Yesterday was our oldest daughter's 11th birthday. We try our best to treat each of the girls equally in every respect. My heart will never be able to look at J's birthday like any other birthday, however. I cannot help but remember sitting in the NICU and watching her crash over and over again after the doctors had done everything humanly possible to extend the limits of her birth.
Last night we watched her and her sister standing at the fridge, laughing and playing with the magnetic poetry she had just opened. The fierce joy of that moment cannot be described. I only know it was possible because of God's powerful grace.
Yes, I think her birthday will always be different.
This year's party is different in another way too. We couldn't get a single idea out of her. Her only response was "maybe you could surprise me." All of her presents were a success last night, so that's a relief. I hope our theme for the family party will pass muster as well. (Now that the party is over, I can tell you that it did.)
She loves bats. Do you know how hard it is to find bats during February when all the stores are selling hearts, kittens, and roses? Even if this were October, the theme is not Halloween or Goth bats. It's just cute, happy bats. So we made our own.
We photo shopped clip art bats and used spray adhesive to attach them to the bottom of clear plates. The table clothes were dark blue and we scattered silver stars on them to mimic the night sky.
We made little clothespin bats to clip on the side of the plates as a party favor. By the end of the evening, people were wearing them on their clothes, hair and jewelry.
I am not and never will be a professional cake decorator, but here was my attempt at creating a bat cake. J was pleased, and that is all that counts. I used the Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake and frosting recipes, so it tasted fantastic regardless of how it looked.