All Grown Up – The Twin’s 11th Birthday

Before I wax lyrical about the wonderful day we all had, I just want to ask this –   where have my babies gone?  I blinked and here they are at 11, nearly young ladies.  Never again will I blink, for the next time I’ll be a grandmother.

I so much want to hold the hands of the clock and prevent time from moving any more.  It needs to stop, just for a while.  I need longer to hold my babies and whisper the words of love they need to hear.  I need longer to teach them all I need to teach them.  I need longer to figure out this parenting thing, so that I am able to teach them all I need to teach them.  And I need longer to hold them in my arms and tell them how precious they are to me and how utterly blessed I feel to have them in my life; to make sure they know how empty it would be without their giggles, their cuddles, their gentle care when I’m not feeling well.  I need longer to make sure they know to the ends of their toes that I love them so much, that I will love them forever and a day.  Full stop.  No matter what they do.  No matter who they become.  For they are my babies.  Always.

No, I’m probably not coping quite as well as I ought to be with my gorgeous children growing up.  For today I ached inside my heart.  Pride mixed with panic.  Every moment I wanted to capture, to remember, to hold close by.  So I took a billion and one photos and have tried ever so hard to limit myself to a few favourites.  Bear with me.  The few favourites turned into many more than a few.

Every time a member of the family has a birthday Gary takes the day off work so we can celebrate as a family.  Every birthday the birthday child chooses the breakfast they want.  We had many changes of minds over this but ended up with chocolate granola.  As soon as my mum is awake (she lives next door) she arrives round to witness the great unveiling of presents.  Today she arrived at 7.20am.  Yes, she is a good Granny!

The girls had asked to have a tea party with a couple of their friends from church.  Gary and I talked to the girls’ mummies and we all agreed that it would be lovely for them to go to the local coffee shop, just the four of them, without an adult.  They spent a happy hour or so getting themselves ready:

My gorgeous twins
My gorgeous twins

Whilst they were chatting with their friends at the coffee shop I got myself busy with the job of transforming our living room, ready for the autumn birthday party we have every single year.  Some of our oldest family friends come and it is something we all look forward to each year.

Autumnally set table
Autumnally set table
I had bought the flowers for Gary at the weekend and 'borrowed' them for the party!
I had bought the flowers for Gary at the weekend and ‘borrowed’ them for the party!  I cut the stalks a little shorter and divided them into two jam jars and popped them into two brown paper bags.
I just love autumn colours!
I just love autumn colours!
Gary lit  the wood burner, all set for our return from an autumnal nature walk
Gary lit the wood burner, all set for our return from an autumnal nature walk
Side table which would hold all the baked potatoes (in the basket) and all the different toppings.  We have exactly the same meal every. single. year.
Side table which would hold all the baked potatoes (in the basket) and all the different toppings. We have exactly the same meal every. single. year.  The girls had gathered some greenery from the garden.

Once the potatoes were in the oven, we went for our yearly walk on a nearby nature trail:

This is set up in the nearby hills and we always enjoy going
This is set up in the nearby hills and we always enjoy going
Here, there were seesaws to ride...
Here, there were seesaws to ride…
Branches to crawl on
Branches to crawl on
Even the little ones could join in...
Even the little ones could join in…
And some hut building...
And some hut building…
A2 with one of my favourite people, Nik
A2 with one of my favourite people, Nik
Assault courses
Assault courses
Climbing on the roots of fallen trees....
Climbing on the roots of fallen trees….
And cheekily peeking through for mummy to take your picture
And cheekily peeking through for mummy to take your picture
'Hey, wait for me!'
‘Hey, wait for me!’
Altogether again...friends forever
Altogether again…friends forever
Stuck in the mud, but Daddy to the rescue!
Stuck in the mud, but Daddy to the rescue!
More assault courses
More assault courses
A5 on the tree swing
A5 on the tree swing
C10
C10
On the rope bridge
On the rope bridge
Daddy and daughter.
Daddy and daughter.
Climbing trees
Climbing trees

Then back home we went for a bite to eat:

My family.
My family.
There it was....gone!
There it was….gone!
T11 and L11
T11 and L11
Gary and C11
Gary and C11
A big bundle of gorgeousness
A big bundle of gorgeousness
Who me?
Who me?

