A Northwoods Birthday

I really dislike planning parties or events. I hated every minute of our wedding planning. Thanks to Pinterest I've actually had a little fun coming up with decorating ideas. Since Meadow is so young I didn't do a theme.

Brooke's been doing some kind of craft for the last few months leading up to this. She'd ask me if something on Pinterest looked cool. I usually nodded.

I had requested banana pancakes for breakfast since Meadow loves bananas. Thanks for making breakfast for everyone Scott.

I don't deal well with cooking for this many people. I also had a splitting headache and sore arms; too much tubing and beer drinking.

Tyler and Emma were inside getting their breakfast. I looked out the window and saw my dad feeding June. Normally when June gets to eat he is so excited and hops up and down. Apparently getting fed by a stranger didn't excite him, he tried to get as far away as possible.

These pancakes turned out really good. So good that we made a second double batch.

We had a pinata for Meadow's party. I figured we would just hang it from a tree somewhere. I guess all the trees didn't have any branches low enough. My dad had to tie a snow scraper to rope to try to get the rope over a branch.

I guess we ran out of plates.

I think I just didn't want to make dishes, honestly. Your parents are rubbing off on me.

Blake took a kite out. This became the thing to do. Blake must be a trendsetter.

  Meadow played some more in the sand pile. I think we need to get her a sandbox.

Today was a perfect day for being on the lake.

While everyone else was outside having fun Scott and I were busy in the kitchen.

We made punch, margherita kebabs, kale chips, tortilla chips, salsa and cake. Chelsea made seasoned pretzels and Emma made brownies.

We were supposed to have guacamole, but the avocados never ripened.

With one half of the piƱata pan being useless I decided to just use the good half. It still turned out okay I just wish it was the whole thing.


First we enjoyed the party food.

I thought we were going to serve the snacks with dinner. I guess I got that one wrong.

Then we played a game of "How Well Do You Know Meadow?"

I didn't even remember some of the answers.

One of the questions was what is Meadow's full name? I thought this was a giveaway question, but my dad got the answer wrong.

Blake ended up being the winner with six questions right. He won a monster pancake pan and a poppy flower kit.

I guess after you go on a road trip with us for two weeks you ought to know a lot about Meadow.

I wanted to find Meadow a pinata that you pull instead of hit so she could try. I had a hard time finding one that wasn't a character or princess. I think next year I'll make one myself.

We let Meadow try first, but she didn't hang on tight enough.

Then Nolan got to try. He wasn't strong enough either.

Then Olive tried and it started to break on the top.

We let June go next, but it was his sister was the one that broke it open.

Are you sure about that. I still think June opened it. Any eye witnesses want to chime in?

Since I thought there was only going to be babies at Meadow's party I didn't put much candy inside. I put pureed food pouches, bubbles, finger puppets, beach balls and little gifts for the older kids that I threw in last minute. Starbursts, a puzzle and whoopie cushion for Brayden, a magnifying glass for Olive and in case Meadow didn't get anything a tambourine stick.

I think Meadow wanted all the finger puppets.

Meadow hadn't napped yet so we skipped cake and went right to presents.

She dove right in.

She got a wood truck, rubber duckies, a polka dot skirt, pink pants and a shirt with glasses on it from Tyler and Emma.

She got two dresses, a Minnie Mouse beach towel and a toy drum from my parents.

She got a pound and tap bench from Chelsea and Dan.

It's basically a xylophone toy.

From Brittany and Jeff she got a bonnet and open back dress handmade by Brittany herself.

These turned out to be some really nice presents.

Since we didn't really have lunch we started prepping dinner early.

All I wanted to do was relax and sit in the lake.

Mr. Mike was nice enough to grill everything.

We made Grilled Asian Chicken with loads of veggies. This is one of our favorite summer recipes.

I think Meadow was having a case of deja vu.

She looked confused when everyone was standing around singing Happy Birthday. She had the same cake as last week, but with blueberries on top this time.

This chocolate cake recipe never fails.

I put berries in the center. 

Blake chillaxed while I did all the dishes. Later on he helped.

I can't believe none of us thought to do this before.

Since the guys got to go tubing the day before I said it was the ladies and babies turn for a boat ride.

We drove past the ski show. I totally forgot about it. We could have all gone to that.

We joked about going to "Pine Sol" at dinner. The place is really called Pine Isle. When my brother was a kid he asked if he could go to Pine Sol with the neighbors and we've been calling it that since.

When we walked in someone said, "Oh look at all the babies".

My dad bought us all drinks.

Chelsea went with a margarita while Emma and I went with daiquiris.

Brayden was trying to catch popcorn in his mouth.

Meadow was being really wiggly and kept trying to climb on the bar. I handed her to my mom. A while later I saw some lady holding her. Before we left she was holding Nolan too.


We went a little farther on the boat until we noticed dark clouds moving in fast. My dad booked it home.

I should have had this up all weekend. The purple strand I made spool knitting or as Scott called it a snake sweater.

She was knitting it for months. I had no clue what it was for.

The orange one I made really quick with finger knitting. I may use these on our Christmas trees.

When they got back we decided to shoot of our fireworks.

Meadow was terrified by these so I had to put her to bed.

Emma really got into this.

It's the strobe light firework. You have to dance to this.

For some reason my parents thought it was a good idea to rent out the cottage the Sunday of 4th of July weekend. We had to get up early to get the place packed and looking presentable.

I made this garland out of coffee filters. While looking at pom pom decorations I figured I could make my own and for $1.59 and I did.

I woke up to eggs and potatoes o'brien. Then I packed up the car.

Scott found a place for Hamsta.

I thought that the renters would be weirded out, so I put him back upstairs.

Mr. Mike thought it would be a good idea to smoke out Dan's new pop-up camper.

It was fun being up here with a lot of people.

Mr. Mike thought Meadow might want to try out a different car seat.

"Can I ride in here Papa?"

All the "kids" left with my parents finishing up the rest.

I think we need to find some more alternatives to Culver's.

We were already hungry for lunch a half hour after we left.

My parents always made fun of people who come up to their cottage on Friday night and then leave at noon on Sunday. We always stayed until after dinner. Now I know why. We were stuck in stand still traffic for a half-hour because everyone was wanting to get on the same highway.

We stopped in Cameron to get Meadow out of the car. She's a good sport, but even she can't handle non-stop car rides.

We first stopped to nurse her in a parking lot, but some family stopped there as well and let their kids pee next to us. (Note that they were peeing behind a tractor trailer.) We felt awkward and left to find a park. 

I'd say it was a good idea. What a beautiful view.

I took Meadow down the big slide. I was nervous. I think Meaedow will stick to the swings for a while.

She didn't have any lunch since she was sleeping. Good thing we had one of those pouches from her pinata.

Since we had nothing at home, we ate at El Burrito Cubano when we got back to Minneapolis. Until next time.

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