Birthday Week

My birthday was a week ago yesterday (May 8).  I turned 28, which is one of those birthdays that isn’t all that exciting.  I don’t really make a big deal out of my birthday, but I always insist that Bob recognizes birthday week, so that I basically get my way for an entire 7 days.

This year, however, Bob surprised me with a couple of date nights to celebrate!  I posted this screen shot on Facebook a few weeks ago.


Yea, he tries to trip me up with these random things that I should “have prepared”.  (Nightcrawlers?!?!)  Remember the hints he gave me for my Surprise Weekend to DC??  And yes, he pretty much always signs his emails to me “Sincerely”.  Silly hubs!!

Anyway, he told me that he had plans for both Monday and Wednesday nights and that he had already arranged for sitters for Clark.  I was really excited!!  We don’t often go out on adult-only dates.

When Monday rolled around, I found out that my little sis, Ellen was coming up from Bethesda to spend the day with me and then watch Clark while Bob and I went to dinner at La Scala, our favorite place in Little Italy.  There’s an indoor bocce ball court that you can play on while you wait for your table.  Funny thing…Ellen had given us a gift card to La Scala and a home-made coupon for one night of free babysitting for Christmas back when I was pregnant!!  So this particular date was long over-due!!

Before we left, I opened my present from Ellen.  Look how creative she was with the bag!!1-image_1A couple of tanks and a new VT shirt.  I could ALWAYS use some VT clothes!  Go Hokies! 🙂

Ellen took a couple pictures before we left, and we headed out to enjoy the were halfway there when we realized, OOPS!!  Neither of us grabbed the gift card!  HA!  Thank goodness it was a Monday night.  We didn’t have any problems pushing back our reservations so we could head back to the house and pick it up.  Luckily, that wasn’t a precursor for the rest of the night.  Our food was delicious as usual and we had a great time chatting, people watching and enjoying some adult time!

On Wednesday, my actual birthday, Bob and Clark gave me some very appropriate cards!1-bdayI think Clark’s handwriting is really improving, don’t you? 😉 Update: I accidentally posted the card Bob got me for Mother’s Day first.  whoops! 

I also got a sweet surprise when I checked my email that morning!1-imageCannot tell you how excited I am to schedule THAT!!!

My mom had made arrangements to come have lunch and spend the day with me and she already told me what she got me for my birthday:1-image_2A butt-load trunk-load of plants!  This was so thoughtful and creative and HELPFUL because I have a less than green thumb and a half-bare garden in our back yard.  Remember our backyard beds?  Because Bruno has started using those beds as his toilet, I decided I’m probably not going to plant an edible garden this year.  My awesome mom got me plenty of colorful perennials to fill the empty space.

We planted them on Thursday.  And by “we” I mean my mom and Clark, while I took pictures and gave words of encouragement. 1-bdaypicsHere is a slightly better “after” photo:1-DSC03191

It’s going to look even better once we mulch and they grow out a little bit!

Okay, so back to Wednesday!!

Bob told me the event called for me to wear a gown!!!  Obviously he doesn’t know what a gown is because we were NOT headed to prom OR the Oscars!!  Glad I double-checked with Ellen while she was here.  (Bob let pretty much everyone in on the secret, except me!)  Even as we were headed out the door, I had no idea where we were going.1-image_3I was thrilled when we arrived at the Hippodrome Theatre!!!  It’s a former vaudeville theatre in Baltimore built in the early 1900’s that seats about 2300.  image_4

I snapped these photos of the theatre with my phone before getting reprimanded by an usher.  In my defense, I honestly didn’t know that photos weren’t allowed even before the show started. 1-bdaypics1 The show playing on Wednesday was Green Day’s American Idiot: The Musical.  Bob got us great seats in the balcony.  The show is more than a little risqué and there’s a lot of language, so make sure you know what you’re going to see if you plan to buy tickets to this show.  (No joke: some older people exited after the first few scenes!)  Not-so-secret Secret of mine: I had a thing for punk rock for a while!  As evidenced by this picture of me from Halloween 2005:


Needless to say, I loved the music!  Plus it was an evening spent with Bob!  We had a great time and now we’re even thinking about getting season tickets through the Hippodrome to see some other musicals that come through.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday week so special!!  Especially Bob!  Love you and your surprises!