Next up was the fun and games.  We do the same ones every year: apple dunking, donuts from a string, sparklers outside, followed by a cake.  This year I felt B2 was too young for sparklers yet old enough to grab one so I asked Nik to bring some bands which when you bend them they light up.  I then set a treasure hunt outside for lots of chocolate, which the children had to use their lit up stick to help.

Apple Bopping
Apple Bopping
Which really is all an excuse to get soaking wet!
Which really is all an excuse to get soaking wet!
Then we did trying to get the doughnuts on a string.  We did this over the summer, and I felt it was too easy for the older ones now, so I blindfolded them.
Then we did trying to get the doughnuts on a string. We did this over the summer, and I felt it was too easy for the older ones now, so I blindfolded them!
Ha, not so easy now!
Ha, not so easy now!
A5 found it very easy though and declared it a most yummy game!
A5 found it very easy though and declared it a most yummy game!
Here is B2 with her sticks all lit up for the chocolate treasure hunt
Here is B2 with her sticks all lit up for the chocolate treasure hunt

I didn’t get any outside photos as my camera simply refused to cooperate!  Back inside afterwards though, it began functioning normally again:

The birthday girls with their cake
The birthday girls with their cake
And blowing out the candles in unison to a very tuneless rendition of happy birthday!
And blowing out the candles in unison to a very tuneless rendition of happy birthday!

They all gobbled down the cake and spent the remaining time making lots (and lots) of noise in our front garden.  The girls declared it the best birthday ever and L11 said it had been one of her most favourite days in her life.

Happy Birthday girls, and STOP GROWING!  Oh, and I love you both so very, very much!

23 comments

  1. What a blessed day! I have the same feelings about my sons growing up. Sometimes being a mommy and watching them get older is bittersweet.

  2. The girls look absolutely beautiful – Happy Birthday to them! Your table looks amazing too. We love that nature trail! It seems like your children are at a wonderful range of ages right now. Having only two that are 16 months apart, for me each age really does whizz by, never to be seen again! 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday to your gorgeous girls!!! What a wonderful tradition, their autumnal party – and the nature trail looks like such fun! Thank you for sharing your photos?(your table was oh so lovely) . And please, if you find a way to stop the clock, do let me know – our kids do grow up much too fast!

    1. We love our yearly party. I really enjoy any tradition we have year in year out. There is something very stabilising about them (and I could do with any help I can get when it comes to stabilising!!)

  4. Happy Birthday, beautiful girls. You had such a great day by the look of things. Claire, I love your autumnal table – gorgeous. Thanks for the sneak peek into your celebrations. Love to you all. …Our girls were just saying the other day that they miss their cousins, and wondered were you ok in the storm at the start of the week.

  5. What a beautiful story. It is true, they grow up waaaay tooooo fast. Everything looked so beautiful. The table was gorgeous and the wood-burning stove makes me long for colder days. All the activities must have been so much fun. Those were the things I did as a child. So glad y’all had a splendid day.

    Happy Birthday, C11 and L11. From the pictures, I can see you are beautiful on the outside, and from what your mom tells, even more so on the inside.

    Have a most wonderful day, Claire. If you find a way to keep from blinking, let me know.
    P.S. There can never be too many pictures:)

  6. Happy, happy birthday to your gorgeous girls! Table look stunning and all the photos are just lovely! Your family is precious!
    xx

    1. Hello Liezel!! How are you? We miss you around here, but quite understand you have far more interesting things (wink, wink!!) to keep you busy with! I really hope you are have the time of your life!

  7. Happy birthday to the twins! Wow, the table looks stunning, and what a fun day you’ve all had! You’re making such wonderful memories for your children. 🙂

  8. These photos are precious, it looks like it was a perfect birthday. This post made me a little teary and sentimental, as my oldest is also turning 11 this week. The other day he said to me, “In five more years I’m really going to have to start preparing for college, mom.” I just looked at him and my jaw dropped as I realized how close that is! WHERE does the time go?!

    1. I’m finding it hard at the moment because all three seem to have aged over night. For most parent the maturing is spread with children of different ages, but all three of mine are going through it at the same time! Someone needs to slow the clocks down!

  9. You have a beautiful family! I can totally relate to the bittersweet feelings you had on your twins’ birthday. It’s hard to realize they’re growing up.
    Great games…especially the donut one!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s