Thursday, April 5, 2012

Barnyard Bash: Part I...Every Little Detail

Okay, here it goes...the birthday post is several weeks overdue, but like last year, I'm a little overwhelmed with the pictures.  My friend, Kristyn, of Twice as Nice Photography, took over 600 pictures of Layla and Jenna's special day and was so kind to narrow it down to about 450 by the time she handed them over to me.  So, for your reading enjoyment (and my documentation) I'll be splitting them into 2 or 3 posts and ONLY including a hundred or so pics.  Most of the pictures are ones taken by Kristyn, but a few of them (the ones that aren't so good) are from my camera.  

I'll start with the party details...

Layla and Jenna decided on a Barnyard Bash to celebrate the completion of their 2nd year as little people.  Last year, they had a family party, so this year they were super excited to invite their closest friends to what was supposed to be a small affair.  Their birthday is on March 11, which is a challenge in itself...March can be tricky when it comes to weather.  Last year was beautiful, the day they were born was freezing.  Considering the unusually warm winter we had been having, I thought we would take our chances on an outdoor party.  Besides, what on earth would I do with 22 two year olds INSIDE my house?!?!  Well, to make a long story just a tad bit longer, the weather ended up being a little schizophrenic that week, so Trey was given the task of making this outdoor party work rain or shine.  With a little help from Bill Veazey's Party Store, the party went off without a hitch!  

The party invitation and most of the printables are the work of LePoppy Design.  The darling picture on the invitation was taken back in the fall by my dear friend, Megn, of Megn Sparkman Photography.  I know, it's 5 months old, but their Halloween costumes worked perfectly with the party theme and the girls still look the same!

I found these larger-than-life balloons online.  To help party guests spot our barnyard, I tied 3 of them to the mailbox and floated the other 14 throughout the house.  Yep, that's 17 of these bad boys total.  You should have seen Trey's and my dad's SUVs packed with the balloons when they went to pick them up the night before!  Take note of the sky...rain was definitely in the forecast!  

Here's the lisA fRosT studio banner that we got last year to hang on the front door.  I know, it doesn't really match the party decor, but hanging it during the week of their birthday is a tradition!

Since the banner didn't match, I had to add something barnyard-ish to welcome the guests.  This display has three funny stories...1) Jenna kept picking up the apples and throwing them in the street...girl has got an arm!  2) The ponies got to enjoy a few apples after the party.  Yes, I said ponies.  3) I asked my dad to bring a pair of his cowboy boots from home to use in the display.  He couldn't find them, so he had to borrow from a friend...thanks, Mr. Krostag!  I think it's ironic that he couldn't find his boots...I seem to remember several years where all he ever wore were cowboy boots!

As part of PLAN D in Trey's "party rain or shine" plan, the petting zoo was set up in the single-car garage.  It really worked out great!  Check out the tall fella!  

Here's the biggest bunny on earth that had its own little pen away from the other beasts.  Layla took one look at that thing and exclaimed, "CAT!"  

We planned for pony rides, but it was going to be a game time decision depending on rain.

Thankfully, the rain held off and pony rides were a go!  We had two ponies and, for the life of me, I can't remember their names.  One was Marilyn (I remember that because I have an Aunt Marilyn) and the other was Bubba or Buddy or something like that.  They were quite friendly.  The two men in the picture are from Chester's Party Barn & Farm in Piedmont, OK.  They provided all of the animals and were ABSOLUTELY wonderful to work with!  I can't even begin to sing their praises!  Chester offers so many services for party entertainment, not just animals.  If you are planning a party, please, please check out their will not be disappointed!!!

In the front yard, we set up tricycles and this "hay" ride.  Yeah, I know it's a stretch...but, I don't actually live on a farm, people.  

Okay, let's move things inside.  Here are the girls' Happy Everything plates from Tulips.  You will see them for many more birthdays to come!

This tub was to collect donations for the Center for Children and Families, Inc.  CCFI is such a wonderful organization here in Norman.  In lieu of birthday gifts, Layla and Jenna collected items for the CCFI Baby Pantry and donated everything on behalf of their party guests.  Let me just say, Layla and Jenna's friends are super generous!  We were able to drop off loads of diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food to CCFI and they were extremely appreciative!

I had a couple of indoor activities set up in case the weather just completely fell apart.  At this station, kids could make cowbell necklaces.  One mom told me that after the party they went to Home Depot.  Their toddler didn't want to sit in the cart, but because he was wearing his cowbell necklace, they could keep up with him as he trotted up and down the aisles.  Maybe I'll somehow permanently attach a cowbell to Layla and Jenna.

