Friday, November 7, 2014

Making Memories














Over the years, Justin and I have made Reece's gifts, for both his birthday and for Christmas. As we sat down toward the end of summer to think about gifts for Reece this year, we realized we had pretty much made everything we had wanted him to have. We were stuck on what to make, and the more we talked, the more we realized there was really nothing more we wanted to make, at least right now. So we have moved to experience gifts, and for his birthday Reece decided a trip to the Butterfly Conservatory of Cambridge would be a great way to spend the day.

We packed up after breakfast yesterday morning, loaded Reece and his little friend into the car, and away we went. We arrived in good time, and headed in right away to check out the butterflies. It was a slow day, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves...it was delightful. We wandered, followed butterflies, looked at chrysalises, watched a turtle and some fish at the pond, and just soaked in the goodness of butterflies fluttering around everywhere you turn. It was a truly magical way to spend the day, and the perfect way to celebrate my little man.

46 comments:

  1. What beautiful memories you are making! Happy Birthday to Reece x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your choise to give Reece an experience gift: so often we feel compelled to buy gifts because we have to, even if we know very well that it will be a waste of money.
    But I am so afraid of butterflies that a I can barely look at your pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. We definitely try our best. We were in the same position last Christmas, we had made him something, but were chatting the week before that maybe we should get something else to go with it. We started looking online, and nothing spoke to me, I looked at my hubby and said no. There was nothing more necessary, and it was awful to be looking just for the sake of it.

      Really, I didn't realize anyone would have a fear of butterflies. Sorry about that.

      Delete
  3. What a perfectly lovely day! Your photos speak to me :)

    We are often faced with a similar quandry re. presents at both birthdays and Christmas. I am the youngest of five children, so my kiddies have many aunts, uncles and cousins who like to buy them gifts, despite our protests that there is no need to do so! I have been asking for many years now that they spend TIME with our children (eg. take them to the museum, go swimming, or a picnic/park date) - slowly they are coming around, and the kids, and the grownups alike, love their time together. And just as you write, they are making lifelong memories :)

    Thank you for sharing your special day with us.

    ~ Carrie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carrie.

      It is hard, isn't it? Our goal over the last few years has been to put an end to the gift giving, and create time for us to be with family in order to create memories. And I am happy to say it has been working. We exchange very few gifts, only with my parents, and Reece's Godparents. I do make something for the little one who homeschools with us, and a few friends, but just small handmade/homemade things.

      Time is such an important gift these days, when we all seem to have so little of it. For me it speaks of how much someone means to you so much more than any gift could.

      Happy to hear your family is coming around. I can just imagine how much fun your kiddos have with all their aunts and uncles.

      I know I said it yesterday, but I am so happy you are back. xo

      Delete
  4. Those are amazing photos of the butterflies! I am always blown away by their beauty and how delicate they seem. Great idea taking the birthday boy there instead of giving gifts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anke, they are definitely very special creatures. Reece has a soft spot for them :)

      Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Oh, Kim, these photos are truly lovely! Great captures, dear friend! Just gorgeous!

    Experience gifts are just fabulous and to be able to have pictures to look back on makes it all the more special too. So glad that ya'll had such a lovely day yesterday! Oh, how I wish we were there to join in the fun! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shel. I think what makes them so fabulous is that it is an experience for all of us, and we can all just sit back and soak in the goodness of it.

      How fun that would have been to have you guys join us. The list of things to do with you when you do visit one day is growing :)

      Have a great weekend. xo

      Delete
  6. what a fun gift! I am positive he will be thinking of those butterflies for quite some time and he has probably drawn many of them in his journal. Great idea :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen, we all had a great time!

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful gift Kim and one I wouldn't mind having either. Making memories is so important.
    Magical!
    Have a beautiful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun, and we all had a lovely time. Thank you Tracey, you too!

