Lisa: friendship is magic

Thank goodness Dawn, Ian, Jillian, and Andrea answered my call for photos from Nora’s My Little Pony birthday party, since I didn’t get my camera out even once. I do wish we had a photo of the great pony cake Jen made, topped with clouds of cotton candy and silver-sprayed horses. The biggest hit was the real, live pony, Annie–a surprise for Nora. Pony Haven dropped her off for three hours, and we got to lead her around, give all the kids rides, and feed her anything we wanted. She was great. We also let all the kids paint Nora’s tattoo parlor, Valori did some amazing pony-themed face-painting, and my mom and Dawn brought some delicious food. Maureen and Jennilyn helped me put up all the decorations, and everyone brought Nora such fun gifts. Thank you, everybody!!

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Here are two of my favorite photos, which show the Rainbow Dash and Apple Jack costumes a little bit better. Nora’s birthday wish was that she and Alex could have homemade pony costumes to wear at the party, so I put those together (and now she has some awesome pony dress-ups to play with any time). I wish you could see the cutie marks and other details better.

Zoe leads Annie for Alex

Apple Jack rides a pony

Fancy new digs!

Hey, guys! You may have noticed a redirect bringing you from our old home, Eleanor Amelia, to the new spot: Eleanor and Hazel.  For Nora’s birthday, David set up this new blog so that both girls could share without anybody getting jealous.  Isn’t it great?

So, update your bookmarks or RSS feeds or whatever the kids are doing these days while I get settled in and figure out how things are going to work in the new system.  If you were signed up for notification emails before, you should still be getting them–let me know if you want out or if anything isn’t working the way it should be, and I’ll get on top of it.

our life now

Today, life at our house changed forever, and–I think–for the better. At 7:46 pm, Hazel Madeline Smith was born. While I was in labor, Nora wrote Hazel a message in my notebook. Jeff helped her spell it, but I think the idea and the words are all Nora.

There’s something so difficult but so incredibly magical about a three-year-old opening up room in her life for a new baby sister. I can’t wait to see their relationship grow, and I can’t believe how lucky I am they’re both mine.

Alphabet Birthday Party

Since Nora has been getting so great at her ABCs, we decided her birthday party this year would have an alphabet theme, and we’re going to get great play areas from just for the party as well. While I was running around getting the last few things ready and putting the food out, Blake grabbed my camera and took a few photos of the decorations. Things maybe aren’t as staged as I would like, but thank goodness he took matters in hand or we wouldn’t have any documentation at all.

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You can see in the photos that there are homemade flag garlands everywhere, some stamped with all the letters of the alphabet, and some spelling out ‘happy birthday.’ We had paper letters dangling from the light over the dining table, and alphabet blocks in piles and on cake stands. The cake (although unfortunately not super delicious) was an ‘N’ surrounded by Alphabits cereal and a few letter-shaped fruit snacks, and the refreshments were more fruit snacks, letter-shaped toasts broiled with olive oil, letter-shaped chicken nuggets, and as many other foods that are served with dips as we could think of. Nora is big on dipping.
More importantly, where are the photos of Nora? Again, I’m glad someone picked up the camera and took pictures of the party action, but I have no idea who it was. Thank you, mystery guest!

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I did use the camera myself to take individual photos of all the guests (kind of like we did last year for her pillowcase), but I am exercising restraint and not posting all of those. You’re welcome, everybody! This year, each person chose a letter and drew their own flashcard for Nora to practice with, and we’re putting the photos on the backs. The cards all turned out so different and so adorable, and maybe at some point if I get my act together I’ll share them with you here.

birthday cake

When Nora essentially described a tiered wedding cake as what she wanted for her birthday, I told her to forget it. Luckily, Grandma (Valedictorian of Birthdays) stepped in to fulfill Nora’s every hope and dream. The result: kind of like a ham sandwich.