We celebrated a birthday last week!
It was a much-anticipated birthday. Much anticipated.
I suppose this was the first year that she really understood what was happening.
What there was to look forward to.
It was Zoe’s birthday!

Zoe - age 4-13-1

Zoe - age 4-12

She’s been talking about her birthday for weeks.
Probably because Olivia’s birthday is just a few months before
and that gives her even more reason to look forward to her own.

In keeping of family tradition of doing something special on the day of the birthday,
I asked her early in the week what she’d like to do for her birthday.
She didn’t need to think long, and said,
“Go to the beach!!”
So a beach day was planned, and a little friend and his mom and brother invited along,
since daddy wasn’t going to be able to go this time.

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The day of the birthday she awoke so excited she didn’t know what to do with herself.
We had planned a little party for the following night,
and she suddenly didn’t want to go the beach after all,
lest she not be able to have a party and turn four!
Since she thought we all know she can’t turn four before her party.
And turning FOUR is the event of her year!
It took a bit of cajoling and convincing and talking
to make her feel comfortable enough to be okay with the beach idea
without fear of missing the entire party!
But at last she was convinced and excited!

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Picnic packed,
beach gear loaded,
sunscreen grabbed,
towels tucked in,
chairs folded,
off we went!
It’s a lot of work to remember everything!
And I even forgot the salsa for the chips I packed.

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It was the perfect day to be at the ocean.
Blue blue skies.
Enough breeze to cool our skin from the heat of the sun.
Enough space for active little children to run and jump and play!
I don’t know if our children or if us mothers enjoyed the day more. :)

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There is something about the ocean that is so soothing and restful,
even when there are four active children running around. :)
I wish I could live there…

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It seems that I have just as pictures of the little sister as the actual birthday girl.
I think Zoe was so busy running around that it was hard to get a good picture of her!

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We went on a long walk with the wagon and stroller,
and when we came back we realized we had forgotten how fast the tide can rise…

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Not a pretty picture, and it was even more sad in real life.
My phone was in that pile, and was ruined, losing all my contact information. :(
That was the only sad thing about the day though, because it was so much fun for everyone!

We met Ben for supper, since he was working nearby, and he was able to be finish out the day with us!

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And because it was her birthday, she was able to choose some candy…
much to her great delight!

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We gave a bit bigger gift than normal this year…
[so the next few gifts will be smaller :)]
We had wanted a gift that encourages creativity and imagination,
not just that adds another toy to the collection.
The wonderful idea was given of a dollhouse…
so I searched craigslist and found this!
It included quite a bit of furniture as well, and we were all delighted!
I say “we” because little sis wants to be in all the action and play as well…

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It has provided hours of creative play already!
As well as many opportunities for big and little sis to learn how to cooperate
and play together without fighting… :{

The following day was the party day,
and Zoe and I spent pretty much all day making
cake pops!

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I’ve been sucked into the cake pop rage,
thinking they are just the more adorable little things ever!
I had shown Zoe a picture several weeks prior
and that is what she wanted for her party.

Sooooo, we attempted them, using Bakerella’s recipe.
We had fun,
we were almost in tears,
they were a blast to make,
they were a trial to make,
they were much harder to make than I ever thought!!!
[I may do a tutorial later on in the event that someone else would like to make them,
and just throw in a few tips I wish I would have known.]

We finished them up less than an hour before the party started.
Whew. That’s too close.
That’s a little stressful.

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Zoe’s second cousin, Matthew, has a birthday two days after hers, so we celebrated together!
We invited a few of their mutual little friends to play at the park,
and had a few dessert munchies as well.

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My great relief at having completed the cake pops in time lasted only briefly…
Because it was a very hot day
(117 degrees with the heat index – I know, crazy to be outside at all)
the chocolate on my dear little pops melted
and the pops did a graceful slide down their little poles and plopped onto the tray.
It was very very sad!

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Little Matthew turned 3!

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Zoe informed everyone she was now four.

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Some of the little friends, looking adorable in their pint-sized chairs.

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Happy birthday, sweet girl!
We love having you in our family!

