Friday, December 19, 2014

A Non Pinterest-Worthy "Tangled" Party

Hey blog!

What up. It's me, Audra. Your author. Remember me?

Anywhoo, just checking in to share some photos from Emerson's birthday 3rd birthday party this past weekend. 


And just like most of my posts these days, there's also some reflection in this one. So, if reflecting isn't your thing, please feel free to skip that part and just look at my beautiful daughters. 

I work full-time. I leave the house every morning by 7:30am, drive 30-40 minutes (depending on traffic), work my 8 hours plus a little time for lunch, leave work at 4:30 and usually arrive home at 5:15pm every day. I don't see my girls in the morning at all (they usually don't wake up until 8:00, so Daddy gets them ready for daycare, feeds them breakfast, gets them dressed and out the door). 

They're usually ready to fall asleep by 8:00, sometimes 8:30pm.

If you're doing the math, that means Monday-Friday, I only see my daughters awake for 3.25 hours a day. 

3.25 hours!!!

Now, if you're a mother too, I know you feel me. Because whether you are a SAHM, work from home, or work full-time, motherhood brings a constant stream of guilt. That guilt manifests in different forms for every mother, but my personal guilt resides in those 3.25 hours per day. 

When you only have 3.25 hours a day with your children during the week, the best advice I was given is to make it quality time; you don't have the option for quantity, clearly, so make those hours TRULY count. 

And for the most part, I think we do a pretty good job at this. Sure, I try to do dishes, cook, clean, etc. in between, but for most of those 3.25, you will find me laying on the floor, playing puzzles or dress up, chasing, pretending to be a monster, playing hide and go seek, coloring, singing, and any other activity that a 1-3 year old enjoys doing. I would like to believe I am pretty good at this whole "Be Here Now" concept. 

But "Being Here Now" also involves some sacrifice. I can't be everything to everybody, and I can't be perfect at everything I do. I have always loved having and attending birthday parties, so it would make sense that I'd give my daughters the coolest/funnest/most magical parties around. 

But remember, I only have 3.25 hours with them per night. Which means I have only about 1.5 hours to myself per night. In short, I just don't have the time to be perfect.

And guess what? I am totally, completely okay with this. 

We hosted a small party for Emerson on Saturday, and the "theme" for this party was Tangled, because it's one of Emerson's favorite movies and she loves the color purple. I saw so many Rapunzel-themed party ideas on Pinterest, and it stressed me the hell out. I just can't justify spending Emerson's college fund on $100 invitations to a 3-year old birthday party. Because what does 3-year old Emerson care about more? That her Nana is at her party, or that Nana was invited to that party via cardstock instead of email? It's kind of ridiculous when you say it out loud.

Still, I wanted it to be fun, and I wanted her to feel special. So, I took cues from what I KNOW I'm good at (food, always food) and nixed ideas where I have no real skill or expertise (DIY-anything) and the result was a perfect party. It wasn't fancy, it wasn't expensive, it wasn't the most extravagant 3 year old birthday party ever, but it was so unbelievably perfect.

Because it was us.

We woke Emerson up at 9:00am (yes, the girl slept until 9:00am on her birthday) and surprised her with one of her gifts, a Rapunzel dress and shoes.

Emerson is my girly-girl, and I knew she would love it. I had no idea just how much she would love it, but she wore it 24 hours a day for 3 days in a row, so yeah, good choice. Watching her twirl around in a circle singing "I'm beautifuuuuuuuuul, I'm a princesssssssss, I love my mommmmmmmmmy" I mean, come on! I can't handle it.

Nope, I didn't take a cake-decorating class and use my own piping bag to create this lovely concoction. I walked right over to the Kroger bakery counter, chose a stock design, happily paid my $35.00 and walked away with this cake.

I ordered Rapunzel plates and napkins , and also the purple lanterns and tablecloth online and never had to step foot in a Party City.

For food, this is where the real fun came in. Well, fun for me. Themed food is a weakness of mine.

Specialties were:

"Maximus" apples and vanilla yogurt dip
"Golden Sun" grilled cheese sandwiches (using this cookie cutter)
"Long Hair" spaghetti pies (a red and a white)
"Hazelnut Soup" (Rapunzel's favorite food, though technically it was butternut squash soup with hazelnuts on top because that sounded better)
Salad (no theme, just thought we needed some greens)
Bread (because spaghetti needs bread)


The food was a big hit, but the best part is that it required little fuss. I got everything accomplished before they woke up and during their nap time.

Emerson was a little apprehensive during "Happy Birthday" (our harmony must have been off) but she was super excited to eat her cake.

We had to blow out that candle 100 more times throughout the weekend.

The only shot of mom, and I look super weird, but the mom is never in the picture, so here you go.

My oldest friend Nikki, her husband Ray, and their precious baby Oliver.

(and also a sneak preview of our basement remodel!)

The lovely Kristen and sweet Sam. I love Sam's face in this photo!

My beautiful girls!

Emerson opening her presents. It was so fun to watch her discover what each item was, and she treated every present like it was the best thing ever. Love. 

She wasn't sure what this was, but she ended up loving it.

So like I said, this was a totally normal party, on a totally normal day, but my 3-year old had a BLAST, I didn't stress over it, and I imprinted a few memories. 

I'd call that a win.

Happy birthday my sweet girl!
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1 comment:

  1. I can not get over how beautiful Emerson is...seriously. Also, I'm ALL about paying someone else to make the cake. Love it!