Faith and Family night

This past week the Sounds hosted a Faith and Family night at First Tennessee Park. Since Clara was born, we’ve tried to be intentional about doing a few special things with only Ian. He and I have taken a couple Saturday morning trips to Waffle House. He and Alex have gone shopping or to play games, etc. We’d never, however, done something together with just Ian. The obvious problem being someone needs to watch Clara. We decided this would be a good time to spend with just Ian, so we hired a baby sitter to watch Clara for the night.

We got tickets through our church for only 5 dollars (pretty good right?). This included entrance to the field, a concert before the game and seats to the game. If you’ve never been to First Tennessee Park, you’re missing out. This place is awesome. They have a public lounge/bar area with corn-hole, ping-pong, and other games. A 9-hole putt-putt course designed by local Nashville vendors. Inflatables for kids and a lot of food. As Ian got bored with the game, we would slip out and play one of the games they had around.

One event stood out. One of the inflatables was a large slide. Ian asked several times if he could go down it. It was large enough that I was concerned he wouldn’t be able to reach the ladder steps, we decided to try anyway. When we got closer to the slide I said to Ian “That’s a really tall ladder, are you sure you want to do this? Once you start, you can’t stop” He looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Yes, I’m sure”.

I got very excited about this, Ian was by far the smallest kid in line. When it was finally his turn, he ran to get started but got scared by a large hole at the bottom of the stairs. I asked, “Are you going to do it?” He looked scared but determined. I asked, “Do you want me to help you?”, to that, he said “Yes”.

I took my shoes off and met him at the base, I picked him up and put him on the first steps. From there he was golden. He climbed all the way to the top without hesitation. Once there, he moved over to the slide and went! It may sound cheesy, but I was very proud of him. He’s proven time and again to be a very brave little boy. We’re very lucky to have him in the family.

Overall the night was a lot of fun. I think Ian enjoyed the time too. Here’s a video of the slide, bounce house, and some pictures!

Ian’s THREE!!!!

If you know Ian, you know he is often the center of attention, loud, exciting, colorful, and unpredictable. It is so fitting that he was born on the night of the Fourth of July as fireworks were exploding in the sky. So, while the rest of the country celebrates Independence Day, we in the Jenkins home celebrate Ian and how he has impacted our family for the better.

I love traditions. We had very few traditions growing up, and so I cherish memories of the ones we had and attempt to continue the ones that I can. One thing we didn’t really have many traditions around was our birthdays, and so I want to have memorable, exciting traditions for our kids on their birthdays. I really just want their birthdays to be a day of favorites focusing on spending time as a family and not so much on gifts.

We were still patriotic.

This year, Ian turned three. It was really the first year that he could tell us what he wanted or preferred, so Jeremy and I crafted a day of favorites for Ian.

It was important to me that the day start with a bang so that Ian knew that it was in fact, finally his birthday. We had been building anticipation for about a week, and every day he would ask if it was his birthday yet. After Ian went to bed on the third, Jeremy and I crafted this lovely balloon wall to fall on him as he opened his door in the morning. Thankfully we’re also attempting to sleep-train Clara (for about the fifth time), so we were conveniently up at 4:30 in the morning with a screaming baby so we didn’t miss it when he woke up.

I made a cinnamon roll breakfast, and Ian got to blow out candles on his cinnamon roll “3,” and drink orange juice which is a special treat for him.

Throughout the morning he Face-Timed with most of the family and he really understood that this day was a special day for him. It was exciting that he understood this year. We asked him what his favorite food was and he said “chocolate” followed by “pizza.” So, we headed to CiCi’s Pizza for lunch. (Free kid entry for wearing red-white-and blue; holiday birthday win.) He ate more pizza than I did.

He took a quick nap, and then he and Jeremy headed out to see the movie Cars 3. The other Cars movies are some of his favorite movies so as soon as the Cars 3 trailer came out we knew we would take him on his birthday this year.

Uncle Reuben brought him a flying rocket toy after the movie and had a grilled hot dog dinner with us. We closed out the evening with his “Pawsome Cake.” (Paw Patrol is his favorite show.) It was a big hit.

Overall it was a great day for Ian. Jeremy and I are overwhelmed with thankfulness that God saw us fit to be Ian’s parents. These past three years have taught us so much about love, patience, joy, and grace. Parenting is an incredible journey, and birthdays are such a reminder of what we have been through and how we’ve grown.