Friday, March 4, 2016

Wild Birthday Fun!

Happy March, Everyone! I hope your month is off to a great start. March is generally a busy month for us, but I'm hoping that it will feel a bit slower than February. With all four of our kiddos having birthdays in February, the month flew by and felt like one continuous party, ha! 

We did celebrate each birthday as it came (and I'll do separate posts detailing those smaller celebrations), but this past weekend we had one big birthday party that included some of our family and friends. It ended up being a ton of fun, and I'm so thankful that we were able to do it!

Choosing a theme for a birthday party that includes a girl turning six, a boy turning four, and twin girls turning one is no easy task! I really had to give it some thought to make sure I chose something not too girly, not too boyish, not too grown up, not too baby, etc, and I finally landed on a Where the Wild Things Are themed party! We all love reading, so what's more fitting than a party themed after a book? And, Where the Wild Things Are is certainly a favorite around here! Of course. 

When I threw our circus themed birthday party two years ago, I purchased a printable party package from Etsy. It was a great and easy way to have cute, coordinating decorations, so I wanted to do the same for this party. After quite a bit of Pinterest and Etsy browsing, I wasn't finding anything I really liked. I can be pretty particular about things, and if I'm going to pay for it then I want to really like it! I ended up messaging the lady who did my circus printable package and asked her if she had any WTWTA printables. She did have a party invitation that she had designed for someone several years ago that she sent me, and I loved it! It was exactly what I was looking for, and she offered to design an entire party printable package for me based off of the invitation. The shop owner was, once again, a pleasure to work with, and I loved how our printables turned out. The shop is Mama Moonlights on Etsy, and I highly recommend her if your looking for a great party printable package! 

The invitation was a little tricky with four names and four ages, but I was thrilled with how it came together! 

When we first began planning a joint party, Chris and I decided that we didn't want anyone to bring gifts. I've written here about our house situation, and we truly have no more room for toys, books, or clothes. Also, we didn't want anyone to feel burdened by purchasing four gifts . . . that's a lot and we understand that! We talked to the big kids (the babies didn't know any different), and they were great about it. They had plenty to open from us on their actual birthdays and had gifts to open from their grandparents, too. That was more than enough, so we chose to concentrate on spending the day with our friends and not worrying about gifts! To help express this to our friends, I made this little insert that I put in the invitations:
It was received very well, although I did have several people ask if we were sure :-).

One thing that has been particularly hard for me in the past year is that I don't have any time for my favorite creative outlets. I LOVE papercrafting, but it's just not been possible since the twins have been born. I'm sure this will change as they get older, so I'm not stressing about it, but I will say that it felt really good to do a bit of crafting for this party! This was the welcome sign that hung on our front door (don't mind my silly reflection):

The middle part was part of our party printables, but I created the background out of cardstock and added the small pennant banner. 

I generally decorate several little areas around the living room for a party. This year, I used mostly shades of green with pops of yellow to tie the theme together.

I loved the invitation so much, I framed it as part of the decor.

In the Big Kid room, we have a gallery wall that includes several WTWTA prints (we really love this book, y'all, ha!) I was able to steal a few of the framed prints off the wall to use as decorations for the party . . . it worked out perfectly! 

I made these sugar cookies as party favors to thank our friends for joining us for the party. Part of them were shaped like crowns and part of them were sailboats.

One of my favorite things about our printable party package is the mini pennant banner. I love that I can print as many as I like and have them hanging in several places! I hung one on our entertainment center, along with some balloons, of course. Then, I added small framed photos of Brianna and Brenson (from their birthday photo sessions each year). I also wanted a way to incorporate the monthly photos I took of the twins throughout their first year,so I decided to use an empty frame (borrowed from a friend), string twine across it, and hang the photos on the twine using mini clothespins.

As a finishing touch, I added the "one WILD year" letters to the top! I was pleased with how it turned out!

The small frames of the big kids are displayed in various places around the house. All I had to do was collect them.

