I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How To Have The Happiest Birthday.

I'm, by no means, an expert on many things, but I always thought I had this birthday party thing down.  We have had parties at the beach, a snow cone party, and a massive Mario themed party- not to mention all the other themes I've slaved over the decor and snacks for.  I love everything over the top, in case you couldn't tell.

But when I turned 29 last October, I had the best lesson in birthday party planning I could've ever asked for.  For my birthday, my sweet sister and my mom got together all my family and took us out to my favorite park where the kids could run and play, and they unloaded a picnic of literally all my favorite things.  There were flowers, and a beautiful white tablecloth my mom had gotten for me...and that was the extent of the decor.  It was the best birthday I can ever remember having, and it wasn't because people slaved over it or because I got tons of stuff.  It had nothing to do with a cake...it had everything to do with the fact that I felt completely celebrated.  My family sat down and thought of me and figured out what I'd like and what would make me happiest, and they hit the nail on the head.

So when it came time to do our first kid party of the year, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I wanted to celebrate Izzy.  No invitations.  No over-the-top decor.  No crazy planning.  Here's how it all worked out:

The Saturday before her birthday, my mom came and picked up the other two kids so Bird and I could spend the day just us and Isabella.  We gave her a list of all of the options she could do for the day.  Of everything, she chose to go to the zoo, play miniature golf, eat cotton candy, and ride go-karts.

We started our day out at the zoo, and it was lovely.  We rode the train, saw the monkeys, elephants, penguins, and rode the carousel.  Her and Daddy Bird both love animals so much, so I knew this was going to be a great bonding time for them.  I wasn't wrong.

Next, we made our way to mini golf.  She had no idea what it was before we got there, but she was really into it once we got started playing.  Ultimately, we didn't play the entire 18 holes, but looking back on it, I think she probably would have had we kept going with it. he cheered us all on, and I even got a hole in one.

We went and had some lunch and some cotton candy, and then we attempted go-karts.  She ended up being a few inches too short to ride, so we just stuck with the arcade games.  The one that ate her tickets at the end was her favorite.  When we added in the constant Disney music we had playing in the car, it ended up being such a wonderful day!

Of course, we did end up having a little family party for her the night before her birthday, but I didn't go crazy this time.  It was very simple, and she loved it so much.  (Maybe I caught her tasting the cupcakes a bit early, but no harm done!)

We did a few gifts, and enjoyed some dinner with her favorite people.  It was, by far, the least stressful party I've ever done.

Since her actual birthday was so busy for everyone else, I took the two older kids and snuck away to get ice cream.  It was so amazing to get to spend so much time with this sweet girl.

In the end, we probably spent the same amount of money as we would have had we chose a big party, but the memories of the past few days with my favorite newly four year old are priceless.  I watched her laugh and smile and sing more over the past few days than I ever would have at some fancy shin-dig.  We only have a precious few years with these guys until they are grown and gone, and I intend to take advantage.

So here's to celebrating people- not parties.

PS, simple birthday decor is easily transformed into Easter decor in our house!  Hooray for budget-friendly decorating!

No comments:

Post a Comment