jackson’s 2nd birthday

we spent an extra-long weekend celebrating jackson’s 2nd birthday, and had lots of fun doing it!

the celebration began late wednesday night, when we traveled up to aunt amy’s townhome between state college and bellefonte. arts fest had begun, and we spent the day thursday wandering around campus, checking out amy’s lovely office at the alumni center, eating at the hub for old time’s sake, and exploring the campus.

boy, has penn state changed in the 10 years since we were students, walking the sidewalks! i suppose all alumni say that. but it was true — dave was driving onto campus down a street we had driven down many times, and all of a sudden, there’s a building there, right in the middle of the street. so, we had to turn around! weird. but lots of the old buildings we remembered and loved remain — mcelwain, pattee, the lion shrine, willard — we saw them all.

perhaps even more fun on thursday was exploring the artists’ booths. we didn’t venture too deeply into the scene, but still managed to chat up half a dozen or so artists, and gave away many business cards. it’s all about connections!

on friday, we made the mistake of trying out another old favorite — ye old college diner. ugh! the service was terrible. even though there were tons of seats available, it took forever to get a booth, then the wrong food came, no utensils, etc. the stickies were divine, but not sure they were worth all the aggravation.

next stop on the birthday express was conyngham. we arrived friday night, picked up supplies for the fellin basement makeover and some pizza from rostas’ cafe, and we were set. on saturday, after a long walk to the park and back, jackson decided to become pop pop’s shadow. everywhere pop pop went, jackson followed, talking all the way. if pop pop managed to escape for a few minutes, jackson was hot on his tail: “where pop pop go? pop pop? where go?” we’ve discovered jackson has a thing for men in their 60s/70s and girls of about 8 years. because once cousin sarah showed up, pop pop was old news!

sunday was the big day — jackson’s 2nd birthday. after church, we had a big breakfast, and once everyone arrived, we headed down to eagle rock’s beach for the celebration. the menu included homemade cold cut hoagies, senape’s pizza, brownie cupcakes and creamery ice cream, courtesy of aunt amy and some dried ice!

we all had fun swimming in the lake, especially jackson. he almost couldn’t believe he was actually in the water. he kept exclaiming “jackson swimming! swimming mommy!” once we dried off a bit, jackson got to his presents, and tried out his new skuut bike! he knew exactly what to do the moment he saw it — climb on and ride like a “bicycle man!”

thanks to everyone who came to the birthday bash, to aunt amy for her hospitality, and to everyone who wanted to be there, couldn’t make it, but sent good thoughts our way. we’re so excited to have a 2-year-old. it brings all sorts of new challenges, and new joys, too.

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