Sunday, August 12, 2012

Low-Key Six

You might already know this, but we have a unique way of celebrating birthdays around here. I like to think of it as charming and throw-back.

Throw-back to when? I don't know. Pioneer days?

I'm just not much of a party-thrower. Which is weird, because I really like to throw parties. I'm all about hosting the impromptu gathering. I think the key word is impromptu, which birthdays never are.

When required to plan ahead, I revolt. The result is off-beat and relaxed. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Sidenote: I once "hosted" an ice cream sundae bash and no one showed up. Nada personas. (And yes, I'm brushing up on my Espanol. You noticed?)

But what I will do is slap up some decorations the night before. Then, when the birthday girl and her brothers wake up, I'll let them eat cups of dry cereal in front of the TV while Mommy and Daddy rest for another hour while intermittently breaking up squabbles and shouting out random Silas checks with our eyes closed.

They will think it's the best thing since Christmas.

God bless Saturday mornings.

When the dry cereal will no longer cut it, I'll make cinnamon French toast with peaches. Also, bacon.

Sidenote: Are you tired of me taking these awful pictures of my food? Do you wish I remember before I dive in, thus eliminating the need for artful cropping?

Me, too.

The birthday girl's wish was putt-putt golfing.

I'm not even gonna say who got 4 holes-in-one. (Hole-in-ones? Holes-in-one?)

Though sadly, "she" still didn't win, because "he" proved to be a much more consistent mini golfer, ending just one over par. Creep.

Calvin told me to stop being a braggy winner. And I didn't even win. I mean "she" didn't win...

And now, a word on the Silas: He's exhausting, man. He rolls in peaks and valleys and we're all valley these days. Dude did not appreciate the fake golf club at. all. He knows when he's being taken for a child.

We headed home after golfing and ice cream, all tired out and emotionally drained on account of the above-mentioned rogue faux golfer. We had big plans to stay in for the rest of the night and survive until bedtime. It was all we could muster.

And then! A gem of a gift. Silas was invited to accompany his Papa to see Great Grandma Polly.

We had no choice but to go on out for dinner. Rubes picked Olive Garden (after some strategic suggestions) because, "They have the goodest macaroni and cheese!"

Reality being what it is, it has become increasingly important for us to balance including Silas in our fun and letting him go have a different kind of fun, with someone who is not us. 

Our love for him is unwavering, but small breaks are healthy for all of us, especially Calvin and Ruby, who still bear the fuzzy memory of how serene life used to be around here. These little breaks give us a chance to really focus on them, listen to them. An evening without drama and angst? Sign me up. Any time. 

A dear friend in a similar situation helped me see that it's not a bad thing to do this. It doesn't mean our love for him is any less. It just means that he's at a stage in life that may take us all down if we're not careful.

So now, here I am, passing the advice on to you.


Here's Miss Six. Have you ever seen a lovelier girl?

Me, either.

She's emotional and affectionate. She's a giver and a lover. She makes friends easily, she's not afraid to try something new. She hates bugs and she loves flipping on the monkey bars and riding Buck the horse. She's a treasure, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

As proof of her awesomeness, she fashioned a scarf from a scrap of the dining room curtains just before we left for dinner. Love that.

Sidenote:  A certain person in our family turned out for church this morning in this. I almost fainted dead away. From the time "he" was two, "he" would not allow me to layer him up. He even resisted basic matching assistance. "He" was all sports gear, all the time. And usually a little deranged looking. But just ever so slightly.

Over time, "his" style grew on me. It just became an extension of "him", and I'm quite fond of "him".

Never in my life have I tried to steer "him" into something so smack-down fantastic. I wouldn't have dared.

I can honestly say that as a mom, I have never, ever been prouder. Because at the end of the day, what's more important than layering? Let's say it together: "Nothing!"

The rest of our today included ballerina cupcakes at Nana's house. The boy cousins were all disarmingly supportive of the ballerinas. It really took me off guard. 

And just to prove that I'm still evolving, I made homemade cream cheese frosting for the Betty Crocker lemon cupcakes. Impressive, no?


Really, no???

 That's how we roll around here. We rock the box mix. We buy toppers from TJ Maxx, decorations from Odd Lots, and we call it a day. We call it a very, very good day.

Happy Birthday, Ruby River. You make our life pinker and brighter and you teach us every day.


  1. Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl!

  2. Happy birthday Ruby River! I love this post. And the layering and style of your kiddos is definitely worthy of a mommy swoon!

