helen is 16.

Today, my sweet Helen is 16. Birthdays are strange. I always know they’re coming, but as a mom, they always sneak up on me in a bittersweet kind of way. I don’t need much of an excuse for a party, and I love celebrating, but it’s hard when your kids get one year farther from being a kid.

For a girl, 16 is a big deal. It’s the year when you finally get to leave girlhood behind. Sniff. And Helen is growing into such a lovely young lady! She is quiet, yet sure of herself. Beautiful, yet strong. Shy, yet the bonds of friendship are fierce. Sometimes it’s hard to see into her little world to figure out exactly who she is, but it’s obvious that she knows. She has a quiet confidence, a style all her own, and she enjoys being different. I love that about her!

Helen is not, nor has she ever been, much of a girly girl. So I was surprised when she actually wanted a dress for her birthday, and even more shocked when she wanted a girly, vintage vibe to her party! We both had so much fun planning and decorating for this very special birthday.

Sweet 16 Party (1)

Her favorite color is lavender, so we made sure that it was the focal point of the color scheme. We decorated with plenty of flowers, lace, and twine.

Sweet 16 Party (2)


Sweet 16 Party (3)

We knew it would be a chilly night, so we planned for an outdoor heater, a firepit, and roasting marshmallows for s’mores.

Sweet 16 Party (4)

Can’t have a Sweet 16 party without lots of sweets!

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Sweet 16 Party (6)

Helen made the pinwheels, with lots of help from her sister Jessie and her crafty boyfriend. LOVE how they turned out!

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We strung some balloons on a string of fairy lights for a bit of party ambiance.

Sweet 16 Party (10)

Helen and I made the tissue paper pom-poms. Let me tell you, those things are harder and more time-consuming than Pinterest makes you believe! But I love how they turned out, and crafting with my girl was a load of fun!

Sweet 16 Party (11)


Sweet 16 Party (12)

The seating was made of hay bales, covered in fabric and pillows – perfect for the fall weather.

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The cake was made by Elyane Wright, who works with Ed, and was a surprise for Helen (thank you so much, Elyane!). I love her reaction when she first saw it!

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My beautiful girl (who loves foxes).

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Sweet 16 Party (19)


Sweet 16 Party (20)

Helen, I can’t tell you how proud I am of you! Hold on to your self-awareness, your conviction, and your uniqueness. Don’t let people change you. Ever. I love you so much!

Plans for later? Getting her driver’s license!

Here’s to bittersweet birthdays. And a coming of age. And girliness. Cheers!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 10:53h, 29 October

    Helen will never forget this day … & she is so fortunate to have parents who help her make such fabulous memories!! The decorations & sweets were fab!! You ALL never cease to amaze!