Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Birthday Shenanigans

We had a great time last weekend preparing for, enjoying, and then cleaning up from various birthday shenanigans.  Friday night my parents came over and we had a little family celebration.  When planning a menu that would be good birthday food for Grace as well as gluten-free for my mom, I decided on risotto.  It seems appropriate, considering that Grace will eat her weight in rice these days.  If I really wanted to make her happy, I would have given her just plain white rice; she seemed a little suspicious of the risotto's adulterations.  We had a fun, low-key time anyway, with dinner and a flourless chocolate cake and presents.

Opening presents

Saturday morning, the festivities continued with a party.  Grace requested "yellow cupcakes with pink on top", which I must say let me off pretty easy, considering what she could have requested.  I used royal icing and it didn't turn out quite as well as it usually does-- it was crumbly and stuck to the paper cups.  I'm not sure what I did, although it has been exactly a year since the last time I attempted royal icing so maybe I am just really out of practice.  Oh well, the toddlers all scarfed them down anyway and they looked pretty. 


The party was on the big side; I think there were 35-ish people in our house, counting all the parents and kids and a few babies.  We requested no gifts, which I totally would have done for Grace's party last year if it had occurred to me.  (We were days away from putting our house on the market and then moving across the country.  Grace got some lovely things, but face it-- we did not need MORE STUFF.)  Who knows?  Maybe we'll make it a tradition.  We as a family have more possessions than we need anyway, and in economic hard times it seems like a nice way to go.  And then both those arguments are even more compelling with a big party. I sort of relish throwing parties like that, where all the rooms are full of kids playing and adults chatting and every single one of Grace's toys is out on the floor being played with.  I like cooking and planning for parties, and I don't even mind cleaning before and after.  Well, not too much.  Last week did feel pretty busy and draining, though, with all the preparations on top of the normally consuming life with a toddler and an 8-week-old baby; I'm glad that life is more calm this week.  I've even watched TV and done some sewing!  Speaking of which, I shall go see if I can finish my skirt before Violet wakes up insistent and hungry.


amydove said...

Beautiful cupcakes!! I love hosting parties too, even with all the work involved.

Eva said...

You are lucky that Grace is still young enough to realize how many presents she missed at that party. I completely agree with you that it is the right thing to do, but you need to start when they are small. My brother would;t have allowed that, even at three.

The Beholder said...

Julia, your photos are always so lovely. What type of camera do you use? Kim and I just got a new DSLR after Christmas and I was wondering if that's what you've got, too.

Julia said...

Thank you so much for the compliment on the photos! Yeah, we have a DSLR-- a Nikon D50 that we got refurbished when Grace was ~4 months old. We really like it a lot. If you feel like you've seen a dramatic improvement in our pictures since Christmas, it's because we got a new lens, a 50mm 1.8 one. It doesn't have a zoom but the aperture ends up bigger so the lighting looks much lovelier, even when you use a flash.

Colleen said...

Aw, looks like a lovely time was had by all! Getting some sewing done sounds wonderful. I just started a tiny dress shirt for Ciaran but am now stuck at the collar. It's hard to scrunch all that neck fabric together without making it frumpy!

Happy birthday, Grace!