Today we had a party to celebrate Ella's 4th birthday. And here are 5 things about that lovely afternoon.
When it comes to parties, nailing kids down on a theme is always tricky. Ella had been saying "Disney Princesses" as her theme and I kept just nodding and asking her if she had any other ideas. It's not that I'm anti-princess, but it doesn't leave a lot of room for creating your own things. Let's face it, that theme forces you to buy stuff. Themed stuff. And I enjoy the process (and cheap side) of creating. So next the theme was rainbows. Except that every time I pointed something out that would fit that, Ella would scrunch her nose. It occurred me this week that she didn't really have a theme but an idea, a way that she wanted to feel. So I called the theme "sparkly lovely" and we went with that. Phew.
|Simple table set for ten (all supplies from Dollar tree)|
|Ella LOVES these plastic goblets. "So fancy!" she always says.|
One thing I did for this party was decorate slowly over the week. It sounds crazy, but I REALLY like to decorate. And I get so frustrated when it's the last twenty minutes and we're slapping up streamers. So this week I experimented with making the crepe paper flowers and then hung them as I went. It was fun!
Isn't that what gatherings are about anyways? It's not a stage or a evaluation or proof that you have it together. It's people coming together for something. As I thought about Ella's party, I wanted people to feel welcome, the style and time to reflect Ella, and for her to feel loved.
Isn't that fun? Garrett had the kids convinced that every layer was a different flavor. You just separate the batter (2 cake mixes, 1.5 cups of batter per color) and mix up colors. Bake. Layer. Voila!
3. Decisions, decisions.
Funny conversation last week...
Me: Hey Ella, we need to sit down and make some decisions about your party.
Ella: I know. I still haven't decided what number I want to turn.
4. Let them eat cake.
I tried a new cake recipe and it was a hit! Oh, folks. Just make it. Seriously. It's not hard though a little tedious. But MAN it looked great.
Plain white cake on the outside, but on the inside...
(The recipe is here if you're interested.)
|Batter all mixed up|
|Look at all that color!|
Each time I host something, I have this rush afterwards. I'm pretty sure that is confirmation that a) I'm an extrovert, b) a full house is one of my favorite feelings in the world, and c) there's something meaningful that happens in those moments together. I love the worlds colliding, the neighbors meeting my homeschool friends or my family meeting a church friend. It's like that Sarah Groves lyric...
I wish all the people I love the most, could gather in one place
And know each other and love each other well
I do wish that.
And when people in my life meet each other, I feel more fully known. It's as if each person is knowing me as a whole person, knowing the other people who make up my days, as opposed to only knowing me in one context.
It's easy for life to become like a filing cabinet, each group labelled accordingly.
"Who should we invite? Church friends? School friends? Neighborhood friends? Family?"
As if we have to pick a group. And truthfully- it is a little work when you first introduce groups of people. But the great thing is, when you bring people together, they get to know each other, and they become friends! So at the next party, it's more like a reunion and less like a random group of people. I'm serious!
Not much change on the book front, so I won't rant about my lack of progress. However, I did enter a contest because the prize is an agent review of your first chapter. For the contest, I had to sum up my book in 100 words and then submit the first 250 words. They took 100 entries and I made the first cut to 50 (you can see it here. Go all the way down to the title "Whiff".)
Here's how the contest works, as explained on Adventures in YA and Children's Publishing website.
Round 1: A great set of bloggers will judge the top 50 submissions. The 25 submissions with the highest scores will move on to the next round.
Round 2: YA authors will judge the top 25 submissions. The 10 highest scores will move on to the next round.
Round 3: Agent judges will score the top 10 submissions.
I'll keep you posted on how that progresses. I think each round takes roughly a week, so maybe I'll know if I make the next cut by next week's quick 5?
I've been thinking a lot about my little girl's birthday and hope to write about that this week.
And then there's a trip to Disney World. Yep. For real. So that's pretty exciting.
Well, there you have it. I've been thinking about you- whoever you are- about this blog and what exactly am I doing here? and what does that mean. I'm not sure what the stirring is about, but I'm trying to listen and just let things stir. So we'll see.