Zack’s SECOND Birthday Party

We had ourselves a Par-Tay!

Zack turns TWO (!?!) on Tuesday (also known as Twos-Day, har har) and in his honor, we had some of our most special loved ones over to our house for a low-key, laid-back get-together. (Which means our kid had on no shirt and we had more beer than balloons — although Scott really sets the bar high when it comes to redneck party decorating).


In typical Zook fashion, we did have some showers, but at least it waited until later in the day when most of the guests had already left.

Kids mingled, parents compared notes, hot dogs were eaten, presents were given, babies were passed and a lotta, lotta love shared. Not to mention one of my favorite cards EVER, from Zack’s Birthday Buddy Chase. (“Is Addie seeing anyone?”)


Going into Z-Man’s second birthday party, Scott and I were in a totally different mindset than this time last year. (Below, 2011 versus 2012 Birthday Party Days)


Zack is walking and was able to mingle a bit more with the other kids that were there. And cake wasn’t as much a reminder of his delays as a messy celebration of the past year’s joys and accomplishments.




Actually, I didn’t find myself thinking much at all; I just found myself enjoying each conversation and guest as much as time would allow.

I had so many favorite moments.

Chalky hands and noses.




Dirty bare feet.

Fingers and lips covered in icing.


Unexpected and much-loved presents.




Toys scattered across the yard.




Scott’s hard work prepping, cleaning, cooking.



And we had a very, very special guest. Aunt Alice (“Chochie”) hopped a train near New York City and traveled all the way out to spend this weekend with us. From the moment I saw her walking into the station parking lot when I squealed with excitement in the car to the moment I waved goodbye to a tunnel where she may or may not have even been walking, happy tears streaming down my face, were a million special seconds.

Loving up our babies with her huge heart, warm hugs and lots of chickey kisses.

Helping with and watching our day-to-day routines — baths, meals, night-nights and exercises.

Calling me her daughter and being the Momma figure I needed this weekend.

Getting along with all of our crazy Friends Family and their little ones, adjusting bunched-up shirts and handing out toys and drinks and finessing the tiniest details that made everything even better.






I am so proud of our Little Man and so amazed at how quickly these past two years have gone. I love our family, our friends and yes, I love our beautiful journey.

Thank you to everyone who made it a special day.

And I have to say it, please forgive me, but our family would appreciate it if you spread the word about the National Down Syndrome Society and Zack’s fundraiser. We started raising funds for Zack’s first birthday and have already raised more than $3,300. I would love to see what we can rack up in the next 48 hours before Zack’s official birthday. Our fundraising page can be found here. Imagine reaching $4,000 or even more — what a birthday present that would be for our son!


Happy early birthday, DUDE!







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