Olivia’s 10th Birthday Celebration at Hakkasan in NYC

On Thursday, December 29th, we had one last family gathering in NYC to celebrate Olivia’s 10th birthday. She and the rest of the family had been to Hakkasan before with Dave’s boss and she really enjoyed their macarons, so she requested that restaurant. This was my first time eating at any Hakkasan and the food was great.

What a special occasion to spend our last night in New York before heading home. We can’t believe Olivia is double-digits. Happy Birthday to our beloved Olivia!

Olivia’s 9th Birthday Dinner with Family

We had all of our families together at our house for Olivia’s 9th birthday. It was a relaxing day at home with the kids’s cousins, aunts and uncles and all their grandparents. Hopefully she’ll remember these special family times together.

Happy Birthday, Olivia! You’re still the sweetest and we love you so much. Here’s to your last single-digit birthday (sniff).

Olivia’s Harry Potter Birthday Sleepover

Learning our lesson from Lucas’s ambitious birthday party (every 1st grader), Olivia had a more manageable sleepover with just a few girls from school (still so hard to choose!). Once again, our old nanny, Kate, was put in charge of logistics and decorating. She did an amazing job of transforming the house into Hogwarts.

Grace cooked a house elf-worthy dinner, while Kate led the girls in activities that included decorating spell books, making wands, and making potions. Even the hors d’oeuvres and desserts were Harry Potter-themed. The most entertaining activity was choosing their house while wearing the sorting hat. There were at least three rounds of this.

The girls watched the movie prior to bedtime. Grace only had to come down 3 times to quiet them down. In the morning, breakfast was served and Olivia opened her gifts from her thoughtful friends.

It was another great party at home, which we hope Olivia and Lucas will remember fondly. Thanks again to Kate for all the creative ideas. Hope you enjoyed your party, Olivia!

First Day of School 2015

The start of school is always exciting for us. We feel fortunate that Lucas has the same teachers Olivia had in 1st grade. Olivia continues to pave the way in 3rd grade. Wishing them both a great school year, which I’m sure will go by too fast.

Olivia’s 8th Birthday in Laguna Beach

On December 30th, we celebrated Olivia’s birthday in Laguna Beach with the Park grandparents, Park uncles, Park aunt, and Park cousins. We can’t believe she’s already 8 years old. We’re thankful for the sweet, happy girl she continues to be.

Happy Birthday, Olivia!

December Beach Day in Half Moon Bay

Grace is on a girls weekend in Chicago / Lake Michigan. There was some serious plumbing going on at the house, so we had to get out of there. HMB is my go-to for having a day outdoors with the kids. I’d say there’s a routine, but every wave is different and makes for an adventurous time.

It was crazy to see what the recent storms did to erode the beach. Shortly after walking off the steps there’s about a 5-6′ sand cliff to the newly contoured beach. The seas were still pretty rough and I did have some fear of the kids getting washed away. There was a low-point on the beach that I told Olivia to avoid, though she kept taunting the ocean. This young couple went for a stroll right into that area and were soon soaked to mid-thigh of their rolled-up jeans. It was funny, but also made my point to O.

Though there were some scuffles and a war of wills, there was also a lot of teamwork. We had a late lunch at the hotel before heading home. HMB is always a great little getaway for us and it turned out to be a beatiful late-Autumn day.

Lucas Starts Kindergarten and Back to School

Back to school actually started on Labor Day. We attended the ribbon cutting and celebration for the new building, which was just completed over the summer. The Early Education Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms are beautiful, as are the new multi-purpose room and music room.

Today, we all went to school together. Although Olivia was 30 minutes late last year, this year she arrived during the pledge of allegiance. Getting better!

Lucas seemed ready to start Kindergarten. He already has many friends at school and has been doing drop-off with Olivia so he feels at home there. He got right into some crafts and also building before the parents were dismissed. We loved Mrs. Das when Olivia had her and are excited for Lucas, too.

People always bring up one drop off as the big change for us this year. Really, we’re just happy to see Lucas and Olivia in school together for the first time since a month of overlap in pre-school. I hope their friendship continues to grow.