The other station was a place where kids could color pictures of their favorite farm animals.  

Moving on to the party room.  This is our back patio where food and "outdoor" play were set up.  As you can see, this is where Bill Veazey's came into play.  They set up this tent to enclose our back patio, but also allowed for 10 feet of grassy area to set up a few fun toys.  The wind was certainly blowing that day, so their tent and outdoor heaters saved the day!  

I set up the the kiddie tables mainly because I thought it would be cute.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think a group of two year olds would actually sit there and enjoy a meal.  You'll have to stay tuned for my follow-up post to see if they did!

Another look...

These jelly-bean filled buckets served as centerpieces on each table.  Originally, I thought I would fill the tubs with popcorn kernels, but then I got nervous the kids might reach over and eat them.  Although I don't regularly support the act of children filling up on jelly beans, it's got to be better than popcorn kernels!  On another note, you won't believe how many jelly beans my dad and I ate the night before while setting everything up!

Here's a close up of the place settings.  I made the personalized placements and cup labels after a very helpful tutorial from my friend, Erin, who, by the way, throws fabulous parties!  

 Each child also got a Tolo Toy from Kidoodles Toy Zone.  If you are local, please shop at Kidoodles!  I just love that Norman has such a great toy store with quality products and knowledgeable staff.  Anyway, these little guys are so much fun and are great for fine motor development.  The heads, tails, legs, etc. on each animal spin around while making clicking noises.  So fun!  A cowboy hat was also placed in each chair.  Imagine a bunch of two year olds wearing cowboy die for!


Hanging over the two kiddie tables was this darling banner.  I really love the way it turned out!

The food table was decked out with all kinds of yummies that you might find out in the country.  You know, like 'Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade'.  Although, you can be sure that our lemonade was NOT freshly squeezed.    
Please note the red and white streamers used as the backdrop in the picture above.  Once again, this was the brainchild of my friend, Erin, but Megn gets the credit for sewing all 2500 feet of crepe paper together to construct this beauty.  I'm so lucky to have such talented friends!  The streamers were supposed to be hanging straight down, but the chafing dishes at the back of the table were coming dangerously close to starting a fire.  Megn had the bright idea to tie them back...once again, Megn saves the day!

Prepping 50 'Pigs in a Blanket' the night before kind of grossed me out.  I don't know why, but I have an issue with foods in mass quantity.  I'm glad the feeling faded by the next day because these things were actually pretty good.  Thanks, Devin, for slaving away at the oven during the party!

'Old MAC Donald'...get it?

Got to have at least one thing healthy, ya know?  Actually, there were 'Garden Vegetables' as well.

The water bucket was also appropriately named to go along with our theme.  But mainly, this picture is here to show a closeup of the backdrop...nice work, Megn!

Now, for the dessert table.  Yummo!  The backdrop here was able to hang in all its glory without fear of fire!

My all-time favorite bakery, Amy Cakes, made the delicious farm animal cupcakes.  I am seriously starting to daydream about them as I type.  My sweet friend, Saradee, of Saradee's Sweet Treats, made the darling sugar cookies.  They were too, too cute!  Just to the right, you can see the 'Fresh Eggs' aka Smores Pops that I made with gigantic marshmallows...seriously too big for two year olds.  Next time, I'll stick with the jet-puffed size.  

The John Deere wheelbarrow was the perfect container for the milk boxes, so I thought.  Apparently, it is not leakproof and we had a watery mess underneath...oh well, live and learn!

On the far right of the table was a tub for individual pudding cups.  Funny side story, the sign had a typo that said 'Pic Muck'.  Would you have noticed if I didn't tell?  

Just a few more pics of the party favor table and the details will be all wrapped up.  It's important to note that this backdrop took way less time to make than the streamers.  Just a few cheap, plastic table cloths and voila!    

Each of the party guest took home a jar of 'Chicken Feed'...

...and a 'Windmill'.

Seriously, to everyone who spent their morning with us on this special day...

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who helped pull this thing together...all of my friends who shared their creative ideas and amazing talents, my mom and dad for staying up late the night before to get it all set up, my MIL, FIL and SIL for assisting with this and that during the party, and my incredible husband who shed his fair share of blood, sweat, and tears over the last several months of planning.  Making this day special for the girls meant the world to me.  Love you all!

And here they are...the stars of the show and the newest two year olds on the block...
Jenna Louise and Layla Jane!

Stay tuned for more pics of the actual party...yes, there are more pics!      

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