On this birthday, we took Vienne and her best friend, Caleb, on a fun birthday date to an awesome place called "CHAP Art Factory". CHAP stands for "Children's Healing Art Project". The main purpose behind CHAP is to send artists to the children's hospital and provide art therapy to sick kids. A few years ago, CHAP also had an art factory that was open to the public, for children to come in and have free reign with art and paint! It was an awesome place! It was only a few dollars admission and the kids could paint ANY surface (except the windows) and/or work at the craft table. You will see the pictures below. It was an incredible experience. I wish they were still open to the public.
The next afternoon, we threw Vienne her first "over the top" party with family and close friends. This was before Pinterest was around or at least popular, and I am quite proud to say that I somehow pulled off a party that would be "pin-worthy"! ha. At least, I think so! I just do that kind of stuff because I absolutely love it...not to have the best party or to try to "look like the coolest mom". (On a side note, I believe that Pinterest can skew our views and standards for ourselves...it is something to be aware of and careful with. Off my sopabox now.) If you know me, you know that I just love craftiness and projects. It was so fun to be able to do this for her...and now I am at least thankful to have such great memories.
Here are the photos...
(one of our favorite videos - her birthday party announcement. I remember she was going through a time of singing everything to us. LOVE it. "That's right!"
*Notice the bandaid on her tummy? Bandaids were her accessories almost EVERY day for a while!)
(Vienne and Caleb in the car, on the way to CHAP. Caleb was going through a phase of telling silly jokes. Vienne thought he was HILARIOUS.)
(inside the CHAP Art Factory, they built structures out of cardboard - the kids can paint all surfaces, even the floor!)
(look at her little meticulous hands and face...always so careful and detailed!)
(a huge fort to run through and paint in!)
(how awesome is this place?! Don't you wanna go?!)
(paint the car...ride the car. Caleb's face is a crack up)
(at the craft table)
(making a mother's day card for me. See the tulip? It's one of my favorite flowers.)
(after we got cleaned up and changed, we walked around downtown, visited a park, and had lunch.
"Hold my hand...")
(is this not one of the BEST photos of all time??)
(playing in a park in the Pearl District)
(after lunch they played in the water fountains)
(we had dreams for these two...)
(this is on the morning of her actual birthday...going to church. She picked out her dress and shoes! The dress is from her 2nd birthday - hence the reason it looks a bit short.)
(then, she INSISTED on wearing Caleb's sweatshirt that he accidentally left in the car...but the headband was bugging her. ;))
(In her pretty dress, sparkly tennies, and boyfriend's sweatshirt...oh boy)
(the birthday party set up. Made this bunting banner before I knew they were even popular. The table was set with a beautiful antique white table cloth, gorgeous flowers in mason jars, and the cupcake stand I created!)
(made this cupcake stand from pretty antique plates and glasses found at Goodwill.)
(tied twine and beads around our mason jar drinking glasses)
(wrapped the silverware & cloth napkins with pretty paper and tied with twine. I look at this now and think "whoa! what was I thinking??" haha)
(look at those beautiful green-tipped pink tulips that I found! I remember being so excited about finding those)
(made "puff ball" flower cupcake toppers)
(Vienne's special cupcake with a taller puff flower with leaves and 3 beeswax candles. I made gluten free chocolate cupcakes with oreo cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.)
(made these large tissue paper puff balls and hung them in a bouquet)
(the kids' activity table - covered the coffee table with poster board to draw on)
(the birthday seat for opening gifts)
(and the beautiful vintage pale yellow dress I found on Etsy. I was soooo excited for her to wear it.)
(but, when it came down to party time...she refused the pretty dress and opted for her handmade dino shirt instead! UGH. Of course.)
(sweetest most precious girlfriend hugs! - Vienne and Emily.)
(Emily and Vienne playing with Poppy)
(two sweet friends of ours - Emily and her Mama, Kristel)
(balloon attack on Mark!)
(we made a few yummy pizzas to enjoy)
(Caleb and Malachi)
(Birthday song and cupcake time!)
(Kristel captured the song on her phone for us.)
(we got her a wooden train set...it became one of her most favorite things to play with)
(I love this - it captures her quiet sweetness in the midst of all the chaos. A perfect picture of who Vienne was.)
(Radio Flyer trike from Grandpa and Grammy!...and she couldn't reach the pedals until the following year!)
(so, the next morning I finally got her to put the dress on! I had to snap some photos...of course.
I love this. I MISS her sweet room sooo much.)
(she received this pot with a mini garden planted in it from her Aunt Lacey, one of my dearest friends. I've spoken of it several times on here)
(really inspecting her birthday garden. She LOVED it)
(from what I can remember, it had snap peas and broccoli and leeks...)
(Lacey also hung this lovely little charm from a branch, to reflect light in the sun)
(AND, she made tiny little stepping stones with the ends of wine corks and included two TINY glass turtles, hiding in the garden. These turtles were the MAJOR fave and were played with a LOT. Eventually, Vienne lost one turtle and then hid the other one in the veggie drawer in the "fligilator" (her word). It was found when we moved. We now keep it in our new fridge, in the veg drawer...always. And, I say fligilator a lot. ;))
Oh. This post and this birthday is full of some of my favorite memories.
Missing her in an extreme way this week. Always.