she's two. and she knows what she wants.
she was greeted in her room on her birthday morning by michael and i singing "happy birthday." she was all smiles, and i thought about what a great day it was going to be. she walked out to find her presents from us- a learning tower (great for helping at the kitchen counter so as not to fall off a chair, and also great for eating snacks at the table or counter, too) and a baby doll stroller. she took off running and climbing.
we've been attempting this for weeks. the potty has been sitting in the bathroom for months, and we talk about it whenever we're in there. she's not there yet, but does like to sit on it every now and then. i thought this would be the day.
nana and papa came back over and we had a special breakfast, homemade banana crepes (the same ones michael made for mother's day), and sang happy birthday about 5 times. she kept wanting to do it over and over and over. and it gave her great practice at blowing out her candles, which she's a pro at. her face just lit up the second we started to sing. she knew this day was all about her and she was proud.
favor bags filled with chalk, bubbles, cookies and pinwheels were set out.
homemade cupcake-shaped cookies were placed in a jar for the taking.
and this also appeared in our backyard. another gift from mommy and daddy. harper couldn't wait to hop in. she loves to jump, so i was hoping this would be a hit. and it was. and since it arrived well before party time, we invited hunter over for a pre-party bounce.
and at exactly 11:09 am, the minute she was born, we got out the shakers and bells and we made noise to celebrate her birth. and she delighted in it.
harper got a nap in, and we ran around getting everything set and finalized. the guests arrived. the weather was hot and humid and sunny. and harper was not in the best of moods. a combination of a lot of things, really. she wasn't her normal self. but that's ok. everyone seemed to have a good time, even her in spurts. there was lots to enjoy- the bouncy, the pools, the sand and water table. everyone kept busy.
after dining on pizza and macaroni and cheese, it was cupcake time. harper was a very patient little girl, waiting and waiting and waiting for the wind to slow down for a minute so the candles could stay lit.
and she adored the harmonious chorus when everyone was singing for her. she was all smiles.
all the kids got the chance to decorate their own cupcakes. adding as much or as little frosting, sprinkles, mini m&m's, chocolates and crushed oreos as their little hearts desired.
while opening presents, harper wanted to open and play with every toy that was unwrapped, and proceeded to let out an unhappy yell and cry when she was told that she could play with them later. didn't matter that there were more presents to open, she wanted the one she just saw.
auntie jen, auntie kelly and uncle jeff bought harper a slide and it was quickly assembled so the kids could enjoy it. and that they did.
the day wound down, the guests slowly went home and we looked around at what an awesome day we just had. and also how fast it flew by. she was two, and the party had come and gone. but we celebrated it big and i wouldn't have had it any other way.
i'm certain that i over-prepped in some areas, and was also frustrated about a few things i forgot. first, that i didn't tell each kid to take a balloon. second, that the ice cream i bought sat in the freezer because i forgot to dish it out. third, that i didn't get ready in enough time to take pictures of the scene pre-party (although my sister did get a quick camera lesson and did capture some of the things i missed, so thank you heather!) and finally that 45 of my pictures were way overexposed, completely whited out and had to be deleted. (of course it was all the cute ones of the kids eating their cupcake creations.) there will always be those things you wish would have happened, you wish wouldn't have happened, and you wish could happen all over again. i wish i could stop time and enjoy harper for every special little thing she is. unfortunately, no one can. so i have to remind myself to breathe and slow down and enjoy each little moment in the moment, and celebrate who she is, sassiness and all.
after everyone had left, and michael was disassembling tents and pools, i brought harper outside for one last two-year-old birthday photo shoot. i begged and pleaded and tried my best to get cooperation from a getting-sick, being uncomfortable from diaper rash, overstimulated, over-sugared, exhausted little girl. and given all that, i was pretty happy with what i managed to capture.
my little harper bean is now officially a two-year-old, and i just can't believe it. how did time fly by so fast? the day was amazing and this little girl is something special. i just love her.
a very big thank you to all of our friends and family for coming to celebrate and share this special day with us!