October 10, 2010
Yesterday was seriously the best day EVER!
I spent the entire night racing around the clearing, arranging balloons and flowers, tables and chairs, and inflating all of the bouncy equipment – I couldn’t have the boys help with that, because they would have given in to the temptation to play with the gladiator/ jousting bouncers. The dance floor had to be set up in just the right spot, where it wouldn’t be in shadows the next day, and then I had to connect about a million extension cords all the way back to the house so we could use Edward’s fancy stereo. He brought the piano over himself, claiming it was too dangerous to allow anyone else to handle it.
As the sun began to rise, Esme and I raced back and forth between the house and the clearing, toting cakes, bags of rose petals, flower arrangements, and boxes of plates and silverware. Since all of the tables were in place already, I only had to point to each one and tell everyone which items went on which tables. There was one table, a round white one, I wanted set up just for Nessie; her “throne” for the day, a white chair with pink cushions, would be pulled up to this table when it came time to sing “Happy Birthday,” so I placed the cake she would like best on that table. (She wasn’t going to eat the cake, but she would think it was the prettiest of all of them.) The rest of the tables were set and decorated normally, and the other cakes all went on one long buffet table.
Finally, it was 9:45, and I darted into the house to slip on my strapless Valentino dress. While I was there, I took a quick glance around to ensure there were no gifts left behind. It looked like I hadn’t missed any, so I called for Emmett and Jasper to help me carry the buckets filled with ice and drinks to the clearing.
The guests were due to arrive at 9:55, and Bella, Edward, and Jacob were bringing Renesmee over at 10 on the dot, so I grabbed the remote control and turned the stereo on. Peppy music filled the clearing as I heard cars pull up and people running toward us. It was party time!
“I’ll take those,” I told Emily, Rachel, Billy, and Sue, stacking their gifts in my arms and rushing to deposit them in the gigantic pile by Ness’s throne. I noticed that Emmett had added his enormous gift at the last possible second, and wondered exactly how he had gotten away with it. Surely Edward would have told Bella, and she would have protested …
“She’s coming!” Rose hissed in excitement, jabbing me in the arm with her fingernail. I felt my mouth pull into a huge grin as we all turned to face the woods where we could hear the four of them approaching.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” everybody shouted together as Renesmee entered the clearing, her eyes wide as she took in the crowd of people, bouncy village, piles of presents, and tables full of food. For a moment, she hid her face in Bella’s shoulder, but then overcame her embarrassment to reward us with a face-splitting smile of delight.
Everybody started talking at once, which was okay, because the next few hours were not set to any strict schedule. The tables were laden with breakfast food, orange juice, and pink lemonade, which I didn’t even need to encourage the wolves to dig into. They had half of it cleared in no time, and even brought their plates with them to the bouncy slide, which made for an interesting mess. But I didn’t mind (too much), because the point was for everyone to have fun and not worry.
Jacob, his mouth full of blueberry coffee cake, was following Renesmee around as she said hi to everyone and began to head toward Bouncy Town. “Wach’ wamma-oo furf?” he mumbled, spitting crumbs in all directions, as Ness came to a halt in front of a bouncy obstacle course.
Hands on her hips, Renesmee scanned the bouncy structures, assessing each one. Finally she shrugged and hopped into the one shaped like a birthday cake, where Claire was shrieking with delight as she bounced into the “candles” inside.
As I unobtrusively replaced decimated platters of food with fresh supplies, I noticed that the two gladiator/joust stations were already very popular – Emmett was taking on Edward on one of them, his booming laughter drowning out the music entirely as they played, and Paul had challenged Jared on the other one. Most of the women were standing around chatting, but I spotted Leah in line to take on Paul, a fierce grin on her face as she waited.
This went on for several hours, until I deemed it time for lunch. At my signal, Emmett, Carlisle, and Jasper had reluctantly left the party and gone back to the house for the lunch supplies, which Sam was now turning into a grilled feast. Not a moment too soon, apparently – I could hear some of the wolves’ stomachs growling despite having had breakfast just a few hours ago! Maybe it was all the physical activity. I didn’t know or even care, really, but my role as hostess involved keeping the guests fed, so I set out trays of appetizers for the hungry boys.
Switching out the orange juice for slushy machines, I called out for anyone who was hungry to come get some food, and the entire crowd of werewolves descended on the tables like a swarm of locusts. I skipped backwards out of their way just in time to avoid being trampled, and watched through narrowed eyes to be sure that none of them broke anything. (Any of the plates or machines, that is – they could break all the bones they wanted, for all I cared.)
Of course, those of us who weren’t interested in solid food didn’t join them. Emmett seemed to be in some sort of competition with Nessie for who could bounce the highest in their respective castle (everybody had their own at this point), while Carlisle and Esme took turns capturing everything with their digital camera. Bella and Edward kept jumping out of their bouncers and into the others, like they were massive bouncy stepping stones, and Rosalie just kept twirling in the air with every bounce. I stepped out of my Ferragamos and joined Jazz in the “undersea” bouncer.
When lunch was over and not a single speck of food was left, I nodded to Carlisle and he called for everyone’s attention.
“Alice has arranged for some games,” Carlisle announced with a smile. “Anyone who would like to compete in the vampire-werewolf Olympics, please form your teams at this time.” He stopped talking then, since the sound of a stampede would drown out the rest of the announcement anyway.
