September 6, 2014

The Party

Before my sister died (I still can't believe I'm writing those words) she and I had been planning a birthday party for her daughter, my niece, Serena. Serena hadn't had the best of luck with birthdays in years past, and my sister asked if I could throw her one over on my side of the state because I'm "better at that kind of thing". Haha. :) My niece is very girly and princess-y, my sister always joked that she was raising my daughter by mistake. So it worked out perfectly that I could throw the perfectly pink party that I would have totally wanted (ok, still want) for her! It was going to be the best! And in no time my sister was having just as much fun as I was (or more!) planning the details. We texted back and forth all the time about length of necklaces for the princesses, what color of jewels for the table, and how much tulle we needed. It was going to be everything Serena would have wanted. And it was a surprise! Hehe!

When I got the news that she died, just a week before my niece's birthday, I assumed the party would be off. And the strange thing was, in the back of my mind, I kept dreading telling my sister that I wouldn't be able to throw the party. I kept thinking: "Oh man...I really need to call her and explain. She's going to be so disappointed."
When we went to visit the family, my sister's husband asked if we could go ahead and have the party still. I was delighted, of course. We all knew how important it was to her. But it was awfully painful to work on it without my sister there. I kept wanting to text her excitedly to show her the glitter covered pink diamonds I made or call with questions or show her what I bought her as a present. Every moment spent on it was a reminder that she was gone. And it killed me that she wouldn't get to see it. I think every decoration there had some amount of tears on it before it was hung up.
But I got it done! And it was pink and sparkly and princess-like and fabulous. I covered all my furniture in pink fabric and hung sparkles and hears and diamonds everywhere. It was pretty magical. Everything was ready for the birthday Princess!
We had a store bought cake, because I don't make cakes anymore. :o(
And an ice cream bar with delicious toppings. :O)
And alllll the presents. So. many. pink. presents. :O)
And a birthday throne, obviously.
When she walked in we all shouted "Happy Birthday, Princess Serena!!" and this was her face. Haha, I love it!
All the princes and princesses got to work right away dressing themselves in tons of royal garments. I was up until the wee hours beforehand hot glueing capes because my last sewing machine needle was broken, and it was totally worth it! There were tons of dresses and crowns and gloves and boas and swords and helmets and shields. Hung on a pink garment rack. With pink hangers. 

My sister hand made gorgeous necklaces for the girls, wire-wrapped amulets for the boys, and a billion rings for everyone. She was AMAZING at the jewelry making. Seriously, amazing.
We set up two obstacle courses outside, one for the princesses, to earn their royal jewels...
And one for the princes and knights to earn majestic amulets and signet rings. 
My nephew, Alex: :O)
The kids had so much fun, and of course, the princesses wanted to go through the boys' "dangerous" course afterward, which was adorable.
Then it was present time! She had a lot. of presents. :o) We had to make up for all the years before, you know...
I convinced my family that we needed to buy her an American Girl Doll. :O) Might have been living through my niece juuuuust a little here, but hey. It was a special day. We picked it up at the AG store in Lynnwood, and oh my goodness is that place fabulous! It's like they designed it just for me!!
We got the one that looked just like her. With a matching outfit, which is so cute. My sister in law took this adorable photo of her little sunburned face with her new doll. :O) My sister would have loved this!!
Then the kids all decorated paper crowns while singing Frozen songs at the top of their lungs. It was so, so sweet.
Of all the parties I've thrown, this one takes the cake for how much fun the kids had. I would you could have seen them all dancing and flitting around singing and sword fighting and laughing.
I love this photo of 'Rene-bean and Paige. I hope they'll grow up to be best friends. :O)
My niece and nephew had a blast! And Serena let me know that this was her "best birthday ever", which just made me want to cry. They stayed the night and we took them to the water park the next day, where they also had a blast. At one point, while showing me his swimming skills, my nephew said: "Mom, look! Uh...I mean, Aunt Disney, look at this!" and I thought my heart was going to just disintegrate. It was definitely the most bittersweet couple of days I've ever had. But I really enjoyed having them here. I love those kids so much. And I think my sister would have loved the party. I really wish she could have been there.

On a different topic, thank you all so much for your kind comments and emails. I really appreciate it. I really, really do.
Love you so much,
Disney

43 comments:

  1. What a beautiful party. A bright spot during a dark time. I'm praying for your family and those sweet kids.

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  2. You did such a great job!! Everything was beautiful, and how wonderful for your niece and nephew! You are a treasure!! And I also think your next book should be on throwing parties...

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  3. Those kids are so blessed to have you. You are amazing and so is that party!

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  4. This makes me want to cry-it is so sweet and so wonderful! And what a nice way to show love for your sister. I'm sure she was there and loved what you did with it! And also-WOW, your neice DOES look EXACTLY like her American Girl doll! That picture is PRICELESS!

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  5. Awesome!! Your a wonderful Aunty and Sister. I second the book on parties!!! :)

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  6. You are so gracious and kind to do this for your niece (and nephew). I loved the look on her face when she was opening her gifts. Such a sweet girl. I'm keeping them both in my prayers....you too :)

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  7. As soon as I saw the pink Princess picture in my blog feed, I knew it was a new post from you, and I was so pleased to read about this loving kindness you showed your family. I know it couldn't have been easy for you, but I also know it is something your niece will treasure forever. I continue to pray for you and yours.

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  8. Oh Disney. You have me in tears of all kinds! Loving, happy, sad, funny... Ugh. You pulling hard on all my heart strings. This is truly, in every sense of the word: beautiful. This will probably stay with me in my thoughts for a very long time, I know.

