Monday, April 7, 2014

The Not-So-Pinterest-Worthy Carnival Party

You know those plans that you have in your head for months and months about how something is going to turn out and then when it is time to put those ideas to life it just doesn't quite turn out?
Oh no? Yeah me either. :/
Last weekend, we celebrated Chyenne turning six years old with what was supposed to be "the greatest birthday on earth" according to her invitation. (Edited for privacy but the bottom said the location and something about an inflatable slide, horse rides, tons of games etc).

I had planned everything out and I had made everything all adorable. I printed off handmade signs for every game and food. I printed off individual labels for individual bags of cotton candy and even stuffed the bags with the sticky goodness myself. I made beautiful birthday banners with glittery cardstock and pretty printed paper. I baked a very simple cake (which isn't like me at all) along with very simply cupcakes (without toppers!!!). I was going the "easy route" and simplifying everywhere I could because I wanted the actual party to be great! I even cleaned the house, knowing that it was an outdoor party.
Oh did I mention that before the party I took the time to make about SIXTY balloon animals?! Yes I kinda sorta taught myself how to make balloon animals to make the party super special.

I hand-painted several cute photo props...

Luckily Chy adored them all. 

I printed off a ton of signs and labels for everything.


Picture over a dozen of these signs, one for every game... (Template found here:

It rained for two whole days before Sunday, the day of the party, yet God graced us with an amazing sunny blue sky. Everything was coming together nicely... until it was time to take everything outside to set up.
The wind was horrid. Absolutely terrible. 


We set up the adorable pallet carnival stands (courtesy of a great friend), tables, chairs, pennant banner, and the bouncy slide. Then, we went to put the balloons in place when the wind picked them up and carried them probably a million miles away...
Thankfully, I still got a cute picture of Chyenne with her precious balloons after I slaved, err lovingly filled them with helium and torturously adorningly tied ribbons to them.
I was so upset--so I tried my best to run after the beautiful balloons that matched the colors of the party so well. Too bad nobody was there to photograph THAT!
So, I took a deep breath once hubby sent a friend to the nearest store to get a few more balloons and began to hang the banners that I spent forever making by hand (and silhouette machine, but still).
And the devil wind decided to kick it up a notch again--it blew ALL of the letters off of my precious banners!!!
At this point, I wasn't upset anymore, I was pissed. We rushed around like crazy people retrieving the scattered letters and I painfully stapled each one in place.
It wasted SO MUCH time. At this point, I realized I hadn't done my hair or makeup or anything yet. And believe me, I looked terrible. It was still about an hour from party time and I had half a million games to get from inside the house onto the hellacious windy lawn. I was stressed!
So I ran to and from the house countless times carrying tables and chairs, table cloths, ribbons, popcorn, cotton candy, game pieces, game signs, balls, boxes, etc etc until people were arriving (early, mind you) and offered to help set things up while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
I didn't even get good pictures of the before. Which is one of my favorite parts about actually throwing a party. Selfish, yes, but still what I enjoy.
It was finally about 30 minutes into the party when I remembered to grab my phone and take some pictures before I breathed a sigh of relief. The kids were running around wild, smiling from ear to ear while the parents were commenting on how cool everything was. I guess all of that made up for all of the disaster of everything. 
We had fake money to give to the kids upon arrival so they could buy their own tickets. What kids wouldn't want to be in charge of a ton of money and tickets!? At least that panned out well.
I also had adorable cardboard boxes printed with a little thank you for the kids to put their prizes in.
We served nachos, large pickles, popcorn, cotton candy, sugar cookies, cupcakes, cake, and ice cream cones. We also had bottled waters and kid drinks.
We had an inflatable slide, horse rides (which left many kids in a long line for quite a while, but they didn't seem to mind), face painting (until the kids took over and decided to paint each other instead of wait for an adult to help), balloon animals, photo props, a ton of photo booth props (most of which went unused because the wind kept blowing them away), belly boppers (sumo wrestling inflatable things), bowling, sack races, balloon pop, ring toss, cover the spot, knock 'em down, puppet show, bean bag toss, tic-tac-toe toss, and large bouncy balls.
Although this party didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned for approximately 11.5 months, it was still a hit with the kids and my new six year old had the time of her life.
So, the moral of the story is, don't try to overdo things by yourself--or if you do, don't let the wind anywhere near your party! ;)
Without further ado, the not-so-pinterest-worthy carnival party for my girl's sixth birthday:

The first picture of the birthday girl in her mama-made hat and meme-made tutu.

