Monday, January 13, 2014


Happy Birthday to Leo Gabriel, who turned 7 (!!!) on January 5.  Why, pray tell, am I just posting about it now? Because only just today did we finally finish celebrating the birthday boy, in an epic 9 day stretch.

Day 1 of Birthday Celebration:  The Actual Day....
...where he starred in the "leading" role of The Angel Gabriel in our church's Christmas Pageant!  Aidan was a clear-spoken, articulate narrator; Pax played the ever-wandering, errant black sheep.
That Angel Gabriel sure is mischief!
Day 6 of birthday celebration was supposed to be cupcakes at school and singing... but school was cancelled because of "weather" (ha!  Cold rain is what we got!) and cupcakes were delayed. Leo was crushed... luckily, the Hobbit Hole my parents created for him in the closet of the bedroom he shares with Pax was enough of a distraction to save us all from the misery that is a cancelled school day with kids who thrive on structure, routine, and predictability:
Leo's own Hobbit Hole - entry by invitation only!
it includes a bright overhead light, a dimmer reading lamp, a cozy floor pillow, and a box for treasures (filled with writing supplies, a journal, and books).

Day 7 of Birthday Celebration:  Rock climbing at our beloved indoor rock climbing gym...the party ROCKED.  Some photos:

Party favors
Bouldering in the bat cave (low climbs plus lots of mats = no need for a harness)
Aidan was feeling totally psyched about his bouldering feat!!! (Even if his feet are still parallel to his youngest brother's head...)
 Fearless climber, until...
 "Uh, can I get a little help here?"

Some perspective on the 20 foot ceilings:
One of the many reasons why I love this particular gym is because of its staff.  We all were encouraging a rather nervous Leo to climb the rest of the way to the top, but Leo was "stuck," mentally speaking.  Dan climbed up the wall beside him and coached/coaxed him up until he reached the very top! What an awesome moment that was for the birthday boy.

 Time for cake!

The party was so much fun for everyone. Even though I missed hosting a party at home, this party is among one of my favorites because of how much joy I had in watching the kids' excitement in climbing the walls, in listening to them encourage one another, clap for each other, and praise good efforts and great skills, and in simply being around the 8 very happy, sweet friends (and brothers) who joined us in celebrating Leo. (Yeah okay.  It was also among my favorites because it mattered not one bit that my house was a total mess, both after AND before the party.  Love me some destination parties!)

Alas, the epic celebration ended today, Day 9: Lunch and cupcakes at school with the birthday boy, his brother, his classmates and teacher.

Leo Gabriel, you are a dream come true.  Happiest of birthdays to you, dear boy!

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