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Kyle and Owen Turn 7: A Bicycle Birthday!

Posted by | May 14, 2011 | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

For the past five years we have thrown huge birthday bashes to celebrate Kyle and Owen’s birthday. The birthday bashes were getting bigger and bigger year by year. Last year, for their 6-year-old birthday party, 128 people came to the party, and afterwards I vowed to myself that for their seventh birthday we were going to switch gears.

And switch gears we did (no pun intended)! The boys decided, weeks and weeks ago, that for this year they didn’t even want a “party” at all— instead they wanted a “Bicycle Birthday!” Yes, of course, this decision was made with a little steering from me (mostly simply steering them away from what we’ve always done and pointing them in the direction of trying something new). But they genuinely came up with the “Bicycle Birthday” idea, and we were pleased to oblige.

K & O absolutely love their bikes— probably their most valued possessions— their first “real” bikes (not tricycles)— bikes which they had been riding daily since they were 3 years old. Bikes which were battered and beat-up and showing lots of wear-and-tear. Bikes which they had outgrown long ago. Braydon and I knew that we’d have to buy them new bikes this summer, there was no getting around that, so it was a win-win situation when the boys asked for new bikes for their birthday. Specifically, they wanted “gear bikes” – both the color red – and Braydon made sure to find the most durable-rough-and-tumble 7-speed red bicycles that he could find. The boys were only asking for one thing for their birthday: “gear bikes!” And their plan was to spend their birthday riding their dreamed-0f brand-new red bikes, going on a long bike ride for a picnic lunch, and enjoying a day of attention fully devoted to them from Mommy, Papi, Meera, MorMor, and MorFar. Weeks in advance they already knew what they wanted for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The whole plan was easy to set in motion (relatively speaking this is easy peasy stuff compared to a full-blown event for 100+ people!).

~ Kyle and Owen’s Bicycle Birthday ~

The day started with the long-anticipated end-of-the-bed presents – Yes! Brand new bright and shiny “GEAR BIKES” were waiting for them to awake on the first day of being 7!  


6:00 am and they were chomping at the bit to try them out~~


So, a beautiful sunrise morning christened the new bikes and set the stage for a fabulous day with the happiest two boys on earth.


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By 7am they were anxious to open their presents from MorMor and MorFar and Meera. From MorMor and MorFar, bike racks and brand new Playmobil airplanes to replace their beloved old busted-and-broken super-glued-way-too-many-times ones! From Meera, the corresponding Playmobil control tower and cargo loading playset!—taking their airplane play to a whole new level! And another very special gift— beautiful new quilts for their beds, made especially for them by MorMor. Kyle opened it and exclaimed right away— “they’re brown people!” They spread them out on the floor to admire them, and we watched as they both appreciated these gorgeous handmade gifts so much more than we ever expected any 7-year-old-boy would. {info re: this awesome fabric can be found by clicking here}


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The birthday breakfast table had been set the night before. And I had diligently made the boys’ requested breakfast: sour cream coffee cake.

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They were blowing out seven candles on that “cake” by 8am~~


Kyle was so happy. He was just beaming pure happiness that day, from sunrise to sunset. The entire day he was bursting at the seams with pure bliss. He absolutely loved a day devoted to him. It is so special to see a boy so happy.


Late morning we headed out for our bike trip. We chose our favorite bike path and packed a picnic lunch comprised solely of items requested by the boys. MorMor and MorFar brought their bikes all the way from New Hampshire, and they brought Neptune too (as requested by Owen)— a fun addition to our biking ensemble! And Meera had her first long ride in our new bike trailer (which she loves!). It was such a beautiful day and so much fun!



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Oh, and did I mention that it was Mother’s Day too? Yeah, it was Mother’s Day that day too.



All things considered, Meera did really well for a two-year-old having to tolerate her big brothers’ day of non-stop fanfare.

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The birthday dinner was a menu precisely and painstakingly designed by K & O. Everything except the cakes had to be “homemade from scratch” –their words, not mine— they were particular about that (they are now entirely convinced that Mommy makes everything better than anyone else possibly can). While they are adventurous eaters, and Foodies in their own right, they are, after all, still 7-year-old boys. And their birthday dinner is testament to that.

Mommy’s Penne Alfredo; Papi’s Bread; Honey Butter; Applesauce; Mandarin Oranges; Pellegrino to drink.

