Baby K Maternity

Baby K Maternity

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Liberty University Homecoming 2013

2 Corinthians 3:17 "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty."

After coming off of a whirlwind birthday weekend, that turned into a whirlwind birthday week, we left during the wee hours of Thursday morning to partake in another whirlwind weekend to celebrate Homecoming at our alma mater. We flew into DC and our first stop was with Uncle Rich and Aunt Katrina and sweet little baby Ellie.

We went to the main street ice cream shoppe, had a yummy dinner, and enjoyed a wonderful evening walk around their new neighborhood. Because they insisted before we even got there, we stayed the night at their house and woke up the next morning to a delicious breakfast. They really outdid themselves, and it was just so wonderful to be in each other's company. I miss having my friend so close. I still cannot believe they live so far away now. They have become like family to us, and we now have a piece of our heart living in Virginia.

After leaving the Fisher's house, with tearful good-byes, we headed to that sweet little Hill City in South West Virginia. I think we are pretty open about our indoctrination of all things LU in Connor's life. We would both be so proud if that is where Connor chooses to go when the time comes. We made our way to the Hancock Welcome center to sign-in, and were warmly greeted by the entire alumni staff. We left with a bag full of alumni goodies, and I've been proudly sporting it all ever since.  

Friday evening Connor was dropped off with a great babysitter, who also happened to be an LU theatre alumna. Meanwhile, Daddy and I were able to enjoy a fabulous date night to see Aunt Hilary in the Alluvion Stage production of Les Miserables. It is amazing to recall the raked stage I made my college debut on, and then view the grandeur of the new Tower Theater. The production was wonderful, and I am so proud of Aunt Hil's performance. We picked a very happy Connor boy up from the sitter, and she sent us home with all of the adorable crafts they made together that evening. Connor wanted to go back the next day!

Saturday afternoon we made sure to partake in a true FALL tradition. We went to a REAL pumpkin patch, where you pick them off of the vine and everything! I may have been more excited than Connor. Not only was it Connor's first time at an authentic pumpkin patch, but it was mine too. Aunt Hil came along to enjoy the fun, and she told us most children up north take a yearly field trip to the pumpkin patch. That sounds great to me! I don't mind taking a yearly field trip to Virginia to go to the pumpkin patch, I see nothing wrong with that! After Connor got over the shock of the cold air, he quickly found all of the fun things to do. They had baby calves to pet, tractor rides, big wheel tricycles, rubber ducky races, bouncy balls to sit on, and barrel rides. It was the perfect fall activity!

We dropped off Aunt Hil, and quickly made our way back to the campus to watch at least some of the Homecoming football game. The stadium was full, the atmosphere was fun, and we of course sat on the student side. When we got to the game the score was 42-23 Liberty, I won't say how it ended, but we had fun none the less.

After the game Alumni Relations had a fun carnival set up for alumni and their families and we spent a few hours riding the rides and enjoying the activities. Free custom metal street signs, free caricatures, free cotton candy, and free rides...can you say fun? They really went over and above! Connor even found out he had super powers by making smoke with his breath as we waited in line for the rides. He thought it was magic, what a true Florida boy.

Sunday morning we left Lynchburg and headed to Richmond. Our goal was to spend as much time with the Zylstra family as we could before we got on our plane to fly home. This wonderful family has played a very special part in our lives, and we were so excited to finally have our kids play together. Addison and Connor played all afternoon and had so much fun together. She very graciously shared all of her toys, and hearing their conversations was a joy. They both are very verbal and were perfect partners for each other. Luke even let Connor sit in his police car and talk on the speaker. We enjoyed a delicious lunch together, and Ashleigh even made a special brownie dessert, complete with homemade butter scotch. She also sent me home with frozen home made goodies. We were so glad to have time with this precious family.

I think my biggest take away from this trip was how dear close friendships are. That even if there is distance, and you don't get to see each other as often, if there was a great foundation of friendship built before the separation, than you can pick up where you left off. With each loved one we spent time with it was if we were transported back to where our time together had last ended. What a gift that is. I hope we can impart to Connor how to make these lasting, worthwhile friendships. I hope in his life he will have these fulfilling relationships with others. What a blessing friendship is. Maybe he will make those friendships at Liberty like we did.

Phillipians 1:3 "I thank my God every time I remember you."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Connor's "Planes" Birthday Party

You are invited......

My little aviator couldn't have been any more excited when he first saw his ticket invitation! He thought it was the coolest thing, and proceeded to walk around with it for days. Uncle Casey did a great job designing it. I'm so thankful for our collaboration and his willingness to lend his talent! What boy wouldn't love his one of a kind birthday invitation, especially when it gives you your own airline?

