September in the Rain

Thursday of last week, my cousin Craig calls me and says “Hey, what’s your back-up plan in case of rain?”

We had planned Fern’s birthday shindig at Children’s Fairyland, and the whole fam (complete with Great Grandma) was set to descend upon Oakland on Saturday. Here in the Bay Area, we are in the throes of our indian summer, and it’s September through October that keeps everyone going when the day never dawns through the fog in July. So when my cousin called, I thought he must be joking.

We kept checking NOAA all through the week, and Saturday dawned overcast, but dry. It was inconceivable that the heavens would break. I sent out a message saying Party plans are a go!

10 minutes later it started pouring. POURING.

One of the things about events like this, is that I’m never quite sure if folks say they’ll come out of obligation, or from true desire. We decided to do Fairyland on Sunday, cancelled the party and let everyone off the hook. And you know what? I officially have the best family EVER, because every single one of them put aside their weekend plans and made the trek down the next day.

So with a sweet, rainy, last day of summer on the outside, we had a cozy little birthday picnic with my mom (who had arrived on Friday) and Leo on the inside. Django Reinhardt played in the background while I busted out the party tablecloth and Jeff went to get balloons. The day opened up in that joyous, spontaneous way that happens when you just go with it.

Here’s a photo journey, beginning with the actual day of, last Wednesday…

Year Four has been the Year of Moomin.

The night before her bday, Fern put a rock into the Hobgoblin’s Hat, hoping it would transform into candy. Much to her delight, it actually turned into a Moomintroll, who awaited her the next morning.

Homemade Hattifattener puppet.

Birthday donut from Dynamo

Fern and I do tarot together once a week. She wanted to do a birthday spread.

From the Inner Child deck…the interpretations in the book are lame, but the illustrations are nice. One of the first decks I ever owned.





Chocolate and Caramel de Sel brownies, from Crumbbums. Crazy good.

We started singing Happy Birthday and Fern started screaming. Later, she said it was too embarrassing.


One of the other themes for her birthday was Dress-Up. We are making her a wardrobe, which isn’t quite done, but the fairy skirt she is wearing here was one of her presents. From this tutorial.





Waiting in line for the train, with Kate and my other head.


We tried for group shots, but, as usual, it was like herding cats.

Uncle Shane came on Sunday too! He officially has transcended friendship and is firmly in the inner circle of fam.

Erin, Grandma, Great Aunt Connie and Great Grandma.

After pizza, everyone went their separate ways…to Sacramento, Grass Valley, Redding. We take Grandma to the airport today, and thus will end the festivities. So much love and thanks to my family for celebrating with us…y’all made FOUR extraordinary.


5 thoughts on “September in the Rain

  1. Happy, happy, happiest birthday to Fern! Four is so much fun. I’m glad that the rain made your celebrations last an additional day rather than ruining your plans! That sudden rain was CRAZY, too. I’m just a little bit north of you and I went to my neice’s wedding on Saturday. And it POURED. Briefly and sporadically, but so much water fell out of the sky it was nuts. Everybody got wet and bedraggled, and everybody still had a great time. It was fantastic.

    Also, guess what. I’d never heard of Django Reinhardt before so I googled and now I’m listening. WOW I LOVE IT! You may have just changed my world for the better this morning, thank you!

  2. yay for easy going partygoers and last minutes changes. so glad you guys still got to rock fairytown. it seriously looks so amazing, maybe we’ll join you there one of these days. i have a certain someone who would absolutely lose her head over that place. happiest day to fern! hope she’s feeling fine and fancy free at four!

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