May 25, 2011

  • An Ocean Birthday!


    We celebrated a birthday over the weekend!

    Olivia Caroline turned TWO

    Olivia Turns Two! b&w

    I must admit, I was hoping for a rather uneventful day! Her birth date being very memorable, her first birthday including a doctor and hospital visit because of a double ear infection, and her second birthday… well, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this little monkey! I actually did pray for a peaceful, uneventful (as in catastrophic uneventful!) day. :)

    And it was lovely!

    Soon after Zoe joined our family, Ben and I decided that instead of big huge parties for every birthday, we are going to spend time together on each birthday, making it special and making memories. There are times for parties, but that will be more for certain ages, probably, than to be expected every year.

    So that’s how we do it, and we ALL look forward to birthdays around here because of how fun it is!

    [Zoe waking Olivia at 9:30 am! You would have thought they were giving me a treat for MY birthday with that kind of glorious, sleeping-in kind of morning!]

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    The day before, Zoe and I had made pink cupcakes – I thought that would be more fun for her than a cake [and a lot easier for me!]!

    We did this same thing together over Valentine’s Day, and Zoe absolutely LOVED it. She can actually help quite a bit [granted, we used a cake mix and bought frosting, so that's a big time saver/easy-for-a-kid-to-help right there], and takes great delight in mixing the batter, helping to spread the frosting, and especially the sprinkles, choosing each of the four kinds very carefully. This is the part where she is sure is more like 13 than 3. :)

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    And then, we were off to the ocean! That is one thing I absolutely love about where I live – being so close to the ocean. It’s a good hour’s drive, but still, so easy to do in a day. We picked Ben up at work around noon and ate our little lunch on the sand!

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    And nothing makes little girls happier than sand, buckets, and water. :)

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    I can hardly believe my baby is TWO! And on the other hand, she’s only been in our family for two years. What did we ever do without her?!

    Out of the two girls, Olivia is the most like me. She is exactly what my parents’ and their friends say I was like as a baby – unending energy (sure wish I still had that!), and always running, climbing, falling, trying again, never deterred by a fall, playing and smiling, and with a steely grit of determination!

    She is so much fun, so fiesty, and motivates Zoe to be more brave and aggressive!

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    Ben and I traded out sometimes with watching the girls… He –  mainly so I could take pictures! Sadly, I set my light meter setting too high, and a lot of these are blown out. :(

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    These little girls have THE best daddy they could ever wish for!

    This was a day where my heart hurt from the love I felt for my precious little family…

    There was time to sit and watch them, and just notice every little minute for several hours. I think I need to stop and do that more often (the beach, yes! but I mean the noticing), because it helps me see the true them so much more. And I enjoy them so very much…

    It feels like I just have the most wonderful little family. Not perfect as in we never mess up or do anything wrong, and never have issues.

    But perfect and wonderful as in the most absolute precious children ever! Two girls are just sooo fun. There are probably many parents that think that way about *their* children, and that’s God-ordained and rightly so! My children feel like my greatest treasures, and I love them so much!

    Daddy and the birthday girl!

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    With his 2 & 3 year olds! They are 21 months apart, but I like to say it like this so it sounds really close. :)

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    This is a typical Olivia face – she is so dramatic with her facial expressions in calm or frightening situations! We call her our little monkey because she is such a clown!

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    I just love little bare feet and toes!

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    My kids have an imagination to beat the band. Every little stick, car, food item, whatever, becomes REAL. I’d be embarrassed to tell you some of the stories from around this house. :}

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    After playing for a while, I brought out the dessert of swirly pops! :) Ben says they were mostly for pictures. He was only half right. :) I was saving them for some special occasion, and this was it! Even he had to admit they looked pretty stinkin’ cute…. :)

    I felt like mama-paparazzi. :) “But she’ll only be have a second birthday ONCE in her whole life!!” I said to Ben, as though that would explain my constant clicking.

    ^^ notice Olivia’s tongue just hanging out in the first picture! It just tickled me, because there is no concept of “how does this look?!!” !

    And below!


    I am so thankful to God for the gift of Olivia Caroline.
    For the beaming smile,
    the priceless dimples,
    the energy,
    the beauty,
    the sweetness,
    the petiteness,
    the innocence,
    the purity, of her precious little life…

    This was a joy-ride for kids, this day at the beach PLUS the swirly pops. Even if they couldn’t even eat half of them!

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    I edited a couple in black and white. I really like the bright contrast of the color pictures, but the black and white brought out the details really well.


    Olivia Turns Two! b&w

    And other than skinned toes from a fall on the boardwalk and a cut lip in the process, Olivia went through the day unscathed! Was I ever relieved!!

