What an amazing way to kick of 2018 with a Sawyer Birthday Fest! We started celebrating his birthday over the Martin Luther King weekend with a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort and followed it up with a quick weekend getaway to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. As if that weren’t enough we had finally arrived at his official sixth birthday. Although it was a school day for the boys, Emily had some plans to still make it an amazing day.
I got up early to start the day by picking up Sawyer’s favorite breakfast, a chocolate chip bagel from Panera. I was grateful that they hadn’t run out of bagels like they so often do. I returned with breakfast in hand and shuffled upstairs to wake up the boys. I had to laugh because the prior night Sawyer said “Five year olds need to be woken up in the morning, but six year olds can wake themselves up!” That sounded great in theory, but I don’t think my days of waking that boy up are over quite yet.
Hunter and Sawyer came downstairs and saw the amazing birthday table that had been set out for Sawyer the night before. Emily does such a great job making the house look special for celebrations. The boys ate their breakfast as Emily and I prepared their items for school. We had time to open one gift before we left which was a Spiderman gift bag complete with a sweatshirt, thermos and some cool bluetooth headphones like his brother has. He was super pumped up and wanted to fill his water bottle immediately so he could take it to school with him.
I kissed the boys goodbye, and Emily took them to school as I headed off for work. I had purchased donuts for Emily to take to school to celebrate Sawyer’s big day which she dressed up with some Spiderman accessories. I think the boys really love it when their Mom comes to school to help celebrate their birthday. Emily spent the morning getting the house Mission:Impossible decked out for the last of Sawyer’s “6 Birthday” celebrations later in the night. Then she headed over to school to meet up with the class for recess and donuts.
One long standing tradition for Emily and Sawyer is their annual visit to Epcot on the date of Sawyer’s birthday. I will have to check the record books, but I don’t think they have ever missed one. It started on his first birthday when I was working at Epcot, and they came to have lunch with me and visit the dolphins for Emily’s late cousin, Amy, whose birthday was also January 23. We even managed to go last year after we got off the Disney Cruise and headed straight for Epcot on Sawyer’s fifth birthday. Even though the boys had school, Emily was not going to let that get in her way! After Emily had distributed the doughnuts to Sawyer’s class, she pulled the boys out a few minutes early and all three of them headed to Epcot. She, of course, had booked a few FastPasses so they could get on a few things without waiting to maximize their brief time at the park. They got to ride Test Track (the boys’ fave) and the Nemo ride, and they saw Turtle Talk with Crush. They also wanted to say hello to the dolphins (and Amy) who unfortunately weren’t to be seen that day.
I ended up meeting up with the gang just before they headed into Character Spot for the annual photo shoot with the Characters. Emily brought the boy’s canvases so they could get signatures, and we captured a bunch of photos and video. Minnie had just received her Hollywood star so we congratulated her for that and Emily even rocked her dots just for Minnie. Following our character experience, we made our way back to Mexico for some dinner and, of course, a Malestrom Margarita for the birthday feting momma, Emily. It was an absolutely gorgeous night to eat outside as the sun was setting across the World Showcase Lagoon.
Being that it was a school night, we finished up at Epcot and returned home to meet up with Kee and Colonel for some cake and the birthday scavenger hunt. We had both of our cars at Epcot so Emily drove my car home with the boys and I drove her car with the cracked window from the prior weekend. We arrived home at about the same time and the boys were instructed to stay outside while Emily went inside to complete the final preparations for the grand reveal.
She was finally ready and we all walked in the house. It was such a cool sight to see! Emily had decked out the kitchen island area with a complete spy theme, even with the Mission:Impossible music playing in the background. There were spy kits, binoculars, balloons, caution tape, fake mustaches, other assorted spy gear, and a case file containing the first clue. Once Kee and Colonel arrived a few minutes later, it was time to crack open the case file to see if we could find Shelly, Sawyer’s missing manatee. But before we could start, we all needed to get our spy names and badges. To determine your spy name you combine your middle name and the last food you ate. Below are the names that we ended up with:
- Sawyer – Agent Mark Strips (Chicken Strips)
- Hunter – Agent Patrick Chips
- Emily – Agent Allison Margarita
- Patrick – Agen James Guacamole
- Kee – Agent Hunter Carrots
- Colonel – Agent Michael Celery
The scavenger hunt was such a riot as Hunter helped Sawyer by reading the clues, in his best British accent. Sawyer of course chimed in some funny one liners in his accent as well. The scavenger hunt took them all around the house with different clues that led them to gifts as well as Sawyer’s stuffed animals that each had a tiny magnifying glass (nice touch, Em!). We worked our way around the downstairs and then up, collecting gifts, finally arriving in Sawyer’s room for the final clue and gift where we found Shelly on Sawyer’s bed surrounded by his other stuffed animals. It was so fun to watch him figure out each of the clues and run to his next location.
We gathered up the gifts along the scavenger hunt route and brought them all back downstairs so he could open them all in one location for us to watch. He loved all of his gifts but really loved the Kevin McAllister from Home Alone Funko Pop that Hunter got him. He also got a Nintendo Switch which he was super exited to play with. Before we could do that it was time for the ice cream cake that Emily made because it was about at the perfect temperature to eat before melting. Emily popped some sparklers into the cake, which was designed like a spy bomb and carried it over to the table while we sang to our little buddy. The cake was absolutely delicious as the boys made quick work of it so they could get back to playing with the new toys. They stayed up a little extra so they could play and we all could visit.
I got the privilege of getting to read stories to Sawyer on his first night as a six year old. We read his new spy book that he got and he quickly faded off to sleep after his super exciting day. Amazing how much can happen in a day. Happy Birthday Sawyer! You are such an amazing addition to our family. You add so much passion and excitement to everything that we do. We love you so much and you are such an easy guy to love!
In case you wanted to follow along with the scavenger hunt clues, I provided them below (note some of the charter names were taken from Hunter & Sawyer’s imaginary spy playing):
Today is your day, you have reached your sixth year
We have shared such great times, and even a few tears
Your mission today if you choose to accept it
A birthday spy scavenger hunt for your gifts
Your new pal Shelly has mysteriously disappeared
You must find her before your bedtime is here
The Baron left clues to help solve the case
Your first gift and clue are in your hidey place
Just like Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible
Your spy training has made you quite unstoppable
So point your GPS to your next gift spot
Where your clothes become dry and come out quite hot!
You and your brother have so much fun together
Creating characters inside or out no matter the weather
Here is a tip from the double-crosser Brainiac
Your next gift is hidden by your favorite snacks
You could use the help of the great Tony Stark
He could fly you around and light up the dark
Speaking of dark your next gift is near
The tiny fridge where we keep your Root Beer!
I wonder if Thick Brain is the source of this plot
Let’s continue our quest there’s no time to stop
Baron’s Minion is always up to his tricks
See if he hid your next gift next to the Kix!
Just like James Bond in his Aston Martin
You are cracking the case and you are just startin’
To find your pal Shelly you will have to be smart
You can find your next gift near all the Nerf darts!
A Getaway Helicopter would be the perfect escape
To fly away with your gifts and your yummy birthday cake
But you have to find Shelly before it’s too late
So check under the bed of Hunter the Great!
Baron and Thick Brain are always quite smart
But you know the way if you follow your heart
I wonder if your next gift’s hiding location
Is where Mom sets up clothes for our fun vacations!
I think I hear Shelly, let’s keep looking and see
If at the end of the search we will find the Manatee
I think that I hear her, oh yes, it is true
You will find her hidden in the room that is blue