Have you guys seen that amazing video that’s been circulating around Facebook of the Giraffe Manor? It’s a high end boutique hotel here in Kenya where you can literally eat breakfast with giraffes. It’s one of the dreamiest places! And guess what? It’s just down the road from where we stay in Nairobi. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to stay there… yet. But, I have become somewhat of a frequent visitor to the topic of today’s post, The Giraffe Center, which is just next door.
I’m super behind in sharing about Shiloh’s birthday party. I guess we’ve just been crazy busy around here! Her actual birthday was April 20, but we held off on the big celebration until the middle of May, when my parents were visiting. We hosted a ton of friends and neighbors in our home here in Nairobi.
Shiloh is a big fan of Minnie Mouse, so we went with a “Minnie’s Ice Cream Shop” theme, complete with a toppings bar and lots and lots of cupcakes. No, it wasn’t really “Pinterest worthy”, but that’s something I’ve really come to value about doing life here. No one seems to care about that stuff! And honestly, it’s really refreshing. My motto this year was, “If it causes stress and makes me lose focus of what the entire birthday party is about, it’s out!” I was really able to enjoy Shiloh and all of our friends and family as a result.
My mom was kind enough to bring over some party supplies from the States, along with a great little party dress I found for a steal on Zulily. While over the top themes and decorations aren’t a big deal, party dresses are! Shiloh’s just getting into that stage where she enjoys being “girly”, and it’s really fun to watch her get excited about things like dresses and purses. (But I still love how she gets equally excited about going out to play in the mud or pretending she’s flying an airplane too…)
My favorite part of the day was when our friends sang happy birthday, first the Kenyan version, followed by the American. It sounded like a choir… but I guess that’s what you get when you put a ton of musically gifted people in one place! 🙂
It’s a bittersweet thing, watching your baby grow into a little girl with her own ideas and opinions and personality. I’m so proud of the kind heart she has and the way she is so sensitive to others. I have never met someone so friendly and bold! Shiloh knows no strangers and she goes through life with such JOY! Looking forward to learning more about who this sweet little soul is with every day that is ahead. It’s such a honor and a joy to get to be her mom.
Thanks to all of our family and friends who helped us love on Shiloh, whether you live near or far! Here’s a few pictures from the party for those who couldn’t be there.
I’m a planner. A researcher. The type of girl who doesn’t always do great with last minute decisions or spontaneity. People are usually surprised to find that out about me, but it’s the honest truth. I think something switched in me when I had a child. Suddenly, I needed to have structure and stability where before I could go wherever the wind would blow. And while I have learned to develop a healthy level of flexibility over the years, if I could have it my way I’d have most of the next month’s details scheduled and laid out well in advance. (Just typing that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). I guess I just feel safer that way, and perhaps more in control. But sometimes, you can’t live life fully that way. Sometimes the best adventures are the ones you could never dream up or plan for yourself. That’s what happened with our first visit to Olerai House last July.
Since it’s Thursday, I thought it would be fun to do my own #TBT. Last year, we had the privilege of hosting some good friends who were visiting us here in Kenya. (Love you Gillentine Family!) They had visited nine years prior, so this wasn’t their first “Africa experience”. We spent three weeks traveling all over the country meeting with different Tin Roof Society partners and projects and it was amazing! We had so much fun and made some great memories. While we had planned on doing a safari at the end of their trip, they asked halfway through their visit if we could take them to see something different since they had done a safari nine years earlier. They wanted to see a side of Kenya that they hadn’t already seen before, which we were more than happy to show them! [Read more…]
Read the whole Year Thirty list here.
#32 Get a pedicure from a “fish spa”.
Ok, I’m going to start this by saying that yes… it’s pretty weird. And I’m not sure what it says about me that I’ve always wanted to get a fish pedicure- maybe I’ve got issues or something? But regardless, I did it. I experienced a fish pedicure in all of it’s bizarre glory. And, I was really glad to share the experience with my mom and cousin who were visiting us. It would not have been near as much fun if I had gone alone!
I’ve blogged recently about how my local supermarket finally started carrying sweetened condensed milk again. I love having it on hand to stir into my coffee occasionally, but also because it’s one of the star ingredients in what has become a family favorite dessert. I came across this recipe awhile back for pound cake. It’s just the right amount of sweet, and perfect with a strong cup of coffee (we’ve been known to eat it for breakfast!). [Read more…]