I also hung a mini pennant banner in the doorway between our living room and dining room. The banner had three different pennants: a green leaf pattern, a black chevron pattern, and a Max pattern. 

I love adding little details!

I found the yellow tissue pom garland at the dollar store one evening and thought it would go well with our party colors. I hung one garland strand behind the couch and added balloons to make that corner more festive :-).

I had purchased several packages of these green pinwheels from Hobby Lobby, mainly to hang in the dining room. However, I ended up with three left over and decided to add them to the bathroom door. The kids thought it was great!

I also put a mini pennant banner on the bathroom mirror :-). I'm telling you, I was having too much fun decorating and crafting for this party!

As much as I enjoyed sprucing up other parts of the house, decorating the dining room was my main focus. I had a vision for it, and it came out pretty much exactly like I pictured!

The banner says "HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILD THINGS". It was yet another part of our party printable package.

This canvas hangs in the Big Kid room on their gallery wall. It's my very favorite quote from the book, and Bren and I say it to each other before bed each night :-).

Along with decorating, I love coming up with fun party food to serve our guests. We went with some old favorite this year, but added a few new things, as well.

Of course, we had cupcakes. I love serving cupcakes at a party because they are so much easier than cake. The cupcake toppers came with our printable package, and I just attached them to toothpicks. Cupcakes for the win!

In addition to the cupcakes, we also had cake. 

If you notice that the cake looks a bit wonky, there's a good reason why. I sent Chris to pick it up from the bakery Friday evening, and was a bit speechless when I received this text from him:

Bahahaha! Apparently, the cake just got off balance and fell right out of his hand, top down! The bakery did their best to fix it (they scraped the entire top off and re-iced it), but there was still some damage sustained. No worries, though, it tasted just fine :-). I cut out the little Max character and added him as a topper. 

I also got each of the babies their own little smash cake. We didn't do smash cakes on their actual birthday, so I definitely wanted to do them at the party. I had the bakery keep it simple with white icing and yellow trim, then I added the fun little pennant banner. 

We also had pretzel sticks dipped in green chocolate and mint chocolate M&Ms. Chris loves anything mint and chocolate, so he was excited about the M&Ms! The green buckets I purchased at Target, and the green tubs came from the dollar store (four for a dollar!) I love how my little helper, Brecklyn, snuck in this pic :-). She had a ROUGH morning feeling anxious about what was going on and how it was disrupting her routine. After our party guests arrived, she was super clingy to me, and it was several hours into the party before she finally relaxed. Poor dear.

Max's sailboat (made from apple slices and cheese wedges) were a hit with the kiddos.

Who doesn't love layered jello topped with crushed oreos? YUM.

We also had pigs-n-blankets, pinwheels, bugles (monster claws), little cups of goldfish crackers, and a veggie tray complete with summer sausage and cheese. I intended to make food tents with cutesy names for all the food, but decided against it in the end. I felt like the table was complete with them!

I wanted something special for Brooke and Brecklyn's chairs, so I also made a little high chair banner for each of them.

And, tied a yellow balloon to each of the their chairs. Their excitement about those silly balloons was SO cute!

We often call Brooke "Babyzilla" and for good reason! That girl is busy and can find mischief in a hurry. Saturday morning - while I was busy preparing food for the party - Brooke tootled in the living room and ripped one of her little pennants right off of her high chair. It pretty much happened before I even realized she had left the kitchen. Silly girl!

Because our house is a smallish space for hosting a crowd, we have planned outdoor birthday parties in the past. It's always a risk to plan an outdoor party in February, but it has worked out great for us so far. This year was no different! The weather ended up being a GORGEOUS 75 degree, sunny day. It wasn't even too windy (and wind is something we deal with constantly around here). I was so incredibly thankful for such an awesome day!

Everyone was able to wear short sleeves, and Chris and I sported our WTWTA t-shirts. Because of course!

Haha . . . family photos are always a challenge!

Basically, party guests came in through the front door, walked through the dining room where they could grab food, and headed out the back door for the party. The flow was great!

Water bottles with labels were available on a table on the patio. 

