Oh, Birthday Parties. Always a chore, always a joy!
If you’ve been reading the blog, you already know: This has been a rough year. A GREAT year, ultimately, but a lot of change, a lot of work, and a whole bunch of sheer exhaustion. So when we started talking about a birthday party for our girls, who are 15 days apart, my wonderful husband immediately (and understandably) wanted to outsource.
He picked up pamphlets from the Gymnastics center, from Giggles & Hugs, from well, any place that claimed to host birthday parties. Bart said, “Everyone will understand if we don’t host it.” Yes, everyone but me. I’m sure deep down this is a diagnosable issue I have – never wanting to give in, always wanting to prove that I CAN take on more (even when I can’t). But hey, I wanted our daughters to have a party at their home.
While Bart was gathering pamphlets, I was brainstorming irresistible ways to host the party at our house. One afternoon while the rest of the house was napping (just like now, actually), I was up to no good. Zoe had already said she wanted a
Rainbows & Unicorns party, which reminded me of My Little Pony (which she also loves). So I googled “My Little Pony Party”, and I hit on the idea that Bart could not say NO to: A Pony Party.
There was a local resource called Happiness Unlimited (how can you go wrong with that?) that not only brought ponies to your house but ponies with a UNICORN HORN. They also offered a “pony painting” party, but I don’t care how “safe” the paint is, I just couldn’t be the parent who taught small children it’s OK to paint a live animal… What sealed the deal? I said to my husband, “Honey, can you IMAGINE Zoe’s face when a unicorn shows up at her house?” Done.
We booked the ponies and sent out the Evite for a party at Chez Johnson. And then I began searching Pinterest for this year’s Rainbow & Unicorn cake of the year that my husband was sure to pull off, as usual. I know what you’re thinking: First, you refuse to let your poor, exhausted husband outsource the party and NOW you expect him to take on the pressure of baking the birthday cake? Yes. It’s part of my charm.
I’m proud to say, we did it! We had 50 attendees at our home (22 kids), 2 ponies – oh, and the belle of the ball? Our kitten (Jasmine). In fact, Queen Zoe spent about 75% of the party in the back office holding court and showing off her new kitten. Sure, the ponies were a hit, but literally, there were 15 minutes left in the pony hour, so I let Zoe know. She said, “I’m good, Mom”, surrounded by 5 kids all petting a kitten. (Thank you, Sarah, for the awesome picture to prove it!)
How do you know you have the best kitten in the world? She tolerates 22 kids (plus various adults) for 4 hours and is still amazing. But I digress.
How do you know you have the best friends & family in the world? They make a party feel like a family reunion (the good kind that you look forward to). We are loved and so lucky to have amazing friends who helped decorate, watch Ella, cut the cake AND cleanup. Amazing. And THAT is why I will always want a birthday party at home. Yes, I know you can pay some venue to decorate and cleanup (they’ll even cut the cake) but when your friends feel at home in your home, you know you’re doing something right in life.
OH, and your husband makes the 5th earth-shattering birthday cake:
Think the outside looks great? You should see the INSIDE, where he mixed seven different bowls of batter (yes, the ROYGBIV you’d expect from a RAINBOW) and created 2 moist yummy layers of goodness:
He even got a cupcake for our tiny daughter so she wouldn’t feel left out (though I do love her expression when she sees “Zoe’s” BIG cake compared to her tiny one in the picture up top):
And so, we’ve almost made it through another year of the blog. If all goes well, I’ll WRAP around Ella’s birthday on the 16th with the final year’s observations.
To my dearest daughters, your father is the most incredible person on the planet. If you ever doubt, look back at the birthday cakes he made, under duress, with his bare hands and just under the wire. Oh, and don’t forget the ponies ;)
VIDEO PROOF OF A GREAT PARTY:
Blowing out candles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgbTSvONfFI
Riding a unicorn. https://youtu.be/-jpHC2N4VCQ