Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Choo Choo! Luke is 2!


This past Saturday, we celebrated Luke's 2nd birthday with a train party! I decided on this theme for Luke long before his first birthday, and ideas have been swirling in my head for the past year. This party was so much fun to plan and even more fun to host. It was the best thing in the world to see Luke's face when the train rolled down the street up to our house. It's something I'll never forget. 
 

We had about 60 people come over to celebrate. Our house was filled with friends and family, and lots of happy little train riders. I must admit - the train was such a fun thing and half the kids didn't get off the entire time it was running. Luke didn't.


 
I went a little overboard on the decorations this year. I made a LOT of it... train signs, railroad crossings, the train fare chocolate favors, right down to the banners. It was just so fun! I would dream it up or see it on a blog and had to do it. The day before the party, I sat myself down with 4 rolls of duct tape and made a railroad track from the street to our door. It was so whimsical and fun! 


Indoors, we asked all guests to sign a train book for Luke to keep. It's a sweet souvenir for him that he can read for years to come. We had all the food indoors including the cupcakes and precious cookies that were almost too pretty to eat. The party was at 10am, but with everyone riding the train, I knew they probably wouldn't eat right away, so at the main table, we had hotdogs, fruit cups, individual chip bags and popcorn (from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children - the best in Dallas!). In the kitchen, we had mimosas for the adults, along with cinnamon rolls, coffee cake and muffins. 


Outside, we had sodas, beer, juice boxes and water bottles. I wrapped all the water bottles in the cutest printables. 


In the living room, we kept it simple and just did a banner of Luke's monthly pictures and did LUKE letters on the mantle.

 

The sunroom was my favorite! We rented kid's tables and chairs and I went to town decorating the heck out of that room. We rolled out butcher paper and at every seat, placed a conductor's hat and bandana and train whistle and train fare - chocolate coins wrapped in burlap. Down the middle of the table, I rolled red burlap and then did navy railroad lanterns every foot or so. There were also crayons on the table and, at each end, train coloring sheets. Since balloons are Luke's favorite, we had plenty both inside and outside.


Once the party started, everyone rode the train multiple times. It was the neatest train and the conductor was so nice. The train had authentic sounds and played train songs and I'm pretty sure it was the very best day of Luke's little life so far. 

 

After the last train ride, the conductor let Luke climb up into the front and ring the bell. Best moment of my sweet baby's life! He got to press the "All Aboard!" sounds and ring the bell to his heart's content. He is still talking about that choo choo train non-stop.

 

Once we were able to pry him away from the train, we went promptly inside to sing happy birthday and eat cake and ice cream (or in Luke's case, a cinnamon roll and ice cream!). Luke's little face was so precious when everyone was singing to him; he relished every moment. Isn't it so wonderful to see life through your child's eyes?!

 

This was absolutely the perfect party for my little train lover. He was in his element riding the train, being with his friends and getting to eat ice cream and cinnamon rolls (together!). It was so much fun for me to be able to make and do all of this for him, and his smiles and excitement of that day will stick with me a lifetime. 

I'd like to give credit where credit is due! 
Train and Table/Chair Rental: Bounce 'N More (ask for Conductor Steve!) 
Invitations: Party Monkey on Etsy
Drink and Cupcake Printables: 3 Little Monkeys Studio on Etsy 
Train Coloring Page: Sugar Pie Studio on Etsy 
 (my mother in law made that beautiful burlap table cloth)

Luke: 2 Years!


Luke, I cannot believe I'm sitting here, writing a blog entry about how you're 2! TWO! How did that happen?! It seems as if just yesterday, your daddy and I were driving down Royal Lane at 9pm on our way to the hospital, more than ready to meet you and more than a little scared. To say our lives have changed is quite the understatement! In the past two years, I think we've loved more, cried more, laughed more and probably prayed more than we ever have before. You, sweet boy, have changed our lives. You're the peanut butter to our jelly, the mac to our cheese, the milk to our cereal. We just can't imagine life without you for a single second. 


We go for your two year well check this week, so I don't have any stats to post yet, but I know you're growing tall, you're thinning out and you're looking more like a big kid every single day.  You're still solid as a rock, you wear mostly 2T shorts, 2T and 3T shirts and an 8.5 extra wide shoe. Makes it extra fun to buy shoes for you, kiddo! 


You love to eat. Pizza, green beans, chicken, sharkies. You'll eat pretty much anything within reason for a 2 year old, but I think "Pizzi" is your favorite. With ranch dressing. To say you love ranch dressing would be a huge understatement. For snacks, you like grapes, cheese, chips, pretzels, apples, and popcorn. You do not like anything sweet except for ice cream and cinnamon rolls! For your birthday snack at class, we did Cheetos, since you won't eat cookies or cupcakes. You definitely don't take after your mama in that department!
 