As soon as everybody was ready (and judging by the looks on some of their faces, they were very, very ready), Carlisle kicked things off with the tug of war. On the wolf side, Seth, Jared, Paul, Jacob, Quil, Embry, Colin, Leah, and Sam faced Edward, Emmett, Jasper, Rosalie, and Bella. Esme and I were not too interested in participating in the games, and besides, Carlisle needed us to help as judges.
Though the tug of war looked uneven, it was a tie for about the first four minutes. Then, Rosalie began tossing insults at the wolves, and it got a lot more interesting.
“I’m trying to be careful here, don’t want to pull your teeth out,” she sneered, yanking the rope (a very special kind that should outlast this game).
“Hey look, over there, it’s a 360-degree mirror,” Paul shouted back, earning whoops of laughter from his side, though Rosalie didn’t move or even flinch.
Finally, the vampire side prevailed, which involved Sam being dragged one step over the line – there was no pit of mud or anything, because I didn’t want anyone’s clothes to get messy. Amid cries for a rematch, Carlisle (with Renesmee perched on his shoulders) announced the volleyball match.
Sadly, that didn’t last long. Within minutes, all 10 of the brand-new balls were completely deflated. I pursed my lips, annoyed – of course I hadn’t been able to foresee this happening, with the wolves involved …
“Let’s move on to field hockey!” Carlisle suggested, seeing my look of irritation.
A couple of hours later, after Edward had (of course) won the big race, the Quiluetes were beginning to look exhausted, so we wrapped up the Olympics by declaring it a tie. Emmett had dirt all over his side from over-enthusiastically defending his team’s goal during the hockey match, so I ordered him to go back to the house and change while our guests ate dinner.
As soon as he returned, I gave Bella the signal to lead Ness over to her throne, now placed in the middle of a sea of wrapped boxes. I saw my dear sister-in-law roll her eyes when she noticed the Tiffany boxes, and the gigantic carton containing Emmett’s gift, but she kept her mouth shut.
“We will now commence the opening of the gifts!” I cried, and the crowd dutifully joined us. I acted as the messenger, relaying each gift to Ness in the right order (since the human males would lose interest quickly, I wanted her to open Charlie, Billy, and the wolves’ gifts first, and end with Emmett’s).
Esme stood by with the camera, snapping shots of Nessie as she opened each box, and gave each person a smile and a hug. Charlie and Sue had given her a pink cell phone, which was a great idea if I do say so myself (guess who had suggested that to Charlie?), and the Quiluetes had all brought handmade items that were sentimental and lovely. By the time Renesmee got to our family’s gifts, she was completely overwhelmed.
Too bad we had even more expensive gifts for her! Bella and Edward had given her a Kindle pre-loaded with books, Carlisle and Esme had presented her with a framed picture of the pink and white playhouse they’d built for her, Rose and I had tons and tons of clothes, shoes, and jewelry for her … and then there was Emmett.
He stood nodding his head with a huge grin of anticipation as Renesmee cautiously began to pull the paper off the enormous box. Bella was dividing suspicious looks between him and the carton as Ness’s unwrapping revealed -
“A jet-ski???!” Bella shrieked, her jaw hanging open as Renesmee sat, stunned, looking at the picture of a pink and white jet-ski on the side of the big box. I couldn’t help giggling at the look on her face.
“Yeah, and I got some for the rest of us, too!” Emmett boomed, slapping Edward on the back as he attempted to calm Bella.
But, as I reminded her, we didn’t want to spoil the fun by grouching about expensive gifts right now (I knew she would bring it up again later, ugh), so she just closed her eyes and shook her head as Jacob ripped the box open and effortlessly removed the jet-ski. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about this. Mine is purple and black, and I had had a vision of Emmett mounting waterguns to his, so I’m thinking we’ll enjoy these!
That was the last gift, so Jacob and I lifted the throne (with Ness still on it) and positioned her in front of the cake table. She smiled appreciatively at the pretty pink cake with white flowers as we sang “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Nessieeeeeeeee … happy birthday to youuuuuu!“
As we all clapped and cheered, my carefully timed fireworks burst in the sky, and I grinned proudly at Bella, Edward, and Renesmee.
The wolves began to attack the cakes – they were all different flavors, including chocolate-hazelnut, chocolate-raspberry, chocolate-orange, french vanilla-almond mousse, red velvet, and more – and Renesmee slid off her throne to stand in front of me.
“What is it, birthday queen?” I smiled down at her, and she tugged at my dress, so I kneeled to be at her level. She surprised me by throwing her arms around me and holding me tight; I forgot all about my designer shoes and hugged her back.
“This has been the best, most fun day ever,” she whispered into my ear. “Thank you so much for my party. I love it.”
I clutched her to my chest and grinned silently at Bella and Edward, who were smiling affectionately at us.
The rest of the night was occupied by dancing, and a bit of spontaneous karaoke from – you’ll never guess – Charlie and Billy!! They serenaded Renesmee with “The Way You Look Tonight,” which led Seth and Emily to ask permission to perform “I Gotta Feeling [Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night]” … and finally I turned up the volume on the stereo and we all sang along to “Forever,” Bella and Edward dancing with Ness in their arms.
It’s you and me moving
At the speed of light into eternity
So don’t be scared
I’m right here baby
We can go anywhere, go anywhere
But first it’s your chance,
Take my hand come with me
It’s like I’ve waited my whole life for this one night
Double your fun and dance
There’s no one else that matters
you love me and I won’t let you fall girl
I won’t let you fall, let you fall