Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Birthday Luau

Our oldest girl turned seven this weekend. We celebrated in St. George. Spent a whole week together, hiking, swimming, recovering and reconnecting. It was a mighty nice week.

One afternoon, instead of splashing with her brothers and sisters in the wading pool, Eliza said she'd rather draw a picture inside. I heard the slightest hint of growing up in her voice. Saw it in her long legs as she turned on her heel and confidently smiled. A few strands of hair escaped her pony tail, framed her face, and for one split second I saw her at 13 and it made my head spin.

She hasn't outgrown wading pools and giggles and all the innocence of her siblings. Fifteen minutes later, she joined them in the water. But I'm noticing it. She's getting older.

Photobucket

These photos have been lying dormant on my mac for months. Hidden gems waiting to be posted. And I can't let Eliza's birthday come and go without writing about her party last year. Yes, I said last year. The one we had several weeks late. But around here, we live the mantra "better late than never" - be it birthdays or blogging.

Michelle took these photos (check out her new photography blog here.)

She texted that morning to say she was coming to take pictures. It was the best gift of the day. Unsolicited and generous. And they're so delicious I had to post a stack of them, give you a taste of all the color and fun we had that Saturday afternoon.

Photobucket

A whole chorus-line of darling girls from the neigborhood.

Photobucket

We welcomed each girl with a hula skirt and the makings for her own lei.

Photobucket


Photobucket

Eliza, age 6

Photobucket

Two-layer cake with pink frosting and fresh flowers.

Photobucket


Photobucket

Miss Mary (Michelle's daughter), stringing foam flowers. I love the way her grass skirt splays out like rays of sunshine.

Photobucket

And this is baby Michael. Isn't he the cutest thing? He belongs to my sister Deb and was content to hang out with the beach balls she and my parents dutifully blew up.

We played "musical beach balls." The girls paraded in a circle until the Hawaiian slack-key guitar music stopped, then rushed to sit on a beach ball. I don't recommend this game for adults (insert sheepish grin). If you miss, it's a long way down, and the ground isn't very forgiving.

Photobucket

A little more Michael.

Photobucket

Mmmm... I miss those baby cheeks.

Photobucket

The water balloon games were a huge hit. Here's Eliza throwing her balloon at the cement. The girl who made the biggest splash won. We marked each girls' throw with a circle of chalk.

The wading pool was full of water balloons. We played balloon toss and balloon splat. But my favorite game was the relay race. Each team tried to stuff a pair of sweatpants full of water balloons and carry them to the finish line without popping a single balloon. It was a hoot.

Photobucket

An angle I never see that reminds me how much I love being a mom.

Photobucket

Despite much cohersion, Sami refused to give Michelle a smile. But Michelle doesn't give up easily.

Photobucket

Cousin Lizzie.

Photobucket

Refreshments were light. Cut fruit, potato chips, and piƱa coladas with an assortment of rainbow-colored umbrellas.

Photobucket

For gift-opening, we played "Pass the Pineapple" - a variation on "Hot Potato." When the music paused, whoever was holding the pineapple passed their present to Eliza.

Photobucket

Sami kept guard over the cake. And look... there's a restrained sort-of-smile.

Photobucket


Photobucket

Eliza wasted no time sampling the frosting after she blew out candles.

Photobucket

A few more happy faces.

Photobucket


Photobucket

Party favor bags held hawaiian fans, fruity lip gloss, a sandal necklace, and mamba candies.

Photobucket

Ali, sitting pretty.

Photobucket

My favorite moment? Dancing the hula while we waited for Moms to arrive. I didn't know if the girls would take to the footwork and hip-swinging, but they loved it. They gracefully followed every lilt I made with my wrist, every position, every step. From "the little brown girl in a little grass hut" to "all the fishies in the ocean."

Photobucket

And that elusive smile? Well, there it is. A balloon after the party can work wonders.

Happy 7th (and 6th) Birthday Eliza. You have an ebullient spirit, a brave heart, and a creative energy that blesses our family. It's exciting to watch you discover your gifts. I'm looking forward to your Fairy Garden Party in June. To more years of celebrating your beautiful life. I love you.

4 comments:

  1. Those pictures and the kids are just fabulous! What a cute party idea. I also notice how beautiful it is in your yard - that is summertime in Utah. We wouldn't even be able to hold it outside during the summers in AZ. Oh well, we have the winter. (Sigh). So glad I got to see this post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cath, darling photos of darling people! So much fun to see. Thanks for sharing them. And I know what you mean about the little nuggets of growing-up-moments. Sadie hardly plays with baby dolls, never with Barbies, or with her kitchen set anymore. It makes me sad to see that little mite growing up. We miss you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Candice - Doug was just asking if I had visited you in Arizona much. I said, sadly no! Maybe sometime we can plan a trip your way... thanks for your comment. xo

    Shelli - Sure miss you! Sadie's just a year ahead of Eliza... so oh, that makes me sad. You're in the thick of a whole different stage now aren't you? I hope we see you soon. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just beautiful pictures. You certainly know how to do parties. It looks absolutely incredible. Seeing Sami's smile at the end of the pictures was a treat. xo

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails