Miss Sunday’s Third: The End.

Guess What?

This is it…

the FINAL post in Rebekah’s 3rd birthday extravaganza.

I, for one, am exhausted. And frankly, a bit ready to move on to other things. Even Birthday Queens can burn out on birthdays, I suppose.

But I just had to end this series with a collection of photographs that display many things…

1. Typical birthday highs and lows.

2. Girls are nuts.

3. Girls (and women), on their birthdays, are just not to be crossed. Tread lightly, my friends.

The following series of photos were all taken in the course of 30 minutes.

Happy.

Spittin’ mad.

Very sad.

Distraught and in the depths of despair.

Dreamy.

Asleep.

Is she bipolar?

Crazy?

Emotional?

Not completely…

She’s just the birthday girl.

And she is 100% related to her Mother.

Happy Birthday, my dearest darlingest Rebekah Sunday. I will love you to the end of time.

In other words…

Forever.

Even though you’re bossy and have a super mean mad face.

Miss Sunday’s Third: a Farm Stand Birthday Party (Part 2)

Did I say 3 days ago that I would post Part 2 of Rebekah’s Farm Stand Party “tomorrow”? Silly me. I meant to say “I’ll post the rest of it when I get around to it.” 

Which, lucky for you, is today.

This post will be a tiny bit more random than the last, and there is only one reason…

Amy just took too many good pictures at Rebekah’s 3rd birthday party. And I adore them, every one.

And I’m trying to include them ALL!! 

But we’re almost done, and I think I can wrap all this birthday madness up in a couple more days. Until then, I hope you enjoy joining me for the rest of Miss Sunday’s Farm Stand Birthday, as we blow out candles and open gifts and swing and slide and swim and enjoy the sweetest parts of life to the fullest. Children are such a blessing, and I love nothing more than to make magic for them and then watch them enjoy it.

{Oh, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should probably take a look at Part One. And if you really don’t know what I’m talking about…as in “Who’s Rebekah?”…well, then, you’ve got a LOT of reading to do, bless your heart. But, welcome! I hope you stick around…}.

Ready or not, here is part TWO!

~

I actually took this picture before the party began, but it was important that I added it, because…I couldn’t have pulled off this party – or any party, really – without my Mom’s generosity and help. I told her just today that she has more stamina than any other person I’ve ever seen. She never. stops. working. And her work is most usually for others. She’s unreal. And unbelievably pretty, don’t you think? If I look anything like my Mom when I am 30 years older than I am today, I will be THRILLED…

One of the most random things that happened at the party had to do with this plastic swimming pool we had just brought home from Wal-Mart: we looked over at one point to notice that the kids were intensely playing in it…without any water. It kept them occupied for about 30 minutes. We didn’t realize all these years that we didn’t really need to fiddle with adding water to the pool! I wish we had known sooner…

and it wasn’t just the toddlers, either. The “big kids” played in it, too, including 8-year old Abigail.

Also funny: as the guests began enjoying the food, Amy gestured for me to take a look at Rebekah, who had assumed that the berries on the table were divvied up in individual serving baskets for the taking, and was stealing away with a full pint of her fruit of preference – and she wasn’t about to put down her soda, either. She had to put the berries back, but not until Amy took a picture.

A few more sweet party pictures: Baby Betsie inspects a strawberry with her wonderful Grandpa…

and Kate looks for a place to enjoy her lunch. She had obviously already been enjoying her soda…

and here is beautiful Anna with a cherry red mustache

But let me backtrack for a minute…

Before anyone had started eating lunch, we kicked off the party by singing “Happy Birthday” and blowing out the candles. I picked up this tip from Amy, who started Abigail’s party the same way. In so doing, the birthday girl is free to get dirty and messy while she eats her food and treats, something Rebekah Sunday is particularly gifted at doing.

A little sea of friends and family gathered in front of her to sing and watch her blow out her candles…

it took lots of blowing…

but she did it! I hope all her birthday wishes come true.

Now, I’ve shared this product before in Easier than Apple Pie, but in case you weren’t paying attention, I’ll share it again. This little apple peeler/corer/slicer (yes, it does all 3 at once!) is magical. Click on the picture to find it at Amazon.

Mr. Gore set up station near the food table and ensured that lots of little children got their “apple a day” – because I’ve noticed that even children that “don’t like apples” enjoy eating them this way…

although I’ve never seen one do this Slinky trick before…impressive, Henry…

While beautiful Izzy chose to eat hers like a sandwich!

