How NOT to Plan a Birthday Party

Step One: Send invitations the week of party and then go out of town the week of the party. Be sure to relax and watch a sunset or two.

Step Two: Hire awesome in-laws and blood relatives to clean your house for you.

Step Three: The day before the party, go to Michael's and wander aimlessly about to find inexpensive crafts and favors. Then head to Party City to get what you couldn't find at Michael's.

Step Four: Eat dinner out. If possible, go to Five Guys.

Step Five: Send Poppy and The Daddy home with the girls so you can grocery shop for a meal you've outlined in your head. List optional.

Day of the party:
Send family off to the soccer fields, so you can have the house all to yourself. Cook food for guests. Decorate cake. Make last minute run to grocery for things you forgot last night.

Promise The Birthday Girl that the party will begin when she returns.

Have an open room with nothing in it for toddlers to run around in. Blow up punching balloons for entertainment.

Set up buffet.
For posterity, the menu:
  • Yummy, yummy punch
  • Cream Cheese with Sweet pepper glaze and Wheat Thins
  • Homemade Chex Mix
  • Fresh Layered Fruit Salad
  • Penne Pasta Salad (made with an assortment of stuff from the olive bar at Publix)
  • Broccoli Slaw with dried cranberries and cashews
  • Goldfish, Teddy Grahams and Chocolate covered raisins
  • THE BEST BBQ pulled pork and brisket I've ever NOT made myself (buns optional)

Ask The Daddy to usher guests back to empty room for arts and crafts time. See inexpensive crafts/favors below.
Each child picked a mask and letter (hopefully the corresponding one to his or her name) to color. ONE MISTAKE: I forgot to send the punching balloons home with the kids.

Once all the guests have arrived, say the blessing and invite them to chow down.

Josh had fun.

Caroline did, too.

Hope and Brody are cousins. Nice smile, Birthday Girl!

That's "Florida Brody" and his parents, Dan and Jaaron

Cute girls: HJ, Hope and AE (post-cake and ice cream)

Amy with one of her twin boys

We have lots of fun with this family! Remember them from Sea World?

I don't know how to focus. There's a picture of Poppy with our neighbors in front of him! Stephanie, Caroline, Jeff and Charles

More Sweet Girls! AE, HJ and Caroline on the front porch

Mr. Wes holding Charles and one of his boys

There I am eating. Not much new there.

HJ loved opening presents.

I love this picture of me eating again.

HJ got a piggy bank like her big sister's.
NOTE: Nana's hands under it just in case!

HJ read every card.
Every card said, "Happy Birthday, HJ!" (according to her, but clearly there was more in this one!)

HJ tried to blow out the candles, but...

look who took over! NOTE: We had a "do-over."

Poppy cracks us up.

Here's the "adult" table. (I just wanted to show off the newly upholstered dining room chairs again!)

Back in September, we DID NOT GET A FAMILY SHOT at AE's party. So...

we got a few.

Mad faces

More mad faces

And from mad to...



Honestly, the party was perfect. No theme, unusual for me, and so relaxed and easy.

WITH THE HELP of my family, of course!


Lou Lou said...

I totally have your shirt, but in orange. oh, and Happy Birthday HJ!!!

Tara G. said...

Love it! Looks like everyone had a great time! You look darling!