Monday, May 30, 2011

4th birthday party

i love to plan birthday parties.  picking a theme, matching everything, getting cutie party favors...  so fun. 
but then i get stressed.  how can i make it all come together?  how much is it going to cost?  what should we eat?  do i have enough time to get the invitations out?  on & on...
stress city.
this year i felt a nudge to throw it all out the window & just wing it.  this kind of scared me, but i've been trying to listen to that "little voice" a little more these days, & well, we were pinched for time anyway with our NYC trip & you know, clint quitting his job & all (heh heh!), so the party costing less $ & stress was looking pretty good to me.
i didn't even do invitations. 
that was a hard one for me.  i have L O V E D making invitations for his parties every year.  i even had one all ready to go {& super cute!}, but then our computer broke (remember that time i slipped?) & i didn't have the paper & i felt all stressed.  that's when that little, small voice stepped in to say "hey.  you know you don't really have to have invitations."  & you know what?  it's true!  we just told our friends what day & time & they showed up!
(though i must admit, an email would have been nice.)
ONE MAJOR EXPENSE:  months ago (read: when we still had regular income), we mentioned having a bounce house @ hudson's birthday party & he hadn't forgotten.  we considered it a birthday present to him.  it's $100 & yeah, it was super fun, but truly, the kids would have had just as much fun running around our backyard & if you think that sounds lame, i seriously mean it. 
we had my most favorite birthday party ever :)  & it was with almost no stress! 

how to throw a cheap(er) birthday party...
1.  first you have to decide not to make a big deal.  know that above everything else, a birthday party is just about making your child feel special.  period.  they don't care about money & matching things (we do!).
2.  don't send invitations.  just tell everyone what time & where (an email would be nice).
3.  look around your house for decorations.  you'll be surprised!  we used table cloths i made for hudson's first birthday & 80 cent streamers.  then the night before i found some scrapbook paper & whipped up some little signs - aka - "take one" for party favors & "apple juice"/"pancakes" to label the food.  super fun, but not even necessary.
4.  make cupcakes.  it's easy to make them look cute & they're just cents each to make.
5.  make something cheap (like pancakes) to eat.  kids loved them.
6.  when you get all stressed, thinking it might not come together, see #1 again.

who knows.  maybe next year i'll be all about doing a super themed party.  i have NOTHING against them for sure.  just realizing that sometimes simplier works just as well.


Ben McLain said...

Kelly you remind me so much of myself!! I get totally stressed and thankfully I have Ben to calm me down and give a new perspective. This year I let Hudson decorate his own cake and he loved it. I had to bite my tongue, but it is supposed to be about the kids not the mommy's. :)

Ruth Lee said...

oops, i thought i was singned into google but ben was. sorry!

Jaclyn said...

it was SUCH a cute party! You did a great job and the kids had a blast.

and the pancakes.....oh the pancakes. SO good :)

kelly said...

rl - i SO get you! YAY for letting him decorate his own cake!! you're challenging me for next year :)
j - thanks. & you're right. clint harp can cook a mean pancake!!

Anonymous said...

Good Job Mommy!!!! Your the best mom ever and i love my Daddy making pancake machine!!!!


mere said...

ok first of all clint quit his job?! what? you are in definite need of an update email missy!
secondly the party was presh! you did labels and everything...WOW! and there was a bounce house...
thirdly print the one invite on paper when you get it and stick it in his baby book...he'll never know!
fourthly...i know huddy had a wonderful birthday and felt very special! i loved all of your pics!!!
ps i soooo wish we lived in the same town...the boys could have their b-day parties together and we could help each other and split the cost! ok just move to tyler please?

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