Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sara Kate turns 5 - A Frozen party

My baby turned 5 a month ago and we've been so busy I haven't had time to document the occasion!  But better late than never because I don't want to forget these memories!  And warning, picture overload! :-)  

Sara Kate's birthday is April 8, but we had her party on April 4, which turned out to be kind of hectic because it was Easter weekend but we're so thankful to friends and family for coming.  I had all kinds of ideas for her 5th birthday but in the end when I asked her what kind of party she wanted, she said a 'Frozen' party.  Of course.  She also told me she wanted to 'meet Elsa.'  That gave me a little more to work with.  There is a company in our area called 'Once Upon a Party NWA' and I looked into having Elsa and Anna come to her party.  I also tried to 'think outside of the box' as far as a party was concerned, and I decided that we would have her 'Frozen' celebration at a frozen yogurt place!  I kind of had to pat myself on the back for that one, ha!!  There is a place not too far from where we live called 3 Crazy Berries and I contacted them to see if they had parties.  They did host parties, the whole place was available to rent out very reasonably, and they said another mom was also having a 'Frozen' party there.  Maybe I wasn't so clever after all...HA!! :-)  I booked the location and contacted the Princess party girls and I got Elsa booked.  In the end I decided on just having Elsa come since that's who Sara Kate is obsessed with, and I decided to have her come for an hour.  I bought the invitation from a seller on Etsy.  I love Etsy...I found what I wanted, it was very inexpensive, I sent in all the information, I had the file in my email by the end of the day, and I printed them at Sam's Club.  Perfect!!
The morning of her party we got dressed and headed over to 3 Crazy Berries.  Sara Kate was so excited!!
 
The great thing about this location was I didn't have to do anything.  The only thing I brought was little bottles of water (which they ended up providing water) and a 'pin the nose on Olaf' game I found at Party City.  I didn't even decorate (which I even surprised myself with!).  But because my half marathon was the weekend before, I really didn't have alot of time to think about that sort of thing since my mind was somewhat preoccupied by the run.  Also, we had to have the party in the morning because the place was available to rent out when they weren't open for regular business owners.  Honestly, I wasn't crazy about the idea of an 11 am ice cream party but it worked out pretty well.
 
 
 
As the kids showed up, they got an ice cream cup and they could fix it however they wanted.  Another great thing was all I did was pay for a certain number of cups, I didn't have to pay by ounce, even though they weighed everyone's cup so they could keep track for their records.
 
 
They even gave me enough cups for parents to get ice cream if they wanted.  I can't remember if I went over my allotment but I only got charged for the number we talked about.  They were really great to work with.  I highly recommend them.
The main event was a visit Elsa, or the 'Ice Queen' (since I'm sure Elsa is copyrighted!). She texted me when she got there and I went out to meet her and bring her in.  Ya'll, the look on Sara Kate's face (and all the girls) was something I will NEVER forget.  She couldn't believe it.  The girls kept asking her, 'Are you the real Elsa?'  And her response was very clever, 'Are you the real Sara Kate?  Are you the real Ramona?  Are you the real Landry?'  There were a couple boys there and they didn't really care and were somewhat disinterested but the girls, they were in awe!
 
They barely let her get into the door, but the first thing they did was sing 'Let It Go' together.  My dad has a video recording of it, and I'm so glad he does.  It was adorable. 
Then we went to the back and Elsa directed the 'pin the nose on Olaf' game.  She took over and directed pretty much the whole party from there.
 
After the game, Elsa had a special birthday surprise for Sara Kate. It was a 'magic snowflake' that she sprinkled with 'magic wishing dust.'  
 She was still in shock about everything.
They counted to 3, Sara Kate made her wish, and they blew off the magic wishing dust...she wished for magic powers like Elsa.  So cute! 
 
One at at time, Elsa took each girl and gave them magic wishing dust in their hands and they made wishes.  It was really cute.  One wished for a unicorn, one wished for a magic unicorn, one wished for a hammer...it was cute and pretty funny!!  
Elsa played some more games with everyone, we took pictures, and then it was time for her to go.  
 Trying to perfect the hand motion.  Apparently it's difficult for 4-5 year olds, haha.  I especially like the peace sign!  :-)
 
 I need to put this in a frame in Sara Kate's room.  She had the best time EVER!!
Like I said, I had booked her for 1 hour and it was 1 hour well spent!!  They were all so sad to see her go and asked how she got there and where she was going...she got there on her sleigh and she was going back to her ice castle.  Not to be corny, but it was magical to see these girls in such awe.  
I had these Olaf cookies made by an adorable girl in Bentonville.  They turned out perfect and I just put them inside a Frozen cup for party favors.  I recommend Sugar Pop Wishes in Bentonville if anyone is looking for cookies or cake pops for any occasion!
 
Sara Kate said goodbye to her friends and everyone went their separate ways.  As soon as we left Sara Kate was still talking nonstop and couldn't believe Elsa came to her party.  That right there told me it was a success!  

Since my parents don't live here and are always here for her party, it's become a tradition to have a cook out at the house and have both sets of grandparents, her great Poppa, and her aunt, uncle, and cousins over for lunch.  At this time we had a birthday cake because Sara Kate also had been talking for weeks about wanting an Elsa cake.  So I had our favorite bakery, Rick's, make a Frozen cake, and of course it turned out great.
A certain someone *might* have stuck their finger in it while she was supposed to be waiting patiently, ha!
 
