Monday, October 16, 2006


growing up for me birthdays were a BIG deal. It was almost like our own personal Christmas. Not that we got a lot of gifts by any means, but it was one of those days I remember not being able to fall asleep the night before. My mom made it a special day. I remember having a lot of parties. But we did simple things like playing balloon volleyball in the family room. We woke up to the dining room table being just for us. Our current framed photo was on the table with our cake and present and cards from family and sometimes balloons. We always got to have what we wanted for dinner on our birthday. I always picked Tacos! During dinner my dad would say now lets talk about how cold it was on the day Kristi Brooke was born (Bozeman, MT in January burrr) So it was fun to talk about the day were we born and what happened. They always told the story of how the flowers my mom brought home from the hospital froze in the car.
It is funny, we didn't have a lot of money growing up and my mom had 6 kids but everyone's birthday was a really big deal. In fact my husband says my mom us ruined it for the spouses of her kids because we all have such high expectations of what that day will be like and we seem to have a hard time transitioning to the child/adult birthday. I still want the decorated table. Even last night as we went to bed Jeff said you know you are just punishing your future son-in-laws right now don't you, that can't live up and these poor girls. I guess that means I will just have to come and visit! Funny huh.
I loved that Carolines birthday was on a Sunday and it will become our new tradition to celebrate the families birthday to the closest Sunday. I had made Annie Kate birthday overalls, but thought a monogrammed dress would perfect for her to wear to church.It was so great because we were all home, we spent the day together, ate together. It was just great. ( I think the Winfields do this ) I had made Annie Kate birthday overalls, but thought a monogrammed dress would perfect for her to wear to church. I don't need the dress until end of May, so if anyone wants to borrow it for photos let me know. It would fit size 2-4.
Caroline woke up to a fun pink table (thanks to the ribbon outlet who sold me 50 yards of ribbon for $.89) Large photos thanks to Spencer who had just enlarged a bunch. Pink donuts. She had presents from her grandparents (which is so amazing to me with as many grandkids as both of them have to remember her is awesome) presents from the girls and a little crib and high chair from mom and dad. She was giddy!
Three is such a great age for a birthday! She opened her gifts and loved the sleeping beauty shoes AK gave her and tried to convince us to let her wear them to church. We said no, so she carried them in her bag which she held on to for the whole 3 hours!
She got a fun camera and book from Mimi. The camera came to church too. She was excited to find some money in the card from Mimi and it already telling me we are going to Target tonight.

she received a hand knit dress from Jeff's mom/ Grammy. It is AMAZING! The yarn is variegated and so the dress is striped. When she put it on Jeff says she looks like the little girl in the Lion, Witch & Wardrobe movie. It is fabulous. I just need to find some brown tights for her to wear it with. I can't imagine how much time this must have been to make this.
My other new tradition is taking a photo of me with my girls on their birthdays. I am never in any photos and know that I will be in at least 3 photos a year.
Jeff and Caroline. Of note Jeff wearing his Vanderbilt tie in honor of the win over Georgia the night before. She had a big pink cake that we lit over and over to blow out the candles. We forget to have her make a wish... growing up as a kid my birthday wish every year was a puppy! Seriously every year. We never got one and now as a parent I know why! Good move mom and dad.
One of the highlights of the day was a after church visit from our home teacher to bring a gift for Caroline. We seriously have the best hometeacher of all time. This past week he came in his uniform and talked about his year in Iraq and made us homemade pretzels. He and his wife brought her a giant number 3 made out of rice crispies. totally amazing to me. What a great way to show your love to those you home and visit teach but by remembering their kids birthdays even if it is a call or a card!

I had to take a photo of Caroline going to bed. She could not stop smiling! She slept with her camera from mimi, dress in the bag from grammy and said in her prayers "help mom find my sleeping beauty shoes" (we could not find them last night) It is days like this I am reminded what a gift it is to be a mother and helping put this smile on this little girls face!

for you monogrammers out there! I used Birthday designs from Amazing designs, applique cupcakes from Bunnycup ( I used wool felt and it turned out so great) and even monogrammed the back of the dress.

What did you used to wish for on your birthday when you were a kid?
And as always any fun birthday traditions that you would love to share please do!!
you can see her fun day here.


Anne said...

What a fun day, I love it. I know I've written about this before but I'm not sure where. Growing up, my mom would throw us an hour birthday, which means a present each hour all day long. They would be waiting for me when I woke up in my room or on the kitchen table all wrapped up and in a basket. Each present had a designated time and a little rhyme which hinted at the contents. The presents were little things like coloring books, chapstick, treats, my favorite cereal etc. This year was the first year I didn't get an hour birthday, it was kind of sad. We also got to pick our dinner and we didn't have to do any chores.

Kristin said...

You are such a great and creative mom. You have given me all kinds of ideas for our little boy and girl when she comes. Thanks

Rachel said...

It looks like you guys had so much fun, the picture of Caroline's smile in her bed is priceless. I totally forgot how much hair Caroline had when she was born...what a beauty!! I can't believe she is 3. We wish we could be there with you to celebrate, but until then....lots of loves and kisses the the AZ clan.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Kristi-- You have such a gift for making us all feel included in your celebrations! Thank you for making our days greater with your ideas, enthusiasm and fantastic pictures.

Bevan said...

Yeah, that is a nice tie. I can't believe Vanderbilt won that game even without Jay Cutler (he is now in the NFL siiting on a bench waiting for the starting QB to get injured or retire).

I remember I used to tease you and send emails like, "Wow, Jeff passed for 244 yrds. last night and 2 TD and still pulled in a 23 hour shift?"

mimi said...

