Thursday, March 21, 2013

Over the Rainbow

A few years ago I realized that the span in which we could throw butterfly, fairy, or rainbow parties would be fairly short. With five children so close in age and two sets of twins equaling four shared birthdays, I decided we wouldn't skip or take turns. We would throw a big to-do every year.

I've always loved birthdays. I like celebrating people. I like setting a day aside to make someone feel special - share their favorite tastes, colors, interests, dreams. 

The kids, of course, have fun. But so do I. 

I don't have many opportunities right now (or time) to be creative. I do some creative refereeing, come up with top secret missions to help the boys empty garbage cans, or read stories with a british accent. And yes, I write. But when it comes to hands-on creativity, I don't quilt, sew, craft, or cook fancy. Birthday parties, however, I see as a chance to create something. Something magical and memorable.

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So we decided to try a new cake, the girls helped me with decorations, and together, we planned the activities. I considered it all an act of love. A way to fuss over them, show them they are worth my time. 

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Winter was lasting long and there were still several feet of snow on the ground, so we decided a Rainbow Party for Ali and Sami would be the perfect way to throw some color at winter.

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This is how it looked outside the day of the party. An hour later it was snowing hard.

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The anticipation was almost more fun than the party. As we turned streamers, placed straws in cups, and filled jars with candy, Sami kept saying, "Mom! This is going to be the BEST PARTY EVER!" She said it so many times I started to laugh, and wondered if I ought to curb her expectations. But she was so delighted with every detail, I just enjoyed her enthusiasm.

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A week earlier we delivered invitations to the girls' neighborhood friends. Ali and Sami made the name tags while I glued cardstock.

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They are such good, sweet, and.... silly girls. Silliness was entirely appropriate. But, these were the best group shots I could get.

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Lydia, catching some serious air!

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Eliza made the rainbow clouds all by herself. So happy to contribute and be a part.

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And all the girls made rainbow art to hang from our ric-rac banner.

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We filled jelly jars with new crayons. (Found boxes of crayons on sale for fifty cents @ Target.)

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The girls loaded the gift bags and I tied ribbon. 

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Then we made rainbow streamers (Michelle's idea). 

These were a total hit. Simply buy wooden dowels at your local party store, then use packing tape to attach colored strips of crepe paper to the top of the stick.

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We covered a table with butcher paper so the girls could color and draw pictures.

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I loved their art. 

I asked the girls to draw themselves, but most of them preferred to draw Ali and Sami. 

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Rainbow candy skewers.

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Beautiful Hazel. Ready to make rainbow necklaces. 

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They bopped and bounced to music, singing along to every catchy tune.

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Ali and Sami opened presents.

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And there's the tongue. Always out when she's concentrating.

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Rachel's Mom made the girls these darling sock monkeys. With matching socks to wear! So much time and work. Thanks Steph! The monkeys have been a favorite for weeks. 

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Recipe for the Rainbow Doodle Cake was from SweetapolitaI figured fondant couldn't be that hard. But for a rookie, it was kinda tricky. I had to throw away my first try. And I never could get rid of the folds around the perimeter. But it worked. 

The best part of this cake-making adventure? Doodling on the fondant with Americolor food markers

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The whole family helped. 

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Unfortunately, timing on the candle-blowing duet was a bit off. Ali missed it entirely. But she didn't seem to mind.

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And the moment we'd all been waiting for? The inside of the cake!

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The frosting was a lemon meringue buttercream. Very light and tasty, but I have to admit, the cake was only so-so. I think gel food coloring always weirds the taste.

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But Eliza liked it.

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Ice cream faces.

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More silliness.

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And lots of dancing with rainbow streamers.

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Afterwards, I felt kind of like Ali looks. Birthday parties suck the energy right out of me. Maybe one of these days I'll remember to prep a month ahead of time, instead of waiting until the last minute.

But honestly, throwing a party like this makes me happy. And Ali and Sami were over the rainbow about it. Which is all that really matters, right?


  1. Aww what a great party! I would love to try baking one of those cakes.

  2. I love your blog! We have a mutual friend in Lisa Paulsen :)

  3. Super fun! I 💚💜💙💛 rainbow parties. Great job and I can't believe you made that cake once, much less twice! 🌈

  4. What an awesome mom you are. Thanks for sharing the fun.

  5. What a beautiful party and what amazing memories you are making for your kids. I will definitely try to remember Rainbow themed party for when the girls are older. Love Jo (Australia)

  6. This looks just perfect for your girls! They are so lucky to have a devoted, loving mama. Hope you have a lovely weekend and get some time with your busy hubby. Love you.

  7. That party looks amazing! Lucky girls! The activities and decorations....sheesh! You are putting all of us boring Moms to shame :) It looks like it was a ton of work, but those happy faces are what it's all about! Love you!!

  8. knit1, knit 2 - the cake was definitely the most fun! And Sweetapolita's recipe was easy to follow. xo

    Cheryl - Oh you lucky lady, to have Lisa as a friend. She is the dearest, most inspiring lady. Aren't we lucky to have her in our lives? And I peeked at your blog. What sweet kids. Maybe I will see you at the May POMS retreat?

    Shir - Luckily, I didn't have to make the cake layers twice. Just the fondant part. Should've asked you for "rainbow" ideas. Bet you had a bundle. Have fun with the in-laws this week! We miss you guys.

    Leslie - xo. Thanks for reading.

    Jo - You have so much fun ahead of you with those twin girls! Love hearing from you and knowing you're surviving (and well!) Love and support to you.

    Anne Marie - sweet friend, squeezed in a date night with the busy man this weekend. ;) The Opera! (a first for me.) Thank you for reading and and for your kind thoughts. xoxo

    Deb - you are the farthest thing from a boring mom! Remember? My girls way prefer you over me. ;) Missing you and hoping to see you this next week. xo

    1. Lisa and I are life long friends (literally since we were babies!) and yes I am so blessed to have her in my life, she's one of my heros!

      I would love to meet you at the POM retreat but I live in Vegas and am helping plan the one down here in April. I would love to meet you sometime, maybe next time I'm over at Lisa's :)

    2. Vegas moms are lucky to have you! I would love to meet you if you are ever at Lisa's! I can see her front door from my kitchen window. xoxo

  9. WOW, SUPER cute!!!! I just may have to copy you come Emma's birthday. She loves rainbows and art! Looks like a really fun time!

  10. It's true that loving people can have a hundred different looks. I love that you've identified birthday parties as a way to lvoe your girls.

  11. Hill - Doug and I were just saying how much we think Sami and Emma look alike. Do you think? Yes, if she loves rainbows, do it!

    Liz - Thank you for understanding what this post was about. I totally agree, loving people can have a hundred different looks. This is just one for me. You are so intuitive and good. Love you.

  12. I've always loved birthdays. I like celebrating people. I like setting a day aside to make someone feel special - share their favorite tastes, colors, interests, dreams.

    I am SO WITH YOU! on this. And I feel like since we moved here, no one celebrates kids hardly go to anyone's birthday's but their cousins and it is such a fun childhood memory of mine, going to friends parties. Is this tradition being laid to you see this at all up where you are?

    Anyways, I am with you! Make them special! It's one day out of the year!!! So we get a few grey hairs pulling them off, it's worth it! YOU are creating memories that will last a LIFETIME!!!!!!!!!! I think you are awesome!


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