Life Lately: Lila’s Birthday and Georgia O’Keeffe

April is a crazy month for me, and I suspect that’s true for many people. Doesn’t it seem like there are just so many birthdays, events, gatherings, conferences and everything else you can think of all crammed into April? Maybe that’s just my little corner of the world.

Lila turned 5 recently. Her birthday technically fell on Easter Sunday, and Guy’s parents came from England to visit and help celebrate. We had a little family gathering on Easter, and I made her a Peep cake (inspired by this previous post), which of course had to be chocolate:

And if you are interested in a very short clip, here is Lila blowing out her candles!

Of course, James got to have a bit of cake too (I was obviously feel very brave to wear white during all of this):

The following weekend was Lila’s birthday party with her little friends. My parents came to visit for the weekend which was a huge help; it was really great to have someone taking care of James during the party. We held it at Beach Blast– a huge indoor sand park that hosts indoor beach volleyball tournaments and practices, as well as some extremely awesome children’s birthday parties. The staff ran all sorts of games and activities for them, with lots of running and digging and playing the sand, and they all had so much fun. The sand was perfect, it was like the best indoor beach you can imagine (minus the actual water).

I don’t feel comfortable sharing photos of other people’s kids without their permission, so I’ve cropped and blurred their faces where appropriate. It looks weird, but you can see how happy Lila was! I regret not getting a photo of the cupcakes; I think my mom and I did a particularly good job decorating them, but I tend to not think of photos at all when I’m hosting anything.

In between Lila’s birthday parties, I have been working on a very special project, which will culminate in an event on May 4th. My book of poetry, Lady Crawford, has a suite of poems about Georgia O’Keeffe – and the Art Gallery of Ontario has just opened a retrospective of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work. On May 4th, the AGO has a special event called First Thursday, and I’m presenting a Georgia O’Keeffe-inspired poetry collage interactive and pop up talk at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s First Thursday event this month.

If you haven’t been to an AGO First Thursday before, it is a step up from a typical night out. They set up bars, food stations, and DJs throughout the gallery, along with one-night-only installations, performances, and interactive activities.

Tickets to First Thursday are $11 if you are an AGO member, $13 if not a member, and you can also purchase tickets to see the O’Keeffe exhibit. If you know anything about the AGO, their special exhibits are usually horrifically crowded on the weekends, yet surprisingly not busy at all on the First Thursdays. I think everyone is too busy hanging out near the pop-up bars and food stations.

If you are local to Toronto and enjoy art, you should come! I’ll be on the second floor, and in such a main location you will have no choice but to happen by my interactive craft tables and wall projections. Not only will you experience the AGO in a completely new way, you can also hang out for a bit and make your own poem collages (arts & crafts for grown ups, hooray!). You’ll be able to hear my pop up talk where I will astound, educate and amaze (10 mins max, I swear) about modernism/Georgia O’Keeffe/collage poetry until I’ve said the words ‘intersect’ and ‘recontextualize’ so many times their meaning will dissolve into the glass of wine or Perrier in your hand. I have a little Facebook event page here if you think you can make it and would enjoy a Facebook calendar reminder- be sure to say hello and introduce yourself if we’ve yet to meet.

Has your April been totally nuts too? What has been going on in your world that has you buzzing lately?

41 comments

  1. Estela   •  

    Happy Birthday to Lila! Congrats on the Pop-Up Talk!! I wish I was closer, I would totally go.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks Estela, it’s a busy, exciting time! Wish you could make it, but that’s the thing about being far away!

  2. Beth   •  

    Great post! This April it seems that someone is either a) sick, b) getting sick, c) getting over being sick. I think that’s pretty much par for the course! Love that cake – peeps are my guilty pleasure!!!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Peeps are so fun, I love that they pop up this time of year! I had hoped to find white peeps for the cake, but they are much harder to find.

