My Friday was a race from start to finish. Amber and I stayed up Thursday night past 1 am and then the kids arrived in my bedroom at 6:15 am ready for breakfast. (Did I mention I didn't get to bed until after 1 am??) So after the mad dash to get them dressed, fed and off to school/daycare, I picked up kolaches for Amber and I and headed back home.
By 9:30 we were at 1960 and I-45 for some shopping that we needed to do and trying to tie up all the loose ends for the party. We finally got all of the shopping done and then decided to stop on the way home for the party food. As we were just starting to get produce I decided to call the woman who made the birthday cake for me to verify what time I could pick it up. She said that she was leaving work at 1pm (it was noon) and I still had a good 25 minute drive to get there. We left the basket and rushed home to get the cake (realized I didn't have the checkbook or cash as I was pulling into the parking lot--had to find an ATM), and then with that mission accomplished, went back to the grocery store to finish up the errands. Whew!
Back home, Amber blew up balloons while I unloaded the groceries, made a dip and finished stuffing the pinata. Then I changed clothes so I could cut the grass, and an hour later was back inside for quick shower before I had to run out and pick the kids up. By the time I got back home we were t-minus 2 hours until people started arriving. Amber was finishing up the gift wrapping and we got started arranging the food. Back outside to set up the table on the deck and hang balloons, and then inside to sweep the kitchen one last time.
I had the thought (for about the 18th time) that I was really glad I had taken the day off, because I would not have been able to get it all together without the whole day to prepare and without Amber there to help me! Everything was finally ready and we were finally able to sit back and relax for a minute while we waited for the guests to arrive.
The party turned out great and the pinata was a hit. Even the little ones got a chance at hitting it and Nathan and Kaben made quick work of knocking the stuffing out of it! Aunt Gail's gift of a rocket that launches when you stomp on a pump was the present that children and adults alike played with after the festivities were complete. All else was forgotten as they ran around the newly mowed lawn and launched the rockets over and over again. It was starting to get dark and it was a pleasant evening for sitting outside and visiting. The kids were all wearing the glow stick bracelets and necklaces they had plundered from the pinata as they ran around the backyard screaming and having a great time.
As I watched my family and friends talking and laughing and the kids running around with that singular joy and abandon that only children have, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and joy. The day had felt like a runaway train in some ways, but this end product made it completely worth the craziness. I was surrounded by love and laughter and there is not much more that you can ask from life than that.....contentment.