Aug 17, 2010

Jill G. Would Be So Proud :)

Jill Gradeless is the queen. I love her. She lived in Indiana when we lived there. Every single thing Jill touched had a theme, tulle, matching colors, sequins and was truly amazing. I longed to be like Jill.... I still do long to be like Jill. I have moments when I am close to being like her. Like when I sanded my table and chairs, spray painted them and then re-stained the top of the table. But Jill will tell you, in a heartbeat, that me attempting to be like her means me needing her to be on the phone with me through the whole project. Me, calling, 24/7 is Jill's most favorite thing :)

Anyway, today was Natalie's 8th birthday and I think Jill would have been proud of me. Usually when I decide to do parties for someones birthday I do games and good food but I never, ever do anything involving that D word....decorate.. or that T word...theme. But something came over me while thinking about Natalie's birthday and I decided to decorate and consider a theme. I do not want you to think I have betrayed you. I honestly will never do it again but I just had to know what it felt like to be one of those people who needs everything to coordinate.

First Natalie and I sat down at the computer and browsed through way too much of the Family Fun website. We printed off everything she loved....yes, it was pretty much everything. Then I sorted through the ideas and decided what I loved :) I LOVE flowers and when I saw the enormous tissue paper flowers attached to bamboo sticks I knew they had to happen....( this feels so surreal telling you about crafts on my totally not crafty blog :) Luckily, I have the most amazing OCD 16 year old who loves to make everything perfect and should have been Jill's daughter and she very willingly took on the tissue paper flower project. I found huge packages of purple tissue paper on clearance at Target for .74 cents so the flowers were purple...(don't you dare loose focus when I say these things...repeat after me..."Jenn Baird is not a craft queen or a bargain shopper she JUST got LUCKY :)" Everyone helped with the flowers at some point and we ended up with 18 or so of them and their job was to line our sidewalk leading to the front door and they performed their job perfectly.

Our next project had to be worked on the night before the party and that was the fairy bower.....I am not sure why they call it a bower...I should google that huh? I found some tulle at Wal mart for .97 cents a yard and bought 5 yards, but it was not enough. Thankfully I had some old sheer curtains, and a huge piece of yellow see through-ish fabric in the basement and between all three pieces and some clothes pins Madeline, Amanda and I created the fairy bower. It took time, inspiration, and okay, a little of Natalie sauntering through our process and declaring, "that is not it." I discovered if you cut apart a cheesy hawaiian lei and let all the flower petals fall off they look amazing on top of a fairy bower. And Amanda thought three of the tissue paper flowers needed to be pinned up with the tulle and such. So it was a group effort that at times had us doubting but when I settled into my bed at 11pm last night I was content and when I woke up at 4 to take Miriam's friend to the airport and looked at it again I was, thankfully, still content.

Natalie had seven little friends come to her party, six girls and one boy. We painted rocks, glued jewels on boxes, frosted and put way too many sprinkles on cookie flowers that were on sticks and some mini cupcakes, popped balloons, and hunted for jewels and candy. I think it will take days for the house to recover but at least I knew better and no glitter was involved in the party....learned that lesson in1998.

I do not have a set rule about the occurence of birthday parties for Baird children. Some years they need a party and some years they don't. I know some people say only a party every other year for their kids. Some say only a party if the month before your birthday had a full moon on a Sunday. Some people say only a birthday if your favorite color is orange. I did not make any rules because there is always an exception and someone...cough, of your kids.... is always patiently waiting to call your attention to the date, and time that you made an exception.

I remember my first boy/girl surprise birthday party when I turned 12 in Southern California. It made all my dreams come true. I hope my kids have at least one birthday moment that they feel like the day truly was different than others and that they will remember. I am not sure if this is natalie's or not but the other kids and I sure had a fun time preparing for it.


Camie said...

Good for you Jen! It looks like you pulled off the perfect 8 year old girl theme party! I have been wondering about those big tissue paper flowers because I have seen them on some blogs I read but I have not attempted them. Maybe I need some teenage daughters to help me!! And while you may not think you are crafty, I still think you are so incredibly talented and I am not surprised at all at what you pulled off!

Kristy said...

Jenn, it looks wonderful! I haven't seen those flowers before ... perhaps because I have two boys. They look awesome, as does the fairy bower (I don't know what a fairy bower is).

Natalie and her poor arm deserved a great party, and this sounds awesome!

Rebecca said...

Can I fly you to Thailand to decorate for my children's birthdays? Or maybe I should just get Jill's number? :) It looks great!!

Ackerman/Mejias Family said...

I loved it!!! It looked so festive. When I was a kid, they used to sell giant tissue paper flowers on the boardwalk spritzed with a little perfume and I thought they were magical. I had always wanted one so thank you for sending Aalyia home with a flower. It really put a smile on MY face:)

Suzy said...

Ilove it Jen. I was just talking with Jill the other day about costumes. She is the best. So glad you decided to enter her world!