Jake’s Third Birthday

Three years ago, we were living in Pittsburgh. It was a stubborn winter that didn’t want to let go, and the trees were still bare and the air was still chilly when we drove to the hospital, thinking that maybe it was time to have a baby. When we left the hospital two days later, with a tiny little bundle buckled into a brand new car seat, we stepped into a brand new world. It was sunny and warm, and it seemed that the entire city had transformed during our short hospital stay. The trees that had been bare were suddenly leafy and green. Flowers were blooming, the sun was shining warmly, and it seemed that the very earth itself was welcoming our new baby boy into the world.

I think about that every year on Jake’s birthday. He is the essence of spring and summer, rolled up neatly into one little human. πŸ™‚

eating pizza

This year, we celebrated Jake’s birthday party by taking a tour of a local fire station. Jake is kind of obsessed with all things fireman related right now, and I was hoping his friends would be just as thrilled as him to see a fire truck up close.

We actually had quite a few adults (parents, church friends, etc.) attending the party/tour, and some of them were definitely more interested in the information than the kids were, haha! But they kept it short and it was interesting. We got to see where the firemen sleep, and we got to experience a drill of what happens inside the fire station to alert the firemen that they need to get on the truck and attend to an emergency. But the kids were waiting for one thing…they all wanted to see the big truck. πŸ™‚

fire truck2

Jake tends to be a scaredy-cat these days. And once we got him inside the actual truck, he started getting nervous. After that, the firemen turned on all of the light and sirens, and that made Jake absolutely terrified. We have several pictures of him crying as we try to edge him near enough to the outside of the truck to get a good picture. But despite all of the sour-faced photos, I did end up with at least one good one:

fire truck


This handsome little guy isn’t afraid of the fire truck. But I’ll admit I was a little bit afraid….that he would fall off of the ledge while I was taking the picture.


After the tour, we went back to my parent’s house for pizza, cake, and presents. Jake was really pleased with all of it. I feel like this is the first year that he really understood that this was HIS birthday and HIS party, and he knew what to expect from attending other birthday parties. When we started to sing him “Happy Birthday,” he sang along with us. πŸ™‚ When we ask him how old he is now, he has no trouble answering “THREE!” But he still can’t manage to show us three fingers. He usually ends up just showing us all five while saying “THREE!”

beast pizza

We ordered from a local pizza place, and they describe this size as “The BEAST” in their menu.

photo cake

We also ordered a Walmart photo cake for the first time, and we were really pleased with the results!

I tried to keep this year’s party pretty low-key, but I did splurge a little on the goodie bags. I felt very strongly that each child should go home with a toy fire engine, and I scoured the internet and the local Toys R’ Us until I found a few Hot Wheels and Matchbox versions (along with some other fireman gear, like a whistle, a water gun for putting out the flames, and of course, candy and stickers). πŸ™‚ We only had a handful of little friends at our party, so I was able to go all out.


Jake’s sweet little friends, minus the two babies who were in attendance. πŸ™‚




People talk about it all the time, but it still boggles my mind how much a child can change from year to year. I remember last year celebrating that Jake was finally speaking in complete sentences and acquiring more words (he had just had ear tubes put in, which helped his vocabulary a lot, I think). This year, Jake is so much more child than toddler. According to our growth chart, he’s grown six inches since his last birthday. His shoes look giant now compared to Teddy’s tiny shoes. Jake has long legs, big feet, and he has lost his little baby pot belly. He has a mind of his own and he has started asking us questions. So. Many. Questions. He is curious about how the world works and what things are called and WHY they are called that. In just two short years he will enroll in Kindergarten and start his education. It makes my head spin to think about how quickly it’s all going by.

But in the meantime…here’s to my precious little three-year old Jake! I hope he will always be this curious, this persistent, and this enthusiastic about life!

Categories: parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Jake’s Third Birthday

  1. Teena Cone

    You’re right Rachel, childhood flies by so quickly! It seems like yesterday that we brought home our pink bundle from the hospital! You will be so happy to have these blogs to look back on and savor the memories. In the meantime, enjoy the ride, live in the moment, and love the socks off those sweet boys!

  2. Umm, the pizza looks amazing.

    What a fun thing to get to go to the fire station! I know part of it was kind of scary because it’s so big and real for a little guy, but I bet he’ll look back on the time and think it was really cool.

    Happy birthday, Jake!

    • The pizza was great! Perfect for feeding a large group! And let’s hope Jake has many fond memories from his childhood and doesn’t need therapy or anything, LOL!

  3. Looks like such a fun birthday party! That shot of the two of you on the firetruck is awesome! Glad you got a couple of happy smiley faces! πŸ™‚ Happy, happy 3rd birthday to Jake!

    • Thanks, Rach! The tour of the fire station was so neat! And we tried to leave a donation with the firemen when we left and they absolutely would not take it! They were really really sweet, and so patient with all of our little ones!

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