This year, we started over a week early with a celebration with some of her best playmates - the neighbors, 3 sisters that live just over our fence (and they hop it often!) I took them all to see "Inside Out" (which we all LOVED!) and then we had dinner, icecream cake, and presents.
Last weekend we went to Ohio to visit family and celebrate Mike's grandmother's 91st birthday. So Marisol got some gifts there too. Then on her Birthday there were a few gifts from family (everyone is so good about sending things!) and some of our best friends came over to play. Plus we had lots of party prep going on!
So Friday the 3rd was the day of the big 9th Birthday party. We set the time for 5 pm (I was thinking that some people would be working or kids at camp - in retrospect I think we could have made the time earlier because most people started their holiday weekend yesterday. But honestly, we were getting ready all day, so the time was perfect!)
The theme was Minecraft and everything came out so cute! We made our piñata again this year, which we've done many times, but we've always just had a plain old balloon shape. Since our theme was minecraft, we thought "outside the balloon" and "inside the box" (as Marisol said!) and made a block shaped piñata. I wasn't sure how it would work out, but it turned out great!
There were a few frustrating moments making the mural like usual. We usually have a "fight" or two and then I wonder if it's worth it. This year, she didn't like how I drew the blocks at first (the characters looked like they were floating because I didn't have any blocks under their feet originally.) She wanted just flat blocks across and I was tired/grumpy didn't feel like erasing all my work and starting over. She also didn't understand when I tried to explain how I could make them look like they were standing on the blocks - but eventually agreed to that. (We both apologized and made up quickly!) She loved the end result and once again - it was worth it! Look how awesome it is!
And of course the trampoline was a huge hit as always. Even with the adults - Joe hopped on right away and then Jennifer wanted to try too! I think this was our record for number of people on at one time!
But for stuff we looted our own house! Marisol managed to find enough stuffed animals she was willing to part with and then we looked through her toys and found tons of "treasure" - beads, rings, tattoos, little plastic toys, rubber balls, necklaces, headbands, bows etc. We talked about how it was nice not to buy new things to give away because it's better for the environment and our wallets. I mean really, did we really need to buy NEW plastic toys and baubles to give away?? Marisol dubbed this "The Circle of Crap" that comes from parties. It was so great! (Not sure if my friends feel the same way, haha.) The only thing that we bought to put in was a couple packs of pencils from Target's dollar bin (Marisol told me this is where the Circle of Crap begins. Haha. She is so right.)
Please don't get me wrong - it is WORTH having the treasures for the kids - they get so much joy out of it! But it also felt nice to do it in a (more) environmentally friendly way.
So that's why I made this post so detailed - I want to remember it all. Marisol's 9th birthday was just about perfect. Every year I get a little stressed leading up to the party and we wonder if *maybe* next year Marisol will want something different... easier (outside our home??)... more low-key (fewer people?) And every year we have such a blast and I can't blame her for wanting to keep this streak up! We've already started to plan our next party - and we won't be waiting till her 10th birthday next year. ;-)