After lunch, Anna gives Miss Sunday the best gift by taking time to push her on the swing. Her favorite pastime next to snacks.

a happy 3-year old

and a lady, through and through

Rebekah received so many wonderful gifts at her party, but this pink cowgirl hat from Grandpa and Grandma was special for many reasons: 1. keyword: PINK, one of her 3 favorite colors. 2. its from a real Western store and 3. it is just like the hat Rebekah’s character wears in the stories we tell the children at night about Sheriff Gid and his trusty Deputy Sunday. Gideon, of course, has all the things he needs to dress the part of Sheriff, but Rebekah had nuthin’…until today. If only she had some snazzy boots to wear as well…

done.

“Rebekah, tell everyone ‘thank you’ for your gifts!” I prodded. “THANK YOU FOR MY GIFTS!!!” she bellowed across the meadows and o’er the plains. Amy, showing me this picture, said “I don’t know where she gets it…”

And now came the time for our wardrobe change.

And now comes the time when I make some confessions to you…

I’ve been all “bad American Dream” and “no more paper plates” this year, but…I bought this swimsuit from Janie and Jack, full-price, in FEBRUARY for THIS PARTY. It looks like a strawberry, you guys. And it had Rebekah Sunday written all overrrrr it. Worth every penny. Would this be a good time to mention that I also bought her a birthday dress from Janie and Jack on the same day? And that she wore it in the Spring? And so I bought her another birthday dress from Janie and Jack, the blue one she actually wore to the party (that made my stomach hurt it was so precious)?…

Birthdays are so obviously my weakness.

But seriously, look at my birthday girl in her new swimsuit and dare to judge me.

HOW I love this strawberry girl

and her strawberry kisses, even though they are extremely messy and sticky!

After the wardrobe change, we moved the kids to the front yard for some swimming fun – I love the pools at my Mom’s house – they’re cheap (she buys a new one every summer), but the little slide on the side is ridiculously fun (and functional)! And the best part: they’re so shallow, I don’t have to suit up and join them. All the grown-ups can sit and watch from a safe and comfortable distance.

But mostly, I love the joy that is written on my girl’s face in the following pictures, and I can’t thank Amy enough for capturing them for me…

but then, swimming is fun for EVERYONE…

After an hour or more, we all drifted back to the backyard for a few more snacks…

and as the party finally wound down to a close, so did Rebekah Sunday. Crawling into my lap, she snuggled close, and before I knew it, she gave me the best gift of the day by falling asleep in my arms.

I live for these moments – no, really, I LIVE for them – and I must have kissed her forehead a thousand times before she woke up.

And it hit me with startling clarity…

these kid birthday parties are SO for the Mamas.

Miss Sunday’s Third – the Pampering Session

I only have 3 more posts to share concerning Miss Sunday’s amazing 3rd birthday, that somehow seemingly turned into a nearly week-long event.

{I’M the one around here who gets birthweeks. These kiddos of mine had better back off…}

And I simply have to devote an entire post to what took place on Saturday morning while my Mom and I set up the party. As soon as Rebekah woke up that day, we packed her bag and she was whisked away, in her pajamas, for a very special occasion…

Her Aunt Amy had invited her over for a donut breakfast and a mini pampering session, where she would get her toenails painted, her hair fixed, and would arrive at her party completely dressed and ready to celebrate.

Not only was this event incredibly fun for the birthday girl, it was unbelievably helpful to me. Gideon was with his Papa buying a cheap swimming pool at Wal-Mart, Betsie miraculously went down for a very early morning nap, and I was left at my leisure to put the finishing touches on this party of my dreams. It was so nice to actually set up a party for my kids without wanting to ring their necks at the same time. I highly recommend it.

Amy shared these photos with me of their time together…

The Birthday Girl, surrounded by her girl cousins on my side of the family, sits in the seat of honor at the breakfast table.

“Baby Kate” enjoys (in her no-nonsense way) a powdered donut.

And the best picture of the day, the girls pray together before their meal, 5-year old Anna’s hand resting on Rebekah’s shoulder. Let’s all take a collective sigghhhhhhh…

Anna plays with Rebekah’s hair while she eats her chocolate donuts. I am positively jealous.

Time for toes!

A bit of red polish…

and a little bit of magic transforms a big toenail into a cute little strawberry, perfect for a Farm Stand Birthday Party with a heavy emphasis on, you guessed it…strawberries!

all done!

What a sweet time my daughter got to spend with her Aunt and her cousins. I am so grateful and humbled by Amy’s willingness to serve Rebekah Sunday and make her feel loved and special.

By the by, Amy said that Rebekah continued her birthday entitlement like a pro, and basked in the pampering like a Queen.

Even Uncle Jerry joined in, putting the finishing touch on her birthday ensemble by buckling her brown leather sandals. “Don’t mess up my toenails!” Rebekah warned him.

Four beautiful girls, all dressed up and SOMEWHERE to go!

The party…FINALLY…coming up Monday!

