For the first three years of Alice's life, we have always done big parties. Like, all our friends + all of their kids. Chaos! And fun...but chaos. This year, we went a different route. In honor of Alice's four years, she got to choose four friends to attend a birthday tea party, and it feels like we finally hit the sweet spot. A few weeks before the big day, I sent out four invitations on illustrious Italian stationary to summon our little guests (dress-up encouraged). Sweet Zoe couldn't come because she was sick, but Zia, Anna, and Quinn arrived beautifully attired with bounds of playful energy and the girls colored, ate, played and accessorized to their heart's content while the mommies chatted over Vietnamese ice coffee. (Because really, a kid's tea party is actually just a thinly-veiled excuse for the mamas to dress up, catch up, and enjoy a pretty table of food.)
I created a small make-shift dress-up area with two chairs and a broomstick handle between them to hold Alice's costumes, tiaras, headbands, bracelets, pan collars, and wings for the girls to wear. (Success!) And a basket by the door held heaps of darling numbers for them to pick out and take home. Earlier in the week my Aunt Rita dropped a bag by with so many cute things. We couldn't keep them all but decided to share the love instead!
The tea party itself was fun to lay. The Mister made strawberry kombucha for the occasion (fermented tea which is bubbly like pop instead of actual tea), I made strawberry buttercream cupcakes, the aforementioned iced coffee, and bowls of chocolate-covered pretzels from Costco. Cloth napkins and tea cups with saucers marked each setting, and little white porcelain woodland creatures announced the places for the girls.
We ate and sang and Alice blew out her candle, then the girls frolicked and opened presents. So many beautiful gifts! They were so precious to us. Adventure art made by Anna and Sarah, pearl bracelets made by Zia and Leah, and a darling dress and dress-up shoes from Quinn and Jess. I had been gathering my gift to Alice for years and have been giddy waiting for this summer. I've always loved jadeite, and almost after Alice was born my sister discovered there was a jadeite cup with an "Alice" design. Had to have it. I collected two sets and have been waiting ever since for her to be old enough to use them. This is the year!
As the girls left, they got to pick out a sweet fabric tiara that my sister made as party favors (full post to come) and then made their fare-thee-wells.
Thank you, friends, for making Alice's fourth birthday so special and fun! I love seeing Alice become such chums with her friends, like I am with each of their mommies. What a special legacy!
Happy birthday, little bear. You are four, and I love you.