Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grace's Enchanted Forest - The Party!

Whew! It has been one very long, but very good day. Grandma Zada had a lovely funeral service (which I didn't get to see, because we took Grace Face along). But I was assured it was wonderful. :) She is loved by so many, and we were able to visit with a lot of relatives over the past two days that we don't get to see very often. It has been one incredibly emotional weekend on so many levels, and I'm whooped. :)

Our very long weekend began on Friday when we celebrated Gracie's first birthday. I shared the pictures of the decorations yesterday, and today I thought I'd share just a few pictures from the party. It was a really great time, and I think all of the hard work was totally worth it in the end.

So let me just quickly tell you all once again that our pictures from this birthday pretty much stink, because the lighting was not on our side. We turned off the bigger overhead lights and exchanged them for lanterns and twinkle lights. I knew that this would mean we were going to get awful pictures, but I did it anyway cause I wanted to. :)

So this is closer to what the party looked liked for real:



And this is what most of our pictures look like with the flash:

At least you can make out people's facial expressions, haha.

Onto the party! Our introverted birthday girl wasn't quite sure what was going on at first. Why are these people in my house and why is everyone looking at me? 

But she quickly warmed up to the birthday idea when she discovered the gnome hats!

What a stinker! Gracie wore the exact same outfit that her big sister did on her first birthday. (They also shared the same coming home outfit when we brought our girls home from the hospital. I'm not sure if either of the outfits have survived for a third sister. Looks like we need to have a boy next! Haha.)

We had several little boys running around, but my favorite gnome...

...was about 20 years old. I think he wore his hat longer than anyone else. Sorry little brother, but this picture cracks me up!

When the guests first arrived we mingled and let the kids run inside and outside. The men folk attempted to get a fire started, but it kept going out. 

After several attempts our friend Mike eventually got us burning for good, and I had my first s'more of the season...which was de-lish-us! But that was a little later. Before the s'mores....

...there was dinner.

On the menu for this evening was Chili and cornbread with all the fixings. Mmm mmm! We also had veggies and taco dip (a Robert family party must-have). I had plans for more food, but that was just one of those things that had to give that day. I definitely didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I don't think anyone noticed. :) If there is one thing I have learned after doing this a time or two, it's that you can only do what you can do and it isn't worth stressing out about what you can't. 

I vowed before this party started that I wouldn't just run around like a crazy person the way I normally do when we have a shindig at our place; instead I would actually slow down and enjoy our guests and the reason why we were celebrating. Needless to say, I think this was the most fun I've had at one of our birthday parties. My biggest piece of advice for anyone throwing a party is to stop and smell the roses! 

Evelyn (and our other guests) enjoyed a little slideshow of Gracie's first year while they ate and visited with each other.

And all of the kids took turns destroying playing in the girls' room. Haha. 

I was fully ready for the kiddos to go to town with all of the toys, and one thing I did get accomplished was strategically picking a few toys to leave upstairs and a few to go down into the dark abyss that is our basement. Several adults popped their heads in and made comments about the room being a giant playpen. :)

After an hour or so it was time to sing Happy Birthday to the birthday girl! I had no idea how she would react with all of the attention on her. 

In true Gracie form, she didn't smile bashfully or laugh or cry...

...but she kept looking over at me with this expression that said, "Is this okay mom? What's going on?" It was too cute!

Chili face. :)

And she definitely enjoyed her birthday cake. Grace probably would've chowed down all night if I would have let her, but that super bright green frosting started giving me the heebs after awhile. After getting a stain on my fingers from touching just a tiny part of the cake I was having nightmares about what it would do to her hands, face, and clothes. I'm usually so not that mom...but I didn't really feel like cleaning up a jolly green little person on that particular evening. :)

Eric is always our official cupcake passer-outer. 

He has carried the pink heart-shaped plates with pride for three birthdays now. 

Hey, Eric. Say "cheese!"

Sigh. I love him. 

Soon after indulging in a little sugar rush we let Gracie open her presents. Uncle Ty Ty took the camera and I was actually in some of the birthday pictures. Woohoo! Our guests gathered up and we put Grace center-stage once again. :)

A few self-explanatory pictures:

Gracie thought she'd try riding on her new lawn-mower. :)

A few of our friends brought gifts for Evie, too. She did a lot better than I thought she would when it came to the gift opening. We've been to other parties where Evie thought she should get to open gifts, too...I won't lie, I was dreading a meltdown. But it never came. Whew! Dodged a bullet. 

After all of the gifts were opened, I did something that is a little difficult for me to do. I put the camera away. That's right. No more pictures. I didn't want to spend the rest of the night with a heavy camera around my neck. Instead, I picked up and played with the birthday girl, chatted with friends, and hung out around the fire outside while making that delicious s'more I had been craving. I dug through the cooler for a cold drink, put my feet up, and just soaked up the rest of the evening. I wish I could go back to the last hour of the birthday party. It's the most I've relaxed in a week. :)

By the time I was coming back inside to assess the damage many of our guests had trickled out and I found my mom at the sink washing some of the dishes for me. Are you kidding me?? Amazing! I happen to love my mom to the moon and back. We were on the go for the rest of the weekend, and we've barely been home in the past 48 hours, so we're still living in an enchanted forest...but not having all of the chores left to do has been saving my sanity for the past few days. 

I can't believe that when we were celebrating Evelyn's first year I was already five months pregnant with Gracie. The running joke of the evening was that I had successfully made it a full year without finding out we were having another baby. :) Even though we were exhausted and flooded with emotions that day, we were able to take some special time to focus on our second born baby girl; to celebrate her and to celebrate life. I love my kids in a way that I'm not able to explain with words, and while we don't "spoil" our daughters with stuff all throughout the year, birthdays have special meaning for us. We've made it another year! We're happy and healthy and blessed. There's a lot to celebrate. :)

Thank you all for checking out Gracie's birthday party fun! I am happy for the memories and relieved that I'm off the hook when it comes to planning something for quite a while, haha. Life returns to "normal" for us tomorrow, and I'm SO ready for it!  If only cardboard forests deconstructed themselves....


Ashley Mitchell said...

Looks like it was a great time! And Gracie she just melts my heart. :)

Sarah said...

Love it!!

And you got it sister, soak in those birthdays. I am infamous for not taking enough pictures because I am so wrapped up in just 'being'. I have all those memories tucked deep in my heart. Of course, your blog is much prettier than mine with all the pictures lol.

Gracie is one lucky little girl to have such an amazing mommy who loves her so much :)

Cassie said...

you are such a good mommy. i read this and just said, awwwww.

Heather said...

You should wear a cape. And know how to fly. Super mom.

Jackie said...

You are awesome....looks like it was a great night!!!

Aunt Joyce said...

thanks for sharing this special family time. Enjoy and take time to play. they grow up so very fast and you can never get that time back.


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