Tag Archives: friends

summer girls, summer parties


Party 1

As I work my way backwards through our very full summer, I thought I’d highlight the birthday celebrations the girls planned this year. You might remember some of the more elaborate birthday parties when the girls were younger. I loved planning and throwing parties for them both, and we did this consistently for their first six birthdays, culminating in a shared party when they were six and twelve. But after #6, the parties got smaller, simpler, and sometimes were just celebrated with family or with a friend or two. And as the girls have grown, we’ve also let them take a bigger role in the party planning.

Since we didn’t have friend parties last year, we encouraged both girls to plan a group event for their friends. E and M looked around at several laser tag / arcade / go-kart places before settling on a new one out in the suburbs. E put together an agenda for the party, and the kids (and dad and granddads) did a couple of races and a couple rounds of laser tag. Since F was too little for the racing, she tackled the ropes course WAY up high in the space.

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E had a blast. She said a lot of her friends thought she was a little crazy to host a party like this, and they weren’t certain that they were going to enjoy it. But E loves these kind of adventures, and is really competitive and brave, and it meant a lot to her that all of her friends showed up for her and tackled some of their fears to help her celebrate. The special things they brought with them were equally amazing. It was fun for me to see her really enjoying her time with friends, and how much they all adore her.

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My summer girls, eight and fourteen.

When we were on vacation for Spring Break, F saw a preview for the movie Despicable Me 3 that was opening just a few days before her July birthday. She announced that she’d be hosting a DM3 party for a few of her friends, and she never wavered from that idea.

As the time drew closer, we put her plan into action. She found some old minion goggles from the original movie when we did the big cleanout of the third floor. She also found her minion stuffed friend, and started picking out clothes to match her theme. She wore the glasses all summer long.

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I picked up some black and white striped tissue paper and treat bags, and F decorated large round labels to look like Minion eyes for the bags. We filled the bags with small little movie themed trinkets, a big bag of banana shaped candy, and some minion tic-tacs. They were a big hit.

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F invited five friends to the show, and the kids sat in their own row with booster seats (apparently those are cool!) and little snack packs and lemonades. They giggled and laughed throughout the whole movie, and afterwards her friends presented F with homemade cards and letters – one friend even wrote and performed her a song. It was all very lovely, and sweet, and funny, and just exactly what she wanted.

We talked about the parties we might throw in two years time again – a big summer of birthdays – TEN and SIXTEEN! Yikes. Just like summertime, the years are flying by. I’m glad we took some time out to celebrate this new year in the way that we did.

wednesday morning in the garden

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We eat our scones in the car and then walk into the garden. She’s full of energy this morning, and climbing on everything – balancing on low walls and high walls and wagons and sheep.

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I’m pretty sure she’s not supposed to be standing on the sheep; I’m pretty sure she’s not the first to do it.

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She picks the entrance to the children’s garden (although it’s closed this early in the morning), and then the path through the apple trees in the home demonstration garden for our walk. We walk through the low boxwood maze as well – she likes to disappear and then reappear again.

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We meet up with friends, and we ask the kids to take a photo on the wagon together. F’s been climbing around and being silly, but they both get suddenly still and rather stiff in their poses. T refuses to look at the camera, no matter how much we try to catch his attention. He casts his eyes downward; pioneer life is difficult. He looks this way and that, and F stays completely still, except for her eyes. They dance like they always do, but both of them keep their hands and bodies still, like statues. It cracks us up.

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Pioneer T holds my hand all the way back to the entrance, so I stop taking photos. F runs ahead at full speed while he watches her every move. We finish off our scones in the car and head to school.

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.

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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

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I’m calling birthday week a success!