Sunday, March 28, 2010

Carleigh's party

Thanks to everyone who though of us yesterday as we celebrated Carleigh's birthday with a party. And thank you to those who released a balloon for her.

After weeks of planning and not much sleep the party is finally over and it went very well.

Anthony, his parents, and my niece Kendall camed down Friday night to our house and then left to go pick up Hannah at the airport. Kyndra and I were already in bed when they got back. I woke up about 6:45 am Saturday morning and started getting myself around. I had already set some things out the night before to take for the party but there was still some last minute things for me to do.

We left our house around 8:30 am. Anthony and everyone else went to go pick up the cake and I went to get my hair done. I finished up with my hair around 9:30 am and then I went out to the cemetery to replace Carleigh's flowers in her vase with ones I had made. After I finished up I went to our church's FLC where we were having Carleigh's party so that I could start setting up everything. When I got there, the guys were arranging the tables and chairs and so I started to get things in order on what would go where. I had my mom, Anthony's mom, and my pastor's wife Holly helping me out. Holly has been such a big help to me, so thank you Holly!! I know you're busy doing pretty much everything else in the universe so I appreciate you taking a little time for me!

I was actually still decorating when some people came and they even helped me (thanks Jeremy!). The decorations came together really well and the balloons turned out great! I had 7 bunches of balloons that had a larger clear balloon with stars surround by 6 lavender balloons. I used those to decorate and then we had some leftover lavender balloons that we set off to the side that would later be used for the balloon release. The colors I used for the party were lavender, white, and a light green. I had green candles sitting around and they smelled like tropical fruit. Yum! The punch I had was a lime sherbet punch and it was really good! It even turned out to be the same color as the candles. The cake was simply awesome. The lady who made it did it exactly how I wanted.

I set up a keepsake table that held some of her keepsakes and her scrapbooks. I also had her memory chest off to the side. It was nice to be able to touch all of her things.

I had picked out some music that I had playing in the background during the party. The CD was called Inner Peace and I picked it out because of the titles of the selections. They seemed to follow our journey and I just thought that was neat. Here's the selections: Morning Light, Hearts of Joy, Solace, First Steps, On Silent Wings, Reconcile, Healing Hands, Reflections, Providence, Silver Lining, The Journey, Turning Towards Home, Inner Peace, and Truth. And they are all very pretty pieces.

The photographer we hired came a little bit before 11 am and starting photographing the decorations and stuff. She really did a great job and I can't wait to see the pictures from the party. Sorry there isn't any on this post! I know many of you want to see them but I have to make you wait until I get the pictures back. I have a picture in my head of all the pictures I wanted so I hope she got them all! I wanted someone to come and take pictures so that I wouldn't have to worry about taking them myself during the day and I'm really glad that I did.

We did have a little mishap with the grill that we were supposed to use to cook our food for the party. Anthony and I had decided to do a cook-out theme for the food and we found out the grill didn't have any racks! So, my dad and Anthony's dad went out to Walmart to get a grill to cook our food. Well, Anthony and I have a new grill now! lol (Thanks Dad!) Needless to say we started eating a little later than we had planned but it turned out fine. The food was good and then Anthony and I cut the cake. That was pretty interesting as I had never cut a two-tiered cake before! I managed though and we all had big slices of delicious cake! It was super good and I told Anthony if we ever need another cake we're definitely getting it from her!

The thing that was most disappointing to me was that there were quite a few people that told me they were coming and then didn't. It really had me upset because I had put so much time and effort (and money) into planning this party when I could've planned a much smaller one had I known so many weren't going to come. (Not to mention the date was set months in advance.) I was talking to Anthony about it and realized that this party wasn't about how many people showed up or about anybody else. It was about Carleigh. He said regardless if nobody came we would still have fun and he was totally right. So I got over it and figured it wasn't my loss. It was anybody's who didn't come because they'll never get to experience this special day with us again. And I don't say these things to make people feel bad but to tell the truth of how I was feeling. I know some of those that couldn't be there released balloons for us instead and I appreciate that a lot!

Anyways, after the meal and cake we filled out the cards that had one of Carleigh's flowers on it. We all wrote a little message to Carleigh and attached them to the balloons to release at the cemetery. We loaded up the balloons in the church van and Anthony and I led the way to the cemetery. I have to say here that we had an absolutely beautiful day for her party. Just the day before it was rainy and even this morning on her birthday we had rain. God gave us the perfect day and I am thankful to Him for it! The sun was shining while we were outside and even the horses came to the fence like they usually do when we visit and they're out. These are the same horses that were present at the cemetery on the day of her funeral. I've always drawn comfort from seeing these horses even though I'm not a big horse person.

Hannah read a little something that she wrote and it was very sweet. Then we all sang Happy Birthday and at the end of the song we let go of all the balloons and they floated and floated away. We all spent a little more time at the cemetery and then everyone left one by one until it was just Anthony and I left (we put Kyndra in the van). We spent a few moments alone with Carleigh and then left to go back to the church to clean up, pack up, and go home. At home I unloaded everything and put it all away. Then we ended up going to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner (thanks Andy & Felicia!) and to a local hotel where a few were staying for the night. The kids swam for a little bit but Anthony and I stayed for about a half hour. By then it was 9 pm and I was so ready to go to bed!

