I am finally ready to give the low-down on the Bar Mitzvah party! You remember, don’t you? The Bar Mitzvah? It happenned almost two weeks ago? If you forgot, read this. And maybe this. But you don’t have to.

Keep in mind that the limited photos I will be posting today are from my own digital camera and from the disposable cameras that we placed on every table at the reception (the quality of those isn’t so great, but they’re fun!). When I get photos from Joozie/Julie/Aunt Doody/Jules, I’ll post a couple of the good ones.

So, where was I? Oh yes, the party.

After the service at the temple, the adults had to–the horror!–drive to the party while the kids were transported there on trolleys. The reception was in a hotel ballroom about ten minutes from the temple, and the theme was the Chicago Cubs…and Root Beer. These are two of the thirteen-year-old’s favorite things.

Upon arriving at the reception, our guests picked up their place cards.

I am very, very proud of the centerpieces. We made candy bar topiaries for all of the tables, and Jim’s mom sewed special banners (definitely more photos of these to come: they were all different!):

The tables looked fabulous! As a surprise to the thirteen-year-old, we had something special made as a little gift for everybody. You may remember my little trip to Milwaukee where I had a little GPS trouble? I was picking up private-label root beer bottles for the party.

Here’s a better view of the label, which was designed by Aunt Julie. She’s a genius.

We ate a lovely lunch, and while the adults were finishing up, the kids went around asking questions to try to win a prize. I had created a “scavenger hunt” where every player had a list of (the same) 13 questions about the boy, and to get the answers they had to find the right party guests to ask.

After that, the boy conducted his candle ceremony, where he called up groups of people representing different parts of his life to light a candle (13 total).

Then the party really got going, when our DJ friend started the dance music. It was sooooo fun. We did the Electric Slide, the YMCA, of course the Cha Cha Slide, and much more. Naturally, it being a Jewish party, we also did the Hora. I love doing the Hora. It’s a nice little bonding experience with my women friends from the temple. Of course, non-Jewish people end up doing the Hora too, but we always get it started.

And then there was the chair lifting. OY. After the Bar Mitzvah boy is lifted, each member of the immediate family also gets lifted. In case you’re wondering why this happens in the first place, I believe that it’s because a day like this or a wedding day is one of the higher points in a life, and by lifting the person/people in a chair it reflects this and also brings them “closer to God”.

This was my major anxiety of the whole weekend, because I am a wee bit self-conscious about my weight and I:

1. Didn’t want to give anyone a hernia
2. Didn’t want to be dropped
3. Didn’t want to get my head caught in the ceiling fan, just like on America’s Funniest Home Videos (there were actually NO ceiling fans at our party, but I was still worried about it.)

Here is Jason being lifted. He’s a pro.

When it was my turn, I walked to the chair and apologized in advance to my four man friends who were doing the lifting, sat down, and gripped the sides of the chair for dear life. Have you ever been lifted in a chair? It can be terrifying! When they picked me up I shrieked like a little girl and shut my eyes:

As I recall, I screamed the whole time until I saw my mom with her camera. At that point I smiled and waved, but went back to screaming right after that. (The photo above was taken with one of the disposable cameras)

We continued dancing and having fun, and before I knew it, it was time to wrap it up!

We started saying goodbye to all of our guests, and then it was over! All of that planning and hard work that took up a lot in the past few months: Poof!

But it was totally worth it. It was a fabulous cap on an amazing day, and our family will never forget it!

I’ve probably left something out and I will definitely post more pictures at a later date, but that’s it for now!