Only stellar airlines give you this type of in-flight service. Grandma Glenda found great vintage suitcases for our table tops, and again Uncle Casey designed all of my signs. We ordered sub wheels from Publix and put together delicious little meal boxes to sustain the souls during their flight. The containers were graciously donated by the deli team and I put Planes stickers on them to give them the extra touch. 

We had set aside some of the Lowe's Build and Grow wooden models we had picked up while they were doing their promotions for our guest's to sign as a keepsake for Connor. We have a signed baseball from his first birthday, and these fabulous planes for his third. I just have to find what Mickey signed last year. I had more suitcase props set up for squeezies (applesauce) and fruit bites. I also had all of their goody boxes lined up ready for them to use for the pinata. I would have to say their goody box was fun to put together, and all of the kids had so much fun going through them and finding their new treasures. 

The Jet Fuel Station had them entertained for hours. We had found these great jets that when you throw them the rings on the back put out the best bubbles. The boys LOVED them. On the same table I had wooden Planes gliders they could put together, and even foam Dusty gliders that all of the kids soared through the air. There were movie posters and tatoos and paper airplanes. It was a FUN table!

I loved the Dusty Pinata we found and instead of smashing it to death the kids pulled a string that opened up a hole in it's belly. It was fun because they could all do it together and at once. I think we packed it a little too much with candy, because nothing came out of the hole....we had to shake it, and I may or may not have started throwing the extra candy I had into the pile of kids grouped at the bottom of the plane. The giggles and squeals of excitement were priceless.

I loved his pull-apart cake. Everyone got their own cupcake, and I didn't have to worry about forks or cutting up a cake and having leftovers. I also designed this cake telling the bakery my vision and pointing out pictures of what I wanted since Publix doesn't offer a "Planes" themed cake. I think they did a great job, and I added the "Planes" characters after I had it in my possession. The only thing that didn't go according to design was them spelling Connor's name wrong. Story of my life.

It was a gorgeous day full of love and celebration. Tim had found this excellent park right next to North Perry Airport and the entire morning we got the privilege of the sight and sound of the airplanes taking off and landing. It was also special because this was an airport Grandpa Gary often used and I have memories of going to as a child. It was awesome to watch the kids arrive and to see their reaction to the first plane they heard take off. Watching their little fingers point to the sky was the exact reason we picked this park. More importantly were the loved ones that spent their morning with us to celebrate Connor. We are lucky to have have such a strong family, and to have friends that have become family. The adults were all relaxed and enjoying themselves, and the kids had free reign of the playground. Everyone was having fun. Laughter filled the air, and I knew it was a success. I still can't believe how perfectly it all went. Thank you to those who made it so special and for loving our Connor. Now I just have to sit down and finish all of the thank you cards.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Connor's Epic Birthday Weekend

 October 11, 2013 we welcomed a new year for our sweet Connor boy. We no longer have a baby, we officially have a 3 year old boy. I'm not even sure how I feel about all of this, but we did know we wanted to make it as special as possible! This is the first year he truly understood the concept of "birthday" and was super excited about his. After he went to sleep the night before his birthday, Daddy and I put streamers up on his doorway and blew up many balloons to put in the hallway outside of his door. He was very surprised when he woke up to say the least. He wasn't sure if he was allowed to come out of his room, and he said "Hey guys, what's this in my door?" Connor had so much fun walking through the streamers and throwing the balloons. We also took our rocking chair picture before getting started with the day. It is amazing to see how much he has grown. He spent the day with grandma Glenda and she made it very special for him. He even came to mommy's school for lunch and my entire class sang Happy Birthday to him. He was a celebrity.

 Connor for days had been asking to go fishing on his birthday and as soon as daddy got home from work that is the first thing they did. I am so happy it was successful!!!! He even wanted to throw it back all by himself.

 Chuck-E-Cheese, aka "Chuck-it-Cheese", was the choice for dinner and we all piled in the car and headed for toddler zone. Great Grandma and Grandpa Hebebrand even came down from Gainesville for the special occasion. Grandma Glenda and Papa, Aunt Kaitlyn, Uncle Casey, Daddy and I all celebrated our big 3 year old over pizza and tickets. Six hundred and twenty three tickets to be exact and he got all the little nick knacks and trinkets a little boy could ask for.

