My girls are 6th and 8th grade. That's 12 and 14 years old. They are mini adults. They are making bigger and bigger decisions all the time. They are growing up and I have nothing to do about it. Except make memories while it happens.
When they were little I went all out with birthday parties and the planning that went into them. We did princes more than a few times, we did spa parties, cooking studio parties, fancy tea parties, bowling parties, roller skating, horses, safari scavenger hunt....the list goes on. We talk about them every year at their birthdays and try to remember the theme to each one. But the last couple years, they kind of dwindled. Or were replaced by bigger gifts like summer camp or expensive concert tickets (great memories!). Moving from NM to CO also factored in because it has taken a while to build up their friend base which is what a party is really based on.
This year Emma did a little searching on Pinterest and decided she wanted another scavenger hunt. And though the Lion King 5th birthday party was pretty awesome, she wanted to do one in the mall with her friends. And oh yeah, it has to be, like, hard mom. Okay? For 14-year-olds.
Great. No pressure.
In the meantime, as kind of a long time wish of mine, I talked Karly into joining us and combining her party with Emmas so both groups would be in the hunt. Karly's situation is a little different as her friend base is pretty volatile (read: inconsistent). It changes quite often. But as the time neared, she was able to formulate one of the four teams that would be in our Scavenger Hunt Party.
I got a lot of my ideas off of Pinterest but here are pictures of the stuff I ended up making...I did two versions. Turquoise for Emma and Pink for Karly. Everything else was the same for each girl.
Invitation and envelope, goody bag, water bottle, hunt rules and scoring sheets.
Again, I found these on Pinterest but instead of purchasing them, I made them myself in Photoshop.
For the "credit card" I used business adhesive 3M card protectors.
The goodies were big size candy bars and some candy from the candy store, beauty items from Forever 21, glass bottle of soda and straw, and face mask/mud from Forever 21.
The party was from 4-7pm as the mall told me it starts thinning out in the mall after 5pm on a Saturday. I had asked the stores (and the mall) that I was including on my hunt before hand if it was okay to send my girls in. There were a couple stores that said no so I steered them clear of those. The hunt part was from 4-6pm. Then they came back to the food court and ate, had cake and got their prizes. I learned a lot from this experience and unfortunately, I wouldn't have know if I hadn't tried it this way. But the girls loved it and we talked about doing it every year. I had a lot of fun with it because it was a fun "girl" thing to do.
As my girls get older, I see them growing into the adults they will soon be. I am absolutely loving talking to them and spending time with them as they grow. They are such cool, neat little spirits. They are so much like they were when they were 5 and 3. In some ways they haven't changed a bit and I just smile to myself when I think about those times. As I get older and my kids reach the age that I wished I had done things like this, my brain sends me back to that time in my life. The things that my parents did or didn't do to make my childhood the way I wanted it to be. Teenagers usually go through a phase where their parents "ruin their life" and I expect that. But I fully intend to make the best of my time with my "big girls" now that they are old enough to do things that I like to do (and wear the same clothes, ha!). Our relationship is growing with them. We are learning from our mistakes and they know I will make mistakes, too. I have already shown them that. But I have owned up to it and admitted where I went wrong and how I will try to do things differently next time. We talk about the decisions we make and how they affect the rest of the family. About being happy with who you are and what you are doing. And this all goes for me as well as them. As long as they know I'm not perfect but I'm honest and am not hiding things from them, I think I have a little less chance of ruining their lives forever. ;-) Things are well right now. I know there will be ups and downs. But I intend to make it through those times and come out holding hands on the other side. Or I will die trying. Here's to the many more memories we will be making.....