Wednesday, May 30

That Being Said...

... It was a pretty great party. The reason it was such a great party, though, wasn't because of the Oreo pops or the cookie decorating table or the bubble machines but because there were so many WONDERFUL people there.

Friends and family, thank you so much for coming out to honor our sweet girl. We feel so loved! And, oh, the presents! You people sure know how to outfit a 2 year old little girl!
Thank you so so much.

Here are a few pictures of our wonderful guests:

BJ with Abby, Leah and Jane, enjoying the shade.

Audrey A, looking beautiful!

Sweet Crystal and Gideon.

Joseph and Cayla, assisting with the cookie decorating table.

Evie June and Laila's cousin, Madeline.

Dana, looking fly, with Levi and Jonah.

Leah R, what a darling!
Daniella D, taking out her paci for a photo op!

Beautiful Gigi!

We love that silly girl!

Uncle George, Uncle Poppy and Aunt Gammy, Grammy, Aunt Heidi and Uncle Chris.

Papa, Grandad, Grandat and Nonna.

Jane and baby Maddox, super sweet.

Ross and Julian, sharing a pensive moment.

All the family who came!

Ellie Claire, accomplishing the serious task of eating a cupcake.

Laila with her sweet friend, Kelby.

Laila and her cutie cousin, Madeline.

Jenny and Evie June, so much beautiful hair in one picture. 

Sweet Chris and I with Laila, Elijah and Madelyn.

Laila, pondering the whole candle thing with my sweet friend, Liz, her son, Beau and Melissa lighting the candles!

Handsome Micah, climbing.

The cake decorating station! 
Laila, Shane, Ellie, Kelby, Gigi, Brandy and I.

Laila and her proud mommy and daddy.

A VERY special thank you to Bethany Johnson for taking these beautiful photos for us!
We will treasure them!

Tuesday, May 29

An Important Realization

Hi! Did ya'll know that I'm an extrovert? Big time. Like, please oh please let me spend an afternoon in the throngs of people at IKEA fighting over that last EXPEDIT bookshelf we all learned how to turn into a bench on pinterest! Please let me spend a long evening at a restaurant with 8 friends drinking wine, eating and talking about life. Please let me have a morning at Starbucks, watching people, interacting with strangers, drinking coffee and texting a bunch of friends all at once. Ya'll, it's not just that I LIKE people and passion and talking over coffee... I am absolutely energized by it!

Therefore, when an occasion calls for a party, my friends, I am ALL about it. For Trevor's 30th birthday, I threw him a surprise party with a ton of friends and lots of hoopla. When my sweet baby girl who I love and who lights up our world turns 2, what could possibly be better than a great BIG party?! All her friends, her family and her favorite things...
And balloons!
And food!
And lemonade!

Why not? The bigger, the better, right? So, for Laila's birthday party, I planned my little heart out! I pinterested (is that a word??) day and night for good ideas, convinced Trevor that we NEEDED to send custom balloon invitations, stayed up late with my sweet mom making Oreo pops and cupcakes and fruit kabobs and peanut butter cracker cookies and almost passed out blowing balloons and pretty much went bonkers creating a beautiful, fun and themed 2 year old birthday party for my baby.

And then, on Saturday, the day before the big party day, I did the unthinkable.
 I referred to the event, out loud, with my own voice, as "my party".
And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was doing it all for me.

Because I like parties.
Because parties are FUN.
Because I wanted to invite people and make things and have everyone together and be cute and crafty and generally be known as a cool mom who does great parties and pulls off fun pinterest ideas like Oreo pops.

 And, had I asked Laila... and had she been able to express herself to me about this, she probably would have said that, for her birthday, she would have liked to have her little buddies over to her playroom for goldfish and ice water and a showing of her favorite Veggie Tales DVD.
 Because she, I do believe, at least at this point in her life, is an introvert.

I think she had fun. Actually, I know she had fun.
We have the pictures of her smiling at her party to prove it...

(I just can't help mentioning that her dress matched the theme. Ok, I'm done.) 

BUT this just might be the last BIG party we have for her. Next year, come March, I will ask my daughter how she would like to celebrate her birthday. Maybe she'll say that she wants to have 3 girls over for a sleepover and pizza. Maybe she'll say she wants to go to the zoo with her best bud or maybe she'll surprise me and ask for a big party.

Whatever her preference is, though, I am going to honor it. And I am going to endeavor to honor HER and the way God made her and value every bit of the personality she has been given no matter how different it is from my own. I know that the Holy Spirit will help me with this. And I'm grateful that God is teaching me through Laila.

May that never end.
And may her preferences always include Oreo pops. Just for fun.

An Addendum: WOW. This realization and this commitment I'm making to take care of my little introvert's heart by paying attention to her preferences, especially when they are different from my own, has opened my eyes about Trevor as well. He is also an introvert.

Did ya'll know that?
Could you tell?

Somewhere in the course of all this, I got the same realization about Trevor's 30th surprise birthday party that I did about Laila's 2nd birthday party... I did it all for me.

OUCH, ya'll. Ouch.

My sweet husband would have preferred a small dinner party of our closest friends. Or a weekend away. Or a weekend (prepare yourself for this because it is truly hard for me to imagine) ALL ALONE.

So, here I sit. In repentance. And gratitude. I'm grateful for these realizations. I'm grateful for growth and I'm so very very grateful that God gave me such a precious pair of introverts. They are my greatest treasure and I endeavor to be worthy of them.