      Delete
  8. Sounds like a most wonderful way to spend a birthday- I am with you ,we are about experiences with our kids now too. I think Reece will remember this beautiful day with fondness ...lovely gift Kim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure hope so Camilla. It was a special day, and one I know I won't forget anytime soon. Thank you. xo

      Delete
  9. We too are going the route of experiences in birthdays. I love the butterflies. I am so glad Reece had a wonderful birthday! Have a beautiful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so much fun Jen, you will love it! The butterflies hold a special place in Reece's heart, so I knew he would want to go to the conservatory for his birthday. It was so him.

      Happy weekend to you too!

      Delete
  10. what a wonderful gift !!! those winged creatures sure are beautiful....Hope you have a great weekend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Erica. They are pretty magical. Wishing you a lovely weekend too.

      Delete
  11. Wow! Love those butterflies! What a great way to spend a birthday. :)

    Everytime we travel home to Niagara to visit family we go to the Butterfly Conservatory and it’s always an amazing experience. From the photos you posted I could have sworn you were at the Niagara Parks one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It is very much the same as the Niagara one, just a tiny bit bigger, and much less crowded. We visited the butterflies in Niagara last summer, and it was just as magical.

      Delete
  12. What an awesome way to celebrate! My girls would love that! So beautiful Kim! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tiffany, we had a great time. And you are right, your girls would love it!

      Delete
  13. What a wonderful place to visit, those butterflies are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty amazing, we feel pretty lucky to be able to visit :)

      Delete
  14. What a wonderful gift! Happy Birthday to Reece!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a thoughtful gift, I'm glad it was so enjoyed. Beautiful photos, as always. Enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a wonderful gift. Not only the experience of the day, but also the wisdom to respect when a child has enough 'things'. Have a lovely weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is a balance, right, and knowing when to stop is the key :)

      Hope you have a lovely weekend too.

      Delete
  17. What a wonderful gift! Something to remember and treasure forever! We started experience gifts with little miss this year with the Zoo for her birthday. Funny enough, she doesn't really talk about any of the presents she got for her birthday, but she makes us promise at least once a week that we will go back to the zoo. :-)

    Wishing you a lovely week-end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Yanic, I sure hope so. These are the days I hope Reece tucks into his memory bank, and pulls out in years to come to remember :)

      Reece has not noticed at all that there wasn't a gift from us. He did get a gift from my parents, his Godparents, Justin's parents and two of his little friends, so I am sure he didn't miss the actual gift in hand from us. He talks about the butterflies, the turtle and the parrot, yes there was even a parrot in the conservatory, the most, and our dinner out on the way home :)

      Hope you have a great weekend too. xo

      Delete
  18. Absolutely gorgeous. All of these photos. What a fun way to spend your birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, we had a wonderful time.

      Delete
  19. Amazing! I would love to see something like that. That butterfly in his hand was huge. I agree about not knowing what to make for my kids. They don't need anything. Even I feel like I don't need anything. Experiences would be so much better. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty amazing KC. This is our second time visiting a butterfly conservatory, we went to the one in Niagara Falls last year. They are wonderful, and so very magical.

      That is exactly how we feel. The three of us are content with what we have, yes, sure there are things we "want", but nothing we "need" and in the end the memories we made on Thursday will far outlast anything we could have bought.

      Delete
  20. What a great way to spend a birthday. Beautiful butterflies!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What wonderful pictures and what a wonderful trip! We try to do a lot of our gifts as experiences as well-- Happy Birthday Reece!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What glorious photos!! Happy Birthday little man!! (and happy BIRTH day to you Kim)!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a wonderful way to celebrate. I love the idea of experience gifts. This post would have made my mother smile. She was heavily involved in butterfly conservation. She planted many butterfly gardens at schools around here and taught classes to educate children. Beautiful. Be well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it was really lovely and we had a wonderful time.

      Oh how lovely. She would have loved the conservatory, it is just amazing. Thank you for sharing my friend. xo

      Delete