For all the effort that Brian put into throwing me an amazing birthday party, it seems that a thorough recap is in order. You’ve seen the photo booth pics and I’ve put up the video of my introduction of Bradley Hathaway. But there is so much more to share!
First of all, the setting was beautiful. Brian had set up tents with tables and chairs and my sister had decorated them with pretty table cloths, party favors and centerpieces. Super adorable. Under one tent in particular was the photo booth and the prize table. Prize table, you wonder? Yes. Brian’s mom had planned a bunch of games (which we played closer to the end of the party) and was sweet enough to get a variety of gifts and prizes for the winners of those games. There was an egg toss, a three-legged race, a potato sack race, etc.
It’s hard to put into words all of the little details that made the day special, so here’s a tiny list:
- My friend, Katie, forgot her camera so she took pictures with mine. I could not have been happier to have delegated that responsibility to someone else so that A) I could just mingle and B) I could actually show up in a few of the photos.
- Brian’s Uncle Dee has an incredible tree swing that adults and kids alike enjoyed. And by “enjoyed,” I mean that I personally clung to the rope for dear life as my friend Bree’s husband, Chris, pushed us to the heavens.
- Being that my brother, Donovan, doesn’t dive head first into social situations that often, it was heart-warming to see him playing cornhole with a few other guys and having a good time.
- My sister, Mandy, went out of her way to have a “square” theme. The plates were square, the cupcakes were square and the little favors (playing cards and mints) referenced Square Piece.
(Stole this pic from you, Katie…)
- As a child of divorce, I’ve grown accustomed to briefly considering the dynamics that might play out when two divorced parties are forced to mingle on behalf of some occasion of mine. From childhood visitation rights to our very own wedding day, it’s been impossible not to feel concern for the discomfort of others. Brian’s parents are divorced as well, so he knows what I’m talking about. Well, I couldn’t help but notice how well everyone seemed to get along on Saturday, and that in and of itself is a wonderful gift.
- Prior to the party, I had gotten nervous as I realized that some people might feel obligated to bring a birthday gift. Under no circumstances did I feel that this was necessary as I was greatly touched that anyone was even willing to drive out and attend in the first place! Nevertheless, several gifts made it to the party (and were then discreetly whisked away to my van). While the company of my friends and family was gift enough, I sure did also appreciate the thought behind the gifts of those who felt compelled to give them.
- Bradley Hathaway is one of my brother’s favorite artists. Getting to see Joey catching up with Bradley was simply lovely.
- My babe awoke from his morning nap at about 11:45. Typically, about three hours later, he’d be ready for another. But no. No, Bennett wasn’t about to miss out on the fun and stayed awake for the next six hours without so much as a pout or fuss. Such a good baby!
- Donovan and Olivia came back home with me to spend a couple nights at my place. I always appreciate the chance to really connect with my sibs and see how their hearts are doing. We were able to talk about Charley, about the griveing process, about life and school and my biological dad and all sorts of interesting topics. It was real. It was good. It was real good.
- Stuff like this, well, I just think it’s ADORABLE:
Sorry if this seems like a hodge podge, but I swear that my brain must’ve been so overstimulated that I’ve been intimidated to write about this day knowing that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice!