"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Real Day

Today our Sofie officially turned 4.  The funny thing is she wouldn’t have known that if we didn’t tell her.  To her she already had her birthday.  There’s just something about the real day though that can’t be ignored.5

(These poses for the camera are really too much.)

Even if it is inconvenient.  It is a work and school day, Lexi is at 5th grade camp, and Adrienne had a parent viewing at dance I needed to attend.  We made it special despite the obstacles in the way.  She brought muffins to school for her special snack.

4She was out of her mind excited about that!  Every morning she waves to me through every window, and at the last one we hold out our arms and say, “Hug”, through the glass.

When I picked her up we had just over 2 hours before I had to be at dance.

1We did a quick clothing change(who would have thought it’d be 75 degrees in late October?) and loaded in the car.  We headed up to Chuckie Cheese for one hour of do whatever you want fun.  I’m not generally a fan of Chuckie Cheese, but if you go at 4:00 no one else is there and it’s wonderful!


After games, tickets, prizes, and slides we headed to meet the fam for dinner.  Typical Culley style, it started as just 3 of us, me, Em, and Sof.  Between 2 and 5 it ballooned to a table for 10.  It was a hot mess of drinks spilling, babies crying, balloons getting lost to the ceiling, and lots of “get back in your chairs”. 

2    It fit Sof just perfectly though, and in the end, she knew today was special.  Not just any day, her day. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Birthday Butterfly

We celebrated Sof’s 4th birthday on Saturday.  4 years old.  I can’t believe it.  19 months home with us, and 2 birthday celebrations under her belt.  It’s surreal really.  Sometimes I look at her and think what a miracle it is how she fits in our family. 


She is a little butterfly that has spread her wings over the last year.  She is funny, confident, and social now.  She is smart too.  She can reason with you and answer open ended questions.  I’m so proud of my girl. 

  PA206272  PA206273

She has been talking about her birthday for 2 months now.  She learned real quick last year that birthdays are fun.  If you haven’t noticed, she happens to like having the spotlight on her! 


When I picked a date for her party(which was just a small get together with family) I realized our church was having Trunk or Treat that day.  I figured that was a perfect activity to kick start her celebration.

11  I laid out her clothes that morning.  She had a slight meltdown when she saw them.  She said, “I three, where’s my three dress?”  I want you to be 3 too baby!

1 She saw some owl plates and napkins in a magazine, and she decided that’s what she wanted.  I was more than happy to oblige as I think owls are particularly cute and the color scheme matched her b-day outfit!

8    When she saw her cake she said, “It doesn’t have cherries on it”.  Huh?  I wasn’t aware she wanted cherries on it.  Not sure where that came from!



The kids got ready, Lexi and Sof in their costumes, and we waited anxiously for the cousins to show up.


Once they showed up we headed out for Trunk or Treat.  It was a little chilly, but the rain held off until just when we got home.






  PA206294  PA206295

Adrienne went through the haunted camper twice with each of the littles!



There was a makeshift hayride.  A tractor pulling a trailer with hay bales.


Part way through the ride Lexi’s hat flew off.  My sister the super hero saved it…


Able to leap off hay rides, rescue hats, AND not spill her coffee!

We headed back to the house for part 2 of Sofie’s big day, commenced with the unveiling of aforementioned birthday outfit.

  PA206322  PA206312

It was very hard to get any pictures with the temptation of the presents next to her.  Once we got a couple pics she checked out all her loot.  Natalie was very interested too, but Sof quickly told her it was not her birthday!


Check out the size difference on these two.  Natalie is now the size Sof was when we brought her home.  She’s grown that much in just 19 months.  Unbelievable!


She ended up so happy with all her gifts.  She got a pair of silver sparkle Toms which she loves, but she also liked all her toys too! 

PA206336   PA206339

Blowing out the candles on her cake was definitely the highlight of her night.  She loves everyone singing to her. 


I knelt down next to her and she turned and put her arm around me and kissed me.  For a moment it was just us, celebrating her life.  Mama and baby.




Happy Birthday sweet girl!  I love you so much!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Last week we were enjoying the little pleasures in life.  Loving the opportunity to squeeze some quality times into our crazy busy schedule. 


Grandma Linda and Papa Curt came for a mid-week visit.  We managed to squeeze in hellos, hugs, a couple books, a dinner out, and good byes, all in an already full weekday night!

Thursday brought us sunshine and warm breezes.  A trip to the park was a must being that the following days were threatening a much colder, wetter version of fall.




Love my kids.  Really love going out without them.  It was a logistical nightmare, but what 2 mama’s(me and my sis) won’t go through for the opportunity to eat and drink uninterrupted with adult conversation.  We almost gave up, but we persevered and got a Friday night break:)


Saturday we hung by the campfire at Barb and Jeff’s campsite.  I. Don’t. Camp.  I don’t go near campgrounds.  I don’t play pretend camping with my kids.  I don’t even think about camping.  Never.  Ever.



I will admit I do like sitting around the campfire, as long as I know I’m going home to my bed.  For the record, for all you die hard campers, yes, I have tried it before.  It’s not for me.  So don’t even try to tell me it is.


So what could top off a week like that?  A trip to the cider mill of course!  After church on Sunday we bolted there to squeeze it in before rain.  We barely made it as the first raindrops fell as we threw away our cider cups and donut napkins.  before that it was 2 hours of pure fun and play!


PA076198  PA076201



 PA076208  PA076209



This wheel was totally awesome.  I think it would be cheaper than a tread mill.  I’m going to look into it.  Plus I’m pretty sure we could make our kids take turns generating all the electricity for our house on it.




The corn maze.  We felt pressure to do it.  We ended up going back out the way we came.  We (I) wanted our donuts.  We went in and we came out.  I’m calling it a success.  Isn’t that what the object is?  To get out?  See, we did it, kinda…



We’re enjoying the simple pleasures of cooler weather.  I have already started thinking about Starbuck’s red cups.  So many things I love about the coming months!