Saturday smiles: holiday/birthday edition

You don’t have to check your calendar. It’s not Saturday. But we were so busy having fun celebrating my son’s birthday and having family visit this weekend that posting my weekly smile-makers was pushed to the back burner.

Here are my holiday and birthday-themed reasons to smile.

It started with a birthday. My son’s second. Adorable, right? Let’s just say that looks can be deceiving. He’s setting us up for a more “terrible” two than his sister did. But Friday was his day to celebrate, so we did it up right. Homemade pop-tarts, eggs and sausage for breakfast. (In my husband’s family, the birthday boy or girl gets to choose their meals for the day. Corban didn’t exactly choose them this time around, but he enjoyed everything we gave him.)

And this crazy-looking plate of food for lunch. Octo-dogs and shells is what the recipe from the kids cookbook called it. Hot dogs. Cheese crackers. Pasta. What could be better?

How about dirt cake in a dump truck with gummy worms crawling throughout? Let me tell you, this whole creepy crawlie, dirty, monster, cars and trucks stuff is stretching my imagination. I find my daughter with her princess, dolls and ballerina obsessions much easier to accommodate creatively.

But I did manage to pull this off. That was cake 1 of 2. After a fruitless search for Bob the Builder toys (confession: I didn’t check Toys R Us. I just couldn’t go in there on a December Saturday. I might have lost my mind.) this is what I came up with.

So, my second effort was the one you see below. Graham cracker crumbs, chocolate graham goldfish crackers, tic tacs and some toys we had at home (plus a few extras I picked up at the dollar store) and voila! Bob the Builder cake without Bob.

Every time I’m able to make a special cake for my kids’ birthday, it’s a reason to smile. I’m no professional, but I have a lot of fun!

Next up was my husband’s work Christmas party. You can read more about the entertainment here. This is what makes me smile most about holiday parties.

My husband’s green pants. And people’s reactions to them. And the fact that we really did get them for like $10 at an outlet store in Illinois and the price on the tag was in the $200 range. Christmas is my husband’s favorite excuse for the green pants. Maybe second only to St. Patrick’s Day.

Our weekend of fun and celebration also included a trip to Koziar’s Christmas Village. Two years ago, we made our first visit to this incredible spectacle in the middle of nowhere. I was VERY pregnant, days away from delivering the son that just turned two. Temperatures were below freezing, and I was miserable. This time, I couldn’t wait to take the kids back and see how they enjoyed the lights, the window displays and (spoiler alert!) Santa.

There’s something magical about seeing Christmas through your kids’ eyes. As they get older, especially, it’s fun to watch them react. I almost can’t wait for the first snow. Almost. I missed playing with them in it the first time it snowed this year (in October!)

I don’t know what it is about lights, but Koziar’s Christmas Village creates more than just a festive atmosphere with their light displays. This one across the pond is among the first you see when you enter, and it’s my favorite.

We stood in line for Santa, and I had no good idea how it was going to go. I had fears that we’d be the parents with the kids crying on Santa’s lap with a “priceless” photo to show for it. It was close, but we ended up with this.

Corban was not crazy about this bearded man, but he hung in there okay.

I’m still smiling at this picture.

Other smile-makers this week:

  • breakfast with a good friend.
  • a clean kitchen
  • 12 days without a potty accident by the 3-year-old
  • washing baby clothes for my soon-to-be born nephew

On a gray, winter day, with a mix of snow, rain and ice in the forecast, looking back on the week brings some light and warmth to the day.

What are you smiling about today?


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