This post is going to be dedicated to my beautiful now 17 year old daughter. I think this is the first time I've had a problem with my child's age. She's seventeen. That's one year from being eighteen, you know. Ahhh, eighteen, the magical age where you are a legal adult and can spread your wings and try to fly. She's right excited about that magical age, too.
I am so conflicted over my prematurely born baby growing up. I totally get how you blink and they're grown and gone. My years with her have truly flown by. Okay, that's a lie. There have been a few times that I may have stated that if I get this kid grown and gone, I'm throwing myself a big party to celebrate. I also have to laugh because this sister is her mother's child. I see myself all over her at that age. She's fiercely independent with opinions that usually don't agree with mine and her dad's. She has her own political thoughts and I'm pretty sure she's muttered that we are archaic about ours under her breath. It's all good. It shows that I haven't raised a person to enter society believing everything she hears without going on missions to find the truth for herself.
Paige asked me around February if she could have a 17th birthday party. I immediately said yes because her 16th birthday wasn't the greatest. We hadn't been living here but a few months and she really didn't know enough people to even have a party last April. I felt so badly for her as most of the kids in this area have Sweet Sixteen parties. You want to talk about a Mama who ached for her child? I sure did when I moved her in the middle of her sophomore year from a school and friends she loved dearly. (That situation would fall under parental decisions you don't want to ever have to make in your child's life.) My baby has had a rough year adjusting to living in this new place. I'm so glad to say that I think she's finally found her niche and her sparkling personality and will be just fine until she graduates.
We started planning at that moment and about a month before the party, we started to seriously think of themes and decorations. She finally decided she wanted to go with a zebra stripe and lime green for her colors. Then began the hunt on the internet to see what we could find. Okay, for the record? Zebra stripe is some popular stuff and if you want to use it at your own party? Order it weeks in advance. Boxes started arriving a couple of weeks before the big party day and Paige, Makenna, and I were so excited to open them and see the goodies we had ordered. Did I mention there was some disco ball added up in the mix of things? Little did I know that you could make a facebook event of the whole deal. That wasn't good enough for me. Parties need invitations. Call me old school, I don't care. Carla Girl whipped me up a template for her invitations and emailed them to me. We printed up post cards of red carpet and disco ball goodness for her pass out the week before the big date.
I decided to keep the menu sweet and simple. I gotta give a small shoutout to Walmart for this post. Did you know if they have a deli, there are affordable party foods you can order? Neighbor Debbie used some of Walmart's deli skills for Neighbor Greg's retirement and I decided to check them out for Paige's party. You can order six foot long sandwiches for twenty five bucks. I ordered three and when The Man went to pick them up, they gave him three more because the fresh baked bread they make the sandwiches out of wasn't as wide as they would have liked. Those sandwiches were amazing but we were sure tired of eating them a week later. I went to Sam's Club and bought chex mix, chips, and a nifty beverage station (pictures of that one). Add in a pack or two of cookies, along with the cake, and that was the menu.
The party was a huge success and she had between 20-30 teenagers come to party. The party was held at our neighborhood clubhouse. It was perfect and spacious for those loud kids to have a good time. Can I just say that I am beyond impressed with the friends my child has picked? There were six adult chaperones because this gal remembers being seventeen, if you know what I mean. This group of kids were absolutely fabulous. They laughed and danced and sang and ate. They were polite and gracious. No one tried to sneak out and come back in. It was a pure pleasure to have them at my child's party. Neighbors' Debbie and Greg, and new friends James and Sherry were just as amazed as The Man and myself over how wonderful this group of kids behaved and acted. Everyone considered the party a complete success and I had one happy girl when all was said and done.
Now, I have to take a deep breath and brace myself for this last year before 18. I will be truly excited over Senior pictures and all the crazy things that high school seniors get to take part. I already catch myself sneaking extra looks in my child's direction. I want to treasure this year and hold it close so when she's ready to fly...I'll be able to let her.
Oh, and just to show how exciting this year has been for her since she turned 17 on April 14th? She's gotten into her first fender bender. My heart stopped when she called to let me know, but she had wonderful cops (seriously, they were just awesome), and her worries that Mama and Daddy were going to be furious (we weren't. It was an ACCIDENT and she was okay...so we're okay). It traumatized my Drama Llama and Miss Scarlett had to take to her boudoir for the rest of the evening to recover. (It was literally a tap kind of thing, but the Loser Cruiser (the vehicle she has to share with The Man) is going to need some cosmetic work before hitting the highway again.)
We also found out yesterday that she has passed the state of Georgia's Graduation Exam!!! With honor and advanced scores!!! When she showed me the test scores there was alot of girl squealing all around and high fives and hugs. She will totally enjoy her Senior year now with that out of the way. We are so proud of her for this accomplishment. Poor kid has issues with math (like her Mama) and she has struggled with understanding and passing. Get this, though. She got an honor score in that subject! That's my girl.
Now, I shall share a few pictures of the party with you.
Here's the Birthday Girl in the lovely tiara Mama D (Neighbor Debbie) bought her for the occasion. She was the Belle of the Ball!
Again, simple decorations. These balloons are HUGE. When I saw the disco ball balloon, I just could not resist. Try riding around town with these bad boys up in the back bouncing around.
** Just note that I am right nervous to post my pictures of my decorating abilities. I come from a long line of church women who have thrown many parties and get togethers. If I failed? I am a shame to the family. Yeah, I'm feeling a little okay. (Note also that I didn't get elaborate with decorating because coming from that same line of decorators have shown me that you still have to clean up at the end of the night. See? I was right smart about the whole thing, really.) I also have lots of pictures of teenagers having a good time, but no permission to post their pictures. I'm sure you understand.