all his toddler friends), clean restrooms, a basketball court, BBQ grills, a mini amphitheater, a kid-friendlly water play/water fountain area (AWESOME!), an enormous open grassy field for soccer/volleyball/baseball/frisbee, and plenty of parking spaces.

Our guests can even go on a very relaxing stroll along the park’s picturesque trails.

Although we initially wanted to refrain from throwing another large birthday bash, we just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to celebrate Evan’s 2nd birthday party in this gorgeous park.

Like all party planning, plenty of effort will be required, but I believe that by saving for a party fund, sticking to a reasonable budget, ordering food to avoid having to cook myself, minimizing our guest list, and planning well in advance, I can mitigate a lot of the stress involved.

Because Evan’s birthday weekend falls on Labor Day weekend, I’ve already reserved a gazebo for his party.

Just the thought of giving Evan a simple, yet still special celebration in this beautiful park setting already makes me and Randy very happy.

We realize that every one of Evan’s birthday is a true blessing from God, and it should be celebrated in a special way every year. His birthday parties don’t always have to be as extravagant as his first one, but his birthdays should really be honored annually.

What better way to give thanks to God for blessing us with a healthy and active son than to celebrate his 2nd birthday in this very pretty park – where we can all enjoy the outdoors and reconnect with nature.

DISCUSSION:

  • Do you celebrate your child(ren)’s birthday every year with a party?
  • What is your family’s favorite outdoor activity?

Share your story, your story matters.

Prayers for Motherhood

Prayer for Motherhood to Saint Gerard, Patron Saint of Expectant Mothers 

O good Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before God and wonder worker of our day, confidently I call upon you and seek your aid. On Earth you always fulfilled God’s designs. Help me now to do the holy will of God. Implore the Master of Life, from whom all paternity proceeds, to render me fruitful in offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life, and heirs to the Kingdom of His Glory in the world to come. Amen.

Prayer to God for a Fertility Blessing

Heavenly Father, You know my deep desire for a child, a little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image. Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will. Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit. Amen.

Prayer to Mother Mary to Conceive

Mother of Christ, you know, as no other mother can, the high dignity of motherhood. You know how immensely great the privilege is to call into this world a tiny soul destined to praise God forever in heaven. This is the privilege I now seek, Mary! Confidently I beg you to assist me, for I know that motherhood is so precious in your sight. And confidently too, I hope for this blessing through your divine Son, since Jesus loved all little children, and has said that we should allow them to come to Him. It is for this blessing that I beg you, to join with my petitions your own holy intercession, that I might be privileged to bring to Jesus a little one for me to dearly love, that He may bless it, that He may bless me also in my motherhood, and that He may then make us both grow in the wonders of His Divine Life. Mother of Mothers, Pray for me! Amen.

DISCUSSION:

  • What are the prayers that you and your family recite for special intentions?

Share your story, your story matters.

Heavenly Spa Pedicure

As a continuation of my birthday celebration, my longtime friend Michael and I went to Coldwater Creek on Saturday morning for a spa pedicure.

Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t had the chance to go to Coldwater Creek for their pedicures, you must must must go!

I guarantee you, you’ve never had a real pedicure, until you go to Coldwater Creek!

Their spa pedicures are heavenly.

When you visit Coldwater Creek’s spa, you can expect the best: clean surroundings, friendly and professional customer service, beautiful relaxation room to lounge in (with complementary teas) before and after your pedicure, plush reclined chairs, warm towels on your legs and feet, soothing music, wonderful aromatherapy scents, foot scrubs, deep massages, eye masks, and best of all, dim lights, privacy and silence!

The whole experience at Coldwater Creek’s spa was so relaxing. Michael and I felt totally rejuvenated after our spa visit.

As a stay at home mom, it’s not often that I get to treat myself.  I think it’s important for us moms to find ways to recharge. It’s amazing what a couple of hours with good friends at a spa can do for your spirits!

I already have an appointment booked next month. I will try their facial and massage next!

Can’t wait  : )

DISCUSSION:

  • How do you unwind and pamper yourself from your busy schedule?
  • What are your favorite spa treatments?

Share your story, your story matters.

Have Fun Instead

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day.

As soon as I woke up on Saturday morning, I was already consumed with having to figure out the logistics of how I was going to do laundry by myself at the laundrymat. My husband had to work so I was left to my own devices to figure out how I was going to haul my heavy hampers into our Jeep, then wash and dry and fold 6 loads of laundry – all with a very energetic toddler in tow. It was certainly gonna be a long, arduous and challenging day. But I’ve grown to accept that laundry days are always tough, especially with having to wrangle my very adventurous son at the same time.

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day.

At least, I thought so….

I was sipping my morning coffee, obsessing over my laundry logistics for the day, when I saw Evan’s tiny fingers slowly open our bedroom door. Then I heard his toddler footsteps running towards me. As soon as he saw me, his sleepy eyes smiled and his entire face glowed. He opened his arms, invited an embrace and said, “Huck Mommy, Huck”. I hugged him warmly and kissed his sweet smelling hair. Then, he took my face, placed both his hands on each of my cheek and kissed me. After, he tucked his head inside my neck, in that perfect space between my jaw and shoulder, and there he rested peacefully for five long blissful minutes.

At that moment, Saturday was no longer laundry day.

I quickly abandoned my obsessions with getting laundry done that day, along with all the other chore-related items on my to-do-list.

I told Evan, “Son, we’re going to have a lot of FUN today.”

Evan woke up so sweetly that I thought, why should I dampen this beautiful sunny day with doing laundry?!? Having clean clothes is nice, but having fun with my son is more important.

So instead of a surely stressful day at the laundrymat, here’s what we did:

  • I took Evan to his cousins’ house for a play date.
  • We took a long morning walk around my in-laws’ serene neighborhood.
  • We browsed through yard sales.
  • Evan rode on the back of his cousin’s tricycle.
  • We ran around at the park.
  • We sat by the water and watched ducks, turtles and geese.
  • Evan went on the swings and said “weeee!” every time I pushed him : )
  • Evan romped all over the playground.
  • We ate noodles, salad and chips for lunch.
  • We visited my Aunt.
  • Evan napped for 2 hours.
  • We ate chocolate oatmeal cookies for our afternoon snack.
  • We had a veggie pizza for dinner.
  • We watched the Laker game with Daddy.

So it wasn’t laundry day after all. It was a full day, a spontaneous day, a perfectly fun day. We didn’t even plan any of these activities. We just set out with the promise that no matter what we ended up doing, we were going to have a FUN day.

I learned over the weekend that sometimes, it’s okay to not have the laundry done as scheduled. It’s okay to abandon chores for the sake of having quality time with my son. I shouldn’t always obsess over having a neat and tidy house. Taking care of chores is important, but having fun-filled days with Evan is definitely more important.

DISCUSSION:

  • What fun activities did you and your family enjoy over the weekend?

Share your story, your story matters.