For Finn's 3rd birthday party, he chose to have a "super-hero" with the featured super-hero being Spiderman, of course.  So, for his invitation I thought it would be fun to make it like a comic book.  I dragged Jeramy, Ella & Finn out into the backyard to snap a few "action" shots.  Here's how it turned out.



The funny part about doing this invite was that shortly before I dragged everyone into the backyard to take pictures, unbeknownst to me, my next door neighbor looked out her kitchen window and there was a man in her backyard and on her deck.  I know - yikes!!!  She called the police who happened to come during our little photo shoot.  My neighbor said the policeman couldn't figure out what we were doing and was a little curious as to why there was a little girl tied up to a chair in the backyard.  You know, just a typical day at our house...



A few weeks ago Ella turned 7! Seven!!! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown.  Seven just seems so much older than 6 to me.  Even looking back at her pictures last year, she has grown up so much. 

This year I really wanted to try and focus on making my kids birthdays special.  They have brought so much joy into my life that I wanted to try and give some of that back to them and help them experience a tiny glimpse of the exponential joy that instanteously filled my heart the day they were born.  That sounded totally cheesy, but it's true!

So I didn't do anything fancy, elaborate or expensive but I just tried to make their day all about them as much as possible.  One new tradition for this year was a birthday box.  I bought a cute, painted little wooden box for her to keep all of her special birthday wishes in each year and with the intention of writing her a birthday love letter each year for her to keep and collect in her box.  For fun, I also bought a crown that I "made" her wear all day (for those of you who know Ella, I'm sure it's no surprise that she loved that!) that we will keep in the birthday box.

Besides that it was a matter of letting her chose whatever she wanted to eat for all 3 meals, making any kind of cake she wanted (kind of regretting that one :)), meeting her at school for lunch and taking her to Target to spend some birthday money from the grandparents.

Here is the cake Ella wanted.  She wanted a cake pop cake that she could take to school for her birthday treat!  What a ton of work and in the end I ran out of time to display it as cute as I wanted.  Thankfully my friend Brecken stopped by and helped me or I never would have finished in time to get it to school.  How about Krispy Kremes next year, Ella? :)

Presents in the morning, lunch at school and dinner at Red Robin -
all with her birthday crown and loving every minute of it!!!

Here are some things about Ella at 7:
  • She loves, loves, loves gymnastics.  It brings out so many good qualities in her and I'm amazed by her determination and persistence.  Oh, and her upper-body strength.  She can whiz up and down that 30-foot rope 3 times in a row like it were nothing! 
  • She is an amazing big sister.  She loves to play with and read to her little brothers and if Chase is crying and I can't get to him, she will often stop what she is doing, without even being asked, and go pick him up to take care of him. 
  • In the mornings, she moves slower than molasses in the winter!  She is often the very last kid to make it onto the bus.
  • She is so much fun, loves to have fun and has a spectacular, infectious laugh.
  • She is very creative and artistic and loves to draw, color, paint and create all kinds of wonderful things
  • Is very social and enjoys anything with lots of people
  • She can't stay on her chair through a whole meal.  A few years ago I told her I'd pay her $1 for any meal she could stay on her chair the entire time.  I haven't had to pay her a dime! 
  • She is incredibly committed to reading her scriptures.  She reads her own (the scripture readers with pictures) every night before bed and I don't think she has missed more than a few times over the past few years.  She blows my stats out of the water!
  • Her room is usually a huge disaster and it doesn't seem to bother her. 
  • Like all kids, says some of the craziest things and has hilarious insights.  I'm in awe of how her mind works.
  • She is a more amazing, incredible, head-strong, emotional, fun, talented and loving daughter than I could ever have imagined. 
I love you Ella and hope your birthday was wonderful!



I recently used a Pottery Barn gift card that I had to purchase their Bedford large recharging station.  I've had my eye on this for a long time and when it went on sale and I had a gift card I decided to do it!  Why didn't I buy this two years ago???  I LOVE it!  It is such an easy way to stay organized and it makes my electronic life so much easier. 

I keep my the things I use most plugged in and read to go:  my card reader, iPhone, camera battery charger (DSLR) and my WD external drive.  It also has a little drawer that I keep our Flip Video camera, iPod charger, batteries for my keyboard and mouse, flash drives, my Canon battery charger (point & shoot) and an extra USB cable.

Great item!  I only wish my computer had about 3 more USB ports and that they made a charging station with 8 docks.