Category Archives: party(ies)

celebrating seven

Party 4

In our family, we typically throw big birthday bashes in the early years. For both girls we did them for the first six years before scaling back to small scale older parties. Last year was a special year because the girls were six and twelve (half and double), plus it was E’s golden birthday (12 on the 12th), so we did a big combo party. But once seven rolls around we let the girls choose a few friends and plan out their own special day.

Party 2

F chose a pretty perfect afternoon, if you ask me. We met up with friends and saw the movie Finding Dory at the Chase (one of my favorite theaters). Then we walked a few blocks to Jeni’s for ice cream before spending a half hour or more browsing the shelves of Left Bank Books.

Party 3

It was a perfect afternoon, and the girls promptly fell asleep in the car on the way home.

The weekend before was the great grandparent hand-off – we met them in the middle of nowhere Indiana, and opened some family gifts with them on the porch of a restaurant there. F got quite a few new books, some cute fall outfits, some legos, some Harry Potter figurines and checkers set. Plus that pogo stick I mentioned before! She also got the item top on her list this year – a travel neck pillow (in blue, of course). She’s wanted one since she first saw them in an airport gift shop years ago, but this year she was particularly enamored with them.

Party 7

Party 6

Party 5

Party 8

Party 9

I’m calling birthday week a success!

scenes from a party: six and twelve

6-12 Birthday

We did it! We pulled off a party for both girls at the same time, and last night they both said they had so much fun, so I’m calling it a success.


The week before the party was pretty busy – I mapped out a plan for the evenings and that plan included a lot of party prep.

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I made F’s last birthday hat (I’ve made them for both girls’ birthdays up to six), and even though they rarely actually wear them at their parties, they like having them on display on a shelf outside of their rooms. Other than the whole six / twelve thing, our theme was pretty loose. We stuck to gold / metallics and dots, and we found these colorful sixlets for decoration and eating, and gold plastic coins (not chocolate for a July melty mess) for game tokens. The girls requested dark chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate icing – I took these photos of them because the outdoor ones were just a little melted by the end of the party. Or as F called them – perfect.

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I had planned to have the girls’ names spelled out in cookie pops in these cupcakes, but we failed to remember that we had used a styrofoam base for the flower pops we did ten years ago – the cupcakes just weren’t strong enough to hold them. So we let that idea go, and it was fine. We had more than enough sweets to go around.

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As the kids arrived, they filled out prize bags with their names, and then filled them with treats and blowers and rock candy pops.

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Then the games began. M organized the games by age at the beginning.

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And he even made this yard sized version of “Kerplunk” for the little ones. This was definitely their favorite. They were really into figuring out how not to drop the balls into the bucket. This will be fun to set up on our Thursday Night Blues hangouts.

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After the kids earned some gold coins they got to cash in for some prizes. F is demonstrating that you can wear all of your prizes at once. Her friend D is demonstrating being a six year old boy next to a girl in a photo.

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We served four different kinds of sandwiches that M’s mom and I assembled the night before. My dad sliced up a ton of watermelon that we served on ice in our big white bin. We had big bowls with the girls’ favorite chips, red grapes, and water and lemonade to drink.

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We did our best to assemble all the kids behind the birthday girls at candle time, and we succeeded in getting most of them.

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E had twelve golden candles and F had six. E’s went out in one big breath, while F’s took just a little more effort. I love this series of photos – especially the first one. After the first blow, F’s checking out E’s status.

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The older kids took over the tables, and the younger kids…

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…well, they seemed just fine on the ground next to the trash can! The grandparents dished up a lot of ice cream too. You know, to cut the chocolate a bit.

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Then it was time for the final challenge – this one pitted the twelve year old’s against the six year old’s. E and F were ready – they had already planned this water challenge out, and came prepared with beach towels and swim goggles. Each girl balanced an empty water bottle on their forehead and each had a funnel inside of it – big for F, little for E.

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The kids lined up in age groups and had to run, relay style, with a filled cup to each girl. With arms outstretched, they had to pour the water into the funnel and then tag the next player. The first team to fill the bottle would win.

I know the pictures below are a little blurry, but I loved seeing how excited the kids were, and I also loved how my girls were such good sports about it. I kind of thought F would bail, but she was all business.

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The six year old’s pulled off the win! And then Dad celebrated by dousing E with the rest of the water, much to the amusement of everyone. A few people questioned his sanity, but he pointed out that E’s a good sport and they do this sort of stuff to each other all the time. He also pointed out that he did NOT dunk the little one. Different kid, different ballgame for sure!

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After the party was over and we took four carloads of stuff home, we opened family gifts together. There might have been some confetti in one of them.

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There might have been Taylor Swift tickets in another!

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It was a big day, but we weren’t done yet. We all braved the crowds and the mugginess to see the lanterns at the garden.

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The lanterns are really beautiful all lit up, and the china sculptures are incredible too. I’m glad we went, but the kids were pretty wiped out by the end – and the grownups too. I’m ready to get back to quiet mornings there later this week!

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On Sunday morning everyone started to say their goodbyes. The girls’ cousins stayed for a quick trip to the zoo, and a send off lunch in the CWE. We headed home to a quiet house, just a little bit of laundry, and a lot of leftover cupcakes. No complaints about any of those things.


To SIX! To TWELVE! Hurrah!

full on party mode


The big day is approaching, and I’m really getting excited. Family is coming in for the weekend, and the to-do lists are getting knocked off each night. (At a pretty late hour, but that’s okay. I’ll nap on Sunday!)

I’ll have some better pictures after the party, so you’ll have to forgive the late night kitchen lighting here. But I loved how the 6’s and 12’s turned out. You can’t really see it in the photo, but last night I brushed the tops with luster dust, and now they have a glittery shine to them. And so does everything else in my kitchen.

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I have the girls’ names and numbers spelled out in cookies on sticks and I plan to use them in this old party favorite. M made this giant flower box for Ella’s second birthday, when we “planted” it with chocolate cupcakes covered in oreo dirt and stuck big flower cookie lollipops in them. It used to be a pale green (you can see also see it in these photos from F’s third birthday), but now it’s all glammed up in gold.


I found an old photo of the original! 

flower box

So I’m signing off for a few days as we celebrate my two favorite girls with family and friends. I can’t wait!