Special Day: Nora’s 3rd Birthday

Cupcake
Nora’s 3rd birthday

July Challenge, Day 5: Something that made my day special.

Saturday was Nora’s third birthday. She requested a pink, sparkle, rainbow, Kai Lan birthday party … with chocolate cupcakes and pink frosting. I think the cupcakes were her main request, actually. Anything else was just fun.  We turned that request into a dress-up party for Nora, Seth, and five of Nora’s friends. That was the perfect party size!

For reference, I have a Pinterest board and a Flickr set (below) of how the party decor turned out. I want to be completely honest: I had so many “pinspirations” that never made it to production. She wanted cupcakes instead of the pink swirl cake I was going to make – guess who wins since it’s her birthday? I was going to do butterfly sugar cookies, I was going to do tutus as party favors  … I even bought the materials for all of that! Never happened. As a matter of fact, I attempted the tutus at midnight on her birthday (same day as her 10:30 a.m. party!), made a mess of it, and gave up. I felt good about it, though, because I’d decided ahead of time that there were things she really wanted (cupcakes!) and things I wanted (marshmallow lollipops!) and that was good enough.

Nora's 3rd birthday - Seth has a cupcake
Nora’s 3rd birthday – Seth has a cupcake

I loved all the little Hobby Lobby decor items I found on clearance (sparkly napkin rings as chandelier decorations!) or not (plastic tablecloths as window treatments!). I especially loved covering the French doors to our dining room with a plastic tablecloth so I could lead all the little girls (and Seth!) in for a birthday surprise. I also dug the dollar store treat boxes with dollar store or Hobby Lobby dress-up jewelry inside for all the girls (and Seth!).

Mostly, though, I loved making it a special day for Nora. She had a great time, and that’s all that counts. I probably could have just made cupcakes and it would have been fine! Oh, and to keep it real (humble) – I totally forgot about feeding the adults. I was so fixated on a dress-up party for little girls (and Seth!) that was egg and dairy-free for our friends’  allergies that I did not even think about food for adults. Tortilla chips, salsa, and a smoked pork loin to the rescue!

Last little tip: we had a church group gathering at our house the previous weekend … we did the big clean for that and then maintained during the week. Made life a LOT easier for a Saturday morning party!

Nora's 3rd birthday - Jude was ready for a nap!
Nora’s 3rd birthday – This guy just wanted a nap.
Marshmallow lollipopsNora's 3rd BirthdayBeaded Napkin Rings - Chandelier decorations!Nora's 3rd BirthdayNora's 3rd BirthdayNora's 3rd Birthday
Nora's 3rd BirthdayVinyl tablecloths as window dressing!Nora's 3rd BirthdayNora's 3rd BirthdayNora's 3rd BirthdayBowl full of tiaras
Pink Dairy-free Frosted Marshmallow "Lollipops"Nora's 3rd BirthdayNora's 3rd BirthdayNora's 3rd Birthday

Nora’s 3rd Birthday, a set on Flickr.

Rid the world of …?

Challenge Day 4 asks what I would rid the world of, if I could do just one thing. Let’s assume I’m not taking a cop-out of “sin” or “Evil” or “mosquitoes” because really, that’s not something that could actually happen.

If I were going to devote my time and energy to trying to rid the world of one thing, it’d be hunger. I think so many of our societal problems boil down to not having enough, and the most basic thing a lot of people don’t have enough of is food.

You can generally find shelter or find a place to live, but a lot of the time it’s at the expense of food. When you don’t have food – or you don’t have good, nutritious food, or you don’t have enough food – your health suffers. Your ability to learn and grow suffers when you don’t have a healthy diet. Your outlook on life changes when you are worried about where any of your meals will come from.

So: hunger. Remember your community food pantries or food banks in the summers as well as the winters. I don’t always remember food drives because of hauling food in to work or preschool or wherever is collecting, but I try to periodically buy the pre-packaged groceries for food banks at our local grocery stores. Every bit can help!

PS – the inverse of this question (what would I like MORE of in the world) would be literacy. With full bellies and brains, I think the world would be in a better way.

Day 3: Last Movie I Saw

Day 3 of the July Challenge asks about the last movie I saw in the theatres. That would be the magician heist caper flick “Now You See Me.” It seemed like critics didn’t think it was that great, but I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun at a movie. Will and I both enjoyed ourselves and were completely entertained … which is exactly what I was hoping for from a movie!

Which is a big change from one of the last movies I’d seen before NYSM … Lincoln. Excellent, excellent movie and thoroughly engrossing, but it was almost like watching Shakespeare. I didn’t feel quite smart enough to catch all the things that were going on in the movie. I was smart enough to know there were things there, but not quick enough to catch them all. Great movie, though. I was slightly distracted through the last half hour when I started having contractions (that ended up not going anywhere!). Thank goodness that part was anticlimactic.

Advice to a Newborn (in the form of a song)

Day 2 of the July Challenge (morning of Day 4 – I’m catching up!):

If you could offer any advice to a newborn, what would it be?

Sleep when your mother sleeps. Hahahaha!

I choose to answer this question in the form of songs I’ve picked for my three babies …

For Seth:

“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter

Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here …

Here comes the sun … here comes the sun! and I say,

It’s all right …”

Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles

For Nora:

“Open up your plans and [then] you’re free,

Look into your heart and you’ll find

The sky is yours …”

I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

For Jude:

“And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain

From carrying the world upon your shoulders.

For well you know that it’s the fool who plays it cool

By making his world a little colder.”

Hey, Jude, The Beatles (of course)

 

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