December 13, 2011

Birthday, Belated

I've realized that I never posted details about Joy's fourth birthday party ... over a month ago. Bad blogging mamma!

So, even though it's late, and we're all now in the throes of holiday prep, I thought it time to share. It was, after all, the first "real" birthday party I've done as a parent ... everything up til now has simply been the birthday kid's favorite food, presents, and as much family as we can get around. This was our first party with a theme and everything.

 The timing was crazy - two days before my grandmother's funeral, and right after all the busyness and sadness attending her last days, but we were all determined to still make Joy's party memorable and fun. I soon found out that my mother and sister's ideas of what makes for a memorable party were a lot more elaborate than mine ... but it all looked beautiful when they were done decorating.

Old sheets, white lights, gold beads, and felt flowers, butterflies, and hearts that Sister and I cut out while staying up way too late and watching figure skating and Dancing with the Stars - because that's what sisters do, y'know.

More sheets and white lights, a garland made from the aforementioned felt cutouts, and a table decorated with all the teacups we could find. (Also, my dad in butterfly wings, because he is Awesome.)

Lavender shortbread decorated with edible gold hearts. Mom and Sister did the decorating, I did the food. We also had honey cupcakes, cut veggies, and a cheesecake for Brother-in-Law, who was a good sport to also wear butterfly wings and let his niece consider this a shared party with him, since his birthday was just a week earlier.

Joy was so surprised to walk in after a few hours out having a midmorning snack and bookstore-browsing with Papa and see Oma and Grandpa's house transformed into a fairy wonderland and all of us wearing wings. She almost started crying just from the surprise of it all, but a quick escape into Mamma's arms, followed by her Very Own wings, skirt, and headband, along with the promise of getting to open some presents, and she was good.

After the presents, we had a lovely tea party (lavender tea and lemon-rose tea - both the girls loved them, even without any honey), during which Sister tried her best to put out everyone's eyes with her gigantic wings

(they looked smaller in the package! she kept wailing, as everyone tried to dodge every time she turned around), and then it was time for the pièce de résistance.

Oma and Grandpa, acting on information received, gave Joy a tricycle for her birthday. Thrills abounded. Grace wanted her turn, naturally, which led to the inevitable conclusion that there will be two tricycles in this household come May, when Gracie turns three. Joy rose it all over the house (hurrah for unfinished wood floors!), and once we got home and got her a helmet (I am kind of a crazy lady when it comes to bicycle safety HELMETS AT ALL TIMES NO EXCEPTIONS (I even yell out the car window at bicyclists who aren't wearing helmets to "wear a helmet, PUNK!")) she took it outside. She pushes much better backward than forward, but she's getting better with the forward motion, too. Once she gets another half inch on those little legs of hers, she'll do even better.

The only problem, as I told my sister afterward, was that I think we set the bar too high. How are we going to top this next year? And what will we do for Gracie's party?

She already had a few ideas. As long as I can keep her as my party planner, I think we'll be safe.


  1. Beautiful! And I NEED the recipe for that shortbread!

  2. I adapted the recipe from here: Actually, it wasn't so much adapting as it was not mixing the dough quite enough before chilling, so it was too crumbly to shape into cookies. I added a splash or two of milk and just pressed it into a pan instead. It was still absolutely delicious, and the time I was able to make it the proper way, it was delicious then, too.