"If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales."
Its hard to believe that Emerson turned four this past week. She has enriched our lives beyond measure and continues to comfort our family in ways that reach far beyond her young age as we continue on this journey of hope.
To celebrate the special girl's big day I felt there was no better way than Little Red Riding Hood because, as a fairy tale is defined, Emerson's attitude about life is a story of imaginative and magical tales in and of itself.
Some good friends moved to London a few months ago and when we went over to tell them goodbye I saw a Pottery Barn diaper changing table sitting out with their trash. Long story short, one man's trash is another man's treasure.....(Thank you Laura!!!!)
The bottom drawer held a wolf dressed as grandma and was a favorite of the tiny guests while the mantle held apples and twinkling lights that mimicked fireflies.
We covered the tables in craft paper and paw prints drawn with chalk markers. (This was another table I swiped from my friend Amie before it hit the dumpster. Score.)Emerson has been saying she's "3, 4" for so long that she was thrilled when she could tell everyone that she's now really 4.
(It lasted a day. Since then she keeps telling everyone she's "4, 5, 6" because she wants to be 5 like her brother and 6 since he keeps saying he's ready to be a year older too.)
Because I love a good theme we all dressed Red-riding-hood-appropriate. I wore red jeans with a wolf vest, the boys wore red and white "grandpa" attire and Emerson wore a beautiful dress and cape designed and made by my friend Deeana of Deeana's Designs.
Kathleen made the gorgeous wolf masks for the boys and used her beautiful penmanship to write out a short fairy tale I wrote about Emerson in a glass frame using a gold metallic paint pen.Grandma's homemade muffins, books, red capes for the girls and a drawing by Big Brother of the story of Little Red Riding Hood sat on a nearby table.
Apples and red were a big part of the decor and, of course, there always needs to be a little glitter. (Thank you Chelsea for this beautiful frame!)
Toadstool cupcakes were made using a Southern chocolate cake recipe (sour cream and pudding are key!), vanilla wafers dipped in red candy melts and topped with pearl sprinkles and a huge marshmallow. The grass was vanilla icing with coconut to give it texture.
We could only find camouflage liners but they turned out to be the perfect touch of green.I created a banner of photos of Emerson from the past four years and I cried making it realizing just how fast the time goes.
(My obsession with quotes is further attested here--you can see I have no problem littering our kitchen window with them. If I'm frustrated at anyone in our family--which never happens of course--I wash dishes and read the positive verses over and over and over until my mind is in a better place....)
I loved the vintage look of the invitations I purchased here on etsy.
(I told Kathleen what I was envisioning for this and she took it to a whole new level! I thought she did such a great job!)I love repurposing old items for parties. This chalkboard was used at our wedding nearly 11 years ago.
I purchased baskets from Hobby Lobby and tied gingham ribbon onto them so the girls would each have their own basket to fill with apples and other delicious goodies.
An old topiary had been sitting in our garage waiting to be used. I added some paper butterflies we used at Emerson's 1st Pirates and Fairies party and it made the perfect forest tree. I made a toadstool banner using scrapbook paper and yarn.
We added polka dot stickers to red balloons to make them look like toadstools.
(My reversible Red Riding Hood puppet from childhood that my kids adore.)And the best part of any party are the family and friends that surround us.
We played a lot of outdoor games.
Once Daddy took over, the games quickly turned a bit more rough and tumble. He swears the kids would not have cried had a bunch of Mommies not been around.
The kids got smart and turned on their fearless leader....what can I say? He's a great sport.
Little brother woke up and we transitioned over to something a little more low key...Duck, duck, goose.
The kids were able to make their own yogurt parfaits with vanilla yogurt, agave nectar and berry-filled granola.
Right in the middle of eating, a special guest knocked on the window...Emerson started hysterically crying claiming that Batman had on her costume. Only after digging hers out of the playroom and helping her put it on did she calm down.
The Batmans make up
and all is right with the world.
And just when I thought our little guy couldn't get any sweeter, I kept looking over to see him hugging and kissing the wolf in the drawer.
We sang while the birthday girl played shy.
until she blew out four candles in one blow and kept exclaiming, "I did it all myself!"
(Emerson's crowns for four years running have been made by the
very talented GlamHatter on etsy.)
Each girl left with a cape
and the boys with a wolf mask.
We finished the night by listening to our new "Frozen" CD and watching Cash run around yelling, "Let go! Let go!" requesting his new favorite song again and again.
One more year has slipped by and I recognize this year more than any other how precious each moment is with our kids.
We feel incredibly blessed by you Emerson.
You are a daily reminder that life is not a dress rehearsal and it should be lived to the fullest. Thank you for always adding sunshine to our home.
"If you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future."