Well, this is slightly overdue. But you know, the way I look at it is that Stomper was due in early December but arrived in late October so it seems appropriate for me to write about his birthday when it was actually supposed to happen.....right?
October and all its many events culminated in the celebration of one seriously terrific young man. My Stomper had a very important birthday on the 28th - he turned 12. Sheesh I can hardly believe that. His last year before officially entering the realm of the teenager. This is a big deal birthday partly because it's the last birthday before junior high school, the oldest you'll get in elementary school, the time when you graduate from primary (the kids group in our church) to the young men's program (the teenage boys group in our church) and the time when young men are ordained to the priesthood. These are important things and big deals.
We started the celebration with a party. I need to say.....I kind of hate throwing birthday parties. They are very messy. And expensive. Even if you try your hardest to keep a lid on things, somehow you get party-creep and it gets bigger than you ever meant it to be. Trying to find that balance between too many activities and too few. They're just hard. So I was thrilled when Stomper decided he wanted to take a group of friends to a trampoline-warehouse-park-party-place. (I don't know the official name of those places.) It was so awesome. I didn't have to hang up a single streamer. Not one single balloon. We just piled into a couple of cars, drove to the trampoline park (for the record, it was Lowe's Xtreme Air Sports in Provo, Utah), got out, paid for our tickets and went and jumped for two hours. The kids had a ball. I love that everyone from the 13 year old big kids to little Skippidy who's just 5 all tumble and jump and flop and leap and flip and just love it. I was a little nervous about personal injury but was able to squelch that feeling pretty well.
After the trampoline place we drove to a near by park to eat cheap pizza and enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous afternoon. We have learned the key to hosting successful outdoor birthday parties for Stomper. Do them before his birthday. Somehow that simple rule has proven to be true - birthday parties before October 28th are sunny and warm and birthday parties after October 28th are cold and rainy. Anyway, the day was lovely. We were at a park. We had pizza and presents and a football and a cake that I baked in a big giant rectangle, no theme-cakes this year, hurrah!!
I'm going to go ahead a call it a success.
A week later after Stomper's actual birthday - on which he blessedly asked for his school treat to be a package of chocolates, not homemade cupcakes or $30 in donuts or anything, hurrah - we celebrated his ordination to the priesthood, which is an important step in our faith. We were able to enjoy the company of family for the weekend (thank you Peter and Sheri for showing up to everything always) as well as Troy's entire family joining us on Sunday for the occasion and supper afterwards. I felt really proud to see Stomper join his Young Men's group with optimism and excitement.
I am so grateful to have Stomper. I can hardly believe my wee little preemie baby who once upon a time couldn't sleep unless he was burrowed into my chest is now this tall kiddo who is loving his scout program, buddies at school, exploring social media on Instagram (I love following him!) and Captain America. He is so fun to hang out with and be super hero fans together with and eat sushi with. I love this man.