welcome to the circus!

  • Jan 25, 2012
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These are the times I know I’m crazy– the doorbell is ringing, cupcakes need frosting and I’m carefully turning the lollipops so the black writing can’t be seen.

Ah, the pantry may be a mess, my bedroom a repository for every undone task and please don’t inspect the guest bathroom (the mini party guests won’t notice, right?) but I am going to get those lollies right.

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Any sane person would take the kids to the bowling alley and be done with it, but I cannot resist the allure, the challenge, the intoxication of creating magic.

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Happily, luckily for me, my darling friends Kit and Kevin mistakenly showed up two hours early. A nice friend would babysit their kids while they did errands, but I put them straight to work. Kev hung all the streamers (though Xander would like credit for coming up with the idea).

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While Kit tackled the cupcakes, the boys kept baby Darren happy with a remote control car and balloon.

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My goal for the party was under $100 and I came within a few clams. Pinwheels and crepe paper are old favorites in the cheap decor dept; my new loves are $1 yard tulle and carnival tickets. For fifteen dollars I made Mary a circus tutu and decorated all the chairs. The tickets ($2.97 for 1000) went everywhere– swirled across the table, around the banisters and we also handed them out as prizes.

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Cute Xander created not one, but two tightrope/balance beams. We opted for the less dangerous version.

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I cheated the budget by using my Shutterfly credit to print these posters from photos I took on our trip to Paris three summers ago. Forgoing frames, I backed them with leftover foam board from science project displays.

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After a jaunt on the balance beam, everyone reveled in circus bingo.

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Gabe refilled the mysteriously disappearing bingo pieces while Mary did the calling.

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My fearless party crew led the girls in games too wild to photograph while Erik demonstrated his awesome juggling abilities. The boys handed out tickets at the end of each game which the girls exchanged for prizes.

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each girl snuck into the photo booth

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Our gourmet menu included corn dogs (yes, corn dogs), grapes, popcorn and cupcakes for the grand finale.

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Ah, almost forgot the lemonade.

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little sisters are always welcome

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In the end, it’s all about giggly girls playing their heart out, skipping around the kitchen and hugging as they leave.

And me, six days later I’m taping streamers back up when they fall, rearranging the clowns… trying to make the magic last just a bit longer.

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January 24, 2012
January 27, 2012

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11 Comments

  1. Reply

    Ang

    January 26, 2012

    What an amazing party! Michelle, you’re wonder mom. Beautiful.

  2. Reply

    Judi

    January 26, 2012

    wow!!! next I party I had to plan, I’m hiring you! that’s the fun of little girls…
    we did pirates, treasure hunts, etc…i love the circus idea! so cute!
    you want to help me plan a welcome home party for a missionary???

  3. Reply

    The Planet Pink

    January 27, 2012

    Magical!

  4. Reply

    Tracy

    January 27, 2012

    I love your parties. Don’t hate me for having Esther’s party at a bowling alley this year. I just don’t have it in me this year. πŸ˜‰ xo

  5. Reply

    Michelle

    January 27, 2012

    I’m not a hater Tracy! Bowling alleys rule.

  6. Reply

    Emily M.

    January 27, 2012

    i loved everything about this party! the colors, ideas, all of it! great job!

  7. Reply

    Michelle

    January 27, 2012

    Amazing. But I have to say that the tickets took the cake for me. What an awesome idea.

  8. Reply

    Cath

    January 27, 2012

    Oh my, it was more magical and glorious than I imagined. That tulle skirt is so darling, and every detail (including the lollies facing the right way) made me smile. Your description was so much fun to read. Happy Birthday sweet Mary! You are the “darlingest” of girls. πŸ˜‰

  9. Reply

    Lisa

    January 29, 2012

    Wow! I really love how every detail is planned into your parties…like the circus peanuts on the glorious candy shelf. And that photo of Gabe…it’s just so Gabe! The photo booth, what a cute idea, need to hear how you did that one! So much fun!

  10. Reply

    Claudia

    January 30, 2012

    Your parties rock! Happy birthday Miss Mary xoxo

  11. Reply

    Melissa

    February 7, 2012

    You.Are.Amazing.

    What a beautiful party! Mary is a lucky lady. πŸ™‚

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