So this girl had a birthday party. What with Spew-fest 2013, and school, and work, I wasn’t able to get to sharing all of the glory with you until now — my apologies, if you were left wondering…
The forecast for Saturday said scattered showers. We got several inquiries from would-be party-goers as to whether or not we had an alternate locale in mind in case of rain. We asked Echo if she wanted us to change the plans, but she was sure — she wanted to have her party at the little private park between the Missoulian newspaper and the riverfront trail area in downtown. So we put the word out that we needed some dining tents or other lawn shelters, and we planned accordingly.
After pooling our resources and our creative energy — we came up with this arrangement. The refreshment lounge was to the left, above — complete with cake, coffee and tea from Butterfly Herbs (avec accoutrements), and some of Echo’s favorite foods: Mom’s popcorn, chopped watermelon, and garlic bread. To the right was the den, for entertaining and getting out of the weather. Behind that was Eric, our tent, whose duties included play area, cake-eating area, and present-opening area.
Echo’s guest list was eclectic. There were friends from the school Xi attends (and where Echo goes a few times a week for recess-duty with Natalie), a friend of Xi’s for Xi to hang out with during the party, friends from homeschool group, play group, etc., as well as friends from the café at Butterfly — like Allison and Mikki (hiding behind Allison)…
During periods of sun (when the storms were scattered, so to speak), the kids had a hey-day playing on the lush hills and open, protected area of Echo’s birthday venue. It’s a spot with which she is very familiar — she has named all 7 of the tiny hillocks contained therein, and often asks us to stop by on our dog-walks — and she had a blast sharing it all with her friends.
The girls’ Aunt Emmy sent a package for Echo’s birthday, which fortunately for all of us at the party, included these cups. Each one had a different nose, some with mustaches, some with great gappy teeth. The one Xi had was one of the best.
We also got to eat this stupendous creation. Everyone drooled over it it turn, and once those proper offerings of respect were paid, and Echo was ready for it, we blew through the candle bit, and cut that sucker up, with a crowd big enough that we made quick work of 8/10 of it. This was of course another, and perhaps one of the best, of Natalie’s famous cakes. By request, it was a vanilla cake with chocolate-hazelnut filling and a light “pillow mint” frosting. It was basically the Mint Milano of cakes — made complete, below, with crab apple and lilac blossoms.
This was one of our party favors — we really know how to throw a kid party — Selah, one of the newest arrivals in our local village. I had to wrestle Sacia to get a turn. She forgave me only after I gave Selah back… Here’s the official party portrait from inside Eric during present-opning time. Olive, Selah’s sister, and Echo tune into some important birthday gift information from Xi…Eric the tent never held so many hushed and deeply focused kids…
And then there was lot’s more of this… By the time the drizzle and the evening finally shut us down, there were a dozen-or-so worn out and satisfied kids; several relaxed and well-tended adults; one wet dog, and three sopping tents. We shoved it all into Sylvia, the van, and weaved home with smiles and tales of moments well-spent aplenty.
We’ve done a fair amount of stellar birthdays in our time. We like to go all out on the fun and leave off as much of the fuss as possible. This birthday, though, we out-did even ourselves. We were so set on the few simple things we needed to fulfill Echo’s preferences; and once we knew how committed she was to the locale — rain or shine — and once we tapped our lovely community for help in making it happen, everything came together in such a delightful and easy fashion. I had so much fun, it was like it was my birthday, too — like it was everyone’s birthday — and we all got to celebrate together.
And there you have it folks — Echo’s 6th. I can’t wait to see what kind of year this one is!