And like you love for me to tell you,
“I’m sooo glad you’re my little girl, Zoe!
If you would be anyone else’s little girl,
I would be jealous!
And I would wish that you were mine!”
[she asks me to say this to her. :)]

Zoe - age 4-9

Zoe - age 4-13

You are dearly loved!

And the flurry of birthdays will be over…
after this Saturday, when Husband celebrates his!

~clarita

 

 

25 thoughts on “Of a Birthday and Cake Pops

  1. inanorchard

    Happy Birthday to Zoe! She is beautiful Clarita! Love the pictures of her in the field with her darling flower :) I’ve never been good about taking special birthday pictures, I wish I had taken the time to do that.

    Zoe’s doll house is amazing! She must have been so thrilled! I’m sure the girls have been playing with it nonstop. Loved the birthday party too! How hard were the cake pops? They look perfect! I’ve been tempted to try them but they look complicated. What a wonderful post! I so enjoyed every single picture:)

    Love the “new look” you have going on here ;) So lovely!

  2. Donna7

    Beautiful post! What a special time to remember!

    Birthdays are days that are remembered throughout ones lifetime especially birthdays that parents help make so wonderful.

  3. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    i had to laugh at your descriptions of how the cake pops went…the one time i made them, i was all over the place with how i felt about them…and, then? after they were done? the cake part started seeping out thru the candy coating and they looked (strangely familiar?!) herniated!!! it was pretty funny after the fact. =)
    such a cute little girl Zoe` is, and what fun times and memories you made for and with her on her *big* 4 birthday!!
    sooo sorry about the lost cell phone!!oh, that would be stressful for me/us since our cell phones are all the phones we have. i’m glad it wasn’t a damper on such a fun day tho’.
    happy rest of the week, and more celebrations!!

  4. SherriMonCheri

    I think Zoe has the right idea when it comes to a birthday…relax on the beach and eat cake :)  I’d love to hear your tips on the cake pops.  I’m still working up the courage (and occasion) to make them.  So sorry they melted in the heat :(  I had a similar incident happen to me last week, and while people said the dessert still tasted good, I think it would have tasted so much better if it wouldn’t have been so melt-y :/

  5. lifeisadance

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown – oh my word, at least we can relate to the difficulties of cake pop making!! :) i think the second time around would go much better, now that i know better what works and what doesn’t… but i’ll give it a little time. :) and yes, cell phones are all we have too…:{

  6. ABAHM

    Lovely happy days! The beach day looks so pretty and fun. So sorry about the phone! We know about tides, but often a rouge wave will get someones towel…try to put the valuables up high in our beach chairs
    The doll house is so pretty. I have wonderful memories of ours growing up, and saving my money to ride my bike to the special doll store in town.
    I would love a tutorial about the cake pops…they are very cute! I remember making a beehive cake for a Winnie the Pooh themed birthday, and it was so hot the frosting was starting to make a downward slide.

  7. erlinyoder

    I love how you make a big celebration out of birthdays, even if sometimes it’s just with your little family.  My mom always did well at that, and I have so many really good memories of my childhood birthdays.  You got some adorable pictures!!  What a beautiful “birthday girl” you have!!(:

  8. appalolly

    I feel frustrated FOR you that you spent so much time making cake pops and then they kinda sorta melted.  Ugg.

    The beach sounds absolutely wonderful (minus the phone incident).  I love that little thing Zoe likes you to say to her. How sweet is that! 

  9. FOREVERLANE

    You really are so good about doing special things with your girls for their birthdays. I hope to make memories like that with my children too! The cakepops are LOVELY. I had already decided, tho, to go with your cupcake idea (was that last year??) for Claudia’s birthday . . . and since *you* are saying it’s a bit complicated, ha ha, I’ll definitely stick with cupcakes. :)) I even popped a cake mix (gasp! I think it’s the first I’ve purchased since we’re married!!) into my cart today to make the baking w/ Claudia muuuuuccchhhh easier and happy!! See how much you teach me!? :) Oh, and the pictures of Zoe are so pretty. What a little lady! Prayed for you today, but see now that today didn’t happen as you had planned. Maybe later? And couponing? I’m doing some right now, but I haven’t ventured into the drugstores for deals in quite a while. I miss it, but haven’t been real successful with planning it into my life with three. I’d love to see an inprovement in that tho.

