12 August 2005
there was a party
and it was PINK AND RED. in fact, I needed a couple of weeks just to recover from all the pinkness and the redness. the wheels started turning in ava's mind this past spring when she was attending birthday parties left and right. she started to wonder what kind of birthday party SHE should have.
"mommy, I'm thinking about my birthday."
and so of course, I pulled out my trusty martha stewart kids magazines. sweet mary, the love I have for that publication. they're not kidding around, folks. deliciously colorful and well-designed pages filled with serious crafting, pages filled with a million projects that I often daydream ava and I might spend afternoons attempting. I am normally not so good at sharing this mag with the ava-girl, but on this particular occasion we had a party to discuss. we thumbed through page after page of picturesque birthday parties and finally stopped on a spread that featured a perfect-looking little pixie-like girl enjoying herself at a pink-themed soiree.
"hey! pink! a pink party! I like pink!"
then she furrowed her brows and shrugged.
"but I like red, too. red is my FAVORITE COLOR. no. we can't do it."
"ava, why don't we have a pink and red party? there's nothing that says we have to limit it to just one color, kid."
she got all bubbly at the thought and thus the planning began. yes, yes, I know. I am a creative visionary whose brilliance is unmatched (okay, maybe just in the eyes of ava, but I'll take that). and with the planning came the relentless search for all things pink and red. three months of hitting every dollar tree store, every party supply joint in hopes of scoring the pink and red goods. somewhere along the way, my dear cousin from texas (kristy jo) got involved. she had been wanting to plan a visit and when she heard of the birthday festivities... well, we didn't have to twist her arm. three things you should know about this fabulous woman:
1. she has the best laugh EVER and even though she (technically) goes by the name 'kristy', I have refused (since childhood) to call her anything other than 'kristy jo'. usually, it comes out of my mouth so fast it sounds more like 'KRISTYJO!'.
2. she is as crazy as I am (if not crazier) when it comes to parties and celebrations and all things kid-like.
3. one summer at church camp, she colored my entire nose in with a permanent black marker while I was sleeping and then FELL ASLEEP DOING IT. I slept on that marker the entire night, woke up in a pool of black ink. I even thought the prank was kind of funny until I discovered that it WOULD NOT wash off and was forced to walk around with a dark grey nose the rest of the week. the esprit muscle shirts didn't look so cool on me then, NOTHING looked cool on me and my 13 year-old hopes of snagging a cute boy were just so over. I still love her, though. and I have forgiven her and gone on to lead a somewhat normal life. KRISTYJO, YOU WILL NEVER LIVE THIS DOWN.
once my cousin hopped on the party train, I knew we were headed to crazy town. there would be no voice of reason, no one to control the unstoppable force that we are when we get together (I have written about my cousin here as well). three months of planning and emails that included discussions on possible pink and red foods, and what about purchasing a cotton candy machine? and how about a sno-cone machine, too? see, I knew she would genuinely share in the giddiness over my dollar store discovery of the pink paper lanterns and red inflatable tables and chairs. she confessed to me that for a short while, she really thought she might be able to teach herself how to make balloon animals. she knew I would understand and appreciate the madness behind that statement. and I knew the force was with me when she called from a mexican market in san antonio to inform me that she was about to purchase a very, very large strawberry pinata. it arrived at our house in a huge brown box the following week and I thought ava might just pass out from sheer happiness at the sight of it.
the big day has come and gone. watching ava with her little buddies in the midst of that pink and red frenzy completely justified all nuttiness. I will never forget ava (wearing a pink and red outfit she had so carefully put together) proudly saying, "welcome to my party!" to each guest that walked through the front door. the food was phenomenal (my cousin is a party food GENIUS) and the cherry red sno-cones were a smash hit. what else can I say? we did the limbo and painted faces. someone finally busted open the big strawberry pinata and many pink and red treats were snatched up by happy little hands. there was cake (strawberry cream, of course) and there were feathered party hats. I'd like to be able to say that I regret giving all the munckins party horns halfway through the gig, but I can't. that's what party horns are for, they're for tooting loudly and that's an ideology I can really get behind. there were also presents and lots of ripping and tearing of wrapping paper (crowd favorite: a vintage lite brite, courtesy of uncle nate, aunt kendra and luxie... SCORE). and then we sent them on their merry little way with goodie bags filled with pink rubber bracelets, silly sliding whistles, bubble gum and red pixie sticks. yes, I sent them all home on a sugar high to beat all sugar highs, horns in hand and I'm sure the parents were cursing my very existence as the shrill sound of whistles filled many a home that night.
but hey-- it was a party. turning five is a fantastic thing and I hope I have given ava something that she will remember for the rest of her life. I will probably never be able to walk through the dollar store again without scouting out the red and pink goods, but, aahhh-- such a small price to pay. and now we have our very own sno-cone machine (thank you very much, dearest cousin kristyjo), one that will make us the most splendid cherry sno-cones and always remind us of the fabulous pink and red party.
behold the pink and red party splendor here.