We are back and I'm so very behind. Ashlyn's party went off perfectly. My friends and gracious hosts Paul & Kat didn't bat an eye when 25 people (half of them children) squeezed into their home and I am so grateful for having been able to feel at home so many miles away. It was a blessing to get to have so many of our family and friends there, including my grandparents and my mom, who was really not well enough to come but who wanted to be there badly enough to make it work. My mom and I – we're "make it work" kind of people.
There were walking lessons (hey, don't look at me; you know I'll have no part in helping my baby morph into a toddler).
And cake, which Ashlyn was not at all afraid of.
There were presents (she dug in like a champ).
And guests who thoroughly enjoyed watching her open them (just keeping it real here, folks). Apparently watching a twelve month-old tear open presents for half and hour isn't every adult's idea of a fun afternoon.
We even did our traditional pinata, which was rather morbidly hung from the basketball hoop.
I loved how very quintessential this birthday party was. Pizza, subs, kids, candy…bored adults. It was so absolutely perfect and I'm grateful for it. I was even a little proud of myself for scaling this one down and kicking back to enjoy it. No fuss. No fretting. No looming deployment. Just home-grown fun.
The only bummer was that I didn't really get any "money shots" of just Ashlyn in her little dress, on her special day. It's just too difficult — with 25 people milling about in a small space, helping keep track of both kids and keeping a party moving forward — to also be the photographer.
But the bottom line was it was a great day and a great trip, and I'm pretty sure Ashlyn thinks so, too.