Friday, April 28, 2017

THREE Cheers for Harrison: A Great Wolf Lodge Birthday Bash

I may have mentioned it a time or two ;), but our sweet Harrison turned 3 on April 25th. In lieu of a party, we decided to do the same thing we did to celebrate Raleigh's birthday three years before, when she turned 2: We surprised the kids and headed to Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina, for 24 hours of family fun! And you guys: the place, which is typically PACKED with families, was only at 44% capacity!!! Because we opted to go in the middle of the week, (on Harrison's actual birthday), and after all spring breaks from the southeast were over, we hit the jackpot! There were virtually no lines on any slides and it felt so often like we had the place to ourselves!

Before we ventured to the Lodge, though, the birthday boy had a fun morning at home: he awoke to balloons on his door and his gifts waiting nearby. In our house, when you turn 3, you can start chewing gum, and he was PUMPED. :) 

 Smiling with a big ol' wad of gum in his mouth ;)

After a traditional cinnamon-rolls-with-sprinkles breakfast (with a cupcake on the side), complete with a morning viewing of his favorite cartoon ("Peppa Pig"), Harrison was able to open gifts from aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and play with his new toys while his momma finished packing up a few last minute items. He and I also snapped a photo at 7:47 am, exactly three years to the minute that he was born. <3

Then, it was time to hit the road! We picked up Banks from school early, grabbed Raleigh right when preschool ended at noon, and headed straight there! Great Wolf Lodge has several locations around the U.S., and we are lucky to live a quick 30 minutes from one! If you've never heard of it, Great Wolf Lodge is the largest family water park resort in the U.S., and it is AWESOME. We loved it the first time, and this time definitely did not disappoint! We reserved a "Kid Cabin" suite, which is basically a room wherein half looks like a regular hotel room and the other half is made to look like a precious cabin, complete with bunk beds and a little tv for the kiddos to enjoy. It is so cute! And the kids LOVED it!

 A woodsy, wolfy lobby :)

 Sweet boy, taking it all in :)

 Photo op 

 The "Kids Cabin" portion of our room :)

Anywho. We quickly checked in and hit the water park for hours and hours and hours. The (indoor!) water park is humongous with all different kinds of features: an adorable toddler play area with little jet skis, slides, water features, and more; a massive water fort/tree house/splash pad area; an enormous wave pool; a big pool with basketball hoops and a lily pad ropes course; and lots of super-duper fun water slides scattered throughout the rest of the gigantic water park. (There are also food and bar areas should any kiddos or adults need any...ahem...refreshments). ;) 

 Harrison's favorite: the wave pool! He loved jumping the waves!
 These two LOVED riding all the slides, both individually...

 ...and with their Daddy and me :)

 Harrison hung in the kiddie area for a bit but mostly wanted to play in the big kid areas. I mean, he IS a big boy now

 And Banks LOVED shooting hoops with new friends!

Unsuspectingly getting doused with 1,000 gallons of water from a giant bucket. Makes me laugh every time! (Don't worry--he laughed, too!)

After lots and lots (and lots!) of water park fun, we headed back to our room to shower up and put on our jammies before heading out to the lobby for face-painting! We then ate at a restaurant on-site (hence, being able to wear our jammies), and the food was really tasty. 

Three little wolves!
 I don't know why he looks so pitiful in this pic. He really enjoyed his dinner and the special song the waitstaff sang! But this pitiful lip is too precious not to share :)

We ended our birthday boy's day by going back to our room for momma-made cupcakes (his only birthday request!) before hitting the sack. Whew. What.A.Day.

Love him more than he loves cupcakes :)

So excited to sleep in those Kid Cabin beds!

Day 2 arrived and we were up early (what else is new with the Lu Crew ;) ) and ready for fun! Because there is also a Dunkin Donuts in the resort, we were able to enjoy fresh donuts, breakfast sandwiches, and hot coffee in the comfort of our room! After a little room play and downtime, we got dressed and headed to the lobby for "The Great Clock Tower Show," this adorable, musical show with animated forest characters. Next up was story time, which included lessons about three forest animals and ended with each child making an origami wolf. So cute

Finally, we headed back to the water park for a couple more hours of swimming/sliding/splashing/playing before it was finally time to head home. 

Shooey! I honestly don't think Harrison (nor any of the rest of us!) could have had a better time! Banks has already requested that we return for his 8th birthday; so, unless he changes his mind (highly likely ;) ), we will be back in September. For now, though, we will work to recover from all the adventure and look forward to another year with our precious Harrison. <3

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


THREE years of squeezes
THREE years of fun
THREE years of "Love yous!"
with you, little one.

THREE years of laughter
THREE years of joy
THREE years of happy
with you, baby boy. 

THREE years of crib sheets
THREE years of glee, 
THREE years of time-flying
(oh, how are you THREE?!)

THREE years of "Up, Moms!"
THREE years of hugs
THREE years of smiles
with you, snuggle bug

THREE years of kisses
THREE years of delight
THREE years of cherishing
you, little light. 

Harrison Robert, my beautiful little light, Happy 3rd Birthday! There are no words to describe the absolute joy you bring to our lives, and I am thankful for you every minute of every day. You have been an absolutely DELIGHTFUL 2-year-old! Thank you for being the joy-filled, fun-loving, hilarious, entertaining, adorable baby boy that you are. Here's to another amazing year with you, sweet boy. As you so often say, I love you soooooo much! 

With All My Heart, 


Friday, April 21, 2017

Cheers to the Weekend, TGIF Edition


Between baseball games and practices, gymnastics x2, school volunteering, kindergarten registration, two adoption fundraising cookie orders, an in-school field trip, a Wacky Wednesday theme day, playdates, preschool graduation pictures, a tennis match, Pure Barre, a husband who was out of town from Tuesday morning until Friday night, laundry, dishes, cleaning, and, oh yeah, LIFE, well, let's just say I'm thrilled it's the weekend. I could definitely use one of these, even if that meant foregoing a perfectly comfortable bed and crashing in a chair (but only after trashing my room, of course ;) :

A quick list of things I'm saying CHEERS to this week/end: 
Kindergarten registration. My sweet Raleigh Jane is all signed up and ready to go to kindergarten, as of yesterday. I swear it was last week that I was registering Banks for kindergarten and now Rals will be joining him at FMES. I was so, SO proud of my little lady yesterday. While she tends to be initially shy, she was so sweet and warm to everyone she met and absolutely rocked her assessment. Way to go, Raleigh! Next stop, kindergarten!

Fun preschool days. This week, Harrison had an in-school field trip (a reptile exhibit featuring Mr. Miller the turtle and Cornelius the snake) and Raleigh had Wacky Wednesday the same day. They were so excited!

A kid who looooooves to read. It makes my momma heart sooooo happy to see the love my Banks has for reading! If the kid isn't outside playing a sport, you will absolutely find him reading. He is flying through books these days, and it is so fun to watch! He even reads in line while waiting for the bus (as shown in the pic his sweet teacher posted in the class journal app)


25 more school days until summer break!. 'Nuff said.

Cookie orders. I had two cookie orders for this weekend, one of which I finished up yesterday and the other of which will be finished today. Whew! Even though it is time consuming, I love knowing that each cookie is bringing us funds to bring our daughter home from China AND that the cookies are for such special celebrations in my customer's lives. Here, an order for sweet boy's 1st birthday party this weekend: 

And that's all I've got in me for today! My hub should be arriving back from Vegas shortly before 9:00 pm, and you will find us vegged out on our couch (probably asleep ;) ) for the night, if you're looking for us. Tomorrow will be a morning of soccer games and baseball practices, with the rest of the weekend wide open for whatever we see fit. Hooray! 

Y'all have a great one, and I'll be back on Tuesday with a *special* post. :)