Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ben's 30th Birthday Weekend!

We spent Ben's birthday weekend at the lakehouse with no kids and some close family and friends. It is so much more what Ben would have wanted than a big party. He is very much a quality time person and every couple that camee know both Ben and I inside and out and all love each other like crazy too.
I couldn't have asked for anything more.
I left early on Friday for the weekend to get there in time to do a little birthday party decorating. IMG_0471  IMG_0481 IMG_0406 
I ended up using the pictures I printed for his 30th birthday envelope and taped them up as a big '30' in the window. 
IMG_0412 And everybody had party favor sacks filled with goodies they could enjoy throughout the weekend. 
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I did want the weekend to be a little different than any other lake weekend so I planned some tournament-style games for us to play throughout the weekend to keep it exciting. I decided each couple coming should be a team and when I sent out their invitations, I wrote on the back what each team's color would be. I told them to pack plenty of their team color attire in their bags for the weekend. 
 And BOY did they get totally into it. 
 I loved it so much.
The teams were:
Ben & Lindsay - Team Black
Alex & Mendy - Team Purple
Bart & Olivia - Team Red
Scott & Katie - Team Maroon
Kristen & Jeff - Team White
Ashley & Neil - Team Green
I could have SWORN I got a team pic of every team...but, I just can't find them. 
Here are a few:
TEAM BLACKIMG_0429 TEAM GREEN IMG_0426 TEAM WHITE...even Shea was decked out and ready to play... IMG_0424 
I had all kinds of games planned for the weekend.
Couples vs couples games,
team games (i.e. over 30 vs under 30, Aggies vs Wildcats, boys vs girls, etc.),
individual games,
and games we could all play together as a group. 
 Each time anyone from your team won a game you would make a mark on the scoreboard for your team.  (The amazing Ben's Birthday Battle chalkboard - courtesy of mendy - of course)
  IMG_0416 At the end of the weekend we would add up the score and the winning team would get a prize. Even though every team or person did not really get through every game, it didn't matter.  We played games when we wanted too.  Played more games, not even on the board, and just hung out and ate and talked and really had no schedule at all. 
It was amazing.
IMG_0430 This is everyone "signing" their team color... 
IMG_0507 IMG_0428 A little brother/sister battle TEAM RED vs TEAM PURPLE cornhole game... 
IMG_0422 IMG_0423 IMG_0513 
The only game I truly home-made was this adult battleship game. 
 I laminated some posterboard grids and put them in pizza boxes as makeshift battleship boards. Each player could set up their mini cups as ships with their beverage of choice and try to sink the other person's ships.
This game was so much fun and a big hit with everyone. IMG_0524 
We laughed and laughed and laughed all weekend. 
When I saw Ben look like this, I knew it was the perfect way to celebrate. 
IMG_0517 IMG_0518 IMG_0515 IMG_0436 IMG_0441 Thank you so much guys for coming to celebrate Ben. It took lots of effort and lots of babysitters and an entire weekend.  But, we treasured each of you there so, so much. 
It was such a fun, relaxing and easy weekend with the best friends and family ever. 
 Happy 30th Birthday Ben! 
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Ben's Birthday

Every year mid-March to mid-April is a little crazy. 
 With taxes and Kinley's birthday and Ben's birthday only 5 days later...he usually makes lots of sacrifices. 
He is keeping the kids a lot more so I can work. 
 He is not celebrated like he should be because we are exhausted from celebrating Kinley. 
 But, he doesn't complain. 
 He has never been much a birthday person and does not really like to be celebrated or the center of attention. 
 But, this year he turned 30! 
 A milestone for anyone but, a big milestone for us. Ben turning 30 has always marked a half-way point for us. 
 I met and started dating Ben when he was 15...so, when he turned 30, I have now known him half of his life. From this year on, he will always have spent more years together with me than without me. 
 It is pretty cool. 
 So, I knew I wanted him to feel really celebrated. 

