Thursday, October 25, 2012

party hardy

I never intended to have big, fun, planned down to every last detail, parties for my kids every year.
It started way back at the beginning, when Savannah turned one. We were the first in our families (siblings) and the first of pretty much all our friends to have a baby, so not only did Savannah not have many "friends" her own age to "party" with, I really wanted our family and I wanted my best friends there to celebrate with us.  We did a big "open house" type party with lots of food and cake and people coming and going.  We asked for No Gifts and instead I asked friends and family to write a notecard to Savannah... a verse or a quote or a prayer or just jot down some thoughts for her as she grows up.  And a picture of them together. We love reading back through those.

I see my kids’ birthday parties as not just a time to honor my child, but honestly also a time to honor the friends and family who have encouraged us, cared for us and lived life with us over the last year. And that first birthday party is the biggest one for me- it’s kind of a celebration to say, “We made it! Thank you for helping us through this year!”

And then somehow, that same feeling of celebration has carried over year after year for me.
It hasn't died down and it hasn't gotten old.
It's along the same lines of why I do New Years. I love that we can gather our best friends, our family (if they're around!) and new friends together in one spot. It makes my heart happy to see our friends all together. It also gives me the chance to do something for them. Yes, I know you typically bring the birthday boy or girl a present, but it's truly my hope that our guests feel honored by us while they are here too. I hope they see that we thought of them beforehand. I hope they see that their child enjoyed themselves. I hope the decorations make them smile. I hope they enjoy the food! ;)

There is something about hosting a party that just fills me up.
I love celebrating together. I love people milling around talking. I like kids playing and having fun with that "special occasion" feeling in the air. I love my guests noticing the little details that tell them they were planned for.
And I often find myself stepping back during a party like that just to take it all in. :)

So in that vein, guess what's coming up next week??...

We actually have a first in our family...  Sawyer has, for the first time, invited his whole 1st grade class (18 kids)(plus a couple of other friends) to his birthday party. So this has the potential to be a much bigger party than most of the birthday parties that we've thrown.  You see, we have typically had our parties here at home.  We did one of Savannah's at a park with a carousel, and last year Sawyer's was at another park with hiking trails, but we've always, at home or not, kept our numbers relatively low... the general rule has been you can invite as many friends as the number of years you are turning.  Or less. ;)

But since Sawyer wanted a "bike party" at a nearby park again this year, and since he had trouble narrowing down a guest list (and since our school's general policy is invite the whole class or not)(stupid, stupid rule if you ask me!), we decided to go for it.  I'm actually hoping an OUTDOOR party in NOVEMBER might deter some of the kids he's not so good friends with?... ;)  Just kidding.

So the party planning is on.  I'm trying to round out my list of bike themed food (WHEELIE pasta salad anyone? HANDLE BAR veggie sticks??) and round up enough aluminum water bottles (I think I've visited every Dollar Tree store in the Nashville metro area!) for party favors and scrounge up some miscellaneous candy for the very specific cake the birthday boy has ordered.

And we're praying that it's not freezing and raining that day! We are now in the 10-day-forecast window and so far, it's supposed to be 60° and sunny. After the past two weeks of 80+° days, of course!

But I'm so looking forward to it.  I love the planning and the prepping and the anticipation of a fun, fun party... and a happy, happy birthday boy. :)


kim said...

i can't wait to see the pictures. :)

i love parties too! i love the birthday parties for the kids (even if the numbers are really small i usually decorate and everything - even if it's just our immediate families) and i LOVE our annual christmas party - this will be about the fifth year i think and all of our friends plan on it by now, even the ones we don't see much throughout the year. i feel so warm and happy on this cold rainy morning just thinking about it. :)

Jenn for the E fam said...

I love your heart Heather! Such a wonderful outlook on parties and totally comes through in the event, well and the fact that you have mad creative skills :) Can't wait to see photos! Special occasions like these make the miles between us feel even further :( BUT we love to see the details of the event and partake a bit here :)

Mom said...

Definately in agreement with the others...looking forward to seeing all the fun pictures!It will be hard to wait.XOX

Mom/Grandma said...

I am fortunate that I get to be with all of you to help Sawyer celebrate his 7th birthday in person. I definitely am looking forward to the fun birthday party and all the details and planning you put into it! Last year's party was a lot of fun for not only the kids, but the adult parents as well. I have no doubt this year's party will be any different! Last yeat's party turned out to be fairly large, too! Very excited to see you all tomorrow -- let the fun begin.....Grandpa is sad that work prevents him from coming along :-( We will just have to take lots of pictures!

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