Tuesday, March 22, 2011

happy hearing birthday!

outside the weather was a little grey + rainy,

but inside it was the perfect day for a party!
 on saturday we celebrated 2 years since the first day m's cochlear implants were activated
and she heard her first sound.

we gathered music suggestions from friends near + far and compiled a big playlist of love...
i posted a huge list on one wall in case anyone wanted a peek 
at what other people had added to the list.
ironically, it was a listening party, but it was so noisy that it was hard to even hear the music.

it was so dreary outside this week that i envisioned an explosion of color inside.
paper products make me happy.

{other glimpses of rainbows}

 i was inspired by my friend hannah's chalkboard door in her kitchen, 
so matt painted the wall at the top of the stairs with chalkboard paint
so people could write or draw their favorite sound.
(or just scribble)
thanks to matt's parents + my mom, 
we had enough help with the girls and party prep to  somehow get everything ready in time.
 {matt's mom brought some colorful reminders of spring from her cutting garden}

fun people began to arrive to celebrate the miracle of sound!

we had little people food in case the littles didn't want what we made for grown-ups..
(including rainbow jello jigglers that my sister rocked.
i've actually never made m jello before, but i thought it would be fun for the kiddos. 
um, it was a huge hit.
apparently i underestimated the sheer delight that jello would bring the 7 and under set.)
and we had big people food
 including these amazing nuggets of goodness...devils on horseback. 
i'll post the recipe soon, because they were so.amazing.good.delicious.

matt made homemade lemonade & then for mixing adult beverages, homemade tonic.
taylor does a little taste testing

then for dessert we had three options:
 a shaker lemon tart that matt made from this recipe a la one of the pastry chefs at chez panisse.
very tart + marmaladey, but good.

and then my contributions, 

and this yummy  6 layer cake....

 with a fun surprise inside!

 a rainbow!
(i love m's expression in the background of this picture-
she had no idea that a rainbow was inside the cake.)
worth every minute of making it
(ahem, that meant i went to bed at 2 in the morning)
 i have to say, i am not a cake person, and it was really delicious as well as super fun to look at.

in summary:
it was perfect.
just take a look...

 (and included a never-before-performed-in-public rap by uncle aaron about m's bionic ears...
to be posted soon)

 as evidenced by ellis, our party was a rager, even for the 2 and under crowd.

 {love our girls}
finally for the 
 and as the hours passed...
the party wound down, the toddler meltdowns increased tenfold and we said goodbyes
 (why, yes, i am breastfeeding in this photo. 
it's called multi-tasking, although judah looks quite concerned.)
 jonas and ashlynn gave me a preview of life in a few years

and the rainbow gave way to gravity...

i'm not going to lie- 
it was a little crazy at our house...
there were children everywhere...
(i think the party was an extremely effective form of birth control
for any of my friends without kidlets)
general mayhem...
a ton of half-finished conversations...

and it was wonderful.
it was a true celebration of the miracle of m's cochlear implants.
matt and i felt so supported and loved by people who come from all different parts of our life,
but who came together to love on and rejoice with our daughter
who is deaf
but who can hear.

we are gifted by the richness of relationship.
{and so very grateful for those of you who were with us in spirit.}

if a party can stand as a reminder of anything,
it was this:
we can't do this alone.

of us,
in the depths and in the heights, 
need people around us, 
all up in our business.

so very thankful to have friends 
be a part of this journey
-of life, marriage, parenting, deafness-
making us better than we would be left to our own devices.


  1. Great to see all of the joy - thanks for posting those photos!! (And that rainbow cake - A-MAZING!!) XXOO!!

  2. I have been waiting for this post - everything about it makes me happy. Everything! Happy hearing birthday, sweet Monrovia!

  3. Love this. Love you. Love your precious family. God be with you!

  4. hannah, do you like how many things i co-opted from you? jello, rainbow cake, chalkboard wall. ;)

  5. Wow, what a splendid shindig!!! Y'know, in every picture I've seen of your brother Aaron (and I've seen quite a few by now), he always looks like he's on the verge of pulling a prank on someone. He's just got a prankster's gleam in his eye. He must have been mentally prepping for his rap -- and I have *got* to see that, by the way. Happy hearing birthday, and congratulations to everyone in your extended clan on the journey thus far.

  6. I remember hearing about you and "Little M" when we were ships passing in the night drifting through the sea of parenting a deaf child between visits at CEI. I remember thinking, "Everyone raves about this Susannah person and keeps telling me that we should get together because we would be fast friends. I wish she lived closer so that could actually happen..."

    I remember reading your blog before we met and thinking, "They're right-Susannah IS amazing and I would be so lucky to count her as a friend. I just wish they lived closer so that could actually happen."

    Then I met you. And we became fast friends. And I realized that I would drive to the ends of the Earth for you. And, given that, Oakland didn't seem quite so far after all.
    Thank you for an amazing party that was a testament to the love that envelops you all and for the reminder of just how lucky we are to parent these girls.

  7. amazing. The post, the party, the COLORS, that cake (omg, that cake!), the support, YOU and your family. What an absolutely wonderful way to celebrate an absolutely wonderful thing - hearing. I could reach out and hug you.

    ps - i often think of you and little m with her and aiden's surgeries and hearing bdays so close. they seriously need to meet one day! ; )

  8. Awesome party, awesome cake, awesome ears, awesome M! Thanks for including us!! xoxo

  9. that cake is SAH-WEET! i kind of want to make one right now...
    i have been waiting for this post - thank you for your ability to make it feel like we were right there in all the mayhem and raging party-ness. so much love from our house to yours.

  10. it takes a rainbow of a village doesn't it. i am honored to be in the journey with you, near you and bonded because of deafness and God.
    i am so sorry we missed the festivities.

  11. just wanted to let you know I had to come back by and show my husband m's amazing hearing party. We got into the discussion how Aiden's actual bday is so close to his hearing bday so we've always focused more on his bday party and have done a small family hearing party. Like you said though, it takes a village - and next year we're including that village to celebrate three years hearing!

    oh - and I need to know how you made that cake! When Aiden saw it and said, "WOW!"

  12. Susannah, You are a mother and writer extraordinaire!!! Tracy

  13. thanks friends for all of your very kind comments. it was such a very special day! tammy- i know- m's birthday is in a month, so it is kind of weird. we've just had a family bday for her in the past but done something bigger for her hearing bday. who knows what will happen over time.

  14. I wish I could have been a fly on your wall! (or had little l there to play with little m) What a great pary! It looks like it was worth every minute of preparation, especially that cake! I love reading about all of your happenings through my google reader... I just don't get to your blog very often. hi!

  15. My husband laughed, seeing facial expressions boy who sits in the middle of it in the top photo.

  16. looks like it was so much fun! sad that we missed it.


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