Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Birth-Tea Party for Emma

Growing up in the South, there are just certain things a lady does - like having a tea party.  So when our "little lady" turned six this year, she had a tea party at our house to celebrate!  (Girls only, except for little brother Sage, of course.)

On the invitation, Emma requested that each girl wear her "prettiest" dress.  We all had so much fun watching each little girl arrive in what they thought was pretty and suitable for a tea party.  (Don't worry:  the future of tea parties in the South seem to be in good shape.)

The party started at our front porch, where each little girl got to decorate her own hat with flowers.  To make the day extra special not only for Emma but for all of the girls, I got a few "helpers" that most of the girls recognized and love!  Jane Hollis Poovey, Julia Sturges, and Katelyn Riant:  Jane Hollis and Julia are high school seniors that we will miss so much next year, and Katelyn has kept my kids every summer since completing her freshman year at Auburn (she's now a Senior and I don't know what we will do without her in the future!).  These three sweet girls were so patient and helpful with the little ones:  I am so thankful for the wonderful role models that these older girls are to our little girls.

All of the hats turned out so fun.  No two were the same, as you could really see their little personalities coming out through their artwork of the hats.  Once everyone had time to complete their hats, we gave each girl a strand or two (or three) of pearls!  Because a hat and pearls are essential for a tea party!  And speaking of the tea party...

Oh the sweet giggles and conversations that we had once these girls took their seats.  I can't tell you  how thankful I am for these sweet friendships Emma has!  I loved listening to the conversations at each table, and seeing how sweet they were to one another.  These are the types of friendships you always dream your kids will have.

For the tea party, we served assorted sandwiches in the shape of hearts, flowers, and rectangle, AND chocolate-covered strawberries from Mel's Sweet Treats.  Turkey and cheddar cheese sandwiches were shaped like hearts, ham and cheddar sandwiches were shaped like flowers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were shaped like rectangles.  Who knew that cutting up sandwiches into fun shapes made them much tastier than regular sandwiches?!?!  It must have though, because they devoured them!  For drinks, we served lemonade (we didn't think many of the girls would truly be up for actual tea...), and then had cake from Crazy Daisy Cakes.  Every year, she exceeds my expectations a little more.  Everyone (kids and adults) went to town on the cake!

Once the girls had had plenty of time to eat, talk, and sip their lemonade out of tea cups, it was present time.  These girls were such little ladies during gift opening.  They kindly handed Emma gifts, and got just as excited as she did once it was open!  No jealousy, no fighting - each girl was truly on her best lady-like behavior!  Emma received a lot of wonderful gifts, and was super thankful for all of them.

After all the gifts had been opened, we headed out to the front yard to play Little Sally Walker, led by Jane Hollis, Julia, and Katelyn.  We didn't have long until parents arrived, but the girls had so much fun during the time they did have.  As a mom, I am so grateful for the friendships these girls share and the friendships we share with their parents.  We are truly blessed.

All in all, I'd say 6 has treated Emma well so far.

Invitations:  Paper & Play
Photography: Lauren Tomasella Photography
Cake:  Crazy Daisy Cakes

Monday, January 1, 2018

You Only Turn Five Once

Some days, it's hard for me to think my baby is 5 years old.

Of course, she's been five for a couple months now, but it is still hard for me to believe.  Luckily (?) for me, I'm too busy to think about it most days, but when I do, it is with great disbelief.

Emma's birthday fell on Memorial Day this year, but we opted to celebrate the Sunday after since so many of her friends already had family engagements.  I wanted this to be a great day for her!  And maybe for me, too.  I LOVE to host a great party, but with my own business and two kids, I really only get to do that twice a year anymore:  for their birthdays.  So I wanted to do this one up right!

In the past year, Emma has become quite the little artist, so when it came time to plan her birthday party, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I contacted the very talented (and so adorable) Tiffany Brightwell to teach Emma and 9 of her closest friends (and her little brother!) to paint an ice cream cone on canvas.

We held the party in the basement of the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.  I think it really set the scene for our budding artists!  Before the girls arrived, Tiffany had pre-drawn the ice cream cone on each canvas so that the children would have a template to paint.  She instructed them to start with one color at a time, starting with the top scoop, then middle, bottom scoop, cone, and finally background.

Of course, we couldn't leave Baby Sage out of all the fun!  However, we didn't think he was quite up to the other girls' level, so we gave him a blank canvas and let him have fun.  And have fun he did!  However, I'd put his masterpiece more in the "abstract" category.  I think we'll call it "Melted Ice Cream."

When the kids were done with their paintings, we left them to dry while they ate cake.  We returned to the amazing Crazy Daisy Cakes out of Hartselle again this year.  We loved them so much last year ( we had to go back!  I'm pretty sure that was the right decision, because I have never seen little girls eat so much cake!  If we thought we loved it last year, I'm pretty sure it was even more loved this year!  And best of all - no tears out of Emma this year!  She has really grown up in the past year, and didn't mind one bit when her friends sang happy birthday.  She even blew out all five candles!

When we were done with cake, Emma went to open her gifts.  Baby Sage might have gotten a little confused at this point, thinking some of those gifts were his.  To his credit, he gave Emma all the gifts to open - but was calling them "our gifts" and handing them to her so fast she couldn't keep up!  She really received some precious gifts, and so far is sharing them well with her brother.

We finished the party with each guest holding their masterpieces outside on the steps of the Carnegie for us to take a group photo.  Not every painting was dry, but the adults did a great job moving the girls and their paintings outside without messing anything up.  And hey, those pink aprons we handed out at the beginning of the party to guarantee no one got paint on their pretty party clothes may have helped a bit, too!

Everyone left with their work of art, a paint can full of new art supplies, and of course, that pink apron.  We had the best time celebrating with all our wonderful family and friends!

Venue:  Carnegie Visual Arts Center
Invitations:  Love Lucy
Photography:  Lauren Tomasella Photography
Cake:  CrazyDaisy Cakes