2-4-6-8 . . . It's another reason to Celebrate!

So Azia-Rain is nine.

Azia & her friends having birthday dinner & cake in Azia's Papa's secret garden
The girl had a birthday that stretched on for about a week this year. I'd  been adding photos to this post as we did things, and then everything got hectic by the end of last week and I realized I never actually posted this. Nor did I post the birthday writing I did for her, or her movie. . . and her birthday is usually the one I easily (relatively speaking) have time to get everything done. I hope this is not a preview of what the always-hectic fall birthday season might look like.

Sarah made her zebra cake. And it matched her shoes & decorations perfectly! (Yes, sort of strange to have a photo of feet and a cake but they looked so cute together when she was carrying it out to the car I had her let me take a picture.)

Her birthday was in the middle of the week so on her actually birthday her and Jenna and I went to the Malt Shop for dinner and some games and she got her present from me: a cell phone. Surprisingly she hasn't yet lost it. Azia loves gadgets. Also, she cannot keep track of anything. I try not to think about how many ipods and gameboys and similar things (of hers and everyone else) she has lost. I'd like to believe this is just a problem she has because she is so young, but I don't actually believe that's true.

Friday night she had about a dozen girls over to celebrate with her. We had this really cute plan for invitations and Azia spent one evening working on them and then we never got around to actually giving them to anyone. But, since all these girls have cell phones and facebook and busy social lives where they just run into each other every few days, we still ended up with quite a little crowd.

The two important elements for Azia in her party planning this year were that we had the red & zebra stripes color scheme and a cheerleading theme. These two are actually connected since she's been a little obsessed with Missoula's Summit Cheer team (whose colors are zebra stripes & red) since watching Mackenna compete a few times this spring.  So zebras and cheerleading it was.

zebra guarding the drinks
fingernails  to match the party

After the girls arrived Friday night we headed over to Mom & Dad's for dinner. We just ordered pizza and had fruit and watermelon so I didn't have to cook anything! This was a party for just the girls & the secret garden was a perfect location.

Except that it's not really a secret (especially when you decorate the entrance with bright red streamers, balloons and a banner) and all the little boys know there is all sorts of secret fun going on in there. They climbed surrounding trees and tried to spy on the girls throughout the evening.  There is probably nothing more torturous for the kids around here than being left out of a party, even if it's a party they wouldn't actually want to be a part of.  I repeatedly explained that we were having another party a few days later for all the family, but that still didn't help with the fact that they were being left out of the party that was happening right now.

We might have to go back to something like last year's County Fair sort of party that worked better for an all-age celebration.

The girls singing to Azia & waiting for cake & ice cream.

the girls giving Azia a birthday toast

Although, I think the girls (all of them, not just Azia) sort of loved having the all-girl time and a weekend just for them.

In keeping with the cheer theme, I made all the girls simple little skirts and appliqued their initials on inexpensive red t-shirts to match. This seemed like not a big deal at all when I thought we'd have five or six girls. It became a bigger deal to get them all done when we ended up having 13. It took me a couple evenings to get them all finished (plus a few quick, last minute ones Friday night when a few girls arrived I wasn't expecting!) but after seeing how excited all the girls were? Totally worth it.

We were going to give them to everyone before Saturday morning's activities, but after getting ready for the party Friday afternoon Jenna, Addison & Azia couldn't wait to put on theirs. The other girls were all so excited they got dressed as they arrived, and they all pretty much wore them the entire time both Friday and Saturday. In the week since the party I've seen lots of the girls wearing them around. Now I actually wish I would've put more time into them. They were made in a sort of quick & sloppy way because I was thinking they'd just wear them for a few hours during the party!

the cheer team walking back home after dinner & cake
Having a dozen girls stay all night? Much more insane than sewing a dozen matching cheer uniforms.

Saturday morning Mackenna came down and did a little cheerleading workshop for all the girls. They were beyond excited. In fact some of them got up at 7:30 in the morning and began practicing all sorts of cheer routines. Lovely.

She brought hair bows for all the girls. They all looked pretty darn cute by the time they got started. (Their "giftbags" from the party were these little mini backpacks to put their cheer stuff in.)
stretching. .  . getting ready to cheer
And yes, little brother did finally make it into the party. . . he even dressed up in his suit jacket for the occasion.

After some games , learning some moves and a dance routine, the girls went to work on a craft project: pompom flip-flops to match their outfits.

and then they were back to the cheering
Mackenna & the girls (& Zoran)
And, because this is the year of the marathon birthday, we had another birthday evening when Dev got back. He was working on a fire for more than two weeks so wasn't around for Azia's actual birthday. Since she'd already had quite a lot of birthday celebrating, this was mostly just a chance to get together with a bunch of friends and family. I guess we do this fairly often, but I still wish we did it more. It's a really nice way to spend the evening. 
my prep cooks. . .they were lots of help getting all the food ready to cook earlier in the day
We had so many people here there were groups visiting on the front deck, in the living room, in the TV room, on the back deck where the BBQ was happening, and groups of kids playing out in the front yard and out at the basketball court.
Cupcakes & ice cream cones means no dishing up cake & no dishes!
There must be a pinata. . . at least at every other party.
The poor zebra did last through almost 30 kids!
Mad dash for candy
Watching Azia's birthday movie


Friends hanging out . . . checking out their shadows

We finished celebrating Azia's birthday just in time to start our annual little whole-town party since Good Ol' Days was this weekend.

It seems this always having some reason to celebrate is one indication that life is pretty good.

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  1. that seems like such a fun birthday - lucky girl!

  2. Wow! Love all the details and your photography. Looks like she had a blast!

  3. Everything is so beautiful...what an amazing birthday party!

  4. This is a fabulous party! I love the zebra and red! The girls look like they had a ball!

  5. Wow, This is so cute and looks like so much fun! Great party! Love the nails and the flip flops! Saw you on CSI project.

  6. Wow, I love all of this! Very awesome :) I love the shirts!

    Thanks so much for joining us at the CSI Project this week! We loved seeing your party!

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