The Lost Art of Tea Parties

Last month, we celebrated our eldest's sixth birthday. It was a whole week of special occasions and little treats culminating in a fancy tea party for her and some friends.

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I love having tea parties! Sometimes we invite a friend or two over in the afternoon for tea on a quiet weekday and make an activity of setting up a little spread. Sometimes we just have our own tea party. But regardless of whether it is a formal event or just an impromptu quiet time together, we always use fancy cups and saucers.

Tea Party Details

I love pretty things. They bring a smile to my face. And my girls definitely picked up that trait from me! Tea is also somewhat of a genetic trait in my family. I grew up on tea parties with my mother and still remember my sixth birthday when my father took me and my grandmother (whose birthday I share) to "high tea" at a fancy hotel in Singapore and I ate my weight in chocolate covered strawberries! 

Our tea parties tie us to our past. The white tea set was a bridal shower gift from my mother and grandmother. The blue tea set is part of my husband's grandmother's china set as are the silver spoons. When important people are far away or have passed away, it's sweet to have mementos of them - that's why I believe those fancy family heirlooms need to be brought out and used!

little princess tea party

These little hands and lips thoroughly enjoyed their fancy tea, and even remembered their fancy manners.

fancy tea party for little girls
fancy tea party for little girls

And of course, the littlest princess made her appearance...

dressed up baby girl

I am thankful to be these lovely little girls' mama. I probably had as much fun as they did with the whole thing. As a friend of mine says, don't wait to celebrate!

me ad my girls

In case you are wanting to plan a tea party, here are my favorite recipes for teatime treats:

Sugar cookies (we just happen to have a teapot cookie cutter)

Scones (the not-so-secret secret ingredient is BUTTER!)

Devonshire Cream (yes, you can eat the leftovers with bagels and English muffins)

The Lost Art of Journaling

I've mentioned it before, but I am hopelessly an old soul. Progress is wonderful, but sometimes, in the midst of the rush to evolve, simple things that didn't need to be improved upon get lost. Other times, it's not even that intentional. Instead, progress just makes us busier and things fall to the wayside.

I believe journaling is one such thing most of us either intentionally or unintentionally don't get around to. And I think that is tragic. (Yes, I too can look back on my Facebook, Instagram and blog posts and thousands of digital pictures to remember life, but it's just not the same as the handwritten word!)

my kids' journals

my kids' journals

In our home, there are many journals scattered around. I have kept personal journals for my thoughts and prayers for many years, going through periods where I write more and less. I should probably do a better job of hiding ones that are too private, like those from my high school years! 

My most precious journals, these days, are the ones I keep for my children (pictured above). This is a tradition started by my mother (who puts most other journal-keepers to shame). When my brothers and I were children, she kept a separate journal for each of us recording all of our "firsts", funny sayings, mischievous acts and sweet moments.

my mother's journal for me!

my mother's journal for me!

When I had my first child, my mother gave me the journal she had kept for me. Reading through it as a new mom, comparing my baby to myself as a baby, and hearing my mother's thoughts so many years ago, wove a deep connection between the generations and between me and my mother. 

So I do the same thing she does. I don't write nearly as frequently as she did, and always wish I wrote more, but I write. I write to my children. I write about them. And I look back and read about the many things I have already forgotten.

the lost art of journalling, chattanooga photographer

This week, my firstborn, Grace, turned six. Before she woke up on her birthday, I found myself misty-eyed, writing in her journal. And for her birthday, my mother gave her a journal. The tradition continues to the next generation! 

first journal

Future generations, and older us, will be able to glimpse into our worlds through our very own handwritten words!

What's holding you back from keeping a journal? It's the start of a new year - a great time to start something new *wink*!

P.S. Happy Birthday, sweet Grace. You are beautiful, smart, strong and kind. I love you so much!

Grace