Saturday, April 02, 2011

Down on the Farm–Meredith’s 2nd Birthday

It has taken me almost two months to write this post. Not because I am sad about the events that unfolded minutes before the party started but because our little family has been so busy and the last two months have literally flown by.

I started planning Meredith’s 2nd birthday party 10 minutes after the last guest left her 1st birthday party because well, that’s how I am. 

Meredith loves animals especially farm animals. She is ecstatic when they have a petting zoo at school and don’t even think about walking past a pony ride without stopping if she is with you. I knew I wanted to have a farm party so I immediately started stalking all of my favorite party blogs for ideas. There were so many cute ideas out there. I didn’t want it to be cheesy, just simple and fun. I wanted to have a petting zoo and pony rides but did not want to turn our backyard into a modern day ranch so I started looking for off site venues. I love having the first birthday party at home but after the first birthday I prefer to have the parties at another location. It’s just less stress for me and the kids. Plus we throw enough parties at home during the year. It’s a nice break to have one somewhere else. Anyway,  everyday I drive by a place in McKinney called Storybook Ranch. From the road it looks like a little western town and each year they host a Pumpkin Patch with pony rides, petting zoo, etc. We took the kids last year and they had a blast. I knew they hosted weddings so I decided to call and see if they would consider hosting a birthday party for a 2 year old and all her friends. Keeping my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to sell a kidney to pay for the venue, I called and the sweet girl on the other end of the line informed me they were just starting to offer birthday party packages that included a petting zoo, pony rides, a bounce house, use of the party barn, a hayride and two ranch hands that would handle all your party needs. All for the price of two bounce house rentals. My jaw dropped and I immediately booked my onsite visit to sign the contract.

The Texas weather in April is perfect. It’s my favorite time of the year to be outdoors. So, I wanted to serve brunch outside since the guests would be busy with all the outdoor activities. They had a barn setup with picnic tables and big tables along the wall for the food, beverages and desserts. I decided to have the party catered by Spoons in downtown McKinney. They have the best breakfast and Denise helped me create the perfect menu for both the kids and the adults. We had an egg casserole, sausage biscuits, fruit platter and assorted muffins and scones.

I served Mimosas to the adults. I needed several after the events that unfolded that day. Just keep reading. I made milk bottles for the kids from a tutorial I found on line and the cookie in a jar party favors were an idea from my friend Janna. When I Googled “Cookies in a jar” I found a cute recipe for Cowgirl and Cowboy cookies on Bakerella which was perfect.

My creative friends Lisa and Shannon from Layered Bake Shop designed a cake and other desserts around the invitation and they did a fantastic job! I was so excited to see the cake! It was almost too cute to eat! Those ladies are amazing!

I found lots of inspiration online for the invitation so I sent my ideas over to my friend Erica at Works of A Wink and she created a custom invitation that was perfect with water bottle, food and party favor labels to match.

Our nanny Debbie made the table cloth and napkin holders off of a tutorial I found online because she is an excellent seamstress and I am not!

I found matching Cowgirl and Cowboy shirts for Meredith and Jonah at this adorable shop on Etsy. As I ordered them I envisioned cute pictures of Meredith and Jonah walking hand in hand at the party, feeding the animals.

My sweet and talented friend Narci was booked to take pictures of all the fun!  

Everything was ready or so I thought. On the Friday morning before the party I got a call from Meredith’s school that  she had gotten sick and was running a fever. I picked her up and brought her home. I could tell she felt miserable. I gave her Tylenol and she slept all day so I thought in true Schneider style she would sleep it off and be ready for her big day on Saturday. So when she woke up Saturday morning fever free, happy and ready to ride a pony I thought the Birthday Party Gods had heard my prayers. 

I had Jonah and Meredith dressed and buckled in the car ready to go when I saw it happen. I turned around as I was backing out of the driveway and I saw all of the pink leave Meredith’s sweet little cheeks and then IT happened! She got sick all over the car. About that time my phone started buzzing with voicemails from other parents calling to tell me that their child had the stomach bug and would not be able to make it to the party.

Apparently so did Meredith. There was an outbreak of the stomach virus in her class it seemed. My heart sank. I turned the car around and we pulled back into the garage. Luckily Josh was still at home getting dressed. I told him what happened and he suggested I leave Meredith with him and take Jonah to the party to meet the caterer, Narci and any guests that did show up. With the windows down we headed to Storybook Ranch.

We actually did have a few friends and family that made it to the party and I think they still had a good time! The rest of the party went off without a hitch. We were just missing the guest of honor!

So, our sweet little girl didn’t get to celebrate with all of her friends at her 2nd birthday party. All my hours of planning, staying up all night Friday and finishing the last party favor at 7am Saturday morning didn’t even matter knowing that Meredith was home sick and missing her own party! It literally broke my heart!

She was actually  sick all  weekend and ended up in the hospital on Monday for dehydration. But that’s another post for another day.

For now enjoy the pictures. I know Meredith will when she’s older. Just like Jonah, she always has to make sure everyone is having a good time. These pictures will be the proof that they did.




Meredith's 2nd Birthday Collage

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Lisa Sipka said...

Love this post Monda. It was a great party! This is a story you will tell Meredith. Like Xmas morning when I was about 3... My parents say that both my brother and I saw our stockings, threw up and went back to bed! I'm sure I don't really remember but heard the story so many times I feel like I do. You are the supreme party mama! Xoxoxo

Elaine's Semi-Homemade Life said...

The party was beautiful with just the most amazing details! I know Grant had a wonderful time (I only wish I would have been able to make it!) Can't wait to see what you plan for next year! :)

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