Tuesday, March 9, 2010

If You Invite Them ...

They Will Come!

That's what we found out, anyhow!

Friday was Thing 2's birthday ... she turned 8! (sniffle, sniffle - how is she growing so fast?)

It was also her year to have a big friend party (we don't do this every year, for purposes of extending the duration of my sanity).

The week before we sat down to make her guest list. I told her I thought 10 would be a great number for her party. So, we started with cousins (2 girls her age - and this was going to be a girl party), and then our neighbor/church friends (4), and then school friends ... this is where it gets fun ... there were13 that we HAD to invite ... there was no way around it. So our plans for a fun little bash expanded somewhat, and we found ourselves sending out 19 invites. I figured that some wouldn't be able to attend, who ever gets 100% attendance?  Well, sure enough, the RSVPs started coming in, all in the affirmative. Until the day of ... then there were 2 that couldn't. So when you counted Thing 2 - we ended up having 18 girls partying it up at our home Friday evening. WHEW!!!

Before the party started, I was a little overwhelmed. But then, I just figured it was best to roll with the chaos, afterall it was only for 2 hours ... and I can survive anything for 2 hours ... right?

And I did, having a great time, too. The noise level at our home reached an all-time high, but happy sounds don't seem to make me crazy the way whiny or combative sounds do.

But, the best part of the whole experience was realizing how wonderful it is that there is such a big group of openness and acceptance. I worry for what might happen as these girls grow older, but for now, in their wonderful, sweet 2nd grade bliss, they are friends. And I guess I want to do anything and everything I can to keep it that way for as long as possible. So, no one needed to be left off of our guest list.

I guess this is a long introduction to a post about a birthday party, but that is where my thoughts are, so that's just how it's going to be. And, just for the record (mostly so I don't make this mistake again) I am very sad that there were a few others that we could've/should've invited but didn't. Not because I chose not to, rather because once the list started getting so long, I think my brain just stopped even trying to think of any other girls we know - oops! But there would have been plenty of room and plenty of fun for a few more to come. What's two more when you are dealing with a group this big?

Okay - so on to the party.

Thing 2 wanted to celebrate with a St. Patrick's theme ... so she wanted a shamrock cake:

I, however, REALLY wanted to make a rainbow cake.
We compromised:

(Rainbow Cake idea from Amy of The Idea Room)

We spent the afternoon setting up for the event.

Thing 2 was a little excited, showing sides both sweet and sassy ... would 6:00 just arrive already???

And then the doorbell started ringing ... and from that moment on, chaos ensued. Girls were running around, in and out of everything, jumping on everything, hugging everyone, laughing their loudest possible laughs, and just going crazy. (All except for one sweet little one who sat by Bert and they both just kept talking about how loud it was and that they don't really like that much noise - it was pretty funny - I felt bad for her, but there wasn't much I could do to quiet the savages down - she still had a little fun, though.)

We played limbo, find the shamrock and Leprechaun's Loot.

But oddly enough, hot potato was the hit of the party!!!

Of course there were WAY too many presents, and I couldn't oversee all of it, so I can only hope that Thing 2 was gracious in receiving.

And then we had cake (no ice cream, I conveniently forgot that part ... as we were celebrating on fairly new carpet, and I didn't feel the need to tempt fate that much).

The crazy part of the evening was that, just when it seemed the fun was really getting going, the first parent showed up to pick up her daughter, and two others. Very quickly, the house emptied out and that was that, it was all said and done. To avoid the after party let-down, I encouraged Thing 2 to play with some of the goodies.

I gathered up all the trash, and in doing so found what might be the miracle of the evening ...

My Carpet Survived!!!

And now, looking back on it all, I can think to myself (with a sigh of relief): "What a great evening!" I was left a little tired and hoarse, but the thrill of seeing so much sweetness and friendship running rampant through my home that evening was well worth it.

Really, is there anything better?

Happy Birthday Thing 2!
Thank you for being such a sweet girl and for having such great friends.
You are making my job a little too easy.

I Love YOU!


JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a great party! What a great insight!

The Loosle's said...

Happy Birthday!!! Sounds like a great success!!!

w said...

happy birthday! also. dude. that cake is awesome. seriously.

The Gosfam said...

What a fun party, my girls have yet to have actual "friend" parties :) I am sure my house will be as crazy as yours was soon enough.

K said...

Oh my word that is a LOT of girls. You are a brave Mom. My rule is one kid for every year you are old. I'm hoping that I won't have 18 kids until he's 18! I love the cake. I was going to see if I could make a cake like that for St. Patrick's day myself. We'll see if I'm patient enough:) Looks like it was a big hit. You are a fantastic Mom!

Hillary said...

Um hello Martha Stewart that is the CUTEST cake I have ever seen!! Did it take forever to bake all those layers? Looks like you had fun! P.S. You are a lot braver than me!

Tia Langston said...

Beautiful girl. Beautiful cake. Beautiful carpet. Beautiful mom. Good job.

Doran & Jody said...

Fun party! And what a yummy cake. My birthday is coming soon. Will you make me one?

Kim said...

Happy Birthday to thing 2! Jenny, You are amazing. That cake really just made me swallow my spit. I LOVE IT!

Katie Pettey said...

Wow! What a party! I'm glad you survived. And, yes, that cake is awesome!!!

Scott and Sara said...

Looks like so much fun! That cook is great too. Teach me all you know!!!! I heart thing 2, she is just a precious little girl!

Amber said...

Oh, what a sweet girl! Glad her party rocked! Wow, I would have gone for the rainbow chip cake but yes, would much rather eat THAT one! Good job Mom, in so many ways!

Sheri Wojtasek said...

WHEW that was a great party...and got a double thumbs up from my girl! And that cake is spectacular!!! Thanks for being so brave and including my sweet thing!
P.S. Was the "sweet one" my little girl? Sometimes she sits and loves to take it all in?

**Amy** said...

Wow! Looks like she had a great birthday. Loving the cake compromise! Great job!