Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Amazing Race {30th Birthday Edition}

Mark's 30th birthday is coming up this weekend, its on Father's Day actually, and unfortunately we have a super busy weekend with Reaghan's dance recital and rehearsal, waiting for Erin's baby (her due date is tomorrow!) and celebrating Fathers Day! Since it didn't seem doable to do a big party for him on his actual birthday I decided to do something fun to surprise him this past weekend.

I've been asking him for months if there was anything special he wanted to do for his milestone birthday and we tossed around a few ideas but couldn't settle on anything. He said he didn't want a big party. {Mark is is definitely more introverted and doesn't enjoy being the center of attention.} I was struggling because I wanted to do something special so I spent so many nights brain storming for ideas and that's when I came across a brilliant idea from The Dating Diva's website!

A DIY Amazing Race!

Mark and I Loooooooove the Amazing Race. If we could pick any reality show to be on that would be it. We amuse ourselves watching the show and laughing about which one of us would be better at the challenges or if there are any that we know we'd totally fail at. Anyways, when I saw the idea for a DIY Amazing Race date night I knew it would be perfect to adapt to a party AND I knew I wanted it to be a surprise.

I recruited family to help me plan the day and started scouring Pinterest and googling ideas for how to set up the challenges. If you've never seen the Amazing Race its like a global scavenger hunt where you have to find things and complete tasks so I had to come up with things that we could complete around town.

We decided to start the race off in a park {it was the perfect cover to surprise Mark. We were having lunch at his parents who live near a park and his sister "innocently" decided it would be fun to take the girls to play at the park!} Friends and family were waiting there when we arrived with balloons and signs! Mark was totally caught off guard - which is the accomplishment of the century because he is SO hard to surprise.

My parents had arrived early and hidden everyone's first clues on the trail at the park and graciously agreed to play the 'host' so I could do the race with Mark. They also watched the girls for us and brought them back to our house which was the finish line.

It was so much fun putting it all together and everyone had a blast! 
Most importantly, Mark LOVED it! 

We completed 8 tasks around town:
1.) Finding clues hidden in the park
2.) Drinking an X Large slurpee together before leaving 7-11
3.) Fishing letters out of a swimming pool to spell out "happy birthday" and text it to Mark
4.) Getting 15 tickets from playing any game at an Arcade
5.) Finding a marked vehicle parked in a busy parking lot {my parents parked it there for us!}
6.) Finding 3 different items in a book store and answering questions about the items
7.) Stopping at my sister's house and completing a Corn Hole or Kan Jam challenge
8.) Arriving at the finish line and completing a puzzle before racing to the "Pitt-stop" mat!



Mark and I were 2nd to last for the 1st half of the race until we made up some ground and got to the last task in 3rd place! The first 2 teams were still working on their puzzles so we were excited to think we still had a chance to win. Unfortunately we are NOT good at puzzles and we ended up coming in 4th! haha

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners! 
We had prizes for these 3 places to add extra motivation to race fast!

After everyone had finished we had some food and cake and fun time 
laughing at everyone's race stories. 

If you're looking for something fun and different to do, DEFINITELY check out the Dating Diva's site {they offer free printables!} and Chica and Jo, another site with fun Amazing Race Idea's and they offer kits that you can purchase.  I definitely want to do this again at some point! 

I'm so glad we got to do something fun and special for my man's 30th birthday!
Here's to a few more days left in your 20's babe. 
Love you!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OBX Beach Week

Last week was our annual beach week with Mark's family in the OBX. We usually "rent" a condo that my mother in law's boss owns and gives to her for free once a year but this year it was booked before he could set aside the week for her. We were bummed at first {because a free house on the beach is awesome!} but it was a blessing in disguise. Last year we started talking about eventually needing to rent a bigger house since the girls were getting bigger and this forced us to make the change this year! We were able to rent a beautiful house on the beach for a decent price since the week before Memorial Day is still "off season" and it was worth paying the money! The girls had their own rooms, there was a pool and a hot tub, and direct access to the beach.

We had a fun week but it started off a little rocky. Lilly ran a temperature of 105.3 that landed us in the ER because she wasn't responding to me very well. Thankfully after 3 hours in the hospital they determined it was just a virus and to alternate Motrin and Tylenol. She missed out on the first 2 beach days as Mark and I took turns staying in with her but she lived it up the rest of the week! Thankfully none of the other girls caught what she had!

The first day Lilly was better we took a break from the beach and toured the Aquarium and downtown Manteo.

I had fun dressing the girls in matching outfits every day. :)

Lilly's first Beach Day!

She loved the water and needed someone to hold her back from running straight into the waves.

I love this picture of the girls playing near their daddy in the sand. <3

We added a couple new adventures this year! The first was dolphin watching! 
The captain of the boat was fun and entertaining and we saw a pod of dolphins with babies and a sea turtle! The girls had a great time!

Cousins in matching outfits!

Our second new adventure was Putt Putt! 
The girls looked more like they were playing field hockey but it was fun.

Our last Beach Day!

It took Reaghan until the last day to finally be okay with the water touching her feet. 
I get impatient with her extra timid, fearful self sometimes and have to remind myself to let her grow at her own pace. I love how proud of herself she is when she decides to "be brave". 

Our last night at the beach... we hate having to say goodbye to the ocean!

Until next year, Outer Banks. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Woodland Baby Shower

It was my great honor to throw my big sister Erin a baby shower for her first and long awaited babe! She had been dreaming about a soft, woodland baby shower so that is what her best friend Amber and I teamed up to give her a couple of weekends ago.

Amber had relatives that live in a gated community and so had a access to a beautiful clubhouse that they were happy to let us use. I was grateful to be able to host it in a larger space because we planned to invite several family and friends that have prayed for Erin along her infertility journey... not to mention it took so much pressure off that I would've felt trying to make my house perfect and pretty for a large party. ; )

Amber, my sister Sara, and I spent weeks scouring Pinterest for all of the best woodland party ideas, shopping all of the Hobby Lobby and Michael's sales with our 40% off coupons and then trying to recreate Pinterest ideas! One of my favorites was a tee-pee photo back drop that Amber's sons built for us!

We had so much fun with the planning and the day turned out beautifully. One of the best things we did was ask one of Erin's friends, who is a professional photographer, to take pictures of the event for us! I didn't have to worry about having my phone on me trying to snap pictures all day long and hoping they were turning out okay. It was the best. If you want to remember an event, get yourself a photographer. Its worth the money!

I loved how the decorations turned out so much that I'm going to share a ton of pictures of them with you!!! BUT I loved even more that Erin finally got this special day. It was full of love and excitement for her and Adam and their baby boy. I am so grateful to God for His goodness and graciousness to us. Every good and perfect gift is from Him and this day was surely a good gift.

{Photo Credit: Connie Shearer Photography }