I have a three year old. What?! That is just plain crazy and surreal and heart exploding, all in the same breath. Emerson’s birthday was on the first this month and I honestly still can’t believe it. For me, birthdays have always been on the rougher side. It’s obviously such a happy celebration, but there is always this part of me just begging the years to slow down. I feel like I can’t take all this growing up so fast business. We started talking to E about him turning three a few months prior but really focused on it the week before. In general, Adi and I like to keep birthdays more of a family affair, but since we may be moving and some of E’s closest friends are moving away this summer, we told him he could have a little party this year with them. We asked him to make a list of three things he really wanted to do and his list was short and simple: eat cake, go in the pool, and fireworks. Yes, fireworks… did someone say simple? I know this is such a parent thing to say but last year, we celebrated his birthday with family on the fourth of July and shamelessly told him the fireworks were for his birthday. Kid might as well have scored a 2400 on his SAT’s. No, but seriously… the firework bit? Whose idea was that anyway? #brilliantparenting

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Every stage with Emerson has been “my favorite”. I caught myself saying, this is the best! all the time and I am so incredibly thankful for the time I had with just him, before our sweetpea girl arrived. Sometimes, I feel very protective of those memories and get really sad when I think that he probably won’t remember any of it. Thank God for my camera, this blog, my phone, and Instagram. Not even kidding. We were pretty attached at the hip, E and I, like two really great best friends that grew up together—which, we both literally and figuratively did. I worried about how E would welcome Sienna into our little clique but most days, I feel like the odd one out and I couldn’t be happier to see them be the best of friends. Gosh, I love them both times infinity to the infinity power.

Emerson3rdBirthdayParty (4)This 3 year old stage is so great, you guys. Dare I say, the best one yet. He is so full of life, his personality is so much fun, his mind is working a thousand miles an hour, and his humor is spot on. He dances in his underwear (no idea where he learned that one…), sings at the top of his lungs (no career in music, I can tell you that much), and is thankfully, still my best friend (but Sienna and daddy’s too… he can never leave them out). His social skills have taken off in the last year and he constantly impresses us with his eagerness to try new things. He is still a very cautious, calculated type, which he has always been, but we’re so incredibly proud of how many 2 year old fears he’s been able to conquer lately (like going underwater). Speaking of conquering, about 4 months before he turned 3, he just flipped a switch and was suddenly potty trained. Just like that. No bribery, no sticker game, no potty songs or dances needed, nothing. Just one day, he wanted underwear and declared he was done with diapers and we haven’t looked back since. PROOF, you guys, that Jesus cares even about potty prayers. AMEN.

He has such a big, beautiful heart and from what we can see, he’s eager to please. The worst thing in the world for him is to know that we are upset with him if he’s misbehaved. He’s a true Florida beach boy, loves to paint, wants to be a fireman (an upgrade from a firetruck), and is in the “why” stage, which makes for some pretty interesting explanations on our part. He’s also a big fan of pretend games. Don’t be surprised if you find us shirtless or in bathing suits in the house “jumping in the pool,” aka, off our sofa. Yes, we’re a wild bunch and we’re all about encouraging imaginary play. One of my most favorite things about him though, is how affectionate he is. I remember him being younger and wondering if the days when he would say “I love you” to us would ever come and if he would ever understand what it meant. I truly believe in my heart he gets it. And hearing him say it so often to us makes my mama heart quadruple in size.

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Below are about 200 photos from his day (justtt keeding). I planned a “summer” pineapple theme because he loves fruit, and pineapples are kind of the coolest looking fruit out there, no? Also, this was probably the last year I could plan and decorate a party (which I really love to do) that wasn’t Curious George or Paw Patrol themed so, I went with it. The kids had such a blast and we made sure to include pineapples in our menu, drinks, and desserts.

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We set up an “adult” table which, to be honest, I don’t even know if anyone really sat at for longer than 3 minutes.

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This birthday card below was my inspiration for colors and decor. I loved how fun it felt and the colors were so great. I bought an extra one and Adi and I each wrote E a little something for his 3rd year that we hope he loves to read when he’s older. I love that tradition so much.

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Hey guys, look!! It’s a pineapple birthday hat!! What’s that? You don’t see it? Oh….

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On his actual birthday, I bought E a sprinkle cake, but this one from his party was just divineeee. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Wish I could say I baked it but my skills go as far as picking pre-made ones at my local bakery and then transfering them to my own cake stand. Wahla!! So thank you grandmas, for spoiling us all with the yummiest cakes ever, all homemade thankyouverymuch and boom.

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See those little mason jar pineapples? Emerson and I painted those, traced and cut the leaves, and glued them on together. After we were done, we were so excited about them… until my dad told us they were some great looking Indian feather hats. I give up.

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The kids table was by far the coolest because, well, those cups. And slinkys. And lollipops. What more could a child want?!

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There was no way we could keep the kids inside so we let them consume their energy by jumping in and out of the pools for hours. Also, do you guys know about water blobs? I had never heard of this until my sister in law told me she was going to make one (yes, she MADE that). It’s a sort of water-bed/slip and slide/hours of entertainment/best invention everrrrrrr. Thank you, El!! You talented lady, you.

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Adi made this awesome bubble recipe and whipped up this handy bubble maker thing that also entertained the kids and got him “coolest” dad award. I love that man and his crazy good skills.

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Meanwhile, the babies…. I just can’t.

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This is probably my most favorite photo of the day, below. It’s so perfectly depictive of E’s personality. He doesn’t like being the center of attention and when he is, he sticks out his tounge. I don’t know why but it’s just something he does and naturally, we think it’s the sweetest thing ever. Between you and me though, I think he secretly loves the attention because he’s been asking us day and night if tomorrow could be his birthday again so that everyone can come over and sing to him. This. Kid.

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And here, he is smiling for his friend Abi, who was taking his picture. In the one after, he’s looking at the video she took of him. Gosh. Seeing his friends love him as much as he loves them is some kind of wonderful I can’t quite explain.

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After the kids ate their weight in lollipops, icecream, and cake, we let them paint their little hearts out before the fireworks show. It was such a great day and I’m not sure if they’ll remember it, but I’m sure thankful for the memories. And for friends and family, because they’re the best gifts anyone could have.

Emerson3rdBirthdayParty (54) Emerson3rdBirthdayParty (57) Emerson3rdBirthdayParty (46) Emerson3rdBirthdayParty (45)And lastly, here are some pics we took earlier in the day of some of our family memebrs in front of that flag we all love so much. While we celebrated a 3rd birthday, we also celebrated freedom and bravery and this dang awesome country we are so grateful to live in.

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Baby Ezra’s daddy was making him laugh and Sienna was so in awe of his funny faces.

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And this little guy below would be my nephew, Avery, who I’m obsessed with. I’m also clearly his favorite.The feeling is obviously mutual. ;)

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This last one is an iPhone shot but it’s one of my favorites of my boys ever. Happiest 3rd to my big but forever baby, boy! We love you so much!


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