Thursday, September 26, 2013


I was looking at my August picture folder and found a few more birthday-helper-fancy-girl pictures (wearing her favorite navy polka dot dress):

And a quick trip to the grocery store...

...gave Hannah the chance to spend a few coins (meant for the piggy bank) on the space shuttle outside. The constant squeak and squealing of the machine didn't bother her one bit. I thought it was hilarious. The ride seemed to last five minutes, so I got the chance to capture it on show Daddy at home and now for you to enjoy:

We had quite a time that last day in August.

Monday, September 23, 2013

happy happy birthday hannah

As I type that title, I can't help but sing the song from a Doc McStuffins episode..."Happy happy birthday to my favorite hippo, Hallie!" Hallie is one of Doc's favorite toys and I love her personality. You can't help but laugh at the things she says. I sang that song to Hannah all birthday week.

It took so much time to do that last post on the fancy party that I needed a break before finishing the rest of what was several days of birthday celebrations.

Let's back up a bit with some mobile uploads. We started decorating a week before the party, which is good because - as you saw - there were quite a few decorations. I had plenty of help on the ladder:

Practicing with the sponge curlers the weekend before.

We made several trips to Wal-Mart getting ready for the party...

...and stopped by the nursery to visit our fish friends and turtle at the koi pond.

Help stuffing the favor bags:

Friday morning, giving hugs before preschool.

The night before Hannah's party, I wondered how she'd sleep with the sponge rollers. The first try was a little rough; sleep didn't come easy.

But I think she was so exhausted, she was out like a light...and apparently hanging her head off the side took care of the discomfort caused by the rollers.

{Insert: Fancy Nancy soiree}

After the party on Saturday, we just relaxed and played with family in town.

Hannah loves Cousin Lyndsey and Joseph loves to cuddle.

...and Hannah loves to eat yogurt (as you know)...

...the girl could eat it all day.

How about that fancy headband from Aunt Kristie? She doesn't ever like to take it off.

We went to Puebla's for dinner, Hannah's favorite place to go eat. Then we tried to preserve the curls during bath time and she opened a special present from Meme: an add-a-pearl necklace with her first inch of pearls.

The next day more family came in town and we went to church and lunch and then came back to the house for cake. Hannah picked out a cake just for this occasion: a black and white zebra print design with hot pink trim. Probably not what I would've chosen, but this is her birthday. And, whenever we are at the grocery store, she always wants us to take her by the bakery. This was her chance to take one home!

Playing in the gazebo on the Square downtown with Liam. Joseph couldn't be bothered for a picture. He just wanted to shuffle/stomp around.

Saying goodbye to Aunt Kristie, so glad she and Maddie came!

Saying goodbye to Aunt Karen and Uncle John, Hannah's dear godparents from Jesup. We are thankful for everyone who came to town to celebrate with us!

Check out the new sequined skirt from Gran Gran and Poppy...another present she doesn't like to take off.

Family and friends left and it was just us.

When we went to bed that night, Joe went to put on his boot and found it covered in stickers. Some little girl got into our room and decorated without us knowing.

And finally, September 9th came and my birthday girl went off to school (and another chance to eat cake).

Present opening time! She was ecstatic - that's fancy for overjoyed - when she opened The Princess and the Frog from Joseph. She'd never seen it, but it looked fun. (Now she has watched it several times.)

Birthday cake? No. Yogurt with sprinkles!

A denim jacket and fancy fringe boots, a couple presents from Momma and Daddy.

Always ready to pose in fancy clothes. Joseph is busy playing with his new dump truck.

We saved the top tier of her birthday cake for her actual birthday. She loved the purple icing. We had to remind her to eat the cake part, too.

She wanted a piece every night after dinner for a while...long after the leftovers should've been tossed. Didn't matter to her; still tasted good.

And that wraps up what was quite a fourth birthday for our Monkey. Stay tuned and I'll try to upload some videos. I said stay tuned...but don't hold your breath. I'm getting frustrated with my computer!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

we had a party

"Put lace on anything, and voila, it's fancy!"

