We can hardly believe that it's been an entire decade since our family expanded from two to three when Oliver arrived one day early at 3:14 AM. That may have been a sign of his personality to come. He is punctual and has anxiety if there is even a chance that he may be late. He's leaned from his Daddy that if he's not 10 minutes early, he's late. He also likes to know the plan, like his Mommy. His due date was October 15, I went into labor on October 13 and refused to leave the hospital without a baby in my arms instead of in my belly. After 24 hours of labor, Oliver arrived in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday October 14 in between the Colorado Rockies playoff games. (We'll always remember that Oliver was born the year that the Rockies went to the World Series as the playoffs were often on in the background.)
We approach life in a very practical way. I didn't cry on the boys' first day of day care, or first day of Kindergarten. Birthdays are always shocking to realize that the boys are getting older (as are we), but they don't typically cause hesitation. Typically, we are excited for the boys as they are busting with excitement themselves. Until.... TEN!!! As I was driving to the grocery store, thinking about my list, it dawned on me..... I needed TWO birthday candles. A "1" and a "0". TWO CANDLES!!! This was it. He would forever have TWO CANDLES!!!
Ten is huge. Oliver has been anxiously counting down the minutes until ten finally arrived. We have been holding onto nine as tightly as possible.
Either way, time ticked on and ten arrived.
Saturday morning, Oliver strolled into our room declaring how tired he was. Is this it? Ten is the magic marker for pre-teen exhaustion?
We rolled out to the kitchen where a stack of gifts awaited his arrival, most of which were wrapped in glorious shipping wrappers from out of town family. With both boys in soccer most nights of the week, the packages were delivered and stored in Keith's office and nobody seemed to notice. It made for quite a fun morning for our birthday boy.
First up, a bag from Mommy, Daddy and Kellan.
Mysteriously, there was bag from the Oregon Ducks store. Interesting considering none of us have been to Oregon lately.
A new #10 Oregon Ducks Jersey for our 10 year old Ducks fan as well as a yellow Oregon football shirt.
(Thanks Chet for helping us make this birthday boys wish come true!!!)
It's funny how Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Jeff knew that a glow-in-the-dark light-up ball would be a perfect gift for his glow-in-the-dark soccer birthday party.
Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Brian must have known that Oliver loves a good challenge with a brain tease.
Nana and Papa's gift got the biggest gasp when he realized that he had an entire box of brand new fluorescent orange golf balls with his name printed on them.
For the breakfast of champions, waffles packed with protein. It may be his birthday but he's still got a soccer game this afternoon.
Before he changed like superman from Oregon to Edge Soccer, a traditional birthday photo.
We can't believe how big he's getting!
We blame it on the jersey making him look like his shoulders are much broader than they really are :)
Before the party could begin, we had business to attend to. As we drove to the soccer field, the cloud (singular, one HUGE one) moved in with ferocious wind and the temperature dropped. The wind howled, the boys jumped up and down in an attempt to stay warm and then the game was on.
Both boys played at the same time, so Keith and I divided our viewership and switched at half time.
Kellan may have had sunshine on his field, but it was still quite chilly and you could almost see his goosebumps from the sideline. Regardless, it didn't put a damper on his drive to the goal. He came close, but that goalie had his number and stopped it short.
The boys were freezing (parents were freezing too, but we can't complain as we're actually dressed heat to toe!) and they put up a tough fight but fell short to their opponents. We packed up and headed into the wind (literally!). "Lean in, boys. Put your head down and drive into the wind!" Seriously!
By the time we got home and Oliver's friends arrived and claimed that they were ready to party into the wee hours of the morning (they were aiming for 2 AM. Funny Boys!) the wind had slowed down which automatically made it feel warmer.
After 5-6 years of these boys standing in front of my camera, they have nailed it. Quickly stand, smile and be done. It's that quick, then I'll leave them alone and they can go about their competition of choice. :) (My heart swelled with love for them all!)
Kellan, Luke, Ethan, Adriano, Chase, Owen, Oliver
When it's October and glow-in-the-dark soccer is on the agenda, plates full of lasagna and garlic bread are a big hit.
But first.... two candles.
Happy "10" Oliver!
Also a first... birthday "O"regon donuts in lieu of a cake.
(the donuts were a HUGE hit and they kept coming back for more.)
Happy Birthday Handsome!
The party gang!
Luke, Chase, Ethan, Oliver, Ariano, Kellan, Owen
The singing was loud and proud. Even if most of them had to hold their ears. They sang and laughed and loved it!
It was almost game time and Commissioner Keith picked the team, thanks to the help of some playing cards (the boys loved this method.) The teams changed every time a team got to 5 points and the ref got to pick the next teams (so be respectful to ref Kellan). It worked like a dream and everyone loved it.
(he seems to think that the party is best when shirts are optional. that kid!)
Photos in the dark are literally "point and shoot", hoping you get something.
The boys did have a spectator show up (bottom left of photo). He heard there was a big game happening and he wasn't about to miss it :)
I literally couldn't see anything except lights flashing at me when I took this. I promised them a quick photo, pushed the button and let them run. Fortunately, you can see almost everyone.
Kellan the Ref.
He may have found his calling with this job. He especially loved the whistle and making calls. He threw out a few "red cards" that were ironically shaped like a red maple leaf. The boys loved it and amazingly the ref's calls stood.
After the consensus was that it was too cold to play soccer outside at night, they all filed inside for some water, popcorn, Oregon football and another challenge. Next up, championship corn hole and ladder golf in the basement, complete with their favorite music.
They decided the format, how they would pick teams (again with playing cards) and how they would determine the grand champion. Then, they all filed downstairs, Keith included. This may have been Keith's favorite birthday party yet :)
Oh what a night!!! SO much fun had by all. By 10:45 PM the boys were all snuggled in their sleeping bag enjoying an American Ninja Warriors marathon. Before midnight, they were ALL sleeping!!
7:15 AM, Kellan woke us up and asked if he could wake up the boys. He had snuck into where they were sleeping and they were all sawing logs. We gave him until 7:30 and then cut him loose. We had kids who had to leave and breakfast that had to be served.
Before the morning was over, we got one last photo after some had left and some new had arrived.
The boys in the hood: Luke, Kellan, Ethan, Luka, Oliver
Such a fun birthday for Oliver. THANK YOU to everyone who came to celebrate.
Oliver, we've come a long way, Baby!
Together, we've learned how to be a family and you were the first to make us parents. It's the hardest and best job that we've ever had and one that we cherish every single day. We love you to pieces and hope the next ten years go MUCH SLOWER than the first ten. ;)
Love You Oliver. Happy Birthday Buddy!