Miss Sunday’s Third: The Actual Birthday

If you’ve been paying close attention to the millions of words I’ve been sharing this week – which I trust you have – you would remember that Rebekah’s birthday party did not take place until the day after her birthday.

I’ll be getting to that soon…

But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t find ways to celebrate on her actual birthday.

In fact, there were many highlights to the day — so many, in fact, that I will be splitting them up into numerical categories, beginning right…NOW.

1. Her breakfast party.

A simple and sweet affair with pink donuts and chocolate milk. As I set up the table the night before (with tears popping out of my eyes!), I realized that with her party looming ahead of me, I had forgotten to buy her any little tokens of affection to open at the breakfast table. Sir Gideon, our firstborn male, had had THREE such tokens at his birthday breakfast, plus a bevy of decorations…leftover from his party, of course, which had taken place before his actual birthday.

So I started feverishly digging in my hideyholes of stuff, and emerged less than 10 minutes later with an unused Mary Engelbreit journal, an unopened box of Martha Stewart colored pencils, and $3 in quarters. I wrapped them up, botta-bing botta-boom, DONE. Free. Minus the $3 in quarters…

Mr. Gore, Gideon and I woke up our birthday girl by singing “Happy Birthday to You” next to her bed. Her eyes opened in confusion and then that small and precious smile of hers began to spread across her countenance, and I knew it was going to be a good day.

A beautiful day.

When she came downstairs and saw her breakfast table, she gasped, ran over to her brother, threw her arms around him and said “Thanks, Gid!”

He ducked his head, an embarrassed smile on his face. “I didn’t do it…” he sheepishly replied, in the “aw, shucks” manner.

“There is a lot of love and goodwill in the air this birthday morn,” I shared on Facebook, “let’s hope it lasts all day.”

2. It didn’t.

Because Rebekah is apparently more like her mother than we thought, as she naturally turned into an entitled Birthday Diva all day long, owning her day and her birthday rights like a CHAMP.

She chose to allow her brother to go along with us on her special birthday outing, but she kept a tight leash on what he could do and say. If he made even the slightest sound to annoy her, she positively barked “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!” It was a one-strike-and-you’re-out sort of day.

Here’s a picture of her after the barking, covering her ears so she didn’t have to listen to Gideon talk.

Lovely.

3. Speaking of entitlement and claiming her birthday rights…

Rebekah also decided that 3-year olds are “grown” and could do all sorts of things, like shoot a gun, and say “oh my gosh”.

“Rebekah, we don’t say that word!” Papa scolded.

“But I’m 3 now…” she defended, “AND it’s my birthday.”

4. Luncheon with the Queen.

And then there was the lunch we ate at our favorite local Mexican eatery, Ted’s Escondido. We like to celebrate birthdays there, because they place a big pink sombrero upon the birthday celebrant’s head and sing a rousing version of Happy Birthday. The kids, especially, are so delighted by this, and alternate between reactions of embarrassment and unbridled joy. I couldn’t wait to see how Rebekah responded. Would she think it was funny? Would she dance and sing along? Would she hide her face and giggle in embarrassment?

In retrospect, I don’t know what I was thinking. I should have known better.

For during the entire song, she stared at the singers with her signature unblinking gaze, her chin slightly raised, her mouth set in an unreadable expression. She looked like a Mexican queen, staring at her minions as they performed for her while she decided whether or not she would let them live or…off with their heads! I have never seen such a response to a birthday song at Ted’s. Never.

It was oddly perfect, though, and absolutely made my day.

5. So we’re cheap. So what? Who cares?

We went to Pottery Barn Kids (her favorite store) and played with every toy in the store. Didn’t buy anything. (Sorry, PBK…that’s what you get when you charge $40 for a plush baby doll).

6. The pièce de résistance…

And then it was off to Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house for the night. Rebekah thought it was  solely a birthday treat, but in actuality, I wanted to get a headstart in setting up her party, which would take place the next morning in my Mom and Dad’s backyard. I won’t even go into the MOUNTAINS of STUFF I had to remember to pack for the occasion.

Once there, we ate delicious hamburgers and sang “Happy Birthday” for the 500th time that day while Rebekah stared at the pretty candles on the chocolate cake her Grandmother had made for her.

Then she went to blow them out…

And her hair kind of caught on fire.

And the whole table erupted and sprang into action.

While I took a picture.

How did Rebekah respond, you ask? She never even knew what had happened, and we didn’t tell her. We just chuckled nervously while we clapped and cheered for her and then we all ate some cake.

Lots of cake.

Nothing makes you thank God for the birthday girl like almost having her catch on fire…

~

See? I told you it was a special day.

And it didn’t hold a candle to her PARTY, coming up soon!