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Farah's Gardening Party

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Farah's Gardening Party

Yesterday we celebrated Farah's birthday with family and friends ... and as her 4th party has come and gone, I feel like I've finally got the hang of things.  After the guests left and we sat in our disaster of a living room, Luke looked at me and said 'I think that was the least stressful and most fun birthday party so far!' ... I'll chalk that up in the 'win' column! .

A few months back, I asked Farah what kind of birthday party she wanted, and she very quickly answered 'an airplane party!' ... well, ok.  That was unexpected, but nothing this over the top party planning mom couldn't handle!  I started to formulate ideas in my head, and was really getting excited about the theme when she walked in to the kitchen one morning and out of the blue said 'I've changed my mind, I want a gardening party.'

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About Face.

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Although I was bummed that the airplane party crashed and burned, I couldn't have come up with a better theme for Farah this year.  She loves to garden, and is constantly 'planting flowers' (in reality it's more like replanting the weeds that I pull out) anytime we are outside.  So I set out to create the perfect gardening party in our backyard.  There was only one fairly substantial problem looming as the party grew closer ... the weather was supposed to be dismal, so our outdoor fete was in jeopardy.  Although the rain held off, we ended up bringing the outside in just in case and we enjoyed friends, family, and fun inside :)

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You may notice that there is no pictures of 'Happy Birthday' being sung or candles being blown out ... after last year's dramatic episode (found here) I wised up and asked Farah if she would like us to sing and to blow out candles.  She said 'mmm, maybe next year' so instead we just said a quiet 'Happy Birthday' and everyone dug in to cupcakes :)

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I went a little overboard on flowers ... but in the end, I am glad that I did!  After all, it wouldn't be a gardening party without flowers!  I hit up our local garden/produce stand Joe's Gardens and swept up all the summer bouquets they had!  I displayed them in our watering can, mason jars, and tin cans that I decoupaged vintage fruit and vegetable labels on.  I kind of love the cans, and may see more decoupage art in my future :)

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We kept the menu super simple with bbq'd hamburgers and hotdogs, my mom's famous potato salad, fruits and veggies, and potato chips ... because let's face it, you can't have a birthday without potato chips :)  Being able to prepare everything before hand and then just grill up the meat (thanks Luke) just before serving lunch let us enjoy our guests and not be stuck in the kitchen with last minute preparations!

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jessie bennett photography

jessie bennett photography

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The cupcakes came from an idea that I saw on the Today Show and was excited about how they turned out!  Farah was able to help me with them, and surprisingly enough they were very simple!  I think we both ate our weight in Starburst as I was shaping the veggies :)

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And of course, a gardening party has to include some gardening!  Because outdoors was out of the question, I set up a gardening station on our covered front porch where the kids could plant some succulents in a little pot to take home.  I love succulents, like LOVE them.  They're pretty much kill proof ... in fact, they multiply with neglect instead of die.  Seriously the.best.  Everyone got to pick a pot, plant some 'chickens' as we call them, and then choose a pinwheel for decoration.  Not going to lie, I made a few extras to put around my house ... because I think they turned out way too cute!

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jessie bennett photography

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And just like that, our sweet little gem of a daughter is 4!  We could not be more blessed by this sweet girl, and look forward to every day that we get to spend with her!

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xo, Jessie

 

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Deacon's Masters Par-Tee

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Deacon's Masters Par-Tee

Well, it's official ... the golfers err, guests  have gone, the living room has been converted back to a space for living as opposed to a Par 3 course, and we have a 1 year old!  As reality sets in, I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that our little man is ONE ... however I am giving myself a little more time to be nostalgic about it, maybe until the last of the party balloons lose their air ... someday I'll get a grip, maybe :) .

As the big day approached, I was met with a mix of emotions - the mama in me was struggling, and the party planner in me was thrilled.  Those who know me, know I love to plan a party, and may or may not spend months brainstorming party ideas for upcoming events (lol, I use the word 'events' loosely ... my event planning these days is limited to my kids' birthdays).  You can find blog posts of Farah's birthdays here, here, and here.  And I will neither confirm nor deny that ideas are already swirling in my brain for her next birthday ... but I digress.