 
Funny story about the cake, when we went to pick it up they had the exact same cake in the refrigerated area that said 'Happy Birthday Kate.'  Chris started to freak out because I sent him to Rick's a week before to order the cake and he thought he messed up.  Turned out just to be a popular cake and popular name that particular day. :-)

After everyone left we let her open her presents from her party.  We are blessed with such wonderful friends and family (I'm still working on thank you notes and hope to get them out this week...sorry I'm so late everyone!!  But THANK YOU!!).  In the end, I would say she had an amazing day.  In fact, a month later she still tells people that Elsa came to her birthday party and gave her a magic snowflake.  And she still carries it around in her Elsa purse her sweet friend Remy gave her.  Melts me every time to see the pride in her eyes and the smile on her face when she talks about it!  I know I don't have many years left with big parties so I want her to enjoy and cherish what we're able to give her.

Just a couple days later on April 8, my baby turned 5!!
For her birthday, we woke up and took her to special breakfast at the donut shop.  I took her to school and on the way we stopped at Sam's Club and picked up cupcakes for her class.  Of course she wanted Elsa cupcakes but mommy dropped the ball and didn't order them in time so she had to pick out some pre-made ones with sprinkles.  Since I work in Bentonville I wasn't able to go to her birthday celebration at her school that afternoon, but her daddy was able to get free and go see her at school.  I'm so glad, especially since he had to work late that day.  I did leave work a little early and picked her up and took her to her favorite place, Boingo Bounce, which is a local place filled with bounce houses.  That day I thought to text her best friend's mom to see if they were free to meet us and they were!  So Sara Kate was able to spend her birthday afternoon at her favorite place with her best friend, Ramona.  She was in heaven!!
 
They played for probably 2 hours (and pretty much had the place to themselves since it was a random Wednesday afternoon) and they played so hard they were soaked with sweat!  It was 2 hours well spent! We said goodbye and they didn't want to, but it was dinner time.  Sara Kate wanted pizza for dinner (her favorite food) so we picked up a pizza and came home.  Chris got home and we spent a few minutes together before it was bath time and bed time.  Overall I would say she had a GREAT birthday.  And a month later, I still can't believe she's 5!!!!  Age 5 seems so old to me!  There are times I want to push ahead because I can't wait to see what the future holds for her, but more often than not I want time to slow down because it's going SO fast.  Every day she's a day older, and I'll never get that day back.  And every day she's a day closer to another milestone.  I try very hard to live in each moment and cherish it. 

One last thing, for the last 3 years she has worn the same dress for her birthday.  Words cannot express how much I LOVE having this comparison.  I love smocked dresses because they are always big enough to get many years of use out of them!!!
 
  
Happy (belated) 5th birthday to my sweet girl!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!

We are so blessed to worship a risen Savior!!

We had a very busy but lovely Easter weekend.  A certain someone had some special birthday festivities that took place Saturday (that I'll get to at a later date) so we were happy to have my parents in town for the holiday.  Saturday evening we dyed Easter eggs.  It's become a tradition that we do this the night before Easter.  Last year we accidentally waited until the last minute to buy an egg dying kit and all Chris and my dad could find was some kit called 'Dudley's egg dying kit.'  They bought 2 so I had 1 stashed back for this year.  I wasn't super impressed with Dudley's kit...only 4 color tablets and literally nothing else.
 
But I got out a white crayon so Sara Kate could write and draw on them and they turned out multicolored and speckled and kind of cool looking.  Chris thought they were neat.  But I'll remember to buy something earlier and a little better than the cheap ole' Dudley's next year. :-)
Sunday morning we woke up to rain but we enjoyed an awesome church service.  We really are blessed by a beautiful church, an amazing church family, and an outstanding pastor!  If any one is looking for a church in Northwest Arkansas, I highly recommend First Christian Church, Fayetteville!!  
Our one an only decent family picture from the day.  Sara Kate was being goofy and chewing blue peppermint gum but it's the best we got!
Since Chris works at the church and we are so busy and rushed Sunday mornings, our tradition is that the Easter bunny comes while we are at church.  He leaves Sara Kate's Easter basket by the front door and he hides the eggs we decorated the night before.  Since it was raining when we got home, we had lunch first.  Then the rain let up enough for us to head outside.
She was so excited to see new bath toys...she's been asking for some.  She's very into spelling words right now so I got a package of letters and numbers (yes I know, I can't believe we haven't bought these for her yet).  Last night she spelled 'the' all by herself with her new letters and she was so excited for me to come see!
 
 Happy girl with her loot!
After checking out her basket, it was time to hunt eggs!!  No she didn't wear pink flip flops to church, but after lunch that's what she grabbed for shoes.  I was just happy she grabbed shoes to go outside, ha!!
 
 
 
 Counting her eggs.
My parents left shortly afterwards to head south.  We are always sad to say goodbye to them, but we are so happy they were here for the weekend. No family picture this year because of the rain...grrr!!

After they left, Sara Kate and I headed over to my friend Elizabeth's house.  She and her family hosted a meal and an egg hunt for their friends.  The big kids hid the eggs outside for the little kids and as soon as the little kids headed outside to hunt eggs it started raining pretty hard.  The kids were just grabbing eggs to get back inside.  Sara Kate had so much fun and ended up with a full basket.  She kindly shared with some other kids once we were back inside. 
After the egg hunt, she decorated some cookies then we headed home.  It was so nice of Elizabeth to invite us and I'm glad we went! 

We ended the day eating left overs and just playing at home.  A nice way to end a busy weekend.  I hope everyone had a blessed Easter!