  3. We have a little guy at our house that reminds me of Silas. What wonderful advice you provided was so timely for me/us. Thank you.

  4. First of all, Rubes is rocking the six flawlessly. But that was so obvious.

    Second, Calvin swooned me with his layers. Completely.

    Third. Siley. Oh Siley. It goes without saying I'm a big fan. BUT, his Side Kick over here is switching back and forth between mountians and valleys faster than she's switching the light on the wall on and off from her crib at bedtime. Who knows what each morning holds, it's just a big hold your breath and hope for the best deal around here. So here's what I have to say about Papa: God bless his soul. Does he travel?

    I'll kick up the prayers. I shan't hurt.


  5. Happy Birthday to your favorite little princess : )
    What a sweetie!
    Your day looks awesome. The breakfast? OH MY GOSH!
    The scarf? OH MY GOSH!
    The fun! The happiness. The love?
    I can't event take it.
    Happy Birthday Miss Ruby!

  6. De-lurking to wish your gorgeous girl a Happy Birthday! Sounds like an awesome day.

  7. Happy bday sweet Ruby girl:)

    My food pics are awful...yours are yummy. I'm kinda drooling here over that peach French toast and bacon. Wowza!

  8. Happy 6th Birthday to Ms. Ruby!
    I love the pic of her and her scarf that she made so fashionable, oh that face. Nothing better than the smiles kids give when we take pictures of them ;)

  9. happy birthday pretty girl!

    and i love your shirt. that pic of you and calvin with the wind blowing is magic!

    i think your decorations look gorg. i'm all about low-key, baby. and i had lemon cupcakes betty crocker style w/ homemade cream cheese frosting just two weeks ago. we are twinsies.

  10. Happy Birthday to Ruby Cute Cheeks! I am the worst party thrower! Especially to my kids who have birthdays early on in the month. Poor Corbin- August FIRST. Oops...I flip the calendar and yikes... today's his bday. That was last year and not a lie. This year he made a count down chain in mid-July. I was prepared. But really that doesn't mean anything more than I had the cake mix already bought. I will get better, I will get better.

    And what La-hoo-za-hers to not show up at your ice cream social!! Please forgive. And while you're forgiving throw another one....I promise to be there.

  11. Happy birthday to your sweet daughter.
    All of your pictures make me happy - from the breakfast to the puttputt to the layering. Warm fuzzies right here.
    And holes-in-one probably fits the cul-de-sac/culs-de-sac rule.

  12. between ruby's scarf and calvy's outfit, i'd say one day you'll be strutin your colorblockin cuteness in some posh pad in new york. or an amish farm.

  13. Oh my gosh I loved this post, I feel like we could be besties! Just found your blog and am now a follower!

    DaNelle recently posted...The TOP 10 ways to save money, taken from the expert AKA my husband

  14. So sweet... Love that mini golf story. That cracked me up! I've been avoiding the mini golf terrain for the ONLY reason that my 2 year old would use his putt putt to hit hit. He adds a bit o' drama to this mama too, and I like your advice. (and we give "suggestions" for our kids too, hoping they pick where we want to go! ha!)

  15. A beautiful, smile-provoking post! I agree that sometimes getting some air and space from your kids is healthy for all! Sometimes it's their way of saying that is what they need. Giving your kids individual, special attention is so important especially when one child is more needy or requires your time and energy the most. I love, love your take on life and all that goes with it! Kids will not remember or care where you got your decorations from or what kind of golf club they had to use. They will remember where your heart was and how their hearts felt on these days.

  16. Happy Birthday Ruby!!! And my word. Calvin takes the GOLD in layering. I can't stop looking at his outfit. Is that weird? Yes.



  17. Happy Birthday, Ruby!

    (Thanks for sharing how life works when one family member isn't doing well. It is hard and seeing you are doing surviving and thriving is great for the rest of us!)

  18. p.s.s. I LOVE those big lots decos and I love your shirt. All those colors speak to me. And that pic of Calvin -- he seriously looks like a teenager to me in that photo. And I had wanted to say that I enjoyed this different kinda "Six on a Sunday" :)

  19. Happy Birthday to Miss Ruby River. She is beautiful. Her making the scarf is my fave part. A girl after my own heart. :)

  20. So much to love here! Happy 6th Birthday to Ruby! Such a lovely girl.

    As I was reading through this, my 2-year-old saw the photo of Silas Woods there and asked, "who is that little boy, um big boy, playing golf?" So he may have a point about that club.

    I agree that less is so much more when it comes to birthday parties! I mean, you can work your way up so much easier than you can do the reverse. But that looks like it was a spectacular day. Homemade icing?! I'm proud. Party on!

  21. What a lovely, just lovely Ruby and her party looked just smashing! Way to go momma :-) And wow, that Calvin, what a stud!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. I got your bithday cupcakes beat. I bought ice cream sandwiches this weekend (for my girl's 8th) with plans to turn them into one of those yummy ice cream cakes with cool whip and candy bars and fudge...and then somehow that didn't happen and I just handed out ice cream sandwiches to all of the kids. Oh, well. There are worse things, right?

  24. Happy Birthday Ruby. I have three 6 year old grandchilren. Ruby you are adorable.
    Calvin is a dresser. So cute. Is he feeling okay.
    It is an okay thing to give the big kids a little break and more attention.
    MY granddaughters are invited to a party every week-end. all kinds of parties. I think once in awhile a big party is okay but not every year. Glad you had a quieter one.

  25. Happy birthday to Ruby! We do low-key birthdays too. I've done big parties and am so exhausted it takes a day or two to recover. My oldest kids are turning 10 and 12 this year, so I've offered them cash to just have a family party (ie dinner and dessert) and not have a kid-party. They went for the extra cash! I told them we can arrange playdates with special friends but those won't be parties, though we can try to do something fun like go to the creek to play or make dirt cups to eat.

    My son, Ethan, just turned 6 a few weeks ago. What a great age! I have a Silas too (he is 2). Love that name!

  26. Seriously adore Calvin's attire.

    Amen on the advice. We've been there...the needing the breaks. And, there's not a thing wrong with it. My little man says "ah-yer-men" (amen). We're not sure what accent he's going for here. But as I like to say in regards to this AND his dancing moves...he must've gotten that one from his daddy.

    Happy birthday, Ruby!!!

  27. Happy Birthday Ruby! I don't "know" youy but I love you!!

  28. awwww, Happy Birthday Rubes! Can I call ya Rubes? Cuz I'm gonna.

    Shan, this is exactly how we do birthdays right up to the "take advantage when Sam is away so we can just be peaceful for a moment." It's kind of awesome.

    Love it.

    Oh and "he" rocked those layers. I think "he" should talk to my "he" who also refuses anything but comfy pants. I don't know WHERE he gets that.

  29. Happy Birthday beautiful Miss Six! I keep telling you we are twins. My kids' birthdays were celebrated in just the same way.

  30. My sweet and darling niece (who's name is Ruby) celebrated her 6th on Saturday, too!

  31. Happy Birthday sweet Ruby River! awesome name btw - just today I was wishin' for a do over in naming my girls 'cause they could be Ruby & Scarlett . I love your way of celebrating - I'm a spontaneous type girl too.

    xo ellie

  32. Aww, happy birthday Ruby. You are such a sweetie. Can't believe youre 6!

  33. Aww, so sweet. Happy birthday baby girl. And yes, breaks are always welcomed and appreciated, no matter what kind of kid you have. Never feel shamed. We need it for our sanity. xo

  34. Happy Birthday to your sweet and beautiful Ruby!

    Never feel ashamed of taking breaks. Sanity prevails!! Do it early and often! :)

    PS: You 'party' much like we do in our home. Easy, laid back and filled with Big Lots, the Dollar Tree and TJ's!

  35. So glad you shared about Silas. My husband and I adopted 3 siblings last year and this summer our parents took them a lot. They needed a break from us and vise versa! Love your blog. Marianne

  36. So glad you shared about Silas. My husband and I adopted 3 siblings last year and this summer our parents took them a lot. They needed a break from us and vise versa! Love your blog. Marianne

  37. Your family is so cute. Tellyour daughter Happy Birthday! this looks amazing! Thank you for sharing so excited I found your great blog!

  38. I just love you - and so appreciate your honesty.

  39. This makes my heart so happy. You have the best birthday parties, and I truly appreciate the Silas advice, having a Silas of my own.

  40. that is the best kind of turning six. i am everlate, but happiest birthday, dear ruby.

    [and also, the breakfast photo featuring your smallses is such a perfect slice of reality. i want the follow-up shot, with the syrup-baptized curtains.]

  41. You are so funny. Seriously. I've been out of the country for a month and I'm just trying to catch up on a few of the blogs that I truly enjoy. Yours is one of them.

    So I'm going to be a Hoosier-girl-gone-to-Africa before long. Be insanely jealous. But I'll probably never meet you this side of Heaven. Oh well. But you sure do make me laugh.