India and Kembe, our “twins”, turned 10 last week. I can’t believe I’ve now got three kids in the double digits. Three tweens! Lord help us all. There is a lot of puberty in my future.
Although, to be honest, I am really loving this phase of life we are in. Not yet teenagers, yet everyone can wipe their own butt and pack their own lunch. It’s the sweet spot.

Man, they were cute when they were 4. This was their first party together:
Photo Oct 11, 8 16 56 AM
Kembe had just come home from Haiti and was a little shell-shocked at our American birthday party. My how times have changed. 
One of my favorite stories about these two:
Being as they were born same year, same day, we started jokingly referring to them as “the twins” and it stuck. One day, when she was about 5, India came to me and said she knew they weren’t real twins. On account of how much taller Kembe is.
THP-KH-0155(photo by Trever Hoehne)
Sure, sweetie. That’s the giveaway.
It’s gotten harder figuring out their join birthday parties as they’ve gotten older. I am a fan of the destination birthday party.  After years of throwing my kid’s birthday parties at our house, I made a discovery: having a party at my house costs me twice as much as a destination party.  (A large part of this is due to the fact that I tend to go into frantic remodel mode anytime I have a big group of people over, and a simple birthday party suddenly means repainting the bathroom and re-landscaping the backyard.)  But beyond my own perfectionism issues, I also hate how hosting a party causes me to be too busy to just enjoy the experience with my kids.  In the past, I’ve found myself running around refilling ice or passing out cake or trying to lead the kids in games . . . only to feel like the whole party passed me by in a whirlwind of activity.

This year we decided to do their party at Boomers in Irvine, a local theme park for kids with lots of rides and an arcade. The two of them are thrill-seekers so this was the perfect spot, and it was a great place to host a large group. It was also a fun place for their age, because it felt like a “big-kid” party. Everyone ran around on their own, leaving the parents in the dust. They felt big and independent and free-range. And I got to sit with my friends and drink some wine, so it worked for me.

We had a great day celebrating our “twins” with family and friends.