The Birthdays 2017


I was just chatting with my sister today about our kids' birthday parties, or lack thereof. I am the crazy that keeps throwing big parties, while her little family has opted for small celebrations for my nephew's birthdays. I love the idea of big, fun birthday parties, but the actual planning and execution of big, fun birthday parties can be such a big pain in the neck. I am torn, though, because they only come once a year and it's a pretty special day, so I really want to celebrate. And nothing says celebration to me like a big party with lots of food and friends. 

After each party, however, exhausted, I usually declare, "I'm not throwing a big party next year..." When will I learn? When will I be OK with just something small at home or taking the birthday child on a special trip? It doesn't help that Hunter actually loves parties and talks about his party for many weeks leading up to his birthday. What is a tired, busy momma to do?

Anyway, this year, the children's parties were moderately large but totally manageable. For Paloma's 2nd back in October, we reserved a community party room (for free) from a local restaurant. We did a Viking theme and purchased most of the food from IKEA. We also celebrated Isaiah's 40th that day, so instead of cake, he baked a blackberry cobbler. I made muffins and egg cups, and that's about it. We also dressed up, which seems to be the running theme for Paloma's parties thus far (last year we ate Mexican and dressed her like Frida Kahlo). The only crafty thing I did this year was put together our costumes from stuff I found at Goodwill.



This past weekend we celebrated Hunter's 5th birthday at a park. We were supposed to have a sledding party in the mountains, but we've had an unusually dry spell around these parts, so there was no snow in the mountains. We ended up setting up hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and hot coffee (along with snacks) under a picnic shelter at a local park, and a bunch of friends came to join us, both from Hunter's school and outside of school. We had a piñata, cupcakes, and lots of playground time. All the guests kept commenting on how beautiful the day was. It was cold, but dry and sunny, so you can imagine Seattleites who are not used to celebrating December birthdays outdoors were soaking up the lovely day!


With the exception of a vegan white bean chili I made in the crock pot, everything else was store bought and it made life so. much. easier (unlike Hunter's 1st birthday when I went overboard hand-making crafts and decor, right down to the piñata; or his 3rd birthday when I made a 3-layer monster truck cake and gave myself mastitis; or his 4th birthday when I made a volcano cake that actually erupted). 



I think that birthday parties will get much easier when we have a place big enough to fit a bunch of people. One of the hardest parts is packing up all this stuff to take to a party venue. Fingers-crossed that we get a house soon!!!!

Do you throw big birthday parties or do you prefer to keep things small and intimate?

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