When it came to a theme for Hannah's fourth birthday, it didn't take too much thought. In fact, we had it decided in July before Joe's accident. We were going to celebrate Hannah's fourth birthday with a Fancy Nancy soiree. She loves the books; we read at least one most every night. And besides, Hannah pretty much is Fancy Nancy. So we planned and got excited and - with lots of help from my mom - hosted 20+ fancy little girls at the house for a birthday party for our sweet Hannah.
{I had to remove the original hi-res invitation file because someone actually found it online, copied it and stole the image, and now is selling it through their Etsy store. Thanks to the designer who did Hannah's invitation, Pixel Parade, for notifying me!}

We had to make everything fancy.

We found printables on Etsy (same person who made the invitation) for some of the signs and my talented sister-in-law, Crystal, did the others. I gathered some ideas from various blogs and Pinterest and that, coupled with my own wandering, imaginative mind trying to see through the eyes of my daughter, set into action.

I loved how the cake turned out. We have an incredibly talented "cake lady" here. She did both Joe's 40th and Joseph's 1st birthday cakes. I told her I wanted "ruffles" and sent her a couple pictures, and she produced the dress from the original Fancy Nancy book. Hannah picked out the ribbon I used to make the garland over the mirror. Hannah had a hand in a lot of the planning and decorating. It was the anticipation that she couldn't handle!

I hung a garland of pictures of Hannah being fancy, framed others, and filled glass vases with beads. The dining room was for accessorizing. I made plume pens, a la Nancy, for favors.

When the girls arrived, they went to the playroom to decorate sunglasses. "Bedazzle your posh shades" the sign read.

I covered the mantel with some Fancy Nancy books and Hannah's things.

Before lunch, I read the book. Not everyone knew about Fancy Nancy and we had to rectify that! Then came time to turn the playroom into The King's Crown (Nancy's favorite pizza place). But it couldn't be plain; we had to make it fancy of course. So we had the girls set their places complete with paper doilies and small framed placecards. The girls loved it!

The frames went home with them, too.

Obviously, they ate pizza.

After lunch, I told the girls they would be having a fashion show, so it was time to get fancy! They headed to the dining room to put on blush and lipstick, boas, beads, etc. and sign Hannah's Fancy Nancy book.

Aunt Crystal and Aunt Angie helped out and the girls were soon ready.

The beads and rings also were theirs to take home.

We went outside for a run-through.

Daddy was the emcee, toy microphone and all.

Then it was time!

First up: the birthday girl!

Hannah wore a dress made just for her by a sweet friend, Mrs. Tammie: purple with tiny white dots, ruffles, and an orange sash just like Nancy's...and just like the cake. I wrapped her legs in orange ribbon, gave her a pair of orange fairy wings and a pink parasol, and made a dollar-store tiara as tacky as possible. Fancy Hannah.

My brothers held up a balloon and paper chain arch for the girls to walk under. The moms were out in the front yard, cameras and phones in hand.

Ta-da! The girls were fabulous!

Back inside to sing Happy Birthday.

Uncle Will Will gave her a lift so she could blow out her candles. One of my favorite pictures. 

Cake was served and the girls made their own parfaits (that's French for icecream sundaes).

It was a fun time. The birthday girl with her adoring family:

She helped choose our outfits.

Meme, party planning partner extraordinaire:

Uncle Ben and Uncle Will Will were a big help.

Fancy family.

Each girl left with a tote bag, plume pen, boa, candy necklace and lipstick, and the things they collected through the party. I wanted to put the girls' names on the bags and so designed luggage tags, so they would have a favor they could use. My mom and Crystal helped make it a reality. The tags (first and last names are on the backs) can go on luggage, backpacks, dance bags, wherever they want.  I had all the bags hanging from a sequined ribbon in the foyer where no one would miss it upon leaving!

I don't think this will be a party Hannah will soon forget. It was worth all the planning and work that went into it. We had such a great time!

She will also be 10 before there's another one of these. With all the big celebrations we've had in the last couple of years, it will be a while. At least until Joseph is four!

PS - the photos were taken by our friend, Adrienne, and by Crystal. Thank goodness for them. I was busy with the girls the whole time and wanted to enjoy the party with my fancy girl. Very thankful for that...and thankful to all who made it special.