For some reason my kids conjured up the idea that it’s Lucy’s birthday tradition to go camping. And it’s weird, because, although I’ll be the first to admit that I do anything I can to reiterate the importance of traditions and all that jazz, I have no recollection of any camping traditions going on in the past, especially since we left Lucy with a friend last time we went.

But, do I tell my kids who are looking at me with “longing-with-all-their-hearts-to-go-camping-for-the-big-birthday-thing eyes” that it’s really not a tradition? Of course not! I totally go with things like that.

So, they all got invitations “from Lucy” on their pillows when they got home from school last week. They were so darn excited they could hardly wait. Dave was in China all week, so he missed all the hype, but I figured I could do the camping thing without him…if it was in our back yard.We tried roasting marshmallows on the BBQ grill without much luck, so we resorted to the microwave. Mmmm, they were pretty darn good. It’s kind of scary how delighted my kids get over anything with sugar. Hmmm. I guess they take after their mom.The kids told all kinds of crazy ghost stories…you know the ones that really don’t have a point and you know they have kind of gone through “Chinese whispers” through the elementary school to get to the point they are when they’re told by your kids. But whatever, they thought it was great to tell them to me and each other…with the aid of the scary flashlight lighting.
I read them some stories too.
Lucy, the guest of honor, got to stay with us long enough to sing some songs together, do some squawking, head-butt my lip because she was mad about something or other, and get seriously snuggled. Then we swept her up into her deluxe camping quarters (her crib).

The rest of us slept all huddled together in our little tent, listening to some serious rain at first, and then the quiet of the night, and we all ate it all up.So it’s now official…Lucy’s birthday tradition is definitely camping. And we love it. Can’t wait for Dave to come next year.

On Lucy’s actual birthday we hung out with her and did all her favorite things. We had a stuffed animal jumping party on the trampoline and went to McDonalds playland for a gourmet dinner.
Since Dave was gone, at least we had good old Josh around. Thanks for coming to the party Josh!
Grace & Claire entertained her with their xylophone…
You just never know how long she’ll be delighted by something…
This is my very favorite expression Lucy does: Oh man, there’s just something about it that totally melts my heart. Here it is again:
And here’s the “blowing kisses” trick she has down pat:
One of Lucy’s therapists has been telling me how many awesome things she finds at good will, so that’s where we went birthday shopping for Lu. She helped pick out the stuff and boy does she ever love it! And of course, it’s not a party without the cake…and we even let Lucy have some.Here’s that expression again:
We took our birthday pictures a little early before Dave left for his trip. I thought the succession of these ones was particularly amusing…
Love that Lu.

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  1. Shawni, there is just something about her that sparkles. I just adore looking at the pictures of her because you can really see her personality through those eyes and cheeks. Happy Birthday Lu!

  2. oh my those kissing pictures are too cute. I love how the camping tradition came to be. I love that you just went with it rather than squashing it! Which is sadly what I probably would have done. I’m trying to be better.

  3. I love that expression too!!! Looks like she is full of great expressions. That picture of her with the other kids and her cake…I just laughed she looks so cute.

    And way to go camping by yourself! What a fun tradition 😉

  4. I LOVE the last picture. All the pictures capture all the fun! You sure know how to do birthdays Shawni! And so do your kids. Lucy’s expression in the one with all the kids looking is absolutely the cutest thing ever.

  5. What a CUTE mom you are … always going the extra mile! You are a trooper to go camping, especially with no husband. Lucy is absolutely darling, love her chubby cheeks and all those to-die-for expressions!

  6. Lil’ miss personality! What a girl! I seriously want to come over and smooch those cheeks. Love those expressions.

    AND your hair is pretty darn cute…: -)

  7. i just woke my son up laughing at that last picture….she is just too cute!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCY!!!
    thanks for sharing her special day with us!

  8. Oh I just want to kiss those cheeks! I know that you give them enough kisses for us all! I wouldnt be able to resist them! I love those kissing pics at the end!

  9. Oh my gosh she is a cutie! I love the series of pictures where you guys are kissing her. She’s got some great expressions! I love the birthday “camping tradition”. I’ve been waiting for my kids to get just a bit older to do something similar. Glad you all had some good celebrating!

  10. So sweet!!! What an amazingly cool and fun tradition. We have a few birthday traditions, but could use some more. This is a great idea! Lucy…I could just eat her up! (I could just eat up Kate too – I used that one today on our blog already though…)

  11. so fun! my dad used to do BYC’s (back yard campouts) with us all the time. how sad that i haven’t taken on that tradition with my own kids. you’ve inspired me!

    LOVE the bday kissing pics. too funny!

  12. You are such a fun mom. What a cute idea from the invitations to the campout and s’mores. I need more traditions in our family. Your posts are all so inspiring.

  13. Hmmm… I’m not sure we ever saw a photo of your short hair before this- or had you already shared some? In any case, I’m betting it’s grown some since you posted about it being cut, but I wanted to tell you think I think it’s adorable! Love the photos of Lucy- I could gobble those cheeks!

  14. Camping in the backyard with gooey warm marshmallows? Sign me up. What fun idea and I LOVE that the kids came up with the idea. Tradition are best when created all together.

    Lucy is just so dang cute. Really. You can tell she’s got spirit and spunk and the sweetest smile around. Oh and her baby blues. Gorgeous.

    Hope your hubby gets back soon. It’s no fun holding down the fort alone, but you sail right through it.

    And here’s to dinner at McDonald’s with a playland. My kids can’t get enough of that place. Me? Not so much. Though I am there with my girls at least once a week. What we do for our children and memories!

  15. thanks for the somment on mine..jsust to answer your question…no i don’t take classes, i just love taking pictrues and i am my own teacher..oh some blogs are very helpful!! you have to check back on my blog at the end of today..i’m going to post something just for you, if you don’t mind me using one of lucy’s pictures!!

  16. What a cute mo you are! My kids would LOVE to go camping at all and it’s too cute you did it in the back yard. I use to love camping..something about me getting older makes me love my bed and running water a little too much.
    I know I always say it but that Lucy just is so darn cute! You can tell how much her siblings adore her!

  17. Love the birthday adventures. What a good idea and so easy. Lucy is adorable and those eyes….. love your hair also. I can see already how this last baby grows up way too fast.

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