 We started with a small, family celebration at his parents house with our families and the Reads. It was such a fun time with family and just being together. Just what Ben would choose. Everyone came and we celebrated and stayed way too late. Kinley finally passed out on the couch watching a show but Ty stayed up till at least 11 with us just playing and laughing and happy as can be. 
 Around 10pm we sang happy birthday and I was glad Ty was awake to join us but, was sad Kinley missed it.
  IMG_0265 
We celebrated with my parents one weekend when Bart & Olivia were in town and he TOTALLY scored from my family by getting new skis, boots, poles, bindings and a helmet.  And Mendy & Alex got him new goggles.  Now if only I wasn't pregnant and we could run off and go skiing right now!
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We had our family celebrations early because we had a kid-less birthday weekend planned also.  (More on that soon!)

I wanted this birthday round to be more about HIM than ever.
 Throughout our move, and tax season, and early pregnancy, and Kinley's birthday...I just tried to gather ideas about 30 things I could get him for his birthday.
 It turns out 30 things is a lot. 
It's kind of hard and expensive to buy 30 separate gifts.
 But, I was determined.
 The night before his birthday we celebrated at home as a family. First we went out for a hibachi/sushi dinner then we sang Happy Birthday and ate cake and he opened his 30 things....with lots of help.
IMG_0438 IMG_0434 IMG_0423 IMG_0442 IMG_0465 Some of his 30 things were gifts to open (i.e. jeans, cologne, new tennis shoes, jack black bath products), some were envelopes with date nights (top golf, a steak dinner movie night), some were gift cards (for a real haircut and shave, to go hunting for a weekend, to sleep in late without me complaining) and some were family nights planned (rangers game, family night of putt-putt).

 If you don't know Ben, one thing people always comment about is how thankful he is when he opens a gift. He always act like everything he opens is the greatest thing he ever has opened. It's like every time he opens something he is thankful and surprised that someone thought enough about him to get him something.
 Well, he was like that the whole time. With every single thing he opened he was so thankful and saying how he needed that or has always wanted that or how thoughtful it was.
 It is so fun to give him things.
 I think his favorites were: an American flag to hang outside at our new house, lululemon core shorts (he is obsessed) and his last envelope.

 His 30th thing to open was a large envelope filled with little envelopes with a reason written on the front why I love him and a picture inside representing that. So, that is what I am putting below. This is super sappy but, so true.
 Happy 30th Birthday to my man. I love you with all that I am and could not have picked a better person on earth to walk this life together with. I am so excited for the next 30 years together.
 I love you because:
 1) Because you married me photo-126
2) Because your brother is your best friend IMG_5159 3) Because you love all my family so much
IMG_0976 4) Because you always help me with my crazy projects
IMG_4701 5) Because you take me on weekend gettaways
IMG_4664 6) Because you support my Aggie love
IMG_3003 7) Because you kiss me anytime, anywhere
DSC_9964_3481 8) Because you were born in St. Louis, but are so proud to be a Texan
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9) Because you respect and make time for older, wiser examples in your life
IMG_4189 10) Because you knock me up when we just talk about it
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11) Because you are so excited about every gift you receive
IMG_9028 12) Because you show our kids how to support their mom in all her adventures
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13) Because you will teach our kids how to fish and hunt
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 14) Because when you set your mind to something...it happens
IMG_8845 15) Because you are the BEST dad and love our kids so, so much
DSC_9820_3337 IMG_0298 16) Because you are always up for a good time
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17) Because you are smoking hot!
IMG_9304 18) Because you work so hard to support our family so I can be home mostly and be with our kids
IMG_6640 19) Because you are passionate about the outdoors
IMG_9139 20) Because you show Kinley how a she should be treated
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21) Because you are an incredible Godly man and leader for our family
  IMG_7253-2 copy 22) Because you clean up nice and make me look good!
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23) Because you can make me laugh harder than anyone else
  IMG_7661 24) Because your favorite place to be is relaxing with your family
  IMG_3784 25) Because you love Bull's Ranch
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26) Because you love every single person in your life like family and like Jesus does
  IMG_5051 27) Because you played Baseball and still love watching a game
IMG_3196 28) Because you always share your birthday and always let our kids blow out the candles
  IMG_1530 29) Because you love the lake and the beach and all things water
IMG_2422 30) Because you so selflessly love our family
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Happy 30th Birthday Ben! I am so glad we could celebrate you BIG this year.
Ben's party pics coming soon!