Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Seven Days of My Birthday....



Last week, while we were celebrating Riley's birthday at Disneyland, we mostly had fun. There were occasional outbursts that were not of joy. There is a rivalry between Emilee and Riley that gets out of hand at times. Once, when Riley was getting particularly carried away, I said to her, "I think if you fight with someone on your birthday, you have to go back to being six again." That stopped her cold. It gave me something to think about too. Maybe....if I fight with a few people on my birthday, I could get set back a few years. Think it is worth a try?

I'll have to find someone else besides my family to fight with though. They have been so sweet to me all week.

Last Monday night, I told them that I declared it to be The Seven Days of Mom's Birthday. I stated that I was tired of saying, "Don't worry about me. I don't need anything. I'm fine. Blah...blah...blah." (Here is evidence that I said just that on my birthday last year.)

I told them that it would be my birthday the whole week. We were about to play a game of Uno, and I let them know that I would be winning, in honor of The First Day of My Birthday. I then broke into song, "On the second day of my birthday, my family gave to me....." I sang about how they all did their jobs, and some extra things so I could read a book.

I wasn't asking for things, just some fun acknowledgment, and some extra willing help. It worked too. When I would ask, "Shouldn't you empty the dishwasher, because it is my birthday?" it actually happened, and happened quickly. Emilee didn't mind when I picked her up from school one day and asked, "Shouldn't we go to Dairy Queen because it is my birthday?"

For my birthday, I asked for Chinese Checkers. Someone told me that was a strange thing to ask for. Like I said, I wasn't asking for big things. I have good memories of that game, and I want to play it with my kids. They don't even know HOW to play Chinese Checkers.

My Chinese Checkers were delivered to me this morning along with breakfast in bed. I have such a great family.

I guess now, I will teach them how to play our new game. I will have to remind them that I WILL be winning.

Oh, and I did win that UNO game on Monday night.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lucky Seven!

Riley turned seven last week, on the 20th. I cannot believe she is already seven! I have asked Kaitie and Emilee to think back on how old they felt inside when they were in second grade. It makes them look at their "baby" sister with different eyes.

The night of the 19th, we packed up and headed to Disneyland for one last Disney birthday this year. We went for Kaitie's and Emilee's birthdays back in February. When we promised Riley that we would go in August, Ryan wasn't even engaged yet. We had no idea how crazy the timing would be.

Speaking of timing, we had Riley's party at a different hour than usual. We left town later than our five o clock plan. By the time we arrived at Paradise Pier, it was nearly midnight.



Here is my sleepy girl showing the clock right at midnight. She was seven! We decided to have her birthday party right then.




This birthday treat which was in our hotel room, became the birthday cake :) It was fantastic.




We sang happy birthday, ate our Mickey treats, and let her open her presents right after midnight.



First thing in the morning, we had her birthday breakfast downstairs at the PCH Grill. They have what they call The Lilo and Stitch breakfast there. But our first greeting came from Pluto.





Riley loves Minnie Mouse, but this was not the highlight of her breakfast with Disney characters.
Minnie can be seen all over the park. There is one character who Riley watches on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, who is not seen all over the park....




Daisy Duck! Riley was SO excited to see Daisy. I thought she would be the most memorable character of Riley's morning.




She was memorable for me. Daisy was starting to reach for Riley's autograph book on the floor and I snapped this picture. Without talking...because they don't talk, you know....Daisy was able to let me know that she didn't want her picture taken right then. I guess no one really wants a picture taken of them bending down to get something, not even Daisy Duck.




Lilo was a really fun character too.........






She even "convinced"Riley to do a little bit of a hula dance.




But Stitch is the guy who stole the show! Here he is wishing Riley a happy birthday.




He wished something to Kaitie too...but I am not sure what it was. He took a blue napkin from the table, and acted like he was wiping his armpits with it, then he sort of swished it across her face.




I can't even remember WHAT he did to Emilee...but something crazy...


He didn't even leave Jeff out of the fun.





Here is Riley getting sung to for the second time on her birthday, and it was only 8 am.

What a lucky seven year old!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Reception

Once the wedding was over, and we were back home, I almost wondered why we needed another reception. I felt we had celebrated Ryan and Brittany plenty! But of course Ryan wanted to show his new bride off in his own town...to his family and friends. (And we did end up really enjoying it too!)



This is what my family looks like now :)





I was hoping for a bigger family group shot before the reception started. I told everyone to come for a picture, but I was casual about it. I told the family that we would take one with whoever was there before time to start. I didn't want to be anxious about it. I didn't want to be upset and waiting for anyone.


So, we had some of the family, and the Happy Couple....what else could we possibly need for our party?

A party of this nature needed an atmosphere to be created, and presented well. For this, I had lots of help....


I bought all these lanterns, but I sure didn't tie all the ribbons on them.



I prepared all these pictures, but I didn't create this wonderful display.



Each table had a bouquet of flowers, and two pictures like this. Brittany's family put the pictures together for the Dallas reception. It was a picture of Ryan on one side, and Brittany on the other, showing similar milestones in their lives. I loved these. They also went perfectly with the flowers I had already ordered.

So I had table linens, flowers and pictures, but the extra touches did not come from me.....


I ordered this beautiful cake, but did not create the complimentary decor...




All the amazing detail, and beautiful atmosphere came from these two! I appreciate their impressive talents, and willingness to share them!


I ordered food (way too much of it) but I didn't display it, or take care of it during the party.


These two were incredible at keeping everything running perfectly. I am so grateful for good friends.


Oh, and I can't forget that this talented friend made the white skirts for my girls to wear. She added more value that she could possibly know, by letting them know exactly how they needed to be worn. (They listened to her much better than they would ever listen to me about such a thing!)


Another Fairy Godmother who performed magic is right here. She made sure that Brittany and each of the girls had cute hair for the party.


See how fun!




We spent the first hour or so greeting guests in kind of a receiving line. It was just going to be Ryan and Brittany, but Jeff and I decided to join them. Kaitie and Emilee were with us by accident for a little while too. They came to ask a question, and got stuck there for a bit.


After the first half of the party, Ryan and Brittany cut the cake...and then the party turned more informal:








I cannot say enough how great it was to have such a fun DJ "directing" the party. He played a fun mix of music that appealed to all ages. There was some emphasis on music that played well to Ryan's little cousins. He has quite a few of those!!



Ryan and Brittany did a little dancing....

A few others danced too:












I don't even know if Ryan and Brittany noticed everything that was going on around them.


We appreciate everyone who helped us, traveled to be with us, or just came on over to join the party :)










Now, if our nice photographer could have turned the camera around on herself just one time, I would add that picture here too. Since she didn't do that, I will just ask you to notice what a good job she did capturing our evening!