I was pinteresty before pinterest even existed.
If there was a birthday party even remotely on the horizon I had a plan. Four months in advance.
To give you a clue, for Daly Kay’s fourth birthday I had custom made Crane invitations in Chinese theme to go along with her Mulan party that included (among a million other things) a butterfly release. Y’all, this was 1999. There was nobody doing butterfly releases at weddings back then. Some dude from Miami had grown these things weeks ahead of time and drive them to me the day of the party.
Custom marzipan cakes. Hand sewn party favors. Every detail carefully planned and crafted.
It got to a point where I had a notebook with a sleeve for each child. Themed, bought for, and decor ideas all mapped out.
And somewhere around four years ago — I just stopped.
And realized that it did NOT take all that to make the kids happy.
It may have done my ego some good, but it didn’t really matter to the children.
We began to have much smaller soirees. Sometimes it was only family. Sometimes a few close friends. Sometimes just a special date with that one child. Sometimes a trip out for them with a few friends. Every once in a while, for a BIG birthday — like for #16 or #18 we’d decide on a big bash. But for the most part, I quit the whole birthday party scene…
Because I wanted to enjoy the party and the time with the child, not freak out over every detail. And I know myself, I can completely go wiggy over the design. I can completely miss the beauty of the look on my child’s face because I am worried about the look of the cake.
So for little Stoney’s 4th birthday, we only invited a few friends over who have kids about the same age. Even with just a few families, we still wound up with 26 kids. I asked Amanda…my partner in crime…what theme should I do since Stoney loves balls. She texted right back, “Let’s Have a Ball!” So I seriously just gathered up every ball we had, Trinity decorated tiny brownies with white icing to look like footballs, we served up hot dogs and chips with juice boxes and the kids had an absolute blast in our backyard with a makeshift obstacle course the Yannotta’s came up with.
Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma’am.
David and I got Stoney a T-ball pop up set, a new football, and a tiny baseball glove and a baseball. He was in hog heaven. The backyard was completely strewn with every kind of young-boy sporting equipment they could find and after a secondary sugar rush each child left with a bag of Big Chew bubble gum… ready for baths and bedtime.
I honestly loved decorating and going all out– back when I had the time. But now that our lives are so full with sports, school, serving and work, I love this new laid back approach just as much.
Happy Birthday to my little man Stone…the coolest cat and best natural athlete of my boys…the strong but silent, swaggy and sweet…
And to the rest of you mamas out there who pinterest away and plan for months ahead of the big birthday – I get it. I used to be just like you. Enjoy and craft away. Go big or go home. Monogram everything and theme until your heart’s completely content. And for those who may be ready to just do some store bought cupcakes and call it a day – I’m with you. I totally get it. Just enjoy the birthday with your baby — because before you know it they will be grown and gone. xoxox