There are a number of birthday-related posts coming you way this weekend. This is yet another of those! Although not specifically about Elijah’s birthday party, it is about the preparations leading up to it. The two weeks before his party were FULL. I had just finished up my time with Dylan, and thought that I would have plenty of time to prepare for the party. Then, suddenly, like a tsunami, I got request after request for photo shoots. I am always thankful for photo shoot requests – because this is really want I want to be doing – but last minute requests meant that things got a little crazy during those two weeks.
ELEVEN shoots in 12 days. Wow!
On the Wednesday before his party, Eli and I took a nice relaxing walk to the printing shop that we use for parties and events. Sporting a nice big bruise under his eye – Eli looked like he had gotten into a fight. He had, in fact, fallen face-first down our stairs. Gosh, this boy – he almost gave us (another) heart attack! I thought that he would look like a poor beat up child at his party, but by Wednesday it was already fading. Phew!
First Stop, Printing…
We left the house early and went directly to the print shop. Eli loves this place because he can see the screen where they display the pictures on our USB. This is very handy since many stores expect you to just tell them, or lean over the counter. I don’t expects such modern services in Qingdao, so it was both surprising and very pleasant!
When we left the printers, I picked up a yogurt and some bread buns for Eli to munch on as we walked.
Next Up: Coffee and Shopping
The weather was perfect, so I walked slowly, leaving my South African friends tons of voice messages along the way. Eli chilled in his stroller, munching on his buns. These buns totally look like hot cross buns**, but they are not. Perhaps they could be considered as some form of hot cross buns, but they are very soft, and have no sticky glaze on top. Nevertheless, Eli loves them.
**A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the British Isles, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and some parts of America.
My sweet child – so patent and happy to go along with all of my errands, walks, and runs. I am so thankful for his adaptability (which I am sure is due to the fact that we have required this from him since he was born).
He loves to have his shoes off while he is riding in the stroller… Perhaps it is cooler, but it sure does help him not get a silly shoes tan. Sweet little feet…
It was definitely “coffee time”, and Eli was looking sleepy, so I made a stop at Starbucks. I thought that he might fall asleep, and I could edit a photo shoot while I drank my coffee. When we arrived we ran into The Tandons, and Eli was so happy to see Joshua that he forgot all about his nap.
We sat and chatted for a while, and when they left Eli and I managed to snatch a couch. He watched a movie on my phone while I edited a shoot and sipped on a coffee. It was perfectly relaxing, and much needed rest time. The whole morning had, in fact, been so wonderful in so many ways. Time with my boy, blue skies, happy errands, and good vibes.
When I was absolutely BURSTING, I realized that it was probably time to pack up. Imagine this: computer, camera, toddler, and the need to save your comfy couch-seat. Hahaha – impossible! This particular Starbucks is almost always full, and getting a good seat is a challenge. I therefore knew that getting up to go to the toilet also meant that our time here was done.
Eli was asleep before I had even left the grounds of Leader Plaza.
A Sweet Delivery
Since he was sleeping, and the weather was so amazing, I took the slowest walk home. I also spent some time strolling around our complex gardens. Even though I knew that I would eventually needed to get him and all of our purchases up all the stairs… I made the most of the quiet time under the blue skies. The weather is bleak here most of the time. I have to take Vitamin D supplements, so when there is an opportunity to “soak up” some vitamin D outside, I do!
A short while after getting home, there was a knock at the door. A delivery man handed me a package. I knew exactly who it was from, and I was excited to open it up with Elijah. Out sweet friends, The Blankenbergs, in South Africa, had sent Eli some new outfits for his birthday. How very sweet and thoughtful – THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS!!! xo
Before Justin got home, I made a nice fresh loaf of banana bread and prepared for yet another photo shoot. While my bread was baking, and Eli was still napping, I began putting the birthday prints into frames. You will see all of these decorations and pictures in Eli’s Birthday Party post COMING SOON!
By 5pm I was out the door again, and on my way to a family photo shoot by the coast.
Some days feel busy, but this one just felt full and beautiful. I loved every part of my day. A little bit of everything. I am thankful that I get to work from home, pursue my dreams, spend time with my son, and work on some many different projects.