    We returned home to eat leftovers :) and pink cupcakes!

    And it was a happy, happy day!

    Jesus, I ask for the blessing of heaven and earth to be upon Olivia. May Your hand of blessing guide her and protect her from all evil. May her heart be tender toward You even now, and may she come to know and love You at a young age. Keep her from the evil one, Jesus, and may she grow securely and confidently in the shadow of Your hand, trusting Your Sovereignty and wanting nothing more than to please You and bring You glory.

    May she grow not only in the knowledge of God, but in the love of God; that her heart would learn to trust You even when her head does not understand. May she be real, honest, and full of grace and love. I ask for Your strength in advance for all the trials and difficulties she will face, the misunderstandings, the heartaches.

    Thank you, Jesus, for my precious little girl!

Comments (30)

  • Awe ….

    I want to go to the beach. I always say 12 months and 2 weeks to make them seem further apart. It just seems so much more then 1 year. I would think you were crazy if you didn’t want to take pictures of adorable girls and a hot husband. I want to go to the beach!

    Absolutly beautiful!

  • @The_Carpers - Yeah, I would say that too. :) Busy now, but fun when they’re growing up, I always think!

  • I just loved ALL the little pictures of your baby girls! Looks like her day was delightful! My older two are 20 mo. apart, so I know what that’s like! They are either BEST friends or fighting :O)

  • A beautiful birthday for a beautiful baby girl!  :)  

    We are about an hour from the beach too.  I’m in SC.  I saw you are from GA.  I’m only an hour north of Savannah. 

  • @sailing5 - Best friends or fighting – yes, exactly!! :)


  • Happy Birthday to Olivia! Those girls of yours are beautiful… what a precious gift! That is certainly the way I would want to spend my birthday :) You have such a sweet family Clarita and so enjoy getting to know their little personalities.

    Can I just say I love the dress that Zoe is wearing in the cupcake picture!

  • HaPpY BiRtHdAy Olivia!!! What a Grand way to celebrate! 
    Oh how fun to go to the beach! I wish I lived near an ocean. We are close to Lake Michigan,  it is sort of like the ocean, but not salty and quite a bit smaller!  When you’re in the city, or at the beach, it does feel like you are on the ocean. (sometimes we even get big waves!)
    I Love all of your pictures, and the swirly pops…Fabulous and Colorful! =)  You are such a sweet Mommy.  Your girls are blessed to have a Mom like you. =)
    That is the best thing in the whole world…..The feeling when your heart hurts because you love your family so much!
    Happy Wednesday to You!

  • @inanorchard - thank you, thank you. i’m delighted to pieces you noticed. :) that’s one of my recent sewing projects!

  • @lifeisadance -  No WAY!!! It’s gorgeous!! You should be doing the sewing posts, not me ;) Where did you find that beautiful fabric? Awesome job Clarita, did Zoe just love it?!

  • Looks like a fabulous time!! We’ve decided too, that for the most part we will do birthday parties with just us~so much fun, more simple, and so many more options for what you can do and where you can go. I love how you have your girls dressed for the beach (continuing on in the beautiful modest style of Barkman sisters?). Did you buy or make? Had a conversation with my mom recently about modest swimware~even for little girls~and all other reasons aside, it looks SO much better on pictures. I’ll have to ask you more about that later. Love seeing posts from you! Have a lovely rest of the week!

  • What a sweet magical day…with the girls, cupcakes, swirly pops( i always wanted one as a child), and time as a family. I think the photos turned out so pretty and romantic.
    You do have a precious family! Glad you had a beautiful day enjoying one another.

  • Internet connection is too slow to see all the photos right now. Will have to come back later. The ones I can see are darling! Did they manage to keep the sand off the swirly pops?

  • Enjoyed the photos of Olivia’s birthday. Sweet times. Sweet family. Blessings to you as you nurture those sweet little gals.

  • such a precious time!!
    too tired to comment more…be back!

  • what a magical birthday!! Your girls are so darling!

  • awesome looking family =)

  • wow! looks like a WONDERFUL day together. love all the fun pictures.

  • Oh, very sweet! I’m so glad you had beautiful day together! I so know what you mean about having those times when your heart hurts with love for your family. And, yes, the swirly pops did make perfect little props. :) I also loved the pictures of Zoe with her cupcaes–beaming so proudly, and the one of her running with her stick. Hopefully sometime we can come take advantage of the beach, too. :)

  • Great idea to spend time with your family! Making our children know they should be celebrated is something I know I don’t do often enough! Thanks for the inspiration!! ;~) Love love all your pictures!!!

