We have had the most spectacularly awful weather this year. Sopping wet, grey clouded, soul damaging rain that persists day after day. When it started raining at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon, I stood at the kitchen sink and cried. Even though you're not supposed to (ever) count on sunny weather in the Pacific Northwest, I just couldn't take another day of rain. Especially on the day of Sydney's birthday party.
Jason, my dad, and Andrea worked outside in the rain anyway. They put up the tables and chairs. Put up the canopy tent. Blew up balloons and tied them to posts. We had 30 people coming over, and no matter what, this party was happening outside. As I mixed lemonade and emptied cans of olives into bowls, I prayed fervently for the rain to stop. I admit that my prayers were less-than-holy what with the all the swearing I might have been mixing into the request.
And then...magic happened. Or rather--since I was praying after all--God decided to answer my bitterness with some sweetness.
It stopped raining.
And it stayed dry until after the party ended, at which point it started pouring down rain again. By then it didn't matter. We got in our celebration, and it was a wonderfully sweet afternoon.
Several weeks ago, when I asked Sydney what kind of birthday party she wanted, she said she wanted a fairy princess party. I started with the invitations, and then Google helped me track down some other ideas. Even though I'm not usually into party favors (and by "usually" I mean, we've never done them before), I decided to do something fun this year.
There were jingling fairy wands.
And fabulous fairy wings (both ordered and nicely delivered from Halo Heaven (their link doesn't appear to be working at the moment, but I'm sure they'll get it up and running shortly)).
Since I decided to break my avoidance of party favors, I also decided that I might as well do some kind of party activity. I know. It's like I was throwing a full-fledged children's birthday party or something.
Fortunately, my party activity didn't involve me doing anything (except taking pictures) because I don't have the personality to organize kids into games with rules.
Also fortunately, all we needed for our activity--a fairy wing adventure--was our atv mule, some flowering bushes, and about six acres of swamp and forests.
You know. Just your run-of-the-mill party supplies.
The girls loaded into the mule, and with a little sprinkling of fairy dust were off to search for their very own fairy wings that the fairies had left behind in the places that fairies hide. (That would be flowering bushes, for you non-imaginative sort.)
It doesn't seem to matter that five of these girls are Family Farmers and get mule rides all the time. A mule ride is exciting no matter what. Yes, I admit it. Even I love a good mule ride.
Clover finds her wings!
Aunt Andrea served as the guide/driver/wing attacher. She was a pro.
As the little girls were off searching, the adults were enjoying some tasty sandwiches and other assorted yummies. I've been a parent long enough to know that an uninterrupted meal is a lovely gift, no matter how old you are.
Eventually, all the little fairies made their way back to the party, and got to sit at their very own table.
Yes, indeed, Sydney had seen little personalized stickers in some sort of birthday magazine I had laying around, and then had requested them. Fortunately for her, I'm rather handy in Photoshop and in using pre-made circular labels (following a template in Word). And per Sydney's instructions, the stickers managed to find their way onto the napkins and cups (Jason thought it was alternately cute/creepy to see Sydney's face adorned on so many surfaces). I figured my daughter has had to endure a mother with severe pre-natal depression. The least I can do is humor her birthday wishes.
After the food, came the cake (which I'll write about later this week), and after the cake, the presents.
After the presents, the girls spent the rest of the party time jumping on the trampoline.
That, my dear people, is how we party: with mule rides, fairy wings, sugar, and a trampoline. Obviously, the nice weather is also a helpful ingredient. Or, if you're like me, nice weather is a mandatory ingredient.
Thankfully, we got the weather.
Also thankfully, I have a good crew of family who helped me pull the party together.
From Sydney afterward: "I loved loved loved my birthday party."
If it had been raining, I'm sure it still would have been a good party. But especially because it wasn't raining, then it was magical and wonderful...and perfect. Just like Sydney deserved.