Friday, March 29, 2013

A Windy, Wonderful Birthday

4/6/2013 Update: It's now 2 weeks past the party, and the weather is looking up--not breezy today, of course! I finally got some pictures uploaded. Enjoy!

I can't believe that one week ago right now, Hubs and I were bundling Munch up in the freezing March weather to go to the National Aquarium in DC for his BIRTHDAY!

We had a really fabulous birthday weekend, all told. The party picnic was well-attended DESPITE the horrid wind. And Munch was in a good mood the whole time! He even napped when he was supposed to.

Friday Highlights

Like I said, Friday morning, we went to the National Aquarium. This is not a massive aquarium, by
any stretch of the imagination. It's essentially a room in the basement of the U.S. Department of Commerce building and features aquariums inspired by various parts of the world--the Potomac River, the Great Lakes, the Great Barrier Reef, etc. We'd briefly considered going to the amazing Baltimore Aquarium, but at $30 a pop, we figured we'd save that for when Munch could "get" it a little more.

And that likely was a good plan, as Munch was most interested in the curving blue staircase. He looked at the large enclosure filled with American alligators and when we looked in each window, he said "allo" (water), but then he'd look at me and say, "stairs." So we walked around for a bit, then he ran up and down the length of the room for a while, picked out a stuffed starfish, and then we left, via said staircase.

Munch has been to the National Zoo twice before, which is technically in DC, but this was his first time downtown, near the Mall. We wanted to walk to the White House, which is close to the Commerce building, but it was so windy, and Munch was fighting a head cold, and I didn't want to risk him being sick for his party.

Saturday Highlights

Star cakes courtesy of
my lovely older sister
Saturday, which also happened to be my birthday, dawned at least sunny and, we thought, with calm breezes. Much to our dismay, when we got out to the picnic shelter, we discovered that in an open field, the wind was quite ... roaring. So some things went by the wayside--my MIL had gotten nice primary color tablecloths ... they blew right off, no matter how much tape I tried. I'd gotten some stars to hang up on the posts ... same issue, and they kept hitting people like Chinese fighting stars. I wanted guests to write messages to Munch on star cutouts--no way that was happening. It's a good thing I didn't get balloons.

Party favors courtesy
of my lovely MIL
BUT, there was a lot of room, which was our main goal. People mingled, ate pizza and cake, and watched Munch run around, down a sloping hill and up to the parking lot. Lots of our friends who we don't see too often came, so it was great to catch up, and it was wonderful bringing both sides of the family together. Hubs and I are always so thankful that Munch is so beloved and that our families' love for him brings everyone together.

Gold star for all
Will we have Munch's March birthday outside again? We'll see. USUALLY, the weather is at least 15 degrees warmer right now. I believe this year was an anomaly. And the lesson I am glad I learned before the party: Be prepared to adjust expectations. If I had had my heart SET on certain things, like the decorations, I likely would have been devastated. I concentrated on enjoying what was happening rather than lamenting what "should" have happened. Removing the pressure from myself and the event led to a very enjoyable time!

Amazing Hubs

And though for the past few years, my own birthday has taken a backseat to Munch's (in my own mind), so many people made me feel special for the occasion. My parents, sisters, MIL, and even some friends got me some wonderful presents.

And Hubs gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts he's ever done--a myriad of presents, some over the top and totally more than I expected, that are meant to refocus me on my writing. It feels so wonderful to have a husband who nurtures my interests and cheers me on.

All in all, a successful turning 2 for Munch, leaving me grateful for many blessings.

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