But Before That

Today, September 11th, is a date that holds a somber meaning for us all, but before that it was a date that held, and continues to hold, a very special meaning for our family.  The year before the attacks on this country, God blessed our family with our third child, Emily Grace.

Her birth was one of my harder ones, not her actually delivery, but the months leading up to it.  Our first child was born via c-section and our second was a natural VBAC.  By the time Emily Grace was due to be born, the hospitals had turned a 180 on supporting VBAC’s and were attempting to force pregnant women to have a c-section if a child had previously been born via c-section.  I refused to allow a c-section after a successful VBAC, and I had the support of my doctor in my decision.  It took a little planning and great timing, but we had our second natural VBAC.  *this is where I do my touchdown dance*

18 month old little brothers are essential for proper cake cutting!

For the first several years after the 9/11 attacks, I felt guilty celebrating EG’s birthday.  It didn’t seem right to celebrate when so many people were reliving a day that forever changed their families.

Over time we have learned to balance this difficult day.  We gather together, as a family, and pray for each and every person who lost someone on that day.  We pray for our country.  We pray for those who survived.  We remember.   Then, we turn our focus to being thankful for and celebrating the addition of Emily Grace to our family.

This year, we gathered together family and friends this past weekend to grill out burgers, devour cake and ice cream, play games, and enjoy the fellowship of those we chose to share EG’s day with.

One of the huge hits of the day were the balloon piñatas, thank you, Pinterest.  We stuffed large balloons with bead necklaces, bracelets, candy, a couple of small prizes, and confetti.  Everyone chose which balloon they wanted to pop, and they kept the items that came flying out.  The confetti was great!  Every time a balloon popped, the confetti just exploded!  I will never use a regular piñata again.

Our SuSu winding up for the big smack!

….aaaaannnnndddddd POP!

All ages loved smacking the balloons.  *grin*

EG’s friend, M, at moment of ballon explosion. Can you see everything flying?

You know Emily Grace’s favorite part was opening the gifts.

Daddy and I surprised her with a new bike. The girl looked like she was riding a clown bike when she rode her old one! My, how they grow!

There was one gift in particular I enjoyed seeing her “open”.  I made a jewelry display frame that matches the name sign I made her last year.  It came out better than I expected, and she is crazy about it.  Score!

A close up shot.

Not only are we celebrating EG’s 12th birthday, we are also celebrating my grandfather’s birthday.  Happy birthday and many, many more Emily Grace and Papa.  We love you both!

God bless,



4 responses to “But Before That

  1. Beautiful, Rhen! I can understand how that would be a difficult conflict. But I’m so glad you all are able to celebrate your sweet ones’s birthday. Looks like you all had a blast! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday! My neighbor’s birthday is also today, and my husband’s and daughter’s fiance was yesterdays.
    I tried to follow the pinterest link to see how the balloons are filled, but I couldn’t get to the instructions. Do you blow them up and then fill them? How do you stretch the opening to get the stuff in?
    Thanks (we’ve got several kiddos who LOVE pinatas….I did a paperbag pinata for the last birthday….the balloon ones look fun, too!)

    • It is super easy to fill the balloons. One essential piece of equipment: a 1 1/2 inch wide piece of pipe. Make sure the edges are smooth. Use it to hold the ballons open while you stuff them with candy, prizes, and confetti. Pull the pipe out and blow up and tie the balloon just as you normally would. These were a huge hit for the kids to help put together and whack!

      • Thank you so much for answering so quickly! From Aug. 24th till Christmas, we have birthdays almost every two weeks! We’ll be getting a piece of pipe this weekend 😉

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