Monday, October 14, 2013

Why There Were No Balloons At Your Birthday Party

I learned from a friend that kids' birthdays could be celebrated with awe and wonder...and very inexpensively. You do a little bit of planning and a run to the dollar store for decorations. All you really need is a few matching decor items and balloons. 

My kids have always loved the balloons.

This was a perfect solution for this mom of five who longs for things to be simple. I also want our kids to feel extra special on their birthday. Each birthday rolls around and mom stays up late the night before decorating the dining room with streamers and balloons and more expensive paper plates than I would normally use (the norm is white disposable plates in bulk from Sam's Club).

Must be something about eating off of Superman's face.

Anyway, once the decorations are up I wrap all of the presents (it's a miracle that I have enough wrapping paper each time because I never seem to remember to buy that.) Thankfully no one has noticed that the penguin paper is a Christmas theme...it's the perfect shade of blue. 

This year we decided to do a combined birthday party for the two oldest boys because they're only a couple of weeks apart. As I was scrambling the day of to get things ready I started to become overwhelmed and stressed by what wasn't done yet. Even if I am a blogger who uses Pinterest everyday and loves the inspiration...all I could think of were those amazing kids' birthday parties that you see and how this wouldn't even compare.

"I won't be blogging about this"...I thought to myself.

"No one will be pinning this" I laughed inside. 

The other things running through my head were..."the grass really needs to be cut."

"I'm having such a hard time tracking down enough tables for the party."

"I have no games planned...NONE!"

"The menu is so simple...pizza."

"I still need to do the math and figure out how much pizza to order."

"...not to mention clean the grapes, make the salad..."

"The tablecloths are barely staying on the tables. The wind is going to take them up any minute. Do you think people will notice duck tape covering superman?"

"Look at all of this mud, parents are going to hate me by the time this party is over."


And then all I could think of was "well, are you going to at least go and get those balloons from the dollar store, Sarah?"

That was suppose to be the easy part and yet in that moment it was the farthest thing from easy that I could think of.

It was right then that it hit me. Why am I putting so much pressure on myself to make this the best birthday party ever. Even if I am using plastic tablecloths...I still wanted everything to be perfect.

Then I started thinking of all of the things that I would want our precious boys to know about this day and all at once I knew that there wouldn't be any balloons at their birthday party this year.

This is what I want our boys to know about their birthday:

We are a family and each birthday is a celebration because of YOUR presence.

boys birthday party

Mommy and daddy spent our date night picking out presents for you together. You should have seen the discussion over which nerf gun to buy (based on speed, ammo and how well you would be able to hold it with your little hands.) In the end the six shooter won along with extra ammo...just in case.

boys opening gifts

Your second grade teacher came to your birthday party (really...YOUR teacher came to your party, I didn't even know that was possible!)

your birthday party

On that very same date, Mom found some disposable superman capes to go with the theme...but then Dad found some that for a few dollars more were made out of fabric and would last longer. We went with the long lasting ones. We knew you would love it.

superman themed party

The day of, a friend who drove five hours to be at your party also planned one of the funnest games ever...everyone had a blast!

playing games at a birthday party

We splurged and bought a few Hawaiian pizzas since they are your favorite.

hawaiian pizza at the party

Do you know that we got to the end of that celebration and nobody mentioned a thing about the missing balloons...WHY???


Because, in the end, birthday parties aren't about spending lots of money, having the "perfect" activities, themes, or decorations, but about celebrating with people who love you.

nerf guns

A week has passed and the boys have had a blast playing with their new toys. I went away on a retreat for the weekend and Sam and my parents held down the fort. I came home excited to see everyone and the first thing that the boys mentioned was, "daddy got a nerf gun too!" 

I just smiled and thought to myself, "that doesn't surprise me one bit." Your dad wants to make memories right beside you...and so do I, so I'll probably be getting one of those to join in the fun too.

Watch out world...our crew is armed and dangerous! :-) 

I am so glad that I was able to let go of those self-imposed expectations and enjoy being with the kids that I love so much on their special day. With each passing moment I am realizing that that is really what it is all about.

Want to stay connected? Check out these great ways!

23 comments:

  1. Great reminder of what really matters. My son's first birthday is coming up in a a few months and I am already feeling the pressure to make it wonderful and special and Pinterest ready even though at one he could truly care less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie,

      It will truly be a special time to celebrate your little one!

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  2. This was wonderful to read because i get anxiety just THINKING about planning my daughters first bday party and having it be up to expectations of everyone else-thank you for your insight=)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anna,

      The only expectation should be how CUTE those pictures are going to be of your daughter digging into some yummy goodness! :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  3. I am so in agreement with you about making kids' birthday celebrations simple and inexpensive. A simple tradition in our house for birthdays is that my husband and I sneak into the kids' rooms on their "birthday eve," when the are sound asleep and decorate their room with balloons and streamers. Might even throw a birthday hat on their favorite teddy bear. ;) The kids are so excited when they wake up to their room decorated in celebration of them! Simple, inexpensive, but meaningful tradition. We just threw a birthday party for our twin girls this past weekend. After all the guests had left, I asked them, "Do you feel special? Do you feel so loved?" When both girls answered, "yes!" I knew the party had been a success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristen,

      That is SO precious! Happy birthday to your girls! :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  4. I have a solution to your wrapping paper problem- I blogged about it recently, but just pick up some rolls of brown kraft paper the next time you are the Dollar store and you will never have to worry about having appropriate paper! Add ribbon, or even store bought bows, and it will be cute and simple.;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clare,

      What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  5. My second child is convinced that birthdays only exist in the kitchen. While the kids are sleeping I hang the birthday banner and party streamers, bring in the balloons and put on the plastic tablecloth and centerpieces.its all dollar store stuff,and the same decorations at every birthday, but all the boys LOVE it. I often wish we had the funds to have a huge party and decorate for each child with different stuff, but I've realized they love the tradition of the decorated kitchen and love the festive plates covered in colorful balloons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that traditions and making special memories with your family is so wonderful. I was blessed to read how you celebrate and I know that your boys must feel so special on their birthday!

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  6. but i want balloons too on my birthday :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jonathan,

      You'll have to talk to your wife about that. ;-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  7. Save the mylar balloons, if you let all the air out with a straw, you car get them refilled next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, I never knew you could do that.

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  8. Love this! It's really the memories that matter. And I doubt any of the decorations I've ever used will be part of their memories. Thanks for sharing how fun a birthday can be without the extra stress of trying to make it picture perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sarah! Thanks so much for stopping by! Love your blog and oh my...your kiddos are gorgeous! And SO happy! Love that! Hope you have an amazing week! XO -Kennesha, Restoration House

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a sweet, sweet post! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this! I never seem to be able to pull off the "perfect" party, but hopefully my kids will remember how much we love them and the fun we have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penny,

      Yes, that is definitely the goal...to remember the fun and love, your kids are blessed to have you as a mom! :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  12. Love this party planning is not one of my gifts but I try to make it special. As for the nerf guns a few years ago the Easter Bunny brought guns for everyone in the family and a lot of ammo! We had the biggest best fight ever that afternoon after church and dinner. The kids still talk about Grandma stealing a gun and joining in! and the guns have continued to be a hit, I like to use mine to "motivate" an easily distracted 13 year old when he forgets he's supposed to be doing his homework!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting, I read every single one. Because spam is so prevalent I moderate all comments. I also will delete any that are inappropriate or hurtful. All other comments will be approved and published in between me chasing around my five little tornadoes! For any specific questions feel free to email me at aninvitinghome@gmail.com. Thanks for reading and following along!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...