This past year has been challenging in every aspect of our lives. It has also been the most rewarding. When the babies were born there were so many uncertainties and God has provided for us in every way. From baby supplies to man power, it's always been taken care of. Our support system has been incredible from day 1 and we are forever grateful to everyone who has been a part of the babies' lives. Our extended family has grown and now includes quite a few people we didn't even know a year ago. It continues to amaze me how far our babies' influence reaches and how loved they are all over the world. Some people even call them the little missionaries. And, for the record, we received so many meals I've yet to cook dinner, we have not bought a single diaper, and I can count the canisters of formula I've paid for with my fingers. I've never been alone for a feeding or a bath night. Dave and I have been on at least 1 date each month, attend church regularly, and we're involved in our small group. All of these things would not be possible without our friends, family, and church. The best part is that all of these people say they are blessed to be a part of our lives just as much as we're blessed by their help. Also, for the record, the Perkins Pack is the first set of sextuplets born in Texas to survive the first year. God is truly great! People ask how I do it all the time. Here's what gets me through... faith, determination, sense of humor, positive attitude, organization, diet soda, daily walks/runs, dessert, my amazing support system (that includes the husband), and the ability to function on little sleep. Not necessarily in that order :)
Ok, back to the original reason for the post- celebrating the 1st birthday!
As per the suggestion of Leah's OT, we had been practicing for weeks eating muffins to get them used to the texture of cake so they wouldn't freak out at their party. On their actual birthday (several days before their party) we practiced singing Happy Birthday as I had planned for their party and let them smash some cupcakes. We also opened a gift a day their whole birthday week. I'm very glad we had the practice because they LOVED the cake; it also showed us that I needed to give tutorials on my rendition of Happy Birthday x6 and that we needed to strip down the babies for cake smashing (what a mess!). On this occasion, Ben and Levi only ate the icing, Caroline ate and covered herself with hers and stole some of Ben's, Andrew and Allison devoured theirs, and Leah was mad we made her sit at the table for a long period of time. I ended up unwrapping their gifts because they were too easily distracted by tags and paper.
The actual party happened the Saturday after their birthday. The theme was circus and it seemed to be appropriate for many reasons. The threat of rain loomed over us and our outdoor party in the park. Luckily, it stopped raining just long enough for us to set up, enjoy 2 hours of the party, and have the quickest clean up I've ever seen. The torrential downpour began as soon as the party ended and made getting home a disaster (for others, not so bad for us). Despite the weather, the party was perfect!! It took 3 months of planning, 5 shoppers, and 3 teams of people (set up, team baby, and clean up) to pull this shingdig off, but we did it! Our simple party in the park grew to 100 guests including volunteers and medical staff we've kept in touch with. As much as we wanted to celebrate the babies, we also wanted to extend our gratitude to those who have helped us make it through this year. Obviously, we had a lot of people to thank! I would also like to note that the cake (provided by Cakes by Gina) was the most incredible cake!! I almost didn't want to mess it up, but it was worth it because that cake was delicious and I ate waaaayyy too much of it last week.
Here are some pics and videos of the birthday week events:
|Ben opening his gift|
|Andrew during cake tasting practice|
|Can you believe all these cards?!|
|Allison literally smashing her cake|
|Caroline wanted to try the chocolate cake too|
|I like frosting!|
My aunt got a great video of the cake smashing at the party. To view click here.