Nora Turns Two!
I’ll make the cliché statement right up front: I can’t believe Nora is two. You hear people say things like this all the time, and I remember when I was a kid, we’d see distant relatives once every few years and they’d act startled that I’d grown since the last time they saw me. “You were only this big,” they’d say, positioning their hand mid-thigh or wherever, indicating how tall I was the last time they saw me. As a kid, I found it so annoying. But it’s true. Time goes by so fast. Seems like I was just rocking my little newborn to sleep after fumbling through a feeding session, then I blinked and she was climbing up the ladder (by herself!) to her new swing set.
We had a small birthday party with family to celebrate Nora’s birthday. I landed on “You Are My Sunshine” for the theme, after a brief detour down the cowgirl theme path (we’re Texans now, after all). “You Are My Sunshine” is one of the two songs we sing to Nora at bedtime every night, and I’ve sang it to her for as long as I can remember. And when she sings it now — particularly when she stretches to reach the really high notes — it’s the best. Also, it’s an easy theme! Anything yellow = sunshine-themed.
“You Are My Sunshine” Birthday Party Décor
I thought it would be really easy to pull together the décor for Nora’s sunshine birthday party, but finding an invitation that I liked proved to be a bit of a hunt. There are a lot out there, but I couldn’t find any that were my taste (read: not cheesy looking). I found this adorable design from inBloom Studio in their Etsy shop.
I kept the decorations simple, placing framed photos of Nora, a framed party invitation and fresh flowers on our entry table. I also bought one of those chalkboards from Michael’s to create a board of Nora facts. I thought it was a great idea that I could repeat for every birthday (or use for other parties and holidays). Nice idea, except for the fact that the chalkboard I bought isn’t technically a real chalkboard, I guess, and the chalk markers that I used won’t wash off. Guess Nora can hang onto that for posterity… The one thing that had me kicking myself was my brilliant idea to make sunshine photos of Nora from her second year, which I clipped onto the wreath above our entry table. I can think of many other useful ways to spend my time rather than cutting out twelve little sunshines.
Luckily, “You Are My Sunshine” must be a popular theme at the moment, because everywhere I go I see all kinds of canvas artwork — and they’re inexpensive. I picked up a couple at TJ Maxx and put one on our mantle along with a big framed photo of Nora from last fall. I also got wooden T – W – O letters from Target and painted them yellow. Voilà!
Much to Nora’s chagrin, I made her another party hat this year. And it was as well-received this year as it was last year. By that, I mean she only agreed to wear it for a few photo opps before demanding it be removed. The hot glue gun scar I’m now sporting on my left wrist wasn’t worth it!
“You Are My Sunshine” Birthday Party Menu
Since Nora’s party was an afternoon soirée and not at lunchtime, I decided to just serve snacks. Originally I thought about doing all yellow foods, but that menu got a little odd… so I nixed the idea. Instead, the spread included: chips/salsa/guacamole, mac and cheese bites, meatballs, hummus and pita chips, lemon Jelly Belly beans and chocolate-covered Oreos (with a yellow drizzle!). The signature drink — because what two-year old’s birthday party doesn’t have a signature drink — was this delicious sunshine punch. I channeled the baker in me to whip up a lemon sunshine cake, which didn’t come out half bad!
I have no doubt that our little sunshine felt the love on her second birthday. And I have no doubt that I really will have a scar from that hot glue gun mishap. Guess that’s what I’ll hang onto for posterity.