In the midst of preparing for upcoming trips and support raising, we happily celebrated our little girl’s 4th birthday last weekend. As all parents know, the time really does fly when you’re having kids and that fact continues to be impressed on us the older ours get.
But as I thought about this birthday a couple of months ago I realized that this was the first year all my efforts would actually mean something to the birthday girl. The balloons, the streamers, the hoopla would actually compute. As soon as that thought hit me, it was on! Oh, this was going to be the BEST birthday party EVER!!! (All staying within a modest budget, of course…)
So, Elly and I began researching Pinterest and Google for ideas and eventually came up with a great little set of D-I-Y crafts and whimsical recipes for her big day. She had most definitely decided that the party was to be a Tangled-themed party as that’s her favorite movie and princess right now. Then we set to work prepping for the big day!
We found a great source for all things Tangled and were even blessed to happen upon a 30% off entire purchase coupon on the way to the store (keeping us at just 19 cents over budget)! Everything was really coming together. But the biggest element to this shin-dig for me was the Grand Finale, as it were. Several weeks ago as I was researching Rapunzel dresses, I happened upon a local company called Wands and Wishes where a singer/actress comes dressed in costume and does face-painting, sings songs, reads a story, plays games, gives princess dance lessons and takes portraits for a very modest price. I called immediately and found that yes, they had Rapunzel and yes, she was available for Elly’s birthday weekend! I was in Mommy heaven!
As the day approached I got more and more excited, admittedly even a wee bit obsessed…late night shopping trips with my mother-in-law, 1 a.m. iPad research sessions that I couldn’t pull away from…you know, the normal stuff. But come Friday night finally, we had it. We had even managed to make a Tangled Cupcake Tower from scratch-icing and all! This was hands down going to be the best party I’d ever coordinated (and anyone who knows me knows, there’s been alota parties!) But what remained center in the midst of all of this was who this was for and why. It wasn’t so I could drown myself in materialism before we leave for the field. It wasn’t so that we could demonstrate to our friends our resources or anything. It was all for a little girl who is full of life and love. A little girl whose giggle gets into your heart like nothing else. A little girl who is all princess right now and the apple of her parents’ eyes. A little girl whose friends and family love her to pieces. This was for her. Not to spoil her per se. But to continue planting the seeds of love and adoration in her little heart that one day she would in turn do the same for the world she’s a part of.
So, we began her birthday with a breakfast with just Mommy and Daddy, where she received her brand new Tangled Dress (yay, Craigslist) and tiara and then headed over to the party to finish setting up. As her guests arrived her grin got bigger and bigger. We all enjoyed yellow Twizzlers and Golden Flower Punch as the princesses and princes chased “each other to their hearts content”. And then, she arrived! Princess Rapunzel was as sweet and kind as we all “knew” her to be and the kids couldn’t get enough of her. It was everything I had hoped for! (click here to see the pictures).
Elly blew out her four candles with the “real” Rapunzel by her side and I couldn’t help but think of how God is always by our side as well. I felt His presence throughout the planning and preparation of this party and knew that my Heavenly Father cared as much about this as I did. His mercies to me throughout were so sweet and made me feel such love and adoration from Him. He loves His children more than I love mine and like me, will stop at nothing to make sure we all know it!!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” -1 John 3:1