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Deacon's first birthday party theme was a foregone conclusion the day he was born.  Um, hello ... Luke is in the golf industry, Deacon was born on the 'Superbowl weekend' of golf, and his middle name (though not decided on until the day he was born) is a direct link to Augusta National Golf Course.  A Masters Par-Tee of course, for our little pro :)  I had so much fun planning this special day, and couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our little man.  We hosted a very small gathering for close friends and family to thank them for playing (pun intended) such a huge role in Deacon's first round I mean, year!

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I hope you enjoy the par-tee ...

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'Next up on the tee, with the 5:30 tee time -  Deacon Butler from Bellingham, Washington' (I think I hear a faint golf clap)

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Because the party was in the evening, we wanted to make sure there were plenty of activities for children of all ages (adults included of course), so we created a putt putt course out of an artificial grass carpet I picked up at Home Depot ... I definitely caught Luke 'testing the roll' a time or two, and won't be surprised if the holes make an appearance before his tournaments :)  I created little score cards for the indoor course and found plastic clubs at our local party store which doubled as party favors.

Post 2Post 4We also created a Caddy Shack where party-goers found golf themed cartoon illustrations to color.  Of course a birthday party isn't complete without some variation of pin the tail ... and Pin the Flag in Augusta was a definite hit ... maybe more so for the adults than the kids :)

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Dinner was served shortly after guests arrived and included BBQ Chicken 'Sand Wedges' (sandwiches), Fruit 'Slice' Salad, Fresh 'Greens', and 'Chip Shots' ... a SUPER easy menu that made it possible for Luke and I to really enjoy the party without having to worry about food prep.

Post 5And of course, no golf course is complete without a well-stocked bar.  Guests could belly up to the 19th Hole and enjoy a refreshing Arnold Palmer after their round on the Par 3 course.

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The cake was something I just threw together (lol, don't you hate it when people say that ... it's like the equivalent of complimenting someone's outfit and in return they say 'oh, this old thing?!')  I decided that I was going to brave making Deacon's 'smash cake' and found the perfect idea on Pinterest (of course) to try.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out ... aside from being gigantic, and turning my hands and Deacon's hands, face, shirt, shorts, and high chair semi-permanently green.  I also made cupcakes, but completely lost interest in the grass effect ... so guests enjoyed cupcakes (and as my 4 year old nephew said) 'with snakes on top ... but don't worry, they're not real snakes' :) I also would like to take a moment to clarify the statement 'I made' when referring to anything baked in my house ... it definitely comes out of a box, Duncan Hines to be exact ... and the frosting is ALWAYS Duncan Hines cream cheese.

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Deacon wasn't too sure about the whole singing bit, but he powered through without a tear and enjoyed his cake (or actually, he enjoyed the frosting ... it was layered so thick, I don't think he ever actually made it to the cake), of course it took less than a second for the ball to come off ... which he promptly threw (green icing and all) on the floor and clapped his hands proudly :)

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I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into Deacon's first birthday, I think it was a hit (lol, the puns just keep coming).

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I had so much fun planning this little par-tee and even more fun celebrating our sweet boy.

xo, Jessie

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Half Birthdays are Worth Celebrating! | Whatcom Lifestyle Photographer

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Half Birthdays are Worth Celebrating! | Whatcom Lifestyle Photographer

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With a little one under a year ... we tend to celebrate month birthdays, One Month ... Two Months ... 10 Months.  And it dawned on me as we neared Miss Farah's half birthday, we should be celebrating that too ... because life is worth celebrating, and 3 1/2 years old is a pretty big deal :) The half birthday celebration started while Little Brother was taking his afternoon nap, I told Farah that we could do anything that she wanted to celebrate!  Her list was short but detailed, and did not disappoint!  'First, let's read the letter book (The Jolly Postman) ... then I'd like to make you some soup!  Maybe I could jump on the bed?  And then take a picture with your big camera, I promise I'll be really REALLY careful!'

