For about a month I have been thinking/planning/making/inviting/making/and then planning some more for Eleri's 2nd birthday. I realize that a month may seem like a long time, but I love birthdays. love, love, love birthdays. And just in case that wasn't clear- I love birthdays. It is not the presents, but the celebration.
Growing up my parents always made a big deal out my birthday. It wasn't that I was showered with gifts, but they made me feel so special and important on my big day. It was all about me. I got to choose my party, we went out to eat and I got to choose the restaurant and then we had cake time back at home and we all talked as a family. And it was wonderful. I grew up loving birthdays and still love them today. I go overboard for Rhys' birthday. Heck, last year he got a trip to Paris. (this year will be WAY toned down- sorry Rhys, no trips for you) Now that little e is in the picture, I am sure I will go over board for her too.
At the moment, ele really likes Mickey. Remember my love for birthdays explained above? That is probably only a tenth of how much eleri loves mickey mouse. So it was an easy decision when it came to party planning. My only problem became that Mickey Mouse, or anything Disney for that matter, is not the cheapest. So making as much as I could became the way to go. Hence the month of making, planning, making and then some more making. Mickey on a budget- and it was so much fun.
The end result was perfect. I always create unrealistic expectations of events/people/parties etc... and nothing ever seems to live up to it. But her party was perfection. I couldn't have wished for anything to go better than it did. Plus eleri loved it. It was a lot of work, but completely worth it to see her face the day of her party. so much joy and excitement- I almost wish everyday could be her birthday. (uh, ok probably not every day....)
One think I will keep in mind for future party planning, never make invitations that involve stitching. It may look nice, but it takes way too much time.
Once the invitations were done and sent out, everything else just fell into place. Bright puff balls hung out by the pool
party bags painted, set up and ready to go
54' in Mickey and Minnie balloons to greet party-goers at the door
I spent quite a few hours scouting around for these balloons. Because of E's obsession with Mickey and Minnie, I knew these fellas would make the perfect addition. After finding prices ranging from $65 to $35 each, I scored an amazing deal on Amazon and got the pair for $12! Her face was awesome when she walked into the house and saw them for the first time. She kept saying 'here minnie, hand" and walking around with them holding their hands. I was afraid she might explode with excitement when Rhys told her she got to take them home. "minnie, mickkkk me? for me? me?!!"
the cousins came
as well as old and new friends
even stef and liam even made the drive from Arkansas! All in all we have 21 adults and 12 kids.
We had chick-fil-a for lunch and it didn't even last long enough for me to get a picture of the table full and set! That is by far the best party food ever. If I am honest, chick-fil-a is just the best food ever, period.
Aside from the giant balloons, I think Eleri's highlight was the cupcake.
Rhys and I were, and still are to an extent, pretty strict in terms of what sweets eleri can and can't eat. She had never had cake, chocolate, a cupcake or really candy of any kind until her party. We let her pick out a cupcake and then eat the whole thing. I have never seen her shovel something in her mouth so quickly.
In fact, she liked it so much that she tried to steal a second one off the table when she thought we weren't looking.
After swimming, food, cake, and some more swimming, we had a pinata to finish off the party. E got some good hits in!
After the party, we headed back to my parents for some cake and present time. Of course the giant balloons had to come.
We opend up the presents that all her friends broguth her and she couldn't get enough of the doll and stroller. (thanks janet and christy!)
e also got an amazing drum/music set. one of the coolest gifts I have ever seen. it was also pretty cool to see the little one walking around with a drum around her neck. (thanks, fiona)
And while I dont have pictures, it must also be mentioned that she got a HUGE floor puzzle that she insisted on doing the minute she unwrapped it, a great set of threading blocks that she walks around with and an amazing childrens bible (thanks Ally, Lisa and Stef)
I know I said it before, but it was a great day. I couldn't have wished for anything else. everyone enjoyed, especially eleri. Her smile was priceless.