Birthdays and braids

First of all, thank you~ all of you~ for your wonderful suggestions on my last post. Even though I didn't use all of your ideas, I now have all sorts of great ideas for future meals-for-many! Thank you.

This past week was kind of crazy. We had a stomach virus going around our house (even Mark was home sick, which is saying a LOT) and in the midst of that I wondered for about the zillionth time why I had decided to have all these people over for dinner. On Thursday I was out running errands and saw a cute mama with her two cute girls walking through the mall. One of her girls had her hair in braids. I asked her where she'd gotten that done- as I have wanted to have Adelia's hair braided at some point- and this mama told me she did it herself! So she gave me quick instructions, this perfectly cute stranger, and told me I could find tutorials online, too. So I left that little shopping trip with the notion in my head that I had to learn how to get Adelia's hair into braids... by her birthday. Because clearly I didn't have enough on my plate or anything. :)

[For those of you who don't know... this is sort of a major undertaking, involving HOURS of work]

But look:

I'm actually rather proud of myself for how they turned out for my first time trying this. I'll spare you all the details, but if anyone would like to know any more information about it, let me know and I'll do another post on it.

We had a great day celebrating our girl. :)

This is our tiny beauty just days after bringing her home:

As an adoptive mama, I am just so grateful that God chose Adelia for us and us for Adelia. It is a very humbling, very wondrous thing. [And- can I just say as a total tangent?- for anyone considering adoption who has wondered if you could possibly love an adopted child as much as you could love your biological child? Yes, yes, and a million times yes.] I am so full of joy that God saw fit to bring Adelia into our family. It is a remarkable privilege to be her mama. (And Isaias', too!)

Anyway-- we had our extended family and these dear friends over for dinner tonight~ to celebrate both Adelia's and Audra's birthdays (just two days apart, these two). After all was said and done, we were eight less than I had originally anticipated, so it wasn't *quite* as crazy.

We did a burrito/tostada bar- with Cutzi's homemade refried beans- (and, Cutzi, actually- your Pico de Gallo recipe, too. Which I don't think I got directly from you but got from the Hollisters years ago and make it frequently!) So- flour tortillas, tostadas, beans, taco meat, and shredded chicken, and all the fixins, but ESPECIALLY the guacamole, because that's my personal favorite. Our great friends brought an amazing fruit salad~ mangos and oranges and blueberries (in some yummy sauce, guys? Or was that just the flavor of all the fruit? Anyway- SO good.) And then we had cake for dessert. Our birthday standby: banana cake with cream cheese frosting. And my mom made a cutely-decorated chocolate cake, too~ because we needed (or I thought we needed) three 9x13's.

Anyway~ it was a great event but one I won't likely be doing again anytime soon because of the EXPENSE! (Sheesh! Clearly I didn't choose the most cost-effective meal.) But I'm glad we did it and I truly was pretty relaxed about it until about an hour before everyone arrived and the chicken wasn't shredding and Adelia opened the fridge and pulled over the bowl of Pico that began spilling and Audra just wanted to be held and was crying from the floor and I may or may not have done a little yelling at Adelia for the Pico incident, and then a little more yelling that came out like this: "MARK! (repeat 3x) I need you right now. NOW. I need you to take one of the girls right this very instant." (And he, being the wonderful man that he is, took BOTH girls.) Anyway- so I was a bit frazzled there at the end. And that was even WITH my mom there, helping me get all those final details done.

We are incredibly blessed to have so many people who love our girls and desire to be a part of their birthdays.

And Audra devoured every last bit of her first piece of cake.


  1. THANK YOU so very, very much for all you did. I am so grateful. Not only did you bless our girls, but you made me proud. It took a great amount of work to plan the whole thing, and then it only came off so well because of your organization and selfless effort. The food was fresh, plentiful and delicious. (My family just can't get enough of that banana cake, and I concur -- it's amazing. If you haven't posted about it w/ a recipe yet, you've done your readers a real disservice.) The hostessing and serving of our guests was generous. And, yes, Adelia's hair is really cute. Well done.

    You amaze me.

    Loving you, Mark

  2. Oh good heavens your girls are cute. That hair just could not be cuter, and I can't believe how big Adelia is. It sounds like it was a wonderful celebration. Good job!

  3. Happy Birthday to both sweet girls! I cannot believe how old both of them look all of a sudden - Adelia, I'm sure, because of her adorable hair. And Audra - well, I don't know - taller maybe? I was just like - wow! They're getting so grown up!!

  4. Stacy,
    OH. MY. WORD!!!
    I could not wait to see the pictures...and I am TOTALLY impressed!!! I definitely want the detailed post and links to see how you did it (NOT that I am planning to braid Derek's hair....just for curiousity...and, who knows??....or maybe for my grandbabies some day!)

    You are SUCH the hostess! GREAT JOB!! I was having my own guacamole (and taco/burrito bar) so I kinda' feel like we WERE there!! :)

    Rest up today, friend. You definitely deserve it!!

    ((Mark, you are such a linguist!! "PLENTIFUL"?? Is that the same as "a whole lotta"?? I have asked Stacy to edit some things in the past....but clearly I will be asking for your input in the future, as well!!))

    Hugs from Indiana...

  5. Adorable braids! You go, Mama!

    I hadn't seen a picture of either of your little girls in a long time. They're both looking so grown up! Doesn't it go much, much too fast?

  6. Adelia's hair is beautiful! When Audra gets older you know she is going to want you to do the SAME thing to her too? Might take an entire day to do two!

    The cake is so cute with the jelly bean flowers! They are getting so big. Great job to you and Mark, you are wonderful, loving parents with such a beautiful family!!

  7. smiling. Job on all accounts well-done. :-)

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  8. Stac! I may need your advice with the braids....did you use yarn? We have families at our church who do that. in the world did you get Adelia to sit still? Halle so does not want me to do ANYTHING with her hair right now. You did and AMAZING job and I have no doubt your party was AMAZING too.....

  9. Cutie braids! Please post the link to the tutorial!

  10. I still can not get over those braids! I did not know the part about the lady in the mall. So you did it that perfectly with only that little instruction?! I am in awe. Because it truly looked perfect. Sweet girl.
    And I love this picture of Audra eating her cake. Super cute girl lovin' her some dessert!

    And Stacy. I know. It is so much work to have people over. It makes us sweat and those of us who worry about what everyone is thinking have a hard time of it. But those of us who get to come love it. I love being in your home, sitting in your seats, eating your food. It brings us closer every time. My kids think coming to your house is such a treat. It is just bonding. Love you friend! And again, great job!

    And Mark and Ella good job to you too. I know it takes something from everyone (especially those who are conscientious to mama).

  11. Your post was so sweet but the comments are priceless. I have not seen any of you for way too long! Adelia's hair is too cute!! I have wanted to do that to my blondies for the summer time, would it work on fine, straight blond hair?

    I am so pleased to hear that your party went well! Blessings

  12. Those braids are absolutely adorable! Or maybe I should say that Adelia is adorable in braids!! I would LOVE to read a post on your spare time :)


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