The week of Trek and Conner’s birthdays (April 11 and April 18) were full of celebrations. We had an impromptu family party for Conner when we had some family in town, then it was Trek’s actual birthdate which we celebrated just us 5, and at the end of the week we went to Great Wolf Lodge to formally celebrate Trek’s and Conner’s birthdays (and were there on Conner’s birth date).
I will share how we celebrated the day of Trek’s birth today, and about Great Wolf Lodge in another post-I have too many pictures to combine them!
Trek arrives on April 11, 2011!!!-
blog post-Trek’s birth in the driveway
1 year old, I woke up to this little, happy face-
blog post-Trek’s 1st birthday at Great Wolf Lodge
blog post-Trek’s 1st birthday in Maui party
2 years old and I woke up without him. We celebrated his 2 years on a boat in Thailand
Trek’s 3rd birthday celebration-
I think it goes without saying that its incredibly surreal to celebrate your child’s birthday when they are no longer here. So many things we do with Peyton and Conner in mind, just as we did in deciding how to spend Trek’s days after he was diagnosed. We want to keep Trek a part of their life and make lasting memories on things involving him. With the boys ages right now, that usually means something really fun and kid-friendly. Peyton and Conner make it easy to have fun and be in the moment, and not having Trek leaves a big empty space in the day at the same time. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate our 3rd son because there is so much to celebrate about how amazing Trek is, and also so painful that he is not here.
This year we decided to revisit Great Wolf Lodge since that is where we spent Trek’s 1st and only birthday. But that was not scheduled until later in the week, so on April 11th, we saved a special family outing and Jarrett took off of work. There is a National Geographic Pirates exhibit in town at Moody Gardens (an Aquarium, Rainforest, Imax, Museum in 3 large pyramids-a kid’s dream). So we decided to visit there for Trek’s special day.
The Pirate exhibit was a total flop, the boys were really disappointed. Thankfully there is a ton more fun things to do at Moody Gardens!
After a fun morning, we went out to lunch and then home to write Trek a birthday letter. I wish I taken a picture of what we all wrote, for my own journal and memory, but in the moment it was too raw and I couldn’t. We each wrote Trek a note about our love and wishing him a special 3rd birthday, it was hard and really sweet. I love to hear what the boys say in those moments and about their little brother.
We put it in a bottle and headed down to the beach.
Jarrett threw it out to sea.
and it rolled back in:) The boys then waded farther and took turns throwing it out. It either finally got taken by the current or is still on the beach, I keep meaning to go back and check. Either way its at a beach. We spent almost every day of Trek’s life at some beach in the world, and we released his ashes in an ocean in Thailand, so the ocean is where we always feel most connected to him.
We then made a special birthday dinner in honor of him. Steak, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and homemade rolls. It was really nice and relaxing and felt like the perfect way to end the day.
The boys chose chocolate cupcakes for his cake.
The timer on my camera tried to take a family photo of us:)
After dinner we all snuggled in the living room and watched home videos of Trek. Oh my goodness. I was extremely surprised at how many we have of our baby. We have hours of footage. I have become in charge of photographs in our family and Jarrett seems to be the one always videoing. He also has done a great job organizing and saving all our videos, its been such a busy 18 months since Trek died that I did not realize how good of a job Jarrett had done. They are all labeled and in order and we have dozens of them. It was wonderful. We laughed so hard and smiled so much our faces hurt. And then we all broke down and just had to stop. We got through about 1 hour of Trek videos. He is just beautiful and there is so much room for him in our lives-I wish he was here to fill it.
We love you so much Trek-we hope you had a wonderful 3rd birthday! We have loved celebrating you your entire life. There are so many things to love, admire, and celebrate about you! We send you all our love, every single drop of it.
Daddy, Mama, Peyton, Conner, and your little sister
Here is my favorite video from the night-