After I made it through Steve's surprise party, I could focus on Jenna's party on Saturday afternoon. She is lucky to have a summer birthday, but up until this year, we really haven't taken advantage of that. Last year, I felt like she kind of got ripped off because we had planned a sleepover with her best friends, but then Steve fell and broke his hip and I just wasn't able to follow through. So this year, I decided to invite her whole class. True to form, we had about 50% show up, but along with our friends and family she had PLENTY of attendees.
I rented a local park pavilion which was terribly INEXPENSIVE. I bought bulk hamburger patties and hotdogs and a cupcake cake. I think total cost was about $150 which is way cheaper than renting a bouncy place or the zoo. The food and cake was just super cheap...we had access to the park playground, the grassy area a covered pavilion, gas grill and a basketball court. It was just a great deal and even though it was hot as Hades, it was a good party.
Jenna got so many nice things and not one duplicate. My friend Katelyn took pictures and my friend Carrie helped with the food, gifts and kids which allowed me to enjoy the party more. THANKS FRIENDS! (I gave Rachel the day off, but she was there the whole time!) Of course my SIL and sister, Deanne and Teresa helped as well.
But the big surprise of the day was that Nana showed up. That's what Jenna calls my stepmom Bertie. We weren't sure she would be up to getting out, but she did and her gift was the hit of the party. She had made... M-A-D-E a doll bed for Jenna's American Girl dolls (if you'll recall, she was the one who got JG her first AG doll at Christmas). And when I say she "made" it, I mean she used screws, wood, painted and even MADE a mattress, sheets, comforters, pillows etc. It's like a real bed and in my opinion, better than the AG beds you can buy (which are terribly expensive). And what made the bed even more special was that Nana told Jenna she had begun making it before Daddy had gotten so sick. She showed it to him before and he just grinned from ear to ear and said they'd have to hide it until her birthday. And then Nana wrote on the bottom of it and signed both her and Daddy's name (Poppop). Jenna's little eyes teared up when she read that. That girl did love her Poppop. Such a keepsake!
Then, to top it off, Jenna opened the accompanying box which was FULL of AG clothes that Nana had hand made including accessories to match such as necklaces, bracelets and purses. Anyone out there with little girls interested in AG, I know you are jealous. We are SO lucky. Despite the hard time that bookended Jenna's actual birthday and party, it turned out great, but I have to admit, Mom was glad it was over!