The bouncy slide was a hit!

The wretched wind was even knocking down the bowling pins! WHAT?! 

I couldn't even take all of my cute hand-bagged popcorn and cotton candy out of the baskets because the wind was blowing it all away!

I also couldn't set up my pretty cupcake stand due to the wind, so I had to set out some pans. All of our napkins and plates and such had to be kept in walmart bags... oh that was attractive. :/

Thankfully, the kids didn't seem to mind.


Again, I didn't get any good picures... here are a few pictures that a friend took.
 Everything was disheveled and it drove me absolutely crazy.
Yet again, I was the only one who seemed to mind.
The kids had a blast. The parents even seemed to enjoy themselves.

That sweet smile on the face of my birthday girl? All worth it.

When it was time for cake, Chyenne was shoveling popcorn into her mouth as fast as she could before blowing out the candles.

This little class clown caught a frog a few hours before the party and carried it around in a box for most of the day. HILARIOUS!

The birthday girl ended up with a ton of crafty loot and a whole lot of money! lol.

Anddd a new bike from Daddy.

Despite how crazy the birthday party ended up Chyenne said it was the best day of her life so far. Although I didn't get pinterest-worthy photographs of the "perfect" party I had envisioned, I'm glad it turned out how it did. It was messy and fun. Just like childhood should be. I'm still hoping my sisters got a few better pictures of the d├ęcor than I managed to.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Almost Six

In just six short days my beautiful, amazing daughter will be six years old. These past six years have easily been the most rewarding years of my life, even though they flew by far too quickly. I do not know who I would be if I weren't her mommy.

Now, she suffered through a ton of clumsiness, bumps and bruises along the way--but here she is, almost SIX years old. Continuously growing, changing, learning, achieving.

In honor of Chy's upcoming sixth birthday, here are six words that describe her right now:

Creative, spirited, compassionate, clever, entertaining and ambitious.

She is wise beyond her years and she strives for perfection in all that she does. Truthfully, she is good at just about everything she tries. Yet lately her goal of perfection has hindered her will to try new things that she wouldn't typically excel at.

She is very mature and very strong willed. She is easy to talk to and is constantly pondering the advice she gets. She has this adorable way of having to have everything make sense-- for example: I will tell her something snd she will rephrase what I said by saying "so you mean that if ______, then ______ will happen? Not always but usually?" Precisely, darling.

She is very competitive and strong. She is great at just about everything she tries. She excels in school, in sports, and at home. She has quite a bit of OCD tendencies yet she keeps her room fairly messy. She loves to be in control yet she also loves to be cuddled.

She has an incredible way with words and the most amazing sense of humor. She loves to make people laugh, but she's more often heard correcting people. For example, today Cohen was coloring a picture from St. Patty's Day and I told him to color the peanut, Chy quickly corrected, "umm that is not a peanut. That is actually a prata. Prata is the Irish word for potato. In Ireland, they eat potatoes to celebrate St. Patty's Day because they're an Irish favorite. But, I guess you could color it the same as you would color a peanut". In a super sweet voice, of course. ;)

She is so much like me, yet so very different. It's so crazy how so many things that I dislike about my self are the very things that I absolutely adore about her. She is extremely bright, yet she is very hard on herself. She also has a lot of anxiety, but she is so easy to talk down from things. She understands so much which makes her the best conversationalist.
She is remarkably fearless in a sense, always urging me to let her try new things, to drive her faster on the four wheeler, RZR, or boat, and making new adventures for herself. But, she also exhibits quite a few fears and crazy anxiety--she's terrified of rain and storms. The weather channel is her worst enemy. She doesn't like spiders or bugs. She has an intense fear of natural disasters, house fires, and worldly crime. Again, she understands so much and has the largest heart.

She is empathetic. A couple of months ago, her class did a book exchange. Everyone except one person received a new book, but that one received an old tattered book. The kid began to cry and Chyenne said "it's okay, I will trade with you. Do you like this book better?" As she offered her shiny new book in exchange for the dingy one. Her teachers were incredibly impressed and even sent a note home in attempt to explain why Chy got an old book. I asked her about it and she nonchalantly stated, "I traded my book to a kid who was crying about this one. We have so many books, it doesn't matter if I get a new one". My girl. Always making me proud without even trying. She has a ton of friends and she makes friends easily wherever she goes. Lately, she has been making friends with girls older than herself.

