Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Day the Circus Came to Town

I mentioned briefly in my last post that we threw the kiddos a birthday party a couple weekends ago. Brenson's birthday is on February 10th and Brianna's birthday is February 18th. Because they are so close together, a joint birthday party just makes the most sense for us and for our loved ones that want to celebrate with us. I'm not sure how many more years I'll be able to get away with a joint party, but for now that's what works best.

Last summer, we had a circus themed VBS, and Chris and I had purchased quite a few of the decorations that were used. After it was over, we put a bunch of it in our attic and I said then that I was going to throw a circus birthday party so I could get as much mileage out of those decorations as possible. However, Brianna really wanted a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party. Actually, she wanted a Disney princess party, but I told her that she had to choose something Brenson would like, too. I finally showed her a bunch of photos of circus parties on Pinterest and convinced her that it would be great.

Typically in the past, I have made all of the party decorations myself, but this year I decided to do something a little different and buy a printable party pack from Etsy. That turned out to be a GREAT decision! It was so easy and actually was about the same cost as making it all myself. The shop that designed our stuff is called Mama Moonlights, and Lauren was wonderful to work with!

The invitation . . . I love it!

We took a pretty big risk planning an outdoor party in February, but it ended up being an absolutely gorgeous 70 degree day! I had actually prayed for good weather, but asked Chris if that was a shallow thing to be praying for? I mean, there are so many bigger things to pray for that I felt a little guilty praying about our party!

The printable pack I purchased came with this fun welcome sign. After printing it, I jazzed it up a bit with the colored paper. The wreath is one I made last year for the kids' birthday party, but it coordinated perfectly this year, too.

I didn't do too much decorating in our living room since the party was in the backyard, but I did do a few things. We had to have balloons, and our printable pack came with the mini pennant banners that I thought were too cute not to use.

I'm so glad I remembered to catch a family photo before most of our guests arrived!

Love this one!

We served a pretty nice food spread at the party. People could walk through the kitchen, grab some food, then head straight outside to the circus. The flow worked well!

The full spread: 

The Happy Birthday banner, cupcake toppers, cupcake wrappers, and food tents were all part of the printable party pack. I loved everything being so coordinated!

Chris and I had too much fun coming up with fun food names. The "clown noses" were dipped marshmallows. 

I made the cupcakes this year instead of buying them.

We also dipped pretzel sticks . . . this was my first time to dip anything and there is a bit of a learning curve!

The "lion whips" are licorice :-). I got all the popcorn boxes at the dollar store. They came in a six pack for a dollar!

We had to have animal crackers, of course!

The water bottle labels were also part of our party pack. So fun!

This is what our guests saw as they walked out into the backyard: 

Outside, we had a few tables and chairs set up for the adults, and six "circus" stations for the kiddos. We also have a small playset in our backyard that all the kiddos enjoyed (we have a 1/2 acre yard, so plenty of room for all the fun!

Brianna and Levi playing before the party began:

One station was this fun ticket booth that we turned into a photo booth. It was a big hit!

Ashlyn & Brayden

Chris & Brenson

Chloe Jo & Russ

Julia & Caroline

Abby & Zeke

Abby & Meme

Another station was set up for face painting.

My friend, Amy, was our face painter. Brianna insisted on a cat face, so in all of these photos she has a smeared cat face!

We played several games, including sack races. This was HILARIOUS! The kids had so much fun with it!

We also did three-legged races. Also so much fun!

While the older kids were racing, the littler kids were playing on our playset and running around the yard. 

Sweet Maci

Precious Julia

Brenson observing in his adorable circus outfit (made by my sister):

Brianna in her darling outfit (also made by Lisa . . . check out her shop!):

We also did a cake walk (where the kiddos won candy, not cake). My friend, Tia, took many of these photos for me because I was busy being in charge as you can see, haha!

The final station was circus crafts where the kids painted circus themed suncatchers. 

It ended up being super messy so I'm not sure we'll ever do that again!

After playing games, we sang happy birthday to the kids and passed out cupcakes. These candles were lit for most of the song, but a gust of wind blew them out right before we finished singing. As you can see from Brianna's face, she was less than impressed :-).

Brenson enjoys a cupcake like no kid I've ever seen before. I think this was his favorite part of the day!

Finally, we had the kids open all their gifts. This is personally my least favorite part of a party - and I would leave it out altogether - but people like to see them open. 

After gift-opening, the kids ran and played and snacked for a while before everyone started leaving. I was thrilled with how it all turned out! It seemed like all the kids had fun, and I know that my little birthday babies loved it! That's success in my book!

Here are a few more photos of the party guests: 

The L Family 

Brenson and Brianna with their Meme and Papa (Bri got the tutu as a birthday gift and had to put it on immediately, of course :-)

The Bs with their great grandparents

The E Family

Brianna and Brenson with G-Jo and Grampy 

The above photo was taken after the kids changed clothes, cleaned up a bit, and had a good nap. They were both SUCH a mess of dirt, cupcake icing, paint, face paint (not such a good idea . . . ), etc after the party was over that there was no way they could have worn their birthday outfits for the rest of the day. That's a sure sign of a good party, yes? Ha! However, with the help of my sister, I was able to salvage the outfits for a photo shoot we had just a few days later. Whew! I would have been so sad had they been ruined forever! 

It was such a great day to celebrate our longed-for, prayed-for, looooooong-awaited for, LOVED, and precious babies! We are thankful beyond words for the blessing they are in our lives!


Sarah said...

So cute! You did a great job :)

Cheryl said...

What a great party! I love the marshmallow clown noses! So, so cute! The photo booth and props are so fun too!

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

What a cute party theme!!! Love it. Happy birthday to your little blessing babes.

Luli Arellano said...

How was the photo booth made?