 We headed back to Grandma Glenda's house for presents and cake. Lots of presents, and lots of cake! I think everyone may have gone a little overboard in the present department but I don't think Connor minded one little bit. He is one lucky little boy, and we may or may not have thought about re-wrapping some of them for Christmas considering the amount of gifts he has received over the past week. Too late now though....Daddy and Connor spent last evening opening every last present out of it's box and house has exploded into Toyland! He has "Planes" that fly, and "Jake and the Neverland Pirate's" ship, Duplo Lego sets, a bowling set, a laptop, dvds and countless other items.He is lacking for nothing. I think Toys R Us has taken up shop here at the Petersen household. We had so much fun!!!

The very next day we all enjoyed a fabulous birthday party in honor of our cool birthday boy. We were blessed with a gorgeous morning spent outside with our nearest and dearest. The "Planes" theme worked out perfectly and my vision was so surpassed I'm still in awe of how perfect it all went. I will do a separate post for all of the details and just about the party itself, but I of course had to include it as part of his epic weekend, because the party alone was pretty epic!! We have pretty awesome friends and family that sure know how to make things special.

 Connor even got help blowing out his candles from his girlfriend Isla. Her birthday is only 5 days before his, and they were inseparable for most of the party. I love that the core was all there too, and this year Uncle Casey didn't have to rush off to go back to school.
Instead we packed up the party, dropped everything off, and rushed to the most magical place on Earth. How can a birthday be a birthday without a little Disney magic?

 We spent the first evening walking around the world and enjoying the Food and Wine Festival. We did a few rides for Connor when we first entered the park, and before we could even get to the countries, our birthday boy, who had also not taken a nap on the drive like he was supposed to, had fallen asleep. Not to worry, he woke up in time to enjoy the delicious Werther's bakery in Germany. We went to Magic Kingdom the next day and did all rides Connor. My favorite part was that he got the #3 race car on the Speedway. Couldn't have planned it better myself!!

 He may have gotten slightly spoiled at Disney. As in, you want cotton candy AND popcorn...sure, no problem! To put a cherry on top, we even got to see Lindsey who was in town all the way from North Carolina on business. We got to have lunch together while Connor played on the playground to his heart's content. Who needs food when there are slides?

 By Wednesday Uncle Scott was back in town and he found his own way to spoil Connor rotten. Walking in the door bearing bags of gifts like Santa, he whisked us away to Dave and Buster's where we proceeded to own the building. Winning jackpot after jackpot I'm not sure who had the most fun!! All of the boys had matching enthusiasm and it was like having a birthday party all over again. We overloaded the system with the amount of tickets we won, and most of us didn't exhaust our Power Cards. 13,000+ tickets sure can win you practically anything you want.

 The weekend (and some) was epic but the past year has been amazing. I can't believe how much Connor has grown and all of his accomplishments. This brand new 3 year old has so many amazing qualities. He is an encourager who can be your biggest cheerleader and doesn't mind sharing who wins. He has an awesome sense of humor, and knows just what to say to make people laugh. He likes to share and take turns and is so mature in the way he plays. He is super eloquent and talkative and we are never sure what will come out of his mouth next. Some of our favorites include "Yeah, sure!", "I want to sleep in your nice comfy bed", and "but I love it so much, it's my favorite!" We have always said he is scary intelligent and not only knows his numbers and alphabet but will even read his color and animal book for you. He is athletic and I'm not sure there is a sport he doesn't like. He can already hit a ball being thrown to him, and is currently practicing his putting skills in our living room with daddy. Let's not mention his mad bike riding skills. He has a child like understanding of Jesus and we strive to make Him happy with how we listen and obey. He is still a connoisseur of Mac and Cheese, but now likes chicken nuggets and has been tricked into believing they will make him a big, strong, Connosorous. He believes all of the Mickey Mouse clubhouse characters are his friends, and let's not lie, I believe it too. His memory is incredible and the detail he is able to remember, even days later, raise our eyebrows constantly. Last but not least I have to include his musical ability. Not only is he learning songs on the piano, but he loves to sing.....all the time. We catch him singing to himself constantly and I love it even more when other people notice it. Aunt Hil this weekend even exclaimed "he's even on pitch!" Yup! I love that he keeps a song in his heart and on his lips. He is amazing. My favorite quote recently came from Aunt Leslie who said tongue in cheek "like your child would be boring." I guess I never thought about it, but there is nothing boring about Connor. There is nothing regular about Connor. He is God's gift to us, and I couldn't be any more thankful for this little boy that was created just for us. I love him more than words can describe and I am so proud of him. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Psalm 127:3-4   Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.