  3. Melissa   •  

    Crazy April here too–the academy likes to pack in the fun at the end of our semesters . . . but all is well. So nice to see all of the celebrations. I hope 5 is an awesome year!!

    • Julie   •     Author

      April is so nuts! the end of the semester is a crazy time for so many, and it’s weird how all the social stuff gets crammed in there along with all the work and school obligations!

  4. Lisa   •  

    March was so long that April felt super short. As you saw on my blog, life has been crazy artistic around here as well.

    It looks like Lila had an amazing double-birthday. Always great to feel loved by so many people.

    As for the art show, that sounds right up my alley. I wish I was closer because I would love to see all of those works by O’Keefe as well as experience that First Thursday event.

    Happy Wednesday 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Lisa! Lila loved her double parties, and the O’Keeffe exhibit is amazing, I’m thrilled to be a part of the special event. 🙂

  5. I wish I was in Toronto! I would show up for sure and clap embarrassingly loud from the first row. Happy birthday Lila!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Aw, thanks Andrea!!! I’m totally nervous. I hope that it goes well!!! Guy is deck for taking photos.

      xo

      J.

  6. Duni   •  

    The parties looked like so much fun- glad the kiddos had a blast and you made it through.
    Congrats on the upcoming First Thursday event- what a treat! I’m sad I don’t live close enough to take advantage. Your book Lady Crawford has been on my nightstand for months and I’ve enjoyed picking it up again and again. It’s a treasure. Good luck at the event- I’m sure you will “recontextualize” the shit out of it. 😉

  7. Cathy   •  

    Your daughter’s excitement and happiness is lovely to see.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Cathy!! She was so excited, I think it all really felt very special for her. 🙂

  8. DWJ   •  

    April is always insane. On top of my full time job I’m an adjunct professor and it’s the end of the semester and students seem to lose their minds this time of year. Lots of papers and finals to grade and then sneak in some knitting time too.

    • Julie   •     Author

      You TOTALLY get it full steam for April! I wish I had more knitting time, I’m trying to finish my Pomme de Pin cardigan and my pink sweater! But soon. I feel like it’s all coming together….

      Cheers,

      Julie

  9. Barbara   •  

    Age 5 is so much fun, and that party looks like it was awesome!

    That museum event looks like so much fun. I wish there was something like that here, but maybe there is and I just don’t know. I feel like all we ever do on dates is have dinner or watch a movie, and it’s kinda boring!

    April has been super busy for me too, even though we started it off with a week in Cuba. But then there was Easter, and school projects, and an extra volunteer project for me, a new pattern to release, and a KAL to run… I’m ready for it to be May now!

    • Julie   •     Author

      OOOh, Cuba!! You definitely started April right! I am signed up for the Scrap Chaps KAL, but I don’t think I’ll manage to pull it off… more wishful thinking about what I can accomplish in the spring! But who knows. Maybe after this week….

      Cheers,

      Julie

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks so much, Danielle! I feel like Peeps could jazz up just about any cake. 🙂

  10. Kat   •  

    It sounds like Lila had a wonderful birthday! She looks so happy in those pictures, I’m glad you all had fun! Super congratulations about the O’Keeffe event- it sounds fascinating and exciting, and I wish I was closer!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Kat! Lila was super stoked to have so much birthday love, I think she was half thinking this weekend would would be big parties, but alas, we are all partied out!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  11. Wanda   •  

    April has been crazy, as it always seems to be – something about the change from winter to first glimpses of summer? And so many April babies I know – myself included! 🙂 Happy birthday Lila – even from the distance of a regular blog reader from the US, I cannot believe it has been 5 yrs since you shared her very first newborn photo – wow. I wish I was closer to Toronto, the art show sounds amazing, break a leg!!!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Wanda, you are so right – I know so many April babies, too! And isn’t it crazy how fast the last 5 years have gone by?! Thanks so muchf or the well wishes for the AGO show!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  12. Stephanie   •  