She has been really faithful lately, eager to learn more about our Savior. She is constantly asking questions about how Jesus would handle a situation and often corrects me when I am too quick to judge others. Last week we celebrated Ash Wednesday and in attempt to sacrifice something she enjoys for Jesus for lent, she decided to give up candy and chocolate milk. Now she doesn't get a lot of either on a regular basis, but it is definitely a treat for her that she feels is worth giving up until Easter. She's been doing pretty well on sticking to her sacrifice.
Her imagination intrigues me. She has always been a bit of a realist, yet she has a wild imagination that she can turn on at any moment. She loves to make up fantasy stories with me. My favorite thing is her ability to find things in clouds--it's one of her favorite pastimes. "Mommy! Look at that one to the right! It's a circus elephant!" She has the most creative spirit and an unfaltering memory.
She loves to draw, paint, color, create. She loves to sing and dance. She loves to read and write. She loves to play outside: jumping on the trampoline, swinging high on the tree swing, going on backyard adventures, collecting shiny things, riding bikes (without training wheels), riding four wheelers, riding dirt bikes, sliding and making up games. She is an incredible swimmer who is eager to join a swim team. She is a wonderful soccer player who is easily the most determined on the field. She recently started tae kwon do and is already excelling. She's an all-around great girl. Colt always calls her the "perfect American girl". To us, it is totally true.
So far, she has lost 2 baby teeth (well 3 counting the surgically extracted one) and has two more loose. She also already has all four of her six year molars.
Her favorite foods meal is creamy cheesy baked chicken and broccoli with rice. She enjoys all fruits, most vegetables, pastas, meats, etc. She loves asparagus too!
Her favorite drinks are water and yoohoos.
Her favorite toys are: art supplies, books, Lego friends, American girl dolls, and the iPad. She isn't a big fan of watching tv but she loves to sing and listen to music. She prefers to play outside unless she's doing arts and crafts.
She dreams of becoming a farm veterinarian, an artist, and an author. She also really wants to be a mommy with at least two daughters, named Lucy and Isabella. She wants to live on a farm and still has a deep love for pigs.
Her favorite color is pink, but she loves green too. She adores glitter and anything shiny. She wears a bow or a headband every day and is always willing to wear accessories to match any outfit. She would wear a dress or a skirt every day if I let her. I love it. I love everything about her. Even her sass and occasional attitudes.
She is such an amazing little girl. She wears a giant grin most of the time. She smiles with her entire face and her eyes tell all of her feelings.

Despite me willing her to stay little forever, she is nearly six years old and it aches my heart while simultaneously swells me with pride. She is my pride and joy. Everything I have always dreamt of in a child.

Birth: March 25, 2008. 3:48pm. 7 lbs 12 oz. 18 3/4 inches long. A three-day induction. Boy was she worth the wait!

About to leave the hospital.

Two and a half months old. First beach trip.

Same beach trip.

Four Months Old

5 months old

8 months old

Three years old. Same infectious smile.


Age 3

That sass!

Last year: age 5. The epitome of Chyenne: pink, sparkles, beautiful grin, outdoors, and a fishing pole.

The other day... prepping for her sixth birthday.

Mommy and Chy. I hope we're always best friends.

The same gorgeous dimples that melted my heart nearly six years ago when I first saw her face still take my breath away every single day.

She smiles with her entire face. It's my favorite.

Joy. Pure stinking joy!

Such beauty and such grace.

Even when she doesn't try, she's beautiful.

I secretly love how she still smiles with an open mouth.

The other day at "karate".

Today, she walked to the car from school reading as she went and she buckled and continued to read until she finished the last chapter. I love that she is a little bookworm.

Tonight after her bath... she was making up ballet dances in the living room. Wearing the same heart-stopping smile that she wore in all of her baby pictures.

Her beauty is astounding. Her laughter is infectious. Her intelligence is breathtaking. She is simply perfect and I believe God couldn't have created a better daughter for me.

I can hardly believe my baby girl is almost six. Every day I think I couldn't love her more, yet every day if all more and more in love with her. She is my baby girl and my best friend.
But seriously, how can THIS go to THIS?!?! Six years hardly seem long enough to have spent with my girl.

My Chyenne, you are destined for greatness. I am sure of it. Mommy will always be behind you one hundred percent in all that you do. I will forever be your biggest advocate and the one person who understands you more than anyone else. I will forever cherish all of the memories, happiness, and love you have given me these past six years.