Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 24, 2012

9 Cool Things About Simon’s Birthday Party

COOL THING #1 | This photo. Katie snapped it during the craziness of the birthday party, after the kids had finished the treasure hunt (the glasses were some of the prizes). I’m thankful that this was my prize.

COOL THING #2 | Simon getting an email from my parents first thing in the morning with an interactive card and fun Spongebob game. I’m thankful for all the ways my parents have connected with Simon.

COOL THING #3 | For his party Simon really wanted to have “marshmallow lasagna.” The idea for this dessert came about from a show called Wubbzy and he’s talked about it from time to time in the past. I googled “marshmallow lasagna” and found a few different recipes. We ended up doing a modified version of this one – it’s basically a smores casserole and it is super, super sweet. For some reason (most likely it’s part of the Wubbzy episode that Simon has memorized) he asked for grated cheese on top of his. I’m thankful that he wanted to try something new.

COOL THING #4 | The kids really played together. There was chasing (Simon’s favorite), and laughing, and running around upstairs and downstairs, and light sabers and swords. More than half (actually most) of the kids at Simon’s party are somewhere on the autism spectrum. They’ve been in the same program with each other since kindergarten and we’ve watched each of them grow and develop over the last few years. Most of the same kids were here last year and this year there was really a difference in the way they interacted with one another. I’m so thankful to those kids and their parents for showing up.

COOL THING #5 | I got some photos that I really like of all the kids together eating at the table. I’m not going to be sharing them here but I’m really happy that I took them. Those photos especially remind me just how old he is getting. I’m thankful for the chance to share these photos of friendship with Simon.

COOL THING #6 | My sister sent a bouquet of birthday balloons for Simon. I’m thankful for my sister who is always so thoughtful when it comes to celebrations.

COOL THING #7 | Chris organized a fun treasure hunt (you can see the flier he made up in my Project Life post here) that included five different pirate treasures. I’m thankful for the relationship that Chris has built with Simon and for the one they are building now.

COOL THING #8 | Lots of Ninjago. I’m thankful that Simon’s current favorite lego theme has books available.

COOL THING #9 | The nap time after the party. An early in the day party meant time left in the day for a nap on the couch for me. I’m thankful that Anna took a nap (she was exhausted from the excitement) and that Simon was ready and willing to play in peace and quiet with his new toys.

JUST A NOTE | Today is the last day to join Tara Sophia Mohr’s Playing Big program (the program begins on Thursday).


  • 1.
    dawn said…

    I love the way you told the story here, feels like I was right there with you. Love the first photo and the last one. HOORAY FOR NAPS!!

    So happy for Simon and growing up with great friends.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • 2.
    P.J. said…

    What wonderful memories! Simon is getting so tall.

  • 3.
    Tami said…

    Your kids will be thankful that you and Chris, despite your difficulty between each other, continue to be there for your children, In the same room, sharing the same events.

  • 4.
    Jacque said…

    Cool thing #10 is the beautiful and loving way you live and present life. I’m thankful that you share your amazing family and your journey with us. You have such a gentle and kind way of looking at everything even when the situation is difficult. I love the way you love your family. I’m thankful to look for your blog each day and be inspired and encouraged to be a better person each. Thank you!!

    • ….
      Allison M. said…

      I echo this sentiment. Also that photo of Simon with the balloon bouquet and those glasses is priceless.

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      I completely agree with Jacque’s comments.

      …. and her comment helped me over my “Simon was TEN! Where’s the TENTH thing??” freak out!
      I mean really… how could you stop at NINE?? Ten is such a nice stopping point. And Simon is ten years old.

      It’s ok. ; )

  • 5.
    Carol said…

    You are such a good mama and storyteller!! Beautiful.

  • 6.
    Lisa W. said…

    Dawns comment is EXACTLY what I was thinking…feel like we right there. I LOVE your passion and visual that you “see”…Simon is SO cute, and growing up so fast. The pic of you and Anna is priceless…thank you for sharing.

  • 7.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Thank you for sharing. Simon is an amazing little man!!

  • 8.
    Ma Laarni said…

    I’m thankful for the stories, photos, and encouragement you give me everyday. You inspire me.

  • 9.
    Shelley said…

    Love this, and so happy for your and your family finding your new normal. It looks like Simon had a great day!

  • 10.
    jennifer Camplin said…

    Love this.. what a wonderful memories for Simon’s big 10th birthday to remember by.

  • 11.
    Cecilia said…

    i totally adore this. what a lucky family to have shared such a special day together.

  • 12.
    Chrissy Hunyady said…

    That first photo is awesome on so many levels. Good to hear the bday party went great! Love the balloon bouquet!

  • 13.
    Carol said…

    I love how you tell your stories, Ali…!!! God bless…

  • 14.
    Cathy said…

    I love this! So much to be thankful for.

