Birthday Parties....I have come to dread them - or at least the ones I have to plan for my kids! (I still LOVE planning my own ;) which is coming up in a few months!!)
I have three wonderful children and of course I love doing things that make them happy, but their birthdays are all fairly close together. My middle child, Joey, turned 6 this year. His party was first because he's in June. I think I did a decent job of planning his party. I planned ahead, made some of my own decorations and enlisted a few helpers. The party was a success, although very chaotic since we had more kids than anticipated. You see we're really close with our neighbors. So close, in fact, we ended up with a bunch of the neighborhood kids at the party. I think we had 13 or 14 kids at one point...in...my...house. I barbecued for all the kids and the adults. By the time the party was over I was exhausted.
Thankfully Dale, my oldest, has his birthday at the beginning of August, so I figured there was lots of time. Unfortunately, I was not as prepared for Dale's birthday. Due to scheduling issues we had to have his party on July 30th. I decided, hey let's do the same thing as Joey's party - let's have a barbecue...you know because it was such a hit and not exhausting at ALL... Well, I managed to do the invitations and order the cake (last minute) and set the party time an hour less than Joey's. Well, again...we're really close with our neighbors...and I could see it was going to be another huge party. So, I opted for finding as many lawn chairs as possible and we "mostly" stayed out of my house. Unfortunately, I do not have a patio table - I'm sure you can imagine the issue with having the food/drink stuff inside while all the kids are outside. At least they weren't all piled into my house at the same time. I did have help which I'm so thankful for. I think the party was successful, but I was left exhausted and with a disastrous kitchen.
Fast forward a couple of weeks to this past weekend...my youngest, Riley, turned 4 on Friday. (I can't believe my baby is 4!) I started off with the best intentions (don't we all) but in the end I didn't even get around to invitations. Since, one of my daughter's friends wasn't going to be at the party we decided to have a picnic on her actual birthday. I have to say the picnic was more enjoyable than the party, but I think I put more effort into the picnic. I didn't really mean to, but that's just the way it happened. Her party was Saturday and two of her friends came over. It was small and inside the house, but I think she still had a good birthday.
So, here's the thing...I want to do better next year. Throwing three birthdays so close together is exhausting. I'm thinking the thing to do is plan them all when I plan Joey's. Obviously, I'm not going to purchase everything at that time. I think the planning will need to be done at the same time while I still have energy and motivation to plan. Of course, after all the parties are done I come across a Martha Stewart Party Planner 101! Really? Why couldn't I have found that 2 months ago?
Next year I'm going to look into the cost of having the parties somewhere that's not my house. The party is exhausting on it's own, let alone the cleanup after. Or maybe I'll hire someone to clean my kitchen....sigh...a girl can dream.
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