Ain’t No Party like a Midwest Party

{…‘cause a Midwest Party don’t stop.  This is the unintentional second part of the birthday bash recap…if you missed the first, click here.}

The drinks were flowing.  The bar-b-que was gobbled up.  The cakes were smashed and the dirt dessert was devoured.  Despite the uncooperative weather outside, the atmosphere in the shed was downright festive.  As the grown-ups chatted and let their food settle, the kids were running around the bubbles, playing in the “kiddie area,” and planting flowers at the potting station.

However, a quick glance at our watches told us that it was getting close to the girls bedtime.  So Missy made the call…we were heading back up to the house for present opening.  At this point, some of our guests (especially those with smaller children) began to trickle out, while the majority of them made their way back to the living room to watch the girls get after their small mountain of gifts.  The remaining few stayed behind to “hold down the fort,” until our return after the action died down.

The Stash

We settled in and soon the gift opening began.  Truth be told, I think our girls of the hour were more interested in tearing apart the colorful paper and curly ribbons…


More Unwrapping

…as well as entertaining our guests.

Jovie entertaining.

…but Missy and I sure appreciated the enormous amount of generosity that was shown to us by our friends and family as the girls received everything from shoes:

New shoes.

…dresses and clothes…


And more dresses!

…to instruments, toys, books, and more!

Rowan loved her drum (and that makes papa proud)!

"And more" also includes Huggies!

And yes, I even helped some too (sorta…):

Helping out.

Yet soon the girls were obviously getting very sleepy, worn out by such a long day.

Barely awake Rowan.

So up to bed they went.  After a few final presents were unwrapped, most of the remaining guests began to head for home.  However, a few of our pals remained behind, knowing there was still plenty of fun to be had back in the shed.

What happens in the shed, stays in the shed...

It was our original intent to have a roaring  bonfire to accompany our After Party, but by the time the gift unwrapping wound down, it had begun to rain in earnest.  So instead, our lovely propane space heater had to make do.

Our makeshift "bonfire" for the evening.

Something just wasn’t quite the same (plus the metal base didn’t quite keep our feet warm as a real bonfire would have).  Yet despite the obvious lack of flame and sound of crackling wood, we were dry, our bodies were warm, and the rain pounding on the tin roof made us feel extra cozy inside. So the conversations carried on and went from good to great, and many laughs were shared telling stories, reliving days gone by, and making new memories.

Sorry for the reflection!

Jason, Chris, and Ben clearly enjoying themselves.

Buddies: Joel, Luke, Tere, and Cassie. Love the bags of seed in the background.

Lovers! Kels and Eric Williams

Gal Pals: Cassie, Bridget, and Cristi!

We officially closed up shop around 11:30…time for mama and papa bear to hit the hay. Despited wanting to carry on, those girls are up at 5:45AM no matter what time we go to bed.  So we all said our goodbyes and finally parted ways.

It was truly a night to remember. Like I said earlier: probably the best birthday party ever. I know that the girls will only remember it all through pictures, but I hope they look back on this day knowing that they were (and are) loved by so many awesome people in their lives.  A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped make this day so special. We are so blessed to have such great friends and family to have come the distance with us.  And while it has only been one year, it’s been a really big year…one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Here’s to many, many more.

This entry was posted in All by Tom Hardinge. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

2 thoughts on “Ain’t No Party like a Midwest Party

  1. Pingback: Perspective. | living in pursuit

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