My girl, she turned four.
Six months ago, she told me she wanted a
Instead of reading good night stories, we would tell tales about the birthday party she was going to have when she turned four.
“And that’s the year I can have gum, mama.”
“No honey, not until you’re five.”
“I know. I thought I’d try.”
So we planned and planned and planned and it turned out I’d be returning late at night the night before her party from a conference. So we planned around that too.
We bought some nylon butterflies to decorate the park.
We asked a real life ballerina if she could give a little class.
We looked into propane heaters and vats of oil to fry beignets.
And then I decided that that last one was a little too much to bite off.
Instead, we threw just a
Plus, if there’s anything cuter than a gaggle of toddlers in tutus leaping over imaginary puddles, it’s a baby panda comforting a baby elephant and I don’t think that’s a thing.
I made an Israeli couscous salad that is basically my bocce pasta salad, but instead of orzo I use pearl couscous.
I scooped the salads into chinese food takeout containers so that guests could have individual servings. (I love them, but kids are dirty germheads.)
I also made a broccoli salad that got scooped into those takeout containers.
We made three big sandwiches on giant loaves of french bread from the grocery store bakery area.
Tomato, basil, mozzarella with some arugula tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.
Turkey, red onion, bacon, avocado, tomato with green leaf lettuce.
Ham and cheddar and mayo with green leaf lettuce.
I wrapped the sandwiches in parchment paper and sealed with some masking tape. I wrote the sandwich name on the masking tape, just in case I forgot.
Of course we had lots of potato chips to round it out.
In one of our late night planning sessions, Nora Lea requested lemonade flavored cupcakes. It’s a good thing we live so close to our friend Melissa, a friend who works at a fancy bakery. She made these beauties.
Gluten-and-dairy-free guests got butterfly lollipops.
It was a whirlwind 24 hours, going from speaking at the Digital Family Summit (more on that later) to hosting friends and family for a Tchaikovsky inspired romp through the park to a Midsummer’s Night like performance with roly pollies and naked toddlers.
We ended with a show in the backyard. Nora Lea sang new songs (songs that were born that day! just like her!), Dottie couldn’t be bothered with clothes, and my sister showed up. It couldn’t have been a more fitting day.
Happy birthday Nora Lea.
We love you so much.