A Birthday From Scratch

A Birthday From Scratch

Today our little Kieran turned three. We “talked the talk” at the beginning of December about the big party we would throw for him with his new friends, I pinned cakes on Pinterest and drooled over the endless décor ideas the internet had to offer… and then today arrived. We didn’t exactly forget his birthday, we just kind of overlooked it with the busyness of the season and our life with a toddler and baby. With some quick thinking and embracing very real “diy” (as in, do what we can with what we have in the house right now) I think we managed to create a pretty special day for our little guy.

We started the birthday celebrations with a trip to the movie theatre for Kieran’s very first big screen movie experience. “The Star” was the perfect first movie. The Star shares a playful and tasteful account of the nativity story through the lens of the animals involved. Not only did it have us all laughing throughout, it was sincere enough that Ray and I both teared up at the end. The Nativity Story is frequently botched in popular culture, and while the goal of this movie wasn’t to be literally biblically accurate, the writers approached some tough scenes and interactions with enough agility to communicate what the characters would actually have been feeling while keeping it accessible for young children. This is a movie our family is sure to come back to in Christmases to come (Kieran talked about “Mary and Joseph and the Donkey and baby Jesus” all through the rest of the day!).


I managed to throw together a cake for our little man just before running out the door for our movie. I say throw a cake together, because this recipe by Robyn from Add a Pinch has become my go-to, quick and easy – and really tasty – chocolate cake. Everything goes into one bowl, and ta daaa you’re done. Ok, there’s a little bit more but really not all that much. I halved the recipe because I figured we probably didn’t need extra cake sitting around after all the sweet treats we’ve been enjoying over the holidays. Splitting the recipe was fortunate because I had just enough butter and cocoa powder for the buttercream icing. I found some M&M’s from one of K’s Christmas gifts and decorated the cake with his name.


While Dahlia napped, K and I made a festive paper chain with some construction paper we had in the art bin, and together we drew pictures that represented his interests, and by that I mean he instructed me to draw fire trucks and a few sea creatures while he looked over my shoulder. And while I will continue to drool over birthday décor inspiration on Pinterest, this year I wouldn’t have it any other way.


One of the perks of living across the drive from my in-laws (mother, father, brothers, and grandmother) is that we have fun party guests ready to sing and spoil at the drop of a hat. It’s a real blessing! Everyone crowded into our little house to sing happy birthday and shower K with love and affection as we finished off our imperfect, perfect birthday.

(Back to the cake, Kieran’s great grandmother was stealing bites of chocolate cake from his plate it was SO good)

We are very grateful for the rambunctious toddler our little boy is and is becoming and look forward to another year of discovery ahead.