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The birthday cakes were special. Vanilla with strawberries for Kyle. Chocolate with raspberries for Owen. (For anyone who might be in our area—we bought them at Dolce Patisserie and we highly recommend them!) The ice cream was Madagascar Vanilla, from OwWowCow Creamery, of course. We sang to Kyle first (Kyle goes first on odd years; Owen goes first on even years). He was so serious about making his wish before he blew out his candles.

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And then it was Owen’s turn.


This (below) is my favorite photo in a long time. It just shows it: pure joy for life on both of our faces. I love being a mother. I love creating special occasions for my kids. I love the life that my boys have given me. Yes, it is all a lot to handle; I’m at my wit’s end often; I am utterly exhausted just-about-always. But I never lose sight of the goodness in it all. And ultimately, it is in the stringing-together of really good moments that I find the most gratification as a mother. That is where the goodness lies.


And this boy, my Owen, he just makes my heart sing. Remember I mentioned how happy Kyle was on this day? Well, look at these photos of Owen and try to tell me that this child is not truly-wholly-fully-genuinely happy! Even at his most serious, making his birthday wish so earnestly (second photo), he is just deeply, deeply happy.

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At the end of the day, as dusk was really settling into our yard, we went outside and sent up sky lanterns in honor of the boys’ birthmother and the day she gave birth to our beautiful boys. This is a tradition that we started last year, and one I plan to make sure that we keep.


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And then, just as quickly as the day had come, the day was over. The “Bicycle Birthday” was behind us, with a year of twin boys being 7 ahead of us. There will be lots of bike riding, I’m sure. As for the rest of it, we never know, do we? And so we make the very most of these precious days and make even more of the special occasions.



  • Kate says:

    Oh WOW!!! Looks like such a wonderful day, bravo Heather, Braydon and anyone else who helped you pull it all off!! It all looks so enchanting!! I was reading and anticipating the end of bed presents – can only imagine Kyle and Owen’s excitement to see those bicycles literally at the end of their beds!!! I love the bicycle metaphors in this post- “switching gears” and “steering” and the so sweet little bicycle trinkets and other decorations. I’ve always admired handmade quilts, and I remember seeing that fabric on another website – so cool and soul-enriching for your boys to be sleeping under a quilt lovingly sewn by their grandmother depicting children in their own image :). Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading this. Enjoy being 7 K&O!! It’s my cousin’s daughter’s 8th birthday on Tuesday, so excited!!
    – Kate

  • Ani says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful birthday!!!!! It is clear that the boys (and the whole family!) had a great time. Thanks for sharing a bit of the joy with us. May this new year be full of joy, blessings and health for your little 7 year old men!

  • Shirley Stanton says:

    Ahhhhh! What a wonderful, glorious day for all of you! How perfect that it was the first time Precious Princess Meera got to ride in the new trailor! And how perfect can it be to c elebrate this special day on Mother’s Day??? You are a really great mom, you are a mom after my own heart! I love my 5 children, StarrLynn, Clinton, Josue(from Haiti) Skyler and Serenity, my 3 grandsons and all the other family too. I LOVED the parties I gave for them when they were small, I love being a mom! Thank you for sharing your family with me!

  • Shannon says:

    Apparently I’m an emotional basketcase cause this had me in tears. How can they be seven? I think they were like 3 or 4 or something when I first started reading?

    Please- I must know how to make or where to buy those sky lanterns?!?!?

  • Katie says:

    What a beautiful memory!

  • M3 says:

    Happy happy birthday sweet boys!!!

    Bike on!

    (the sky lanterns are an utterly gorgeous sentiment)

  • Phyl says:

    What a beautiful day! The sky lanterns started my tears. The boys are getting to be so handsome.

  • Em says:

    such an awesome beautiful birthday! my favorite birthday tradition was breakfast in bed :-) Did you do a party with school friends as well?

  • Kristie says:

    I love your new favorite picture, Heather. You are a wonderful mama, and I’m proud to know you, friend. Curious…were you older than me when precious Meera came into the world?

  • Mary Pierznik says:

    Oh my gosh, I need to step it up. This is inspiring. For two years in a row we had take out Baja Fresh and baseball in the park. I’m embarrassed to admit. You’ve inspired me, for six, I’m going to turn it all around! Amazing day.

  • laura says:

    wow, that is an amazing birthday alright! lovely post, made me tear up –just like meera’s second birthday was when i read that last year. wow, my daughter’s birthday is in a couple of weeks. i feel the push now to make it extra special even though i am overwhelmed with the end of the school year and moving overseas.

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