This past weekend we celebrated Eli's 4th birthday! It's so hard for me to believe that four years have passed since I first held this sweet little boy in my arms because it's been so much fun! I absolutely LOVE being a Mommy and I especially LOVE being a Mommy to my precious little man.
Friday before his party I took off half a day from work so I could start party preparations. Ha! That last statement makes me laugh because for his first birthday I started party preparations about 3 months in advance! Either I've gotten better at party prep, or I've turned into a bigger procrastinator....
My parents also took off half a day from work so they could get here the night before his party to help me. Mom has always been my party prep buddy, so I couldn't imagine getting things ready without her. About an hour before they were supposed to get here, I got a text from my mom asking if Eli needed a skeleton for his party. Since it went along with the pirate theme, I thought "Why not?" The next thing I know I'm getting this picture from my Mom. My parents crack me up!
My parents finally arrived with the skeleton in tow and Eli quickly claimed him and named him Bones. He and Bones were best friends all night. He even slept with Eli and Pop in the bed! I'm a little creeped out by my son's fascination with this skeleton, but maybe this will be the moment in his life that makes him want to be a doctor one day. Hey, I'm holding out hope :)
Eli making Bones smile at me :)
Helping Pop stuff the treasure chest piñata full of candy.
Pretty soon, it was time for Pop, Eli, and Bones to go to bed. Eli changed into his Jake the Pirate jammies that Zue-Zue bought him. We were all about anything to do with pirates, if you can't tell :)
After Eli, Pop, and Bones were in bed, Mom and I got to work on last minute party prep. I usually try to stay up as late as I can the night before doing everything I can that will make the next morning easy on me. I finished the cake, the sword fruit kabobs, the pirate cupcakes, the ocean cupcakes, and the orange pirate ships on blue jello. We got all the decorations together and packed everything up. Since the party was not going to be at my house, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed ready to go.
Mom and I called it quits at midnight because we actually finished everything we needed to do. I couldn't believe it! I think the first year of Eli's party we stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning. I guess we HAVE gotten better at party prep :) We all woke up early the next morning ready for party day. Pop and Eli read Eli's new Peter Pan pop-up book I got him. If you've never bought a pop-up book created by Robert Sabuda you're missing out. They're AMAZING!
Mom and I loaded up the car full of all the party supplies and we headed to the playground. In making my decision this year where to have Eli's party, I wanted to choose a place where the kids could play, the adults could relax, and we could all have a great time. The playground fit all those criteria and I didn't have worry about kids falling into a swimming pool or wrecking my house :)
Mom's job at the graphic design place worked out well for us again this year. She was able to make all these signs for me for the party. I think they turned out great!
We decorated the playground area and then waited for the guests to arrive. Pirate Eli and Bones were the first guests to show up :)
Eli and Hannah
The sign-in table where they got all their pirate garb-bandanas, eye patches, earrings, pirate hats-and where they signed Eli's pirate book.
The books all the guests signed for Eli.
I was pretty excited about Tinsley coming to Eli's party. This was her very first party to ever attend and she made quite an entrance. Mom found this pirate onesie at Wal-Mart and then made the red tutu to go with it and found some black lace leggings for her to wear as well. She was the cutest pirate princess ever!
I love this sweet little girl!
Grammy and Tinsley
Grammy and Pop with both grandbabies
Josh and Andrea
Uncle Josh and Tinsley
Daddy and his favorite pirate
Zue-Zue and Eli
Uncle Caleb and Eli
Josh and I got into the pirate spirt, too. We're going to have so much fun embarrassing Eli as he gets older :)
I love this guy so much!
The cake this year was actually lots of fun to make. I really do enjoy making Eli's cakes every year. I think this one definitely trumps the others though on cuteness. I told Mom that if someone watched my process for how I make these cakes they would think I'm nuts. I start with a basic idea and then it just grows and grows until it's the image I see in my head. There is no plan. Eventually, I have to tell myself to step away or else I'd just keep fiddling with it and adding more and more.
Pirate Ship Cake
The Pirate Cupcakes came from an idea I saw on Pinterest and they were super easy to make. I used the candy eyeballs that you can find in the wedding cake section at Wal-Mart, but the humidity got to them and made my pirates look like they'd spent the night before drinking too much rum. Haha!
Bones, of course, attended the party. His job was to guard the treasure chest full of doubloons.
For the food, I went with the pirate theme and we had sword kabobs (fruit kabobs), Polly's Crackers and Cheese, Salty Dogs (cocktail weiners in crescent rolls), Ships n Dip, Pirate's Teeth (Cheetos popcorn), Pirate Ships (orange boats on blue jello), and Captain Crunch bars (Rice Krispies treats).
The cake table
Kailey, Caleb's girlfriend, made Eli's birthday banner.
I love how it turned out!
The Candy Bar
Each pirate was supposed to fill up a treasure bag with all their candy treasure, but some forgot.
We had Golden Nuggets (Rolos), Twisted Rope (Twizzlers), Catch of the Day (Swedish Fish), Fish Bait (Sour gummy worms), Cannonballs (Whoppers), and Mermaid Kisses (Hershey's kisses).
Eli invited his friends from school and some friends from church. They all had such a wonderful time playing together on the playground!
Pop was right there with them the whole time!
I LOVE this picture of Hannah!
Hannah, Eli, and Logan
Eli and Logan
My friend Sarah and two of her kiddos-Cooper and Avery
Tammy and Sue
Josh and his Mom
My sweet hubby
The kids had such a great time playing and before we knew it, it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday boy and eat some cake.
The kids ate some cupcakes and then went right back to playing. I LOVE playground parties! They all discovered the bandanas, eye patches, and earrings after eating cake so they all started becoming pirates.
Eli and his friends came over and asked for some gold so I gave them the gold doubloons out of Bones' chest. They took them and buried them so they could find treasure.
I almost forgot about the piñata, but luckily I remembered before the guests started leaving. I don't think I'll ever do a piñata again; it's just not worth it. I got the kind with the strings that each kid is supposed to pull and it just didn't work. I ended up having to reach in there to get the candy to fall out and what fun is that? Oh well, we tried it and now I know.
Excited about all that CANDY!
Avery discovered that we left some candy in the treasure chest,
so she started passing it out to all the adults. So sweet!
The kids went back to play after the piñata. They played their little hearts out this day!
How can you not love Pop? :)
Pop was playing the role of Captain Hook so all the kids were running from him.
Andrea, Mom and Tinsley
Me and Sarah
Me with my two brothers
The party was such a success and so much fun! It was a wonderful day celebrating this special little boy who entered our world 4 years ago. Our lives have truly been blessed and we are so thankful that God gave him to us. Happy 4th Birthday, Eli!
The Whole Fam