Now I have to think of something really good for him!  Any suggestions?  Hurry, his birthday is June 30!!!!


Clark’s SUPER Party!

It is still sinking in that Clark is already ONE!!

We have had such a wonderful year with our boy.  He is sweet and friendly and just so stinkin’ cute!!  We could not be more proud!  So to celebrate, we knew that we wanted to throw him a birthday party.

With a name like his, it’s hard not to think of Clark Kent.  Even Clark thought of himself as Superman. (Remember his 4 month photo?)  So I really wanted his party to have a Superhero theme.  (Which you may have guessed from my hint a couple weeks ago)

Bob found really cute invitations on Vistaprint that totally fit our theme and featured a little boy that we both thought sort of resembled Clark.

I went with yellow, blue and red as the main colors when I set the table with our party food.DSC02980The red table cloth is just one of those plastic ones you can get at any party store (they are pretty cheap and I like to use them when we have parties because you can just throw them away after if any big spills/messes happen).  The blue and yellow “runner” is made out of fabric napkins that I already had.

You can see from the picture that we had a lot of food.  We chose to go with several choices of heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a meal.  Here’s a menu breakdown:

  • mini pigs in a blanket
  • sausage wontons
  • homemade mac n’ cheese
  • deviled eggs
  • italian pinwheels
  • baked brie
  • cocktail meatballs
  • homemade salsa and chips
  • veggie tray
  • fruit salad
  • potato chips/pretzels

We hung a few balloons over the table and I made some tissue poms to hang above the bay window where we put the gifts.

We sort of have two doors that lead into our house.  The front door that opens to a small vestibule with a coat closet and then a door that leads into the living room.  I decorated the living room door to look like a telephone booth.  Ya know, so everyone could change into their alter-egos before coming in to the party.DSC03022

I hung Clark’s monthly pictures from the mantel by stapling them to a couple pieces of thick ribbon.  I also had a lot of fun making comic book speech bubbles to hang around the house.  (BANG!) DSC02984

See that last picture of Clark on the mantel?  On Friday, my mom and I dressed him up as Clark Kent for a little photo shoot.  I made the blue onesie and he wore it on Saturday for the party.DSCN1817What a cutie!  This picture cracks me up!

On one of the walls in our living room, I wanted a comic book-esque city scape for people to use as a photo backdrop to take silly pictures.

My mom and brother-in-law Kevin did an awesome job executing the project!  It came out exactly how I had envisioned it!DSC02983I made a few props (a cape, couple masks and some speech bubbles to hold) and a few people were brave enough to take some pictures at the beginning of the party.


Bob’s mom, Bob’s sister-Leslie, my sister-Ellen
(Hope my mother-in-law forgives me for posting this picture)


Christine and Dave
Seriously…save the date photo? 🙂


Clark with Christine and Brittany (appropriately in her Clark Kent glasses)


My dad with Clark

And of course I wanted a family photo.  This was the best one we got because Clark thought my mask was hilarious.DSC02998The speech bubbles got used for regular photos too, since some people felt “too cool” for the backdrop.


Kara, Rusty


My Mom and her dog, Jake

Most of the guests were adults.  But Clark got to play/flirt with Izzy (20 months) while we all oohed and aahed at how cute they were.DSC02986DSC02987Oh yeah, and see the TV in the background?  I made a slideshow of pictures from Clark’s first year that we played on mute in the background throughout the party.  (I’ll post the slideshow later this week or next)

Of course, no birthday is complete without cake!  Clarky got his own cupcake when we sang him Happy Birthday.DSC02999 DSC03003He kind of liked it, but by this point, he was pretty tired so he didn’t eat very much.