  • @inanorchard - I upcycling it from an inappropriate adult-sized dress. :) And yes, it’s so cute – Zoe is so proud of her new dresses! :) Makes me so happy!

    @FOREVERLANE - I just LOVE those little swimsuits too. I got them at Tar-jay, where else?! :) But I think too, on pictures, I just like *not* seeing little bums all over the place. :) I really like that they’re the style of sundresses. I think I should buy sizes up to ??? in case they stop making them!!

    @justcallmeM - the sand stayed off for a while. :) But toward the end they were completely sand-covered!

    @twofus_1 - I hope so too! :) You know you’re welcome ANYTIME!! :)

    @TrentTribe - Oh my goodness, we’re an hour south of Savannah! That means we’re practically neighbors! :)


  • Oh, the babies. The one of Zoe and Olivia just waking up is my favorite. Only they would make morning hair look glamorous. This makes me miss you guys so much it hurts… Please come up and surprise us before we leave for the other side of the world. Please?

  • This post makes me so sad and happy at the same time.
    I just wish that We could live beside each other and I could be with the babies every single day of my life.
    Olivia Caroline, what a beautiful child you have.
    Oh sister…what a life.

  • Such a fun post!  Your girls are such cuties!

    And I can totally see why you would have brought the swirly pops along just to be able to take pictures of the girls with them.

    No shame in that, is there?

  • Isn’t the combination of little girls and the beach such a wonderful thing?!  Abigail loves going to the beach and will talk about it for days afterward!  I’ve been thinking lately about the swimsuit/modesty issue, but I haven’t found anything to help me out in that area.  Guess I’ll need to pay Target a visit and see what I can find :)  

  • Looks like such a fun family day. Pure bliss for lil’ girls! My little girls are 22 mo. apart and the same ages as your’s so I totally understand the best friends/fighting/ect… And, your heart hurting from feeling so much love…I totally get that. It made me laugh when you said you like to make them sound really close in age. I used to try to make them sound as far apart as possible, but now that they are getting older I find pride/joy in trying to make them sound really close. And one more thing……….Zoe’s dress is adorable. I’d love to see more of your sewing projects. Good day to you.

  • Sigh. sigh. wow. Abbi would be so jealous with envy if she saw these pictures. She just LIVES for going to the beach this summer, it’s *all* she talks about. Not quite. but I’m not sure where the idea even came from We want to be sure to take her a few time since it’s so heavy on her mind. I love the idea of little sundress swimmies, they are so tasteful and little girly at the same time. Target, you say?
    BTW, thank you SO much for the sweet card that I recieved in the mail the other day. Just so cute, and just made my day

  • darling, simply darling!!! and zoe’s apron is simply charming! i need to come take sewing lessons from you!! i wish i could be there to smother the kiddies in person with kisses and such!! ;) you’re such a beautiful mother! & i’m so excited you’re a mk consultant! woo-hoo! :) i’m shocked at claudia’s comment…”What a life”? claudia of all people, she’s always declared vehemently that she will never marry or have kids!! must be changing her mind…ha ha! :)

  • such a fun day!! i love that you make the birthdays a family day of celebration.
    interesting all the comments on the modest little girls swimsuits….i wish i could find some like that for Ava…and maybe even her mommy. ;O)
    your pictures are all so precious even if you did not have it set how you would have liked. but, where are you?!?!=) looks like the best of second birthdays!!
    have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  • Soooooo much cuteness! The pink cupcakes! I am not a huge cake fan (unless it’s my favorite chocolate one) but those are so cute I just want to reach out and grab one to eat! The girls on the sand and the bright happy swirly pops and especially Zoe’s dress where she’s holding the cupcake! I LOVE it! I live in such a boy world that it is always so refreshing and pretty to see so much pink and ruffles on your posts. :D And oh, you are so, so lucky to live so close to the ocean! We have three and a half hours. :/ I’m determined to make it happen sometime this summer. It makes for a really long day with all the driving, but it is doable, especially now that I don’t have a baby. Such a cool idea to do something fun instead of having a big birthday party! We got pretty close to that this year with the boys and it was a lot of fun and WAY less stressful. I enjoyed their birthdays soooo much. After Liam’s birthday Adam said, I want to choose to do something fun for my birthday next year. I hope the trend continues b/c he is usually the one begging for the big party. Happy Weekend!

  • @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - I know, for us too, right? I would love a cutesy little swimsuit like that! :)

    @smilesbymiles - yes, it is WAY less stressful. And I look forward to their birthdays, rather than thinking of how busy I’m going to be because of a party, all that stuff. It makes the day so carefree and just FUN! Like I said, there are times for birthday parties and all-out shabangs, but I don’t want that to be every year.

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