Our beautiful little granddaughter Elka turned one recently and we had such a beautiful time celebrating this milestone on Saturday. My daughter-in-love Anneke planned and executed the most wonderful party along with help from our son Daniel.

As soon as you walked into their garden you could see and appreciate the creative gifting Anneke has in setting up a stunning party. The table settings were gorgeous, the huge mango tree situated in the middle of the garden had a beautiful wreath decorated delicately with the word ‘One’ surrounded by very pretty flowers that matched the gorgeous decorations on each table.

There was a small jumping castle in one corner, a blow-up swimming pool under a canopy in another, a table with scented Play-Doh on it, a piñata in the shape of a slice of watermelon hanging from the tree and of course a trampoline looking very fine to one side of the garden. It was a kid’s paradise.

My son Daniel had the lawns looking fantastic and the whole garden manicured with all the hedges and plants looking their best. Chairs and other seating were strategically placed under the shade of trees whilst the food was so beautifully presented on all the stunning tables scattered amongst the seating. The birthday cake made and decorated by another daughter-in-love of mine was just divine with matching smaller decorations and flowers like the one placed in the tree. Everything was just perfect. It was a very hot day, but we even had a refreshing breeze flow through the garden to keep the temperature nice for everyone.

All in all, it was just a beautiful setting to celebrate our much-loved youngest granddaughter.

As I watched and observed the mothers and fathers with their precious children arrive all dressed up looking beautiful, I couldn’t help but think back at how much fun it was to have parties at our home for our children when they were small.

I loved watching Anneke and Daniel have the pleasure and honour of hosting this beautiful party for their cherished little Elka, you could see the joy it brought them both. Frazer, Elka’s older brother turns four a few days after Elka’s birthday, so we celebrated him as well with a special cake for him too and of course sang happy birthday to both children.

Families are just such a blessing, we are all made to be in families that love us with a love that can’t be broken, a love that empowers us and celebrates who we are. How special it is for everyone when we come together on special occasions like this to celebrate our family members?

This weekend’s party I have described didn’t happen without a lot of planning, deliberate organising, hard work in advance for weeks leading up to the day and help from other family members like grandparents and aunties. Families are precious and parties are fun, however, it’s the hard work, and just hanging in there behind-the-scenes day in and day out that produced the beautiful scene we all enjoyed at this party. Nothing in family life just happens.

It always takes hard work, patience, and perseverance to create a family that loves and supports each other.

Without the hard work put into this fabulous party there would be no party, without hard work there is no fabulous family life either. In amongst the perfect picture of the garden party, we saw children who had cream all over their faces, and the usual tear here and there when someone was hurt on the jumping castle. One beautiful little toddler dressed in her pretty little outfit suddenly became all dirty from hopping in the pool and then rolling in the grass.

Family life is like this garden party; there is lots to celebrate, lots to enjoy, lots of imperfections, lots of working together as a team to pull it off and lots of cleaning up to do. Don’t be fooled by the stunning scenes you see in someone else’s family and compare your scene with theirs without recognising any beautiful garden party scene of a family that has lots of hard work put into it. The great thing is it’s all worth it and you too can have your own garden party family.

You were made for family, we are all made for family, even if you didn’t grow up in a strong family unit, you can create one for your precious children.