The summer is a hugely busy time for birthdays in our family. This past weekend we celebrated four of them: my dad, Aunt Lynn, my brother’s boyfriend Sebastian, and my cousin Leah (who turned the big 3-0). To say Annabel was excited to have everyone come over would be an understatement. She’s been beside herself for over ten days (since Leah’s actual birthday). She kept asking me when everyone was going to come over for the party, and when I would reply, “The party is in X days,” she’d say, “Oh good, because we have so much to do.” I have nooooo idea where she gets her party planner tendencies….

Since Annie was so gung-ho, I decided to just throw over to her and let her plan things. She had very definitive ideas about what a birthday party should include. She absolutely INSISTED there be decorations, so I took her to the Dollar Store and let her pick out whatever she wanted. When we got home, she put her Daddy to work hanging streamers while she set out the hats and noisemakers.

Annie directs the decorating

Annie showing off her decor

Once the decorations were up, she got her inner Stevie Nicks on.

Annie goes with her inner Stevie Nicks

Annabel really wanted everyone to enjoy a “rainbow princess cake.” I met her halfway, and we baked a rainbow cake, sans princess, and we made ice cream.

making the colors for the rainbow cake

I thought it turned out great:

Annie and her handiwork
I always add up the ages of everyone we’re celebrating.

rainbow cake
All that was left.

My favorite part was when Annie handed out the cards and presents she’d picked out for everyone. She found very special items at the dollar store – she seriously agonized over every gift. Then she picked out cards for each person (none of them appropriate: two of them were for anniversaries, one was for a four-year-old boy, etc) and dictated her message for me to write inside. When everyone was at our house, she presented each gift and explained why she picked them out.

birthday gifts

Sebastian was given a dinosaur hat, “Because I love dinosaurs and I love you.”
My dad got a framed drawing, “Because I make beautiful art,” and a jump rope, “because Bampa loves to jump.”
Aunt Lynn received flowers because “Auntie Lynn loves flowers and these are the most beautiful flowers ever.”
Leah was gifted a baton, “Because Tia likes parades and also sparkles.”

James was very into the party.

happy birthday Bampa!

Annabel was sooooo sad when everyone had to leave at the end of the evening. She’s in her element when she’s surrounded by the people she loves. I don’t know where she gets it.