Your vocabulary keeps expanding and you can pretty much communicate whatever you want and need to us verbally now. We still read books all the time, and your favorites lately have been bible stories. "Mommy, I read bible stories" is a sentence said multiple times a day in our house. You also have a great memory and are soaking everything up into that brain of yours. At church on Sunday, you asked for the animals outside (the donkey that was there on Palm Sunday!). You mentioned last week to me that your airplane in your room fell down (yea, it did, like 6 months ago), and you can recall other things that I didn't know you had comprehended months earlier. You've been asking when Santa's coming a lot lately. Sometimes you'll get a cute look on your face and say "I want Santa come every day!"  


This past month, we've been escaping the heat as much as we can and playing indoors. We still go to the pool a lot, but when we aren't in water, we're watching Clifford, playing with your blocks or cooking, or reading. You've been going to swim lessons every week as we always have, but you've just taken off and really excelled this session. You're going under for 10 seconds, using your arms to pull and legs to kick, and everyone seems really impressed with your swimming abilities. Now if we could only get you to sit still on your turtle when it's not your turn, we'd be in good shape! 


In our true family fashion, we didn't slow down for June/July. We went to birthday parties, the pool, had dinners with friends and, of course, celebrated your birthday! 


The last weekend in June, Mommy and Daddy went to New Orleans for Aunt Becca's wedding. You stayed with Nana and Papa for 5 whole days and did great. You played, you cooked, you golfed, you swam, you drove the golf cart, and I'm sure you ruled the roost. You got to play with Maddie Claire and had lots of one-on-one time with your Nana and Papa. I don't think you wanted to come home! 

 
On July 3rd, we spent the afternoon and evening at the Club, celebrating Independence Day with all of our friends. You played in the splash pad, swam in the pool, danced, went in the bounce house and just had a blast running around with all of your buddies. After the sun went down, we watched the fireworks at Kaboom Town on the driving range with all of our friends. You were more interested in seeing how far you could run than in the actual show, but you had so much fun and wore yourself out. You also discovered the fun that is a glow stick. 



On the 4th of July, we woke up and went back up to the Club for another day of fun with our friends. We stayed in the pool for as long as possible, and then went home for long naps before going to swim and eat dinner at the Jacks' house. It was a long day, but it was a fun day!


That Friday, we took dinner to the Edwards and got to meet their new babies, Harper and Hadley. You didn't know quite what to think when we were both holding a baby and you didn't have a lap to sit on! After that, we went to the Pinkston's house for dinner and you played with Brooks. You rode his roller coaster, went down the slide, did bubbles and wore yourself out. The next night, Thad came over to swim and play - you were in play date heaven that weekend! 


In addition to our big weekend plans, we went to Evy's pool party, Madison's birthday party and have seen Mr. David a couple of times! You've gotten a haircut, which you love, had tye-dye day at school and have had friends come over to play. 



For your birthday, we celebrated all day long! We got up, made cinnamon rolls, then took you to splash day at school. After splash day, you made water art with Ms. Nancy and then we came home, ate dinner and sang you happy birthday and let you blow out the candles on a cupcake (that someone else ate!). Then you opened your gifts from Mommy and Daddy and Nana and Papa. You finished off the night swimming in the backyard with your daddy, watching movies and stayed up extra late to see Aunt Lily.


As I sit here wrapping up what will likely be the last of my monthly posts about your growth and development, I can't help but think about how the next years will fly by even faster than the first two have. As I say over and over, the days are long but the years are short. So very short. I love you, sweet son, and it's my joy to be your mama. You mean the world to me, and I love you more than words could ever say. 


Luke, it's your Daddy here to make my annual cameo in your letters.  Mommy has written so much about you in the past year and as cliche as it sounds, it feels like I was writing this post to you for your first birthday just yesterday.  Your mommy and I are so proud of how you have grown in your first two years.  You have an abundance of unbridled energy but you are also sweet and polite (we've been ingraining "please" and "thank you" into your vocabulary as much as we can).  Your zest for life is refreshing and makes for many early nights for your parents.  We still rock together every night and we pray each night for all of the things you are thankful for.  My prayer is that we can continue to share those moments no matter how big you get. 

I love you buddy, and I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for next year and beyond.

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Hi! I'm Molly. I've been living, working and playing in Dallas since 2005. I love my Jesus, my husband Jon, and my precious sons Luke and Hunter. I have a deep love for Park Cities Baptist Church, Texas Country music, floating the river, backyard barbecues, crawfish boils, decorating, gift wrapping, gift giving, shopping, Etsy, all things monogrammed, cooking, traveling with my friends to great places, being Southern through and through, wine, football season, and the Texas Longhorns. I hope you'll enjoy reading my Letters to Luke.

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