  10. baileyandme

    do you know how lucky you are that you live so close to a beach? that is something be be very happy for. :)
    cake pops– so pretty!
    i didnt realize zoe and elle are this close in age. :) would be really funny to see them meet one day. poss in few weeks??
    the doll house. i love it so much…
    pretty pictures– always!

  11. fruitloops115

    I’m really loving the feel of your beach pictures and also the ones of your daughter, very clear and soft and romantic, great job
    Cake pops. uh yeah. never been that brave. i’m just not good at all with doing tedious type concoctions. They are so pretty though, maybe one day I will muster up the gumption. prly after the craze has passed i’ll welcome those tips you want to share

  12. twofus_1

    Oh, I’ve wanted to try the cake pops for a long time, but they look like soooo much work. But I so badly want to bite into one. :) So sad that they melted at the party! Pretty swimwear on your girls. Sorry about the phone! I wanted your number at Goodwill today!!!! They had the CUTEST vintage pink/silver kitchen set for $18. I just thought I HAD to buy it for someone, but I didn’t. The dollhouse is darling, and I can imagine it will played with for years!

  13. grandpas_gurl

    Ach! Somehow i missed this post, i love it!!! Olivia looks extra grown up on these photos…and gracious, they just remind me so much of you and i when we were kids! :) Ahhhh you used my dollhouse idear!! :) And those cakepops are just turned out DARLING!! You do such a great job of making your kids feel celebrated and loved! So sorry, i didn’t have a chance to send birthday gifts…hope she doesn’t mind belated ones! :) Did Zoe pick out her outfits that day? Lol! :)

  14. redladybug18

    I’ve made those cake pops with kids I’ve babysat before and they were so fun…I guess a bit tricky in hot temps…wouldn’t have thought about them melting away. Zoe’s party sounds lovely anyway and she’s so cute!!

  15. dreamstillcometrue

    Oh my precious niece… only four years she’s been in my life but already I can’t imagine it without her. Cheers to you being the extremely much funnest mommy ever!

  16. WasabiBek

    wow! the day at the beach sounds wonderful, the cake pops look like a total trial. glad Zoe was able to have a super fun birthday. such FUN talking with you the other day!!!

  17. lifeisadance

    @twofus_1 – oh my goodness, I WANT that kitchen set!!! never mind i wouldn’t know how in the world we’d ever get it from there to here… :{

    @baileyandme – i know, we are really lucky to live this close to the ocean! i think of it often, because i didn’t grow up close to it, but i just love the water!

    @fruitloops115 – goodness, i feel flattered. :) anything i do right with pictures are tips i’ve picked up from great photographers – like looking at your *your* amazing pics. :)

     

  18. smilesbymiles

    What a sweet birthday celebration extended! Birthdays are just the best! You know, I think all the celebrating helps keep happy vibes associated with birthdays even at thirty (instead of not wanting to get older). :) The cake pops are just way, way, WAY adorable! I’m not a cake person, but I so want one of those! :) They are just the right size for someone who just wants a bite or two. I’m so sorry they melted after all that hard work. I bet Zoe will remember the fun of them though and not the fact that they puddled on the tray. :)

  19. justcallmeM

    Such a cute little birthday girl! :) So sorry the time-consuming cake pops plopped (say that real fast 5 times!). :) And the beach is calling my name too. It’s been too long since I simply went and spent a day enjoying it.

  20. lifeisadance

    @fruitloops115 – The sidebar took a little bit to figure it out, mostly because I had to experiment with the pictures and figuring out what size to resize the pictures… and I had to upload them to photobucket to create an html… but then I just dropped them into the custom module (premium feature) under “edit site” on the home page. Does that make sense? I’ll message you more details if that’s not clear…

    @justcallmeM – funny funny! I could only say it twice before I was messing up. :)

  21. down_onthefarm

    happy belated birthday to zoe!
    and…to you too as her mother.

    probably saying that because of how those special days have felt for ME. :)
    sweet party. bummers about the pops melting. they look YuMmY. love the balloons.
    the doll house. and ya know? i just think that i love parties!

    have a great weekend…enjoy celebrating ben!

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