I had big plans to decorate the cake in some really cool way, but when it came down to it, I ran out of time and ended up with this.DSC03005It’s a double layer yellow cake with chocolate icing.  My mom made it, and the tray that it’s on is the one she always used for our birthday cakes growing up.  Gotta love that 70’s yellow paisley! 🙂

Shortly after cake, Clark went down for a nap, so most guests started leaving.  I made sure guests didn’t leave empty handed.  Everyone got a little bag of sugar cookies that I decorated with a number 1 in the Superman symbol.  This was after the party, when most of the favors were gone.DSC03029

When Clark woke up, we opened his gifts.  (Clark is so very loved by friends and family!!)  Our mantel still looks like this from all the cards he got.DSC03028It was a great day of celebrating our little guy and a full year of being parents!  Thanks so much to friends and family who helped make it so special!!  (And a special thanks to my mom, Leslie, Kevin, and Ellen who REALLY helped with cooking and setting up the decorations!)

Party Prep: Sneak Peek

Clark turns ONE on the 15th (next Friday)!!!  WHAT?!?!  Crazy.  His party is that weekend, and I’ve been trying to get a head start on the decorations since we’ll be out of town this weekend.  Here’s a little peek at some of the things I’ve done so far.  DipticCan you tell what the theme is?

I’m beyond excited to celebrate this little guy’s first year!!

Catch up

It has been a busy week!!  Here is what has happened since Friday:

Saturday – Izzy’s 1st birthday party in Harrisburg, PA!  It was a beautiful day.  Poor Izzy was feeling under the weather.  But this birthday party is more for the grown ups anyway, isn’t it?  It was great to see Stacy and Andy and all of Stacy’s family.  It’s always such a treat catching up with them.  Can’t believe they knew me back when I (attempted to) play basketball.  Haha!  Stacy’s dad has some funny stories about me from those days.

Sunday – Church then “white tornado-ing**” the house.  Bob’s mom, Mary, and sister, Leslie, came to visit for a few days.  It had been such a long time since we’d seen them since they were in New Zealand for 5 weeks!!  They got here Sunday evening.

Monday – Pretty relaxed day with MIL and SIL.  Had fish and chips for lunch from Conrad’s.  YUM!!  Our favorite!!  Walked to Target with the Baby Boy.  Made some rosemary bread in the bread machine.  (So the whole house smelled delish.)  We also did a little house work.  It’s standard when my MIL comes to visit.  Mary helped me rearrange some furniture in the second bedroom and hang some frames/artwork.

My younger sister and SIL are very similar.  They get along great and even call each other sisters-in-law, even though, technically, they are not.  So since Ellen lives in Bethesda and had off this night, she came for dinner and to stay over.  Also, it was Dave’s birthday so we invited him up for dinner as well.  We pretended we didn’t know it was his birthday and that we were just inviting him so that he could see Mary and Leslie. Then we surprised him with a card and an ice cream cake after dinner.  It was fun!

Tuesday – Mary and Les hit the road after some coffee in the morning.  Ellen and I went to IKEA (LOVE) to pick up some frames for her house.  We also hit up Trader Joe’s for some dark chocolate-covered espresso beans and banana chips.  They may or may not have been my lunch that day.  It rained all flippin’ day so after Ellen headed home, I spent the rest of the day organizing my stuff for the Bridal Shower.

Wednesday – TORI’S BRIDAL SHOWER!!!  SO MUCH FUN!!  I’m so ticked at myself because I brought my camera and was determined to take lots of pictures.  After everything was set up, I whipped it out and….dead battery!  UGH!  But Tori’s sister, Cassie, has a nice camera and she promised to send out the pictures she took.  I’ll post all about that once she sends them.

Next post will be all about the cookies I made as favors.  I must say…they were a hit!