This was such a fun session. I couldn't believe it when she told me her son was four the last time they had family pictures taken. As parents we all know how fast those days turn into weeks and years. I'm sure it seems like only yesterday when her High School Senior walked into his first day of Kindergarten...
And one of just mom...
After many weeks of bed rest, it was finally time for Baby Jakes to make an appearance. He was early, but thankfully it wasn't too early. No NICU for this little guy! This was my first time to see a baby, other than my own, being born and it was an amazing experience. Memories of my three girls' births flashed through my mind and I was once again reminded of the awesome power of our Creator.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jer. 1:5
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
Speaking of birthdays, I never shared any details from my oldest daughter's birthday party last Spring. She wanted something fun, but not too girly. I had already picked up a ton of cute owl stuff from the dollar section at Target. The camping part kept it from being to frilly. I couldn't help but laugh!
I found ideas for cupcakes (http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cupcakes/dh/owl-cupcakes) and treat bags with owl smores (http://www.livinglocurto.com/2010/09/owl-smores/) on-line. Both of the recipes are easy to follow and Elyssa really enjoyed helping. Since we had owl cupcakes, I went with a campfire cake. I ended up putting a few different ideas together. The "cake" was really Betty Crocker® Mississippi Mud Supreme Bars. The pit was made using chocolate rocks, the logs were twix bars, and then I just added some small touches like toasted marshmallows for coals. Then I made sure there were plenty of worms, bugs, and trail mix to snack on! We also roasted marshmallows for smores and cooked our hot dogs in a fire pit.
The highlight of the night for most girls was dissecting owl pellets. I ended up ordering them from Amazon and each girl had a partner. This worked out well, because not everyone wanted to participate! The girls also set up their tent, painted rocks, made bracelets and enjoyed playing games in the tent with flashlights. I am anything but a camper, but sleeping in the backyard (in my own little tent with Miss B and her friend Ella) was certainly worth it. I know this will always be one of her favorite themes!
I do believe that I am starting to love photographing birthday parties as much as planning them. Each one is so unique. I look forward to seeing the different themes, locations, and activities...maybe gleaning some new ideas for myself! The best part, though, has to be all of the spontaneous smiles. Of course, I am a sucker for the quiet thoughtful moments, too, when you catch a child deep in play or thought. The change in job description is nice, too. No directions to give, just capturing life as it happens.
I hope you enjoy sharing in these parties as much as I did!