This was so fun to read. That is a great family day, and that pink mile high cake looked yummy. Caroline is the cutest 3 year old.

katie said...

This is a tradition that my teacher talked about at school, I love it and had already planned on doing it the next birthday for Kameron.

Some ideas I have heard is that you make a pillowcase that goes on their bed pillow the week before their birthday (so if you celebrate on Sunday put it on the Sunday before) that way they know in one week it is their birthday. Also, for adults or teenagers I loved this one. In a book I read the man said that he would decorate the house in signs that told the kids what he loved about them, or just what he thought of them. Now that they are older and they are out of the house he mails them to his children (and to the inlaw children) and the spouse puts them up the night before that way they always have a special birthday and know how much thier dad loves them, I am so doing this one, and for Shad's birthday.
I am like you, I want my kids to have one really special day a year, that is not about the presents but about us just showering them with love and how grateful we are too have them in our home.

Amy said...

You are ruining it for your future sons in law. Actually, I thing you have such a cool family that your daughters will look for men who are just as great. Caroline looks so adorable in her birthday dress. I'll bet she got several smiles at church--and hopefully you got some compliments on your beautiful child and your creativity!

So, about the story fo your birth--was your Dad a student in Bozeman when you were born? If Jeremy could live anywhere it would be Bozeman. It's a cool little town, but, yeah, the winters are brutal from what I hear.

Laurie said...

Thanks for sharing more traditions. I think they're great.

Jeff is right - they probably will have high expectations, but I think it's worth it. My parents were so good to me, and as a result I have high expectations, but mostly of myself. Mostly I feel the love of the Lord b/c they have loved me so much. It's a wonderful thing. I posted about this a bit on my blog about my dad today.

Cristin said...

Such a great the outfit..and all your great ideas! I think everyone should celebrate Caroline style!!!! Very fun.

stacys said...

Yes- I would love to have the dress for Ellie's 4th Birthday in December!! I promise to love it carefully and send it right back. She is in love with the colors pink and green right now so its perfect.
This might sound gross to some, but my favorite birthday tradition from my Mom is she would wrap pennies (the same number as the year that I was turning) in wax paper and hid them in the layer of frosting between the cake layers. (I always thought she baked them right in...haha). Then whoever found one in their cake was lucky for the whole year. It was always a big hit with my friends at my birthday parties. My sister still wakes up her teenage boys on their birthday with her tradition of breakfast in bed and a new book. Mark's mom would make a big banner out of butcher paper and hang it on their bedroom door with bells and noisey stuff. It was a different design each year. I love birthdays! Thanks for your great ideas Kristi!

Claudissima said...

OHHH kristiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! I am in love with you! WOW you are amazing. I must say I LOVE MONOGRAMED stuff and I've never had anything monogrammed but still it all fascinates me! Well birthdays I remember were fun, my mom always did a nice cake and candles for some reason my family does not give is just not part of the package which made me sad, since I LOVE PRESENTS, but usually in the lasts years it has been a cake and out to dinner...I have been to Benihannas probably for all of my 20's decade! it has changed, but the person that has changed my attitude about birthdays has been JILL she made such a fuzz about them that I got so excited, only to get bummed because I do have high expectations and then they don't come true...I can always count on Jill's present, Alf's flowers and nice dinner and my mom so generous gift of a 100 dollars...and that is still wonderful. LOVE THE CANDLES! where did you get them?

Jennifer said...

It's true-they are ruined but in the very best way! I love the knitted dress-what a treasure. Isn't it nice that someone who loves you so much actually has a skill that you don't yet posess and can give your children a gift that you can't? I wish we had a knitter in our family-or a girl for that matter! Somehow I can't get my boys to buy into the whole monogramming thing! The baby can't tell me "No way Mom!" hee hee! Happy Birthday Caroline-PS-Having trouble finding the AD birthday designs you mentioned. Any tips?

Spencer the Bomb Diggity said...

I wonder if any of the other siblings always wished for a puppy? I know I did. I always wanted a dog growing up. Unfortunately Mom and Dad broke down when it was just Adam and I at home. We only had that dog for a month. Now I don't wish for a puppy.

michelle said...

My mom ruined us for birthdays, too, and now I'm carrying on the tradition. I think birthdays SHOULD be done in a big way! It's the only day set aside just for you and you should feel how loved you are on that day.

My mom let us stay home from school if we wanted, we picked dinner, didn't have to do any chores, she made homemade cake, basically we got to do whatever we wanted (within reason). And she is a genius with gifts. And you know what? She still makes me feel extra-special on my birthday, so I will just keep on doing it for my kids indefinitely!

My aunt Denise started a tradition at the birthday dinner: everyone goes around the table telling something they like about the birthday person, then lastly the birthday person has to tell something they like about themselves!

p.s. so fun to talk to you yesterday.

Heather said...

It looks like Caroline had a great day! I like your idea of having your picture taken with the birthday child. I am always the one taking the photos and am never in any of them. I'm absolutely in love with the birthday outfit. She really looks beautiful in green. One tradition that I started was straight out of Family Fun. I position cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet for how old they are that day. They have come to expect it....even for me and my husband!

Jill said...

Who cares if you're setting your girls up for future birthday disappointments, at least they get to have wonderful birthdays now and will be sure to give them to their kids too!

Our birthdays were always a special day too, though I don't remember too many specific details about them, just that we knew it was our special day and it was definitely acknowledged!

It looks like you did Caroline's birthday in a great way. She looks so happy in those pictures, what a blessing! I'm inspired and have Whitney's birthday tomorrow so thanks for that well-timed inspiration and all of these great ideas.

michelle said...

I just had to say that knitted dress is the coolest dress ever! Love it.