We had the playhouse open for our guests, and I printed out these coloring sheets for them to do if they wanted. 

We also had several guests enjoy our swingset. The MAIN attraction, however, was the bounce house! We rented it for the afternoon and it was a BIG hit!

(Brenson, Leanna, Toby crawling in, and Brianna inside)

My kids were beyond thrilled to have this set up in their backyard.

 (Bren and Leanna)

At one point, all of the big kids were busy doing other things, so I let Brooke get in it.

She wasn't sure what to do!

The big kids, however, had no problems! 

(Brianna and Maci)

(Chloe Jo and Maci)

Brianna seriously had the best time jumping in the bounce house. She jumped for hours and just kept jumping! Later that evening, after everyone had gone home and we were eating dinner, Brianna said, "I bounced in that jump house so much that the inside of my body is still going up down up down like I'm jumping!" Hahaha!
(Brianna and Leanna)

(Ross, Chloe Jo, and Bren)

Our party guests also enjoyed our swingset

(Callie and Riggins),

our playhouse

 (Brooke Ellie) 

(Maci and Chloe Jo),

and many of our other outside toys 


We actually ended up having several friends that had initially RSVP'd then had to cancel due to sickness (like 11!) Also, my parents didn't get to come this year. My mom is always SO much help to me when throwing a party, and I told Chris that I wasn't sure I could do it without her! We sure missed our friends who weren't able to join us, but we were thrilled to spend the day celebrating with the friends and family that came! 

Papa and Meme with Brecklyn, Brooke, Brenson, and Brianna (Brooke Ellie was suuuper tired at this point)

Russ, Lisa, and Chloe Jo (the sun was in CJ's eyes)

Much better!

Chris's grandparents with Brianna, Brecklyn, Brooke, and Brenson

Ross and Sadie
Lisa, Russ, and Antha

Christie, Riggins, and Callie

Angie and Jesse (another sun victim, ha!)

Amy and Matt

Raelyn and Brecklyn

Chelley and Christie

Angie, Chelley, and Amy

Brooke, Chelley, Brecklyn, and Christie

Others who were there but I didn't get in photos were Dana, Megan, Tia, Cassie, Joe, Abby, Zeke, and our neighbor kids, Leanna and Toby.

About an hour or so after most of the party guests had arrived, we carried the babies' high chairs outside, sang "Happy Birthday", and served the cupcakes. We also let the babies have their smash cakes.
Brooke, Brecklyn

Brecklyn was cute while everyone was singing . . . surprisingly she liked the attention. 

Brooke was just focused on the cake! We cracked up when she put her hand out like, "Aren't you going to give that to me?!?"

Brooke dug right in!

Brecklyn wouldn't touch it at first, so I helped her get some icing on her hand.

She was really unimpressed with the cake eating. Fitting, ha!

Brooke wasn't shy about it, though!

Still unimpressed, ha!

This girl was a MESS!

But, a CUTE mess, for sure :-).

After another hour or so of more playing and fun, many of our guests went home. It was then that we brought the kids inside and let them open a few gifts that family had brought. I kind of missed out on this as I was changing babies and saying good-bye to guests, but Brenson received a guitar and microphone from his grandparents. I walked in the room right as he was singing Jesus Loves Me for those who were still there. 

It was seriously PRECIOUS! I wish I had it on video!

After everyone left, we had some seriously tired babies. Brooke went right down for nap, but Brecklyn fought us about it. Does this look like a baby who's had too much fun or what?!?

It truly was a wonderful day, and we are so thankful for the love shown to us by those who joined us for our celebration (and, by those who couldn't make it but were thinking of us). God is so faithful as He continues to pour His love upon us through our family and friends!

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

This is amazing! Is it normal for you to have such warm temps in February?
I am so glad Any and Angie were able to join you! I guess Kendall was one of the sick ones then, poor thing.
Oh hey so I know you are super crazy busy, but please could you share that sugar cookie recipe from Christmas?? I am dying to try and find one that works well, as like you, I never had any success with other recipes. Would be so grateful for the share😀