Harper Turned 2!!

We have a toddler! A two year old! A sweet little soul who is so wise and kind and intuitive. She has taught us so much that I feel like my life completely reset when she was born. Here is a look at her birthday celebration and what we did to make it special.

The decor: Pinterest is a dangerous thing. It had me believing I was someone I’m not. I knew I bit off more than I could chew when Wednesday night I wasn’t even close to being halfway done with the decorating for the party that Saturday. We still got a good amount completed and I was really happy with how it turned out. We rented the linens and outside tables which we have done in the past for parties. Did you know that the tables on the bottom of the picture with the pink and orange linens were each under $10 to rent? It’s so worth it just to rent when we need them and not worry about making the commitment to buy and store things we don’t always use. The round tables are just plastic ones we use a lot for parties, and the higher square one we pulled in from another room as well as the one holding the watermelon lemonade and food- that was from another room too. Something else I learned by having so many parties over the years- use whatever you have around the house to make it work.

Decor

Us: We actually got a few pictures as a family this year! (We’re not all looking at the same camera, but whatever!) The dress and shoes I bought for Everly had to be replaced the week before because they didn’t fit. She’s in 12 (and sometimes 18!) month clothes by the time she was 6 months which apparently I’m in denial about so I still buy things was way too small thinking they’ll fit. It’s good though because the same company we got Harper’s dress from had a variation that fit Evie and it turned out to be much cuter than what I had prior.

The dress

The activities: Last year we had a bouncy house and face painter, this year I found such a neat lady who does music, balloons, and face painting and she was so awesome and patient with the kids! She started out making balloon animals, flowers, and swords for the boys, then once everyone was ballooned out she switched to airbrushing face and body tattoos. She offered to bring interments and do songs with the kids, but we thought this would be perfect for the varying ages and both girls and boys. We now know that keeping kids happy really makes the whole party especially if it’s a kids and adults party so the adults can hang out and talk while their kids are occupied and having fun. They were also kicking around balls in the yard and playing chase. The weather was perfect so we spend the whole time outside.

Fun

The guests: We edited our list way down this year which was really hard! We love our friends so much but last year we had 100 people (literally!) so we just cut it way down (to 50, but half were kids!!) and that was it. I still feel guilty about it but it felt really manageable and easy. A big chunk of that was family who helped us so much. They were there the day before and early the day of watching the kids and helping with whatever we needed. It was a group effort for sure. See below- the pic with the girls and me and my sister? We’ve already changed into comfy clothes by then, our party clothes were covered in cake and watermelon.

family 1

But soon after that I had to change Harper’s clothes again. She kept filing a cup with watermelon juice and dumping it on herself over and over. She did it in her dress, then this shirt, then I moved the juice after this change of clothes because at this point I was missing too much of the party.

IMG_9124

The gift bags: This is my first time doing gift bags and I was so fortunate to have the Johnson’s Baby team from RF Binder send along what would become a ‘family gift bag’ which was a HUGE hit. I said it on Instagram when I received this generous package you see below, they are one of the nicest companies I’ve worked with in the 7 years I’ve blogged. They’re just really kind people who value relationships above the business. They sent everything you see in the photos with no request of a blog post, no expectation of anything, they just wanted to help make Harper’s birthday special which they did. Thank you RF Binder and Johnson’s Baby!!

IMG_9118

I bundled the items in these bags for each family.

IMG_8939

I included a Baby Oil (which I use right after the shower), Baby Oil Gel (my go-to for shaving), Intense Moisture Cream (my fave lotion of theirs), Neosporin’s Neo to Go! (which one kid used when she fell at the party), Monsters Band-Aids, and Baby Bedtime Washcloths. Even though Everly was the youngest baby there, the parents were thrilled to have this kit. They told me later that they keep the Neo To Go! and Band-Aids in their cars along with the bedtime washcloths for random clean ups and spills. I’ve also used them for quick makeup removal/ washing my face at night too when I’m too tired for anything else. I also heard loud and clear from parents that they were happy to have a goody bag that was useful and not filled with cheap junk toys that would clutter their house with stuff their kids didn’t need. It’s something It was a great lesson and something I’ll do for the girls’ parties going forward.

IMG_8941

Every single day for a whole week before the party it rained. But not this day. This was the sky while the last lingering souls threw a football in the yard after everyone else had gone home. Dark and crazy, but no rain.

IMG_9131

It’s so surreal watching your kids get older. I was really emotional for weeks leading up to Harper’s birthday knowing that we have to say goodbye to this little version of her that I just want to bottle up and keep forever. Mostly though, I think about what it takes to get her to this point and how hard Mike and I work every single day to do our very best for these girls and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of us.

Happy Birthday Harper! I hope you look back on this day and know that you were loved.

Harper’s First Birthday

Happy 1st birthday to our sweet girl Harper. Her celebration was so much fun, a labor of love that hopefully she will look back on and smile. It wasn’t a small affair, 80+ people came out to enjoy the perfect Colorado spring day. It was hot- mid 80′s so we rented a snow cone machine so we could keep cool with a nostalgic treat that everyone loves. Since 30ish guests were kids, the jumpy castle was a no-brainier. It was great for them and heaven for the parents who were able to socialize without having to entertain bored kids. We also had a face painter who kept the kids (and adults!) happy by giving them each a unique design they loved.

Her little dress was from Janie and Jack’s Adorable Garden collection. She also had the matching hat, sunglasses, and socks but of course those came and went throughout the day. It was a light weight cotton dress in the party’s theme color of lavender so she could move and be comfortable without any stiff material to worry about. It was also easy to wash so the bits of food and cake came right out.

Speaking of cake, that whole situation was maybe the toughest decision we made. She hasn’t had sugar and Mike and I are both heathy eaters so we didn’t want her to dig into a big sugary mess just for entertainment but we still wanted a cake and singing experience. We decided on an angel food cup with a little whipped cream on top which she squished and played with before discovering it was food. Just a few small nibbles and she was over it and ready to get on with the party. Perfect. We made strawberry shortcake for the rest of the party to enjoy.

I had a whole elaborate menu planned out before waving the white flag and letting Costco do the croissant sandwiches and wraps. This pregnancy has had me on the ropes and I’m just coming out of the fog of sickness I’ve been in for months so we made a few things to accompany the sandwiches for a nice lunch and kept that part pretty easy. The sandwiches were meat so Mike and I (being vegetarians) had little to eat at our own event. Next time it will be different.

So yes, it was a somewhat grand party that she won’t remember but she will see how many people loved and celebrated her on her special day. Learning to be a mom has been such a ride! I think Mike and I were celebrating each other as parents and thanking our supporters as well. It was a perfect day.

Happy Birthday little one. Thanks for teaching us so much.

20130527-201857.jpg

20130527-201904.jpg