I can't believe it's been almost three weeks since Emma's birthday party and I'm just now getting a chance to share it. Also, I can't believe the baby of the family is 15! This girl loves throwing parties and she swears that this year's celebration was the best yet. I love how excited she gets and I know I will miss planning these events one day all too soon.
She always wants to make her friends come in costume for her parties. They humor her beautifully. This year she told them each to come as a favorite literary character. She was Mary Poppins. The theme stared with the invitation which was written like a passage from a book "It was a dark and stormy night..."
Of course in typical Emma fashion the food and drink took center stage. I believe setting the table is probably the best part for both of us. We love putting on a pretty table. One of my favorite memories of Emma is when she was around 4 and we were having some friends over for an alfresco dinner. I was setting our table on the patio and put a vase of peonies in the center and Emma insisted that she have a vase of peonies for her little picnic table too. I should have known then what I was in for.
We kept the menu simple with croissants, cheese, meat, fruit and if you look closely there at the back of the table, you will see toadstools made from strawberries and marshmallows. We followed this with tea, two different kinds of scones, cookies in the shape of letters and chocolate batons, which, of course, always end up being used as pretend cigars while trying out impressions from 40's era movie characters.
Look at that smily happy Mary Poppins surrounded by her friends. She was really so very thankful about the work that went into this day and she was a great help to me this year. Also, I have to say, that girl has such good taste in people. These girls give me hope for the next generation. Their discussions about politics, religion and women's rights were so thoughtful and respectful even when they were in disagreement. I know many, MANY adults who could take lessons from them. The depth of their conversations was impressive. I dare say these are not your ordinary group of 15 year olds.
This year we decided to do a craft since we hadn't done that in a few years. I made this simple "happy things" garland, hanging in front of the hankies, as an example of what the girls could make.
I really thought they might spend an hour working on this. I had gathered up many bits of things from the studio for them to use in making their own garlands. I was not prepared for how much they would enjoy the process. Even the girls who thought they weren't creative, learned that they are.
There was so much laughter and fun at this table. They worked here for the rest of the night, not leaving until it was time for parents to start arriving.
I think the highlight of the evening for me was walking into the dining room and finding their garlands strung up with washi tape ALL over the dining room. Strands of happiness everywhere! The truth is, I didn't want any of them to take them home. I would have been happy to leave them there forever.
May our home always inspire creativity and happiness in others, the way it does us.