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  9. I cried and cried reading this post! If I could give you a giant hug now I would!
    Love, Amber in Oregon

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  10. My heart is breaking for you and yours. What a wonderful treasure this blog post will be for the future. You done good!

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  11. You are awesome. That looks like an amazing party, and those kids are so so so blessed to have you in their lives. You and yours are in my prayers.

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  12. I sobbed through this entire post. What an amazing family you have. I think about you and your sister often. Hugs.

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  13. I was so pleased to read your post, Disney. I have felt so concerned for you and your family. What a blessing you have been to those little children who have lost their mum. I am sure you will be looking out for them as they grow up and what a beautiful party you put on for your niece!

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  14. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  15. What a wonderful, beautiful, brave post. It's wonderful to hear from you, thankyou so much for posting, it's strange to be thinking about someone the other side of the world whom I have never met and wondering how they are doing!

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  16. God bless you. That party might be the most important gift you've ever given. Those kids surely know they can count on you. xo

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  17. This party was amazing, and I cried all throughout this post. You and yours are still in my prayers. Hugs!
    Tracy

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  18. You are and inspiration to us all. So proud to know you! Love and miss you.

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  19. You are just amazing! I cannot imagine how painful this is for you, and the party planning. I'm glad those kids have you in their lives.

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  20. Doing all the firsts is the worst...and you did it! The party looked gorgeous. Wishing you healing, peace, and happiness through the tears.

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  21. You have the biggest heart. You celebrated your niece's life, and life in general, rather than succumbing to solely mourning. (Which would have been understandable.) And hugs to your BIL for wanting the party to go on. What a lesson in living.

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  22. What a gorgeous party. The kids had an absolute blast, I can see it by the pictures. I can't imagine the pain in planning and getting ready for it without your sister around. I'm sure she appreciates you helping her daughter have a magical day. Thanks for sharing this special day with us. I hope that you can find peace and healing with time.

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  23. Disney, you are an incredible blessing to everyone around you. Thanks for being you.

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  24. You have more than earned your place in Heaven, Disney - you're an amazing gal. I hope there's someone in your life that takes care of you as well as you take care of other people. This was a truly beautiful thing you did. Happy birthday to your niece!

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  25. You did your sister, niece and whole family proud, Disney! Your sister will be at peace knowing her family are together and looking after each other. Bless you all.

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  26. All kinds of tears flowing here in Boston. What a beautiful moment of joy you gave your niece and yourself. I hope your heart is a bit lighter. Thank you for sharing your stories.

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  27. Bless your big beautiful heart!

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  28. I'm really glad she had a wonderful birthday party to experience during such hard times. Disney, know that there are many people thinking of your wellness right now! Love from Canada! =)

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  29. you made me cry. what a sweet birthday party to do despite the pain planning it may have caused you. You are a special aunt.

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  30. It reminds me of this: "Weeping lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning." No promises that we won't weep more later, but joy WILL COME. You have my continued prayers for your entire family as you carry on.

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  31. What a beautiful party! Every detail is perfect and makes my heart skip a beat! If I ever have a little girl, she's getting a party inspired by this.

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  32. What a wonderful party! I'm so glad your niece enjoyed herself :)

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  33. Such a great party! Love all the dress up items! She will always remember that party, i'm sure. You did a fabulous job!

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  34. You are such a loving soul, Disney. It must have been a bitter time for you, but maybe easier to overcome by the labour of love... I'm sure your niece (and nephew) appreciate the loving embrace you give them through all you do for them.

    On a lighter note: a book project on children's parties? Fab! You've got such wonderful ideas!

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  35. I'm crying. I think of you often, although I don't know you. I hope God is helping you and your loved ones find peace and safety.

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  36. What an amazing party, and what a wonderful aunt you are!

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  37. Not sure where my comment went so if this is a repeat, just ignore :)

    What an amazing gift and party you gave your niece.
    I wish for your sis too.......

    I'm glad you wrote bc I too have been thinking of you {{{{D}}}}

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  38. I never leave comments on blogs but have to on this one. I want to tell you that you are awesome and i wish all girls and boys had aunties like you. I cried so hard after reading your post.hugs!

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  39. Disney, what a beautiful experience you created, and how loving of you. Your first sentence, "Before my sister died (I still can't believe I'm writing those words)" struck me, as I lost my only sibling, my sister, last year, and it's exactly my feelings everyday. God bless you, and know that you are thought of.

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  40. Rarely do blog posts make me cry. I could barely make it through this one. My heart goes out to you and your family. It took amazing strength for you to do this for your niece and nephew and your BIL. You gave them a moment of peace and joy during an unbearably painful time. That speaks volumes about your love for them and for your sister.

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing this. You are so sweet to put this sweet party together for your lovely niece. I was really touched by this story and inspired by your courage at carrying on. Thank you for sharing.

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  42. You are AMAZINGLY talented and creative (very gifted at planning and throwing parties); I think you have found your calling! :) Move over, Martha Stewart, you've got some competition! LOL ;) I definitely agree w/ the others that you could probably publish an awesome book on themed parties! I for one, would love to peruse it!

    I also thought that was very sweet and selfless of you to push through your grief to throw this party. I am SO. sorry. for your grief. How INCREDIBLY painful to have to "celebrate" and be joyful in the midst of gutwrenching pain and loss. You are brave and are a trooper. :)

    I, also, would LOVE to have a party like this thrown for me! LOL I don't care how old I am. I want a little kid party like this for me! LOL :) And don't feel badly about loving American Girl dolls. I still love Hello Kitty and will NEVER grow out of it! :) LOL I will still love and want Hello Kitty things even when I am 90 years old. :) LOL

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