It was such a great day and so exhausting too! Thanks to all who came and celebrated with us! It really meant so much to us!


Jaime said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Carleigh! It sounds like your mommy sure did throw you one amazing party! You are a lucky little lady to be surrounded by so much love! xo

What a great post, Holly! Even with a few blips (as to be expected at any party) it sounds like it was a huge success and most importantly you all gathered together to show your love for your babe... it sounds like it was as perfect as can be!!


April said...

Holly, I am so glad that you were happy with the party. It certainly did sound like you put alot of time and energy in it. I am sure it was beautiful and I would love to have seen all those balloon floating away in the sky. I know Carleigh was truly honored that day (and today of course) with so much love.

I can't wait to see pictures. How do you feel today? I have thought about you often. I hope you are able sleep peacefully tonight with many thoughts of your baby girl.

Franchesca Cox said...

Sounds like Carleigh's birthday party was over the top! I can't wait to see pictures!!! You put so much time and effort into the party, and I know you will treasure today's memories for the rest of your life.


The Writer Chic said...

Happy birthday, sweet girl. I truly hope heaven has cupcakes....and I hope you and Duncan got to share one today. You are missed and loved.

Blogger said...

Was thinking about you all weekend. I'm relieved that you're holding up so well. What a blessing to have such amazing and sweet people in your life. See you May 1st! I'm really looking forward to it. (Although I've only raised $5 and that was from me...)

Trisha Larson said...

I am so happy to hear that your day went as well as it did. You did a wonderful job celebrating and honoring your daughter. If only those who didn't come could know how much it means to have our children's lives memorialized and to be supported as we tackle such difficult events. If only...

Sending my love,

belle said...

how beautifully perfect! i can't wait to see the pictures.

croleyc69 said...

Sounds like a great party and we would have loved to been there. The kids were all excited here. Ridge put Carleigh's picture beside the fountain all weekend. Kids sang Happy Birthday too. I can't wait to see the pictures either. Ridge said this morning Holly is such a good Mom to do all that for her, a few tears fell. You and your family are very special. So nice Hannah was able to be there.
Lots of great memories there and so glad for a nice day.
Prayers and {{HUGS}}

Lisette said...

The party sounds like it was wonderful. I glad you had a good turn out but I am sorry not everyone showed up. It is their loss like you said. I am also glad you had perfect weather. I cna't wait to see your pictures.

I hope you were able to get some rest today, I am sure you are so so tired.

Marie W said...

I'm glad the party went well. When I get disappointed about a turn out, I remind myself that those who were meant to be there, were there.
I can't wait to see the pictures.

Anonymous said...

I know that people who don't show is disappointing, but it reminds me that those who are most important in our lives are there for us when we need them. *hugs*

Sounds like an awesome day otherwise. Anxious to see pictures. :)

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Girl!!

Jill said...

It sounds like there was so much love surrounding Carleigh for her birthday! I know you put so much effort into this party and I can't wait to see the pictures! xx

Elizabeth said...

I am so glad to hear your party for Carleigh went well. It sounds like you spared nothing to make it as special as possible. I like the idea of releasing balloons. You're a great mom. *hugs* Happy Birthday Carleigh!

Rikki said...

Her party sounds amazing. Im sure that she loved it. I cant wait to see the photos (especially the cake, it sounds scrumptious)

Jennifer Ross said...

It sounds like Carleigh's day went perfect! I'm so happy that it did. You only have one first birthday! I can't wait to see the pictures:)

Elena said...

Happy Birthday Carleigh! I'm so glad that you got to celebrate that day with close family and friends. It sounds like a perfect day. By the way I love the way Carleigh's name is spelled. She has a beautiful name! Thank you for sharing her special day with us.


With Out My Punkin said...

Sounds like a beautiful day!! Happy birthday to Carleigh!!

Just Breathe said...

Holly, it sounds like it was a perfect day. All the plans you made for the day sounded wonderful.
My prayers and thoughts are always with you. ((HUGS))

{:miss v:} said...

Sounds like it was a very special day! I'm so happy for you and your family.

You did a great job and Carleigh's memory was honored beautifully.

Jess said...

Sounds like a wonderful day, with so many special touches to honor Carleigh. I can't wait to see the pictures!

Sue said...

Happy Birthday Carleigh! I was thinking of you and your family on your special day.

Thnks for the great descriptions Holly, I almost felt like I was there. I'm sure it was a wonderful and beautiful party. I can't wait to see the pictures.

Mackenzie's Mommy said...

Carleigh's party sounds amazing. I'm starting to think of what we want to do for Mackenzie. I'm leaning towards a party, too. You're such a sweet mommy! I know Carleigh was honored <3

Kristin said...

That sounds like such a wonderful day. I'm glad it turned out well. I will look forward to seeing all of the pictures :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a beautiful day. hugs

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