And that's what we did ... it was magical!

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(of course later she got to choose what was for dinner, definitely not our most nutritious meal of the week ... and I made cupcakes for dessert, just to make it half birthday official)

 

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Farah Froze the Summer

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Farah Froze the Summer

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You guys, Frozen Fever is REAL ... and it has hit the Bennett house HARD.  Nevermind the fact that in the days and weeks after Deacon was born, Farah seemed to become glued to the movie - and out of utter exhaustion, our 'limit screentime' mentality went by the way, way, wayside.  I'm not kidding you, we somehow lost the remote control to the DVD player, and the movie was stuck on 'repeat'.  At some point we had to just 'Let it Go' and the DVD mysteriously disappeared for a prolonged period of time :) As Farah's birthday approached I decided that as a big THREE year old (where is time going?!) I would let her pick a party theme.  Over dinner one night, I broached the subject of her upcoming birthday and asked if she had any ideas on what kind of party she wanted ... then the party planner and control freak in me held my breath.  After a couple seconds of watching the little wheels in her brain turning, her face lit up and out it came ...

FROZEN!

Well, that settled that, and it was time for me to put my 'spin' on Frozen (less commercial 'character' stuff ... more creative adaptation of Frozen ideas).  Unfortunately for all involved, singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles fell RIGHT at what should have been nap time (Mom Fail), thus the not-so-happy Farah.  I am glad to report that she rallied after the meltdown and had a great time :)  After the last guest left, she gave me a huge hug and as she squeezed her little arms around my neck said 'That was my best birthday ever, Mommy!' ... melt my heart (pun intended) :)

Enjoy!

xo, Jessie

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Welcome to Camp Farah!

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Welcome to Camp Farah!

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I am really at a loss ... how can it be that Farah is already TWO?!  I'm really not sure where the last year has gone, but can assure you that it has been so much fun watching our little girl grow.  She has the sweetest personality, I see so much of myself and Luke in her mannerisms (I think she got the best of both of us ... if I am allowed to be so biased)! When it came time to plan yet another birthday party, I found myself saying 'well, she only turns two once!' ... slippery slope, folks, slippery slope.  Because next year she'll only be 'three once', and the year after 'four once'.  Oh well, it is what it is ... this mama loves to plan a party :)  I knew early on that I wanted this party to be a 'Camp Out' theme, and had so much fun bringing Camp Farah to life for our friends and family.

The weather the morning of the party was dismal, but the rain stopped and clouds parted just in time to set up the A-frame tents Luke and I had made and fire up the bar-b-que for an afternoon camp out!  Another successful party is in the books, now I'm off to snuggle my 2 year old ... time is going too fast, and I am determined to enjoy each day we have with this little blessing.

xo, Jessie

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Happy 1st Birthday Farah!

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Happy 1st Birthday Farah!

Our sweet Ferrigan Christine is ONE, how on Earth did that happen?!  I feel as though I had been planning for this day for so long, excited to see the ideas for a small garden party come to life; yet at the same time wishing that time would slow down, I wasn't quite ready for our little girl to be a year old! I wanted this party to be as much about our guests as it was about Farah, it was a very small gathering of our closest friends and family - all whom are such a big part of our Farah's life.  It was my hope that the afternoon would provide a chance for us to thank these important people for all they do for our little family.

We decided to host a dessert party in the late afternoon for our guests to come and enjoy 'sweets, treats, and refreshments', and I chose a pink (shocking) and white color pallette to carry out my vision of a 'shabby chic meets modern' backyard soiree ... I'm not kidding, sometimes I worry myself with my theme ideas!  I was so pleased with out it turned out, and couldn't have asked for a more beautiful celebration.

Photo Credit: My very talented best friend, Kamriell Welty whose photography work can be seen here.

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