she and the hub had gone on a daddy date months ago to an indoor go-karting race track, and she had so much fun that she decided on the spot that that was where she wanted to celebrate her 10th. this made planning her party super easy for me, although my concern was that the venue was a little outside of our local area and i hoped that people would be willing to drive out.
she planned every aspect of the party herself, down to the food (hawaiian bbq) and favors. she'd originally thought about doing cookies or brownies because she really isn't that big on cake (i know), but then her sister talked her into doing an ice cream cake from baskin robbins. since ice cream is her kryptonite, it was settled pretty quickly. i'd planned on making t-shirts for everyone again like we'd done last year, but after badgering guests for sizes with only a few responses i gave up. and so the bean decided to swoop in and make the executive decision to create a goody bag full of all her favorite things: pocky, marshmallow wands, squishies, sticky hands, pokemon cards, homemade slime.
that morning, she asked me to do her hair after she got out of the shower. we'd just flat ironed it for picture day earlier in the week, and she wanted to replicate the look for her party. i busted out all the tools and got to work.
the hub left to pick up the food, the old lady was tasked with picking up the cake on her way from work, the ILs were taking their own car, and so that left me and the birthday girl to drive out to ontario for the party. and once we got there, we were off and running to get the few decorations put up in the party room, set up the chafing dishes, all that fun stuff.
as you can see, i'm far from the partyzilla i used to be in years past. i'd gone to target to pick up some non-character themed decorations and party supplies and called it a day. gone are the days when i'd craft for weeks ahead of time and make sure everything was pinterest-perfect. and let me tell you, letting go of those tendencies is quite freeing. and cheaper. heh.
it took a little while for all the kids to gather together, and they had a great time posing for pictures on the podium near the entrance while they waited to get started.
and then our race coordinator took them all to the junior karting track to give them some instructions, put helmets on and get started.
lots of rules, as you'd expect.
and then they got seated in their cars and took off for their 12-lap "qualifying" race.
it was really funny to watch them as they got themselves comfortable in the karts, and a few of them took off like a bat outta hell right from the start. we were standing near a particularly hairy-looking curve that also just so happened to have the leader board posted above it, and they'd constantly slow down to check out their standing as they drove past. this led to a couple of pretty gnarly crashes, but luckily no one got hurt and they continued the race.
when it was over they took those helmets off and headed into the party room to get some drinks and some grub.
meanwhile, it was time for some of the grown-ups to have a little fun.
we had my cousin and his wife, me and the hub, the old lady and her special friend and one of my mom friends out on the track for our own 12-lap race. it was so much fun to pretend we were race car drivers and just go balls out on the track, with the guys taking the lead right off the bat and pretty much lapping the rest of us for the majority of the race. at one point the guy held up the blue "passing" flag as i drove by, but i wasn't really paying attention. and then when i passed him again he was holding up a sign that said "LET THEM PASS" and i was super annoyed. like, no dude, this is a race, leave me alone! but i scooted over to one side and two of the guys whizzed past me like i was stopped. whatever. ha!
after the kids were done with their second race, it was time for cake.
while the slices were being passed out, i put the bean to work handing out the goody bags.
i spy a photobomber hamming it up a little in this one.
i'm grateful to the other parents for having the presence of mind to take pictures of the kids for me.
and on our way out i managed to corral my family for a quick group photo.
one last selfie before getting in the car:
back at home, molly supervised while the bean opened her presents.
a couple of months ago as we were driving home from school, the bean said that instead of presents for herself she wanted people to donate to a local animal shelter. i thought this was a pretty sweet idea, and i told her that i was proud of her for thinking of it. and then the hurricanes hit, with the news full of pictures and video of people suffering the aftermath of the flooding and everything, and she decided that it was more important to ask for donations that would go towards the hurricane victims. and so whenever anyone asked what she wanted for her birthday, that's what i told them. she still received a handful of really nice gifts from her friends along with a number of cards that told her that donations were made, so it all worked out.
later that evening, i dropped her off at a sleepover for a friend's birthday. yeah, it was quite the action-packed weekend for her, and she was super stoked to continue the partying. and with her taken care of, the hub and i headed out and had a nice date night, just the two of us.
see? everybody wins!