CJ’s First Birthday Party

Well, the Big Day is over!  CJ’s 1st birthday party was Saturday, and it was so much fun.  I was worried about how the day would go, but everything worked out (it always does, I’ve learned) and things were great.

Little Mister and I got into town late Thursday evening so that we could get a jump start on party preparations Friday morning.  So we got up, made our lists, and set out about town just in time for a late lunch.  Four hours later, CJ was starting to get tired of being drug around, and luckily the Mister had arrived at my parents’ house by that time, so we headed back to the house, had a little rest, got CJ settled in with Daddy and Big Poppa, and set back out to the dreaded Walmart for groceries and thingamajigs for the party.  We decided to have burgers and dogs in addition to the standard cake and ice cream fare, so I left that for the next day so I didn’t have to find a place in the freezer for dozens of each.  I’ll go to Sam’s on Saturday morning, said I.

Saturday came, and we were all up early and raring to go.  The weather started out nice and sunny, but HOT HOT HOT.  When I got in the car around 10:30 a.m., the temperature was 90 degrees.  Great.  Luckily, I had called Marvin’s and asked them if they had a misting hose.  They said yes, they did.  I specifically asked, it’s a misting hose, NOT a soaker hose, right?  Yeah, misting hose, the clerk assured me.  So I went to Marvin’s to get the misting hose to string up on the fence beside the pavilion in hopes that it would at least provide a cool refreshing breeze for our partygoers.  Get there, ask about the misting hose, get pointed in the direction of it.  If you know me at all, you know what kind of luck I have.  Therefore, you know exactly what happened.  The misting hose was, in fact, a SOAKER hose.  So I angrily stomped out of Marvin’s, having wasted a half hour out of my jam-packed day.  Back to Sam’s.

At Sam’s I picked up burger and dog provisions, some fruit and juice for the little kids, ice cream, and a couple of other things.  As I was walking to the register, I decided to take a quick pass through the gardening aisle.  Lo and behold, right there in all its 17-nozzle glory, were dozens of packages of the very misting hose I was looking for!  I nearly fell to my knees and cried right in the middle of Sam’s.  So I checked out (by the way, I’m very nearly bankrupt after this party) and headed to the car.  While I was in Sam’s, the storm clouds had begun to gather.  Great.  And it was 95 degrees.  The clouds seemed to have trapped the heat and turned middle Alabama into a sauna.  I heaved a sigh and headed home.  I got 3/4 of the way home before remembering that I forgot to go to the bakery to pick up the cake.  A U-turn on two wheels got me headed back in the right direction.  On the way to the bakery, the sprinkles began.  As I exited the bakery, the full-on rain started.  It was 12:15 at that time.

I got back to my parents’ house to find my dad and husband messing with spark plugs in the Tahoe and my mother inside messing with the baby because he needed a bath, and she was nowhere near ready to go.  We should have been at the park already getting the grills up and running, hanging decorations, and prettifying the area.  Instead we were nowhere near ready and I was thisclose to having a complete and total FIT.  We threw everything into cars, convinced my brother to bring the grill and big cooler to the park with us, and headed out around 1:00.  The monsoon that had popped up had been reduced to a drizzle, which was still annoying, but it dropped the temperature from a blistering 95 degrees to a manageable 73 degrees.  Thank heaven for small favors, right?  We got there, threw up some decorations, got the grills going, set up some chairs, and prayed the rain away.  Everyone who had the misfortune of arriving early was put to work (and I really appreciate everyone’s help).

The party got underway, the food was great, and I think everyone had a good time.  CJ especially seemed to enjoy himself.  He had a great time seeing family that we don’t get to see very often and loooooved all the attention.  And the presents, oh, the presents!  I have never seen so many gifts in all my life.  We didn’t even get to finish opening them because another party group arrived early to set up for their shindig.  CJ had a great time digging into his cake.  I’m glad there was a water hose handy to clean him off with, because he was COVERED in frosting.

All told, there were nearly 50 people at the party.  We went through 40 hamburgers and nearly 60 dogs, two giant bags of chips and 2 containers of dip, bags of M&Ms and nearly an entire half sheet cake.  We have a few dogs to take home with us (and some delicious Barber’s dip that they don’t sell in Georgia), but I’m glad most of the food got eaten.  Moreover, I’m glad everyone had a good time.

And we didn’t even need the misting hose.

I can’t believe my sweet angel is a year old.  I’m continually amazed at how much he has grown and changed.  He is such a joy and a blessing.  My life has been made so much richer since becoming that child’s mother.  This is what I was meant to do.  Being a mother is my purpose in life.  The privilege of being his mother is just an added bonus.

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