This is going to be a long post so I hope you have some time on your hands. As I mentioned yesterday, there was lots to celebrate while we were at the beach.
The day after we arrived was our 7th anniversary. Not that we don't love spending every second with Riley but because our family was vacationing with us, Paul and I got to treat ourselves to a nice dinner out all by ourselves!
It was one of the best meals I have had in a long time - great food, great service and great company :) I can't believe it has already been 7 years!
Most of the week consisted of laying on the beach and chasing Riley through the waves.
She absolutely loves the pool and the ocean and has no fear of the waves. As soon as one of us drug her back to our beach chairs for a break she would turn to someone else and announce, "Your turn!!!"
It pretty much ensured one of us was in the water at all times. The only exception was during her afternoon naps on the beach.
It is so nice that she will agree to lay down and sleep on the beach. It gave me time to relax and read for a bit before she was racing off to the water again.
This year Riley had two birthday parties - one with family and one with friends. Since we were all at the beach together we decided to have her family party down on the beach. We blew up some balloons, cooked a little bit of seafood and hauled her presents down the beach.
We ended the night with sparklers and kite flying.
The cow kite was one of her favorite presents.
We spent another fun night at the Pavillion riding rides.
I knew Riley would like the carousel and the other kiddie rides but she surprised me by wanting to ride on the ferris wheel. She wasn't scared at all and loved seeing the beach from the top of the wheel.
It was so hard to leave the beach but once we got home we immediately started the preparations for Riley's second party. We decided to have an art theme for her party this year and Riley personally painted each invitation.
We originally planned to have the party before we went to the beach but due to everyone's busy schedule we ended up moving the party to her actual birthday, June 19, so more of her friends could attend. Of course, this was also Father's Day but Paul graciously agreed to celebrate that day next weekend :)
The balloon theme carried over from the beach party.
I decided to have a few activities for the kids but most of the time they were free to run around in complete chaos :) I found some inexpensive unfinished framed mirrors at Michaels a few weeks ago. I painted each frame a different color and inserted a piece of watercolor paper over the mirror.
Each child selected a frame and painted their own masterpiece.
When they were finished we hung them up like an art gallery over the food table.
I saw the balloon banner here and decided it would be perfect for the party.
I also set up an easel so the kids could all contribute to one big painting that I plan on framing and hanging in Riley's room.
Once the painting activities were done it was time for cupcakes. I baked and iced the cupcakes but provided sprinkles, gel icing, cherries, etc, so the kids could decorate them.
It was definitely a mess but I think the kids really liked it.
Finally it was time for the big finale - singing happy birthday and blowing out the candles on the birthday cake.
My friend Amy sent me this photo - I love how she caught Riley in the act!
After all of that sugar the kids ran around the yard to wear themselves out.
I kept things simple for the party favors. Each child took home their painting and then I put some candy and a few art supplies in a cup for them to continue their creativity at home.
I hope all of the kids slept well that night - I know I couldn't get to my bed fast enough and I was still pretty exhausted yesterday too! I think I need another vacation to recover from all of the celebrations :)
I think this is officially the longest post I have ever written. Hopefully it makes up for my lack of posts last week. Are any of you still even reading?