a few weeks ago, one of my colleaugues-turned-good-friend nancy, asked me (as well as a few of our other co-workers) if i wanted to help her out with her daughter nickole's 10th birthday party. it was a carnival themed, last day of school, pool party soirée, and all of her friends and classmates would be there. i couldn't say no to nancy or nickole (seriously they are the cutest, tiniest humans on the planet, and when i hug nancy, i give her no choice but to motorboat me), so of course i said i would be there. we decided i would photograph the party, help run some games, and keep a hairy eyeball on a backyard full of pre-pubescent, tweens.
the party started at 4:30, and when i walked into the backyard for the first time, i couldn't believe the transformation that had happened. it was amazing. each kid was sent a home-made invitation, including a clip of tickets that they were to bring to the party. once they arrived, the birthday girl greeted them to take their ticket, and with a loot bag to fill while they were there. on the back of the ticket booth, was the photo booth, where each child could pick a prop, sit down, and have their picture taken. these photos were sent off to be printed during the party, and handed out as they left as a keepsake. i know. it's so cute i could shit.
a kissing booth (guess how many hershey kisses to win them all), tattoo station and several classic carnival games were set up and in constant use. tickets were won when playing the games, and redeemed at the prize table, complete with whoopee cushions, pinwheels, whistles and candy. i didn't see one kid without a massive smile plastered on their face the entire time i was there, and i think i had that same ridiculous look on my face too, it was the best birthday party i have been to. after stuffing their faces with a candy buffet (i spent my fair share of time at this table), chips & hotdogs, cotton candy, individual bags of popcorn and cupcake ice cream cones, they swam in the pool and told me who had crushes on who, and that no, the nerdy boy wasn't cute, and would not grow up to be hot, rich and successful. i warned them that the boys they thought were cute, would grow up to be bald and have beer bellies, but they didn't believe me. i'll see about that in 20 years.
as i left the party, i couldn't help but think about how lucky nickole is to have an amazing mom like nancy. i saw how much work and time she put into making this birthday, the best nickole would ever have, and i know from the smile on her face, and the way she sparkled that day, that it was exactly that. in a way, it makes me excited for when the time comes that i get to be that kind of mama for my own babies, and it makes the martha stewart inside me fist pump like an idiot.