this is the last post about jia's 2nd bday...i promise...but i couldn't leave out the party!

compared to last year, we had a really simple party for jia this year. it was pretty much just a family party this time around.

i loved jia's party last year...we kind of did the whole big first birthday thing and invited all her little friends, but even though it was adorable and cathartic for me, i don't necessarily think it was her idea of a good time. it may have been a little too overwhelming. there were several tearful moments.

so this time we just celebrated with relatives and people she is really familiar with and she had an absolute blast, and it was way less work for me too!

the theme was just a simple backyard birthday. i wanted to take full advantage of having our new patio!

shomik made her a little picnic table for her bday, and we set up her kiddie pool and the kids had the sand box and water table and bubbles to play in as well and the kids were all set.

the girls raided the gift buckets.

once it started to get a little darker we put in Frozen for the babies on the outdoor screen. it was jia's first time to really get into a movie...she was totally focused!

for food we just cooked out. to go along with the backyard summer time theme we also had s'more cupcakes, root beer floats, and watermelon!

we served all the food out of our kitchen window! it opens up onto a small bar in the backyard, so we kept the things that we wanted to keep away from flies on the inside so people could just slide open the window for those. i can't believe we'd never used that feature was great!

jia has fully embraced being two, and even blew out her candles all in one try! such a big girl! she needs to stop growing up so fast. love her!

on jia's actual birthday we wanted to make it a little extra special even though she wasn't having a party or anything on that day.

i started off the day by filling the hall with balloons, so when she woke up she had to kind of wade through them. balloons are her favorite, so that definitely kicked the day off right! it took her half an hour to get down the hall because she was so enamored!

then there was cake for breakfast! in my defense, it was zucchini cake, so it was semi healthy. (and it's surprisingly yummy!) we had to blow out the candle for her the first time, but then she wanted us to keep lighting it so she could try again and again.

after breakfast we decided to go for an outing.

since it's june and it's already pretty hot, i turned my sights on indoor fun with a toddler.

i kept hearing that the perot museum was great, so we decided to check it out.

the museum itself was pretty awesome, though a lot too old for a toddler to get into, though she loved the children's that part was totally worth it for her.

in the evening we went out to eat and let her play for a bit a kid mania. which is basically a giant indoor maze. she went crazy there and it was hard to finally reel her in!

at the end of the day it was safe to say she had a good's a good day when you can wear out a toddler! :)

so i hate all the cliche statements about time flying so quickly with your little ones. mostly because they're true.

i can't believe my daughter is two now. it hasn't all been pretty, but i have loved every moment of parenthood in ways i had never imagined.

at two, jia is seeming more like a little girl and less like a baby. her quickly growing hair, and full mouth of teeth complete the look! she only weighs about a pound more than she did when she turned one! mostly because she was overly chubby at one, and now she never stops moving!

she says more words than we can count now, and puts little sentences together, but most of them take a trained ear to understand. she has a tendency to get the vowel sounds right, but plug in whatever consonants she feels like.

for a few months she's been able to recognize her ABCs and count to 10. she actually really loves learning things like that, which thrills my indian husband. ;)

even though the weather is warming up, the girl loves to play outside. she also loves water, so we probably need to teach her to swim properly soon!

she loves her doggies, and bosses them around already like cesar milan! she's definitely the alpha!

she's getting more into making art and playing make believe. i'm excited to see this creative aspect of her personality starting to bloom!

she's also starting to be more interested in playing with friends. her bff is our neighbor cora, but other than her, jia seems to enjoy playing with boys. maybe they're more lively?

it's hard to say what her favorite food is. thankfully she isn't too picky, but she does love anything sweet! guess she didn't stand a chance considering who her parents are. ;) she also has an amazing ability to eat spicy food that is beyond her years.

i'm thankful for another year with her...being this little girl's mom has been the greatest joy of my life!

*warning: lots of pics in this post. many including cute toddlers.*

i have a special place in my heart for piney woods. if it were possible to enjoy the beauty of pine forests with out the humidity then it would be hard to keep me away.

this weekend we had the chance to go to east texas to celebrate the marriage of some friends, and decided to make the most of it and enjoy a chance to get away from the city with some of our besties.

though i was born in southeast texas, i had never spend much time in other parts of east texas. in case you haven't heard, texas is big y'all. we ended up renting a cabin that was part of a bed and breakfast between hughes springs and jefferson, texas called holly hills homestead.

the little cabin we stay in was a cute little rustic spot off of the main house. it was tiny, but charming, and had everything you might need. i wish it had rained while we were there, because i bet it sounds amazing on the metal roof. i should have taken the pics right when we arrived, but i never remember to do that, so sorry for unmade beds, etc... i promise it was all impeccably clean when we got there! :)

we flipped for rooms, and we ended up with the loft. you know jia loved climbing those stairs!

the girls had a good ole fashioned jumping on the bed slumber party!

we totally lucked out. for a last minute internet discovery, we weren't sure what we would find...but it was pure heaven in the woods! it had all the charm of a b&b but hidden away on a beautiful and secluded piece of land. i loved every minute there. it was like a secret garden. pictures don't do it justice. we will absolutely be back.

despite living in texas nearly all my life, i had never really heard of the town of jefferson. but it's a cute little place that you can tell must have been a pretty happening spot a couple hundred years ago. it's full of history, antique shops, and country charm. a great little get away. it reminds me a little of fredericksburg, though smaller and not so crowded. and of course the piney woods have a totally different charm than hill country.

we enjoyed roaming around the shops there and exploring. it felt like stepping back in time. we found a couple birthday gifts for jia, including this vintage rocking horse that i'm totally in love with. why is it that vintage kids stuff is so much more stylish?

on the way home we let the girls and dads take a swim in lake o the pines. i think they had a pretty good father's day.

we all had a great weekend and i'm already looking for a chance to go back!

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