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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Wednesday, January 18

Don't say never!

I swore I would NEVER make my kids have a joint birthday party. It helps that their birthdays are three and a half weeks apart but could still be tempting and much easier for our family and friends...but NO! My sister Kristine and I always shared our birthdays. Like, every single year. But they are one day apart and it was what it was. But my mom always made us our own cakes, which was special because who needs that much cake? Right? It was especially important to me because Kristine picked Angel Food...yuck! I picked marble. Yum!

Anyway, I digress. Rewind to about a year ago. Korri and I had a mommy/daughter sleepover at the new hotel in Delano. It was really nice and it is walking distance to everything that Delano has to offer (hey, there isn't much, but it is nice to walk around!). And while we were there, there was a birthday party (complete with a party room right next to the pool)! Hmmm...it got the wheels turning. I asked Korri if she'd want her birthday party here. Which of course she did. Hmmm...maybe a joint birthday party wouldn't be a bad thing. Something to think about.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I told Finn and Korri that if they wanted to have a swimming party at the hotel, they would have to share the party. Without hesitation, they both said, "YES!" So, the sharing a birthday party is only my hang up, I guess, which is a good thing! One party, don't have to clean my house and everybody only has to trek out once in January to celebrate with my kiddos. Perfect.

I knew I wanted it between their birthday, which left us with two weekends, one of which my sister Renae would be gone...so January 14 it is! Easy. I called to reserve the space and it was available so we were set. Until at the end of the call she mentioned the room can hold 15 to 20 people. Gulp! We usually have 40! I did a quick calculation in my head and if we only invited immediate family, that would be 25 people. Well, we can't not invite family, so I figured we'd eat in shifts to accommodate the space and maybe celebrate a different time with friends. So difficult not to invite everybody, but what can you do?

The party was this past Saturday and everything went perfectly! I was very nervous about doing two cakes for one day (I clearly didn't think about THAT when agreeing to a joint party!!) but other than a few small hiccups, the cakes went together well and turned out great. Jim ordered Pizza Hut pizza and chicken, potatoes and gravy from Unhinged Pizza. We did have to eat in shifts a little, but the kiddos didn't seem to mind when the alternative to eating was SWIMMING! LOL If we do it again, I'll ask for another side table so all the food can go on there and leave more space to sit and eat. Minor problem, though. Also, you don't think about all the things you need to bring when it isn't at your house. Like a cake knife, ice cream scoop, lighter, scissors for opening presents, etc.

Last minute, I thought I'd better get some pool toys to play with too. Well, guess what? Stores don't really have summer pool toys in the middle of the winter in Minnesota! Weird, I know. But alas, that is what Amazon is for, right? I spent more than I would have had it been summer, but the toys were a HUGE hit and everything got played with. I even ordered beach balls and squishy balls to play with and then gave them as favors...which I think was a pretty darn fabulous idea, if I say so myself!

Finn and Korri (and Mac because he was pretty sure it was his birthday, too!) had a blast. I think they ended up swimming for over 5 hours on Saturday (in addition to Friday night and Sunday morning!). I think we may be doing a joint party again in the future! Maybe try to find a different hotel with a bigger party room...although the smaller number of people was kind of nice. If there'd been more kids, I think I would have been stressed out about keeping them all from drowning!

Thank you everybody for making Finn and Korri feel so special. Everybody was so generous with their gifts and time. I think this one will be a party to remember for sure!!






We sang to Finn first, so Korri got to open presents first. I may need to refer back to this next year, so I'm writing it here!

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