    Congratulations on your AGO event, Julie! It sounds wonderful–I wish I was local. The combo of your poetry, O’Keeffe, and adult arts-and-crafts would be irresistible! And happy birthday to Lila! She looks so spunky and beautiful and joyful! I’m so happy she had such a wonderful day!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Stephanie!! I hope that it will go really well, I’m most nervous about the pop up talk- after all, leading grown-up arts and crafts will be the easy part! 😉

      Cheers,

      Julie

  13. Stefanie   •  

    April is a totally free of la hanau’s here. Man, that is some cake! Lila was so happy. And what a cool spot to have a child’s birthday party. We don’t have indoor volleyball places like there here. Places that are popular here are jumpy houses, trampoline places, and laser tag.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Stefanie,

      Glad your April isn’t crazy, especially with your girls! There are so many great options for kids parties, and I think a trampoline place is in the near future!

      Cheers,

      Julie

  14. Swissrose   •  

    I can’t believe Lila is 5 already – don’t the years just fly by!! But she looks so happy…

    I love 5 year olds; one of my granddaughters is 5 and it’s the most intensive time as she develops day by day both physically and intellectually, I never cease to be amazed and adore spending time with her!

    • Julie   •     Author

      You are so right, 5 is such a great age! She tells me stories and talks about things with so much enthusiasm and imagination, it really is amazing. So glad you know that joy!

  15. Eliza   •  

    Oh man! I wish I come come hear you talk about Georgia O’Keefe, that sounds amazing!!! Jake and I recently went to the Field Museum for the first time since we were there with you, and I was thinking about our lovely weekend together…

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi E,

      I wish you could, too! You and Jake need to come visit. We have a pullout couch…. which I realize is not that tempting, but it would be great to see you! xo

      J.

  16. Loulou   •  

    Lila looks so cute and happy in her birthday pictures! That indoor sandy place sounds like it was a great venue for the party.

    So looking forward to First Thursday at the AGO, featuring YOU!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks my dear! Can’t wait to see you there!

      xo

      J.

  17. miss agnes   •  

    Wow, so many things planned! Congratulations, I wish I was in Toronto to attend your event but I’ll be on the other side of the ocean. April was very weird for me: it started with a huge work project that was so intense it knocked the wind out of me for the rest of the month accompanied by a bout of acute nostalgia for Montreal and the Canadian way of life (plus the dreaded Canadian taxes and the complexity of managing revenues from two continents). But I also enjoyed a gorgeous French spring with trees in bloom everywhere, in many lovely shades. I’m looking forward to May, starting a new knitting project and hopefully recovering some energy. Have a great month of May.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Agnes,

      I’m sorry that you had a weird and busy April too- but I am envious of your lovely French spring!! I hope May is relaxing your you (and let’s face it, me too!).

      xo

      J.

  18. Danette Bartelmay   •  

    It’s hard to believe Lila is 5 already!
    She is so beautiful Julie!
    Gabby, my granddaughter, turned 10 in April and her birthday falls on Easter some years too.
    I LOVE the cake you made Lila!!!
    What a lovely birthday she had :-)))

    • Julie   •     Author

      Hi Danette,

      She definitely had quite the birthday extravaganza this year! I looked it up, I’ll have a bit of a reprieve until 2022, when she turns 10- that will be her next Easter birthday, with both the Easter family party and a ‘friend’ party! Drives me batty that Easter moves around, I think it should be a set date like Christmas.

      xo

      J.

  19. Alina   •  

    Oh so sweet to see Lila and James having fun! Your April has definitely been full – so many exciting things! Good luck tomorrow! For me April was all a blur – full of work, work and again work!

  20. Michele   •  

    Happy Birthday to Lila! She is getting so big. So glad she enjoyed her parties – and that awesome Peeps cake!

  21. Tien   •  

    Happy belated birthday to Lila! Love the cake and the sand party sounded like a blast!

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