  • 15.
    Teri H. said…

    I LOVE that picture of Anna and Simon with the funny glasses. It cracked me up!

  • 16.
    Deb J said…

    What a great party for Simon. It’s wonderful how Chris took part. I know that is good for the kids but I also know that it must be hard for you in some ways. I’m so proud of you and the way you are handling all of this. God bless you. I keep you in my prayers.

  • 17.

    I just want to say I think it’s a beautiful thing you are doing for your children, by getting along with Chris and including him when you can and keeping him a part of their lives. Kids need a dad and you are doing an exceptional job Ali!

  • 18.
    Mary in IL said…

    Ali, if I may ask a personal question…did the guests come to the party and stay with or without parents staying? Are they comfortable enough to do that now? Thank you. It looks like it was a wonderful party!

  • 19.
    Paola Norman said…

    I love how you tell your story, Happy Birthday Simon :)

  • 20.
    rhonda said…

    What sweet pictures! Looks like everyone had a great time!

  • 21.
    Kimmie said…

    Thank you so much for sharing Simon’s birthday with us. Looks like it was a great day all around.

    BTW, my 10 year old son’s current lego obsession is also Ninjago. :)

  • 22.
    Jayne Taylor said…

    Looks like it was a wonderful party – and I love the gratitude statements at the end of each cool thing! I also have to confess that I goggled marshmallow lasanga – new to me – just had to look! :-)

    Happy Birthday SImon – Happy days Anna and Ali

  • 23.
    Debbie Gibson said…

    Thank you for sharing Simon’s Birthday Party with all of us. Cool Pic #1 is PRICELESS. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! The last Cool Pic reminded me of my time with my little girl! She just turned “9″. It goes too fast.

  • 24.
    kat-in-texas said…

    Love how you tell stories to us, Ali!!!

    What a special day for Simon and his buddies. Love hearing about their special connections. So sweet.

    Glad you and Chris are both present for the kids despite your new realationship status. You are inspiration to us all–married, single and otherwise! :)

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      Yup – what kat-in-texas said.

  • 25.
    Sarah said…

    Thankful for YOU!! For your inspiration, for your grace. Without knowing you, you inspire me to be better at releationships and memory keeping :)

  • 26.
    Cynthia said…

    another great post! I so love love love that first photo…priceless! I kind of miss the parties we had when Nick was younger. there is nothing better than a bunch of kids running around having so much fun.

  • 27.
    Sue I. said…

    Absolutely love that photo of Simon and Anna with the glasses! Hysterical!

  • 28.
    Heather said…

    Ninja go has a show also, it started last week, been taping it for my kids who love all things lego

  • 29.
    patty said…

    LOVED reading this post…
    you do have a way with life . with words . with stories .
    with L*O*V*E…
    thank you for sharing it all!

  • 30.
    Jamie Stahl said…

    Cool thing #10? How positive you are about everything. I’m sure you don’t always feel that way, but expressing thanks the way you to is a gift. Happy birthday to Simon.

  • 31.
    Suz said…

    Fabulous day for Simon and for all of you. TFS. :)

  • 32.
    Liz Ness said…

    What an awesome photograph (the featured one)–all of them are great, really. However, I’m imagining another done in the same glasses some day when they are about 10 years older–than twenty. The glasses are classic! (You know, the then and now photography, like this:

    Also, happy birthday to Simon and HUGS to you! =)

  • 33.
    Julia S said…

    So happy to hear he had a great party. My special guy is also on the Autism Spectrum and would of loved all the fun! ;-) Too bad we’re in St.Louis…thanks as always for sharing Ali!

  • 34.

    Ali, you have this way of telling stories. I mean they are short descriptions but I seem to be in the party. Happy birthday Simon. The first picture with your sis is definitely cute. And oh, I the lasagna looks delicious. Hope you’d share the recipe one of this days.


  • 35.
    seo said…

    Just about all of the things you articulate happens to be supprisingly appropriate and that makes me wonder why I had not looked at this with this light previously. This piece really did switch the light on for me personally as far as this particular subject goes. But at this time there is just one point I am not really too comfortable with so while I make an effort to reconcile that with the actual central idea of your position, permit me see exactly what all the rest of your visitors have to say.Well done.

  • 36.
    able mabel said…

    I love reading your writings. They are so thoughtful and well said.

  • 37.
    Tina said…

    Happy birthday, Simon! I can’t believe I’ve been reading funny and sweet stories about you for at least 6 years now! It’s awesome to be 10. I was 10 about 33 years ago and I sure wish that I had all the cool Lego sets back then that you have now. Yes, I’m a girl that loves Lego, and I’m glad my 9-year-old son loves it too. Oh, and my son likes chasing, and he recently got a red balloon that he named Fred.


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