| |

Ella’s 7th Birthday Party



I have no idea why I am wide awake at 4 am the night after Ella’s 7th birthday party – so I’m flipping through the photos. Might as well load them for you guys to see.

When you’ve done 7 years of birthday parties and you have it in you to go CRAZY with a theme – it’s fun to start noticing the differences. I am creative being so I enjoy the process. However, its easy to slip into the trap of making it about my fun and not even about my child. Not this time. My only regret was attempting this thing. It was tons of work and not like the photo I had in mind.




The Theme and Place

It started with a big ask for a bounce house and we said “yes” – and then face painting came up and all of a sudden we had a carnival theme. Or, I had a reason to start pinning some stuff. Invites and other stuff here.

Kristy Conley Invite

We had it at the green space just a block from our house. I’ve been staring at this space for a while wanting a party and Ella said “NO” last year and said “YES” this year! Woohoo! On either side of that gazebo thing – huge green spaces to run and run and play.



Photo Booth

When you see this party, you may still think WHOAH. However, I see a relaxed version of me. I pinned about 12 things I never did on Pinterest. I can see the differences. I’ll try to point them out.


For instance, in another life… I would not have liked that the fabric didn’t cover that whole thing and I would have never taped it on with masking tape showing. And probably would’ve bought a cuter bin to match the party. Shameful, I know.  I’m just showing any other crazy control freak perfectionists – there is hope out there. 🙂



I just grabbed every piece of fun from our playroom and a random frame, fabric from Walmart, peg board from garage – and voila: Photo Booth!






Face Painting & Tattoos

The parents might be cursing me tomorrow morning before church – but face painting was top of the list for Ella. Sweet babysitter Kailyn (her VBS teacher Ella loved and we didn’t leave the week without her cell phone number) managed that station.




Previous years, this table would’ve had a sign – a cute bowl… it had  what it needed. And a wagon full of junk behind it. My Atlanta BFFs are really going to be proud.


I think the shocking moment and maybe crowd pleaser – was when I let two girls paint my face. Absolutely!



I looked all kinds of cute games on Pinterest.  And, I just got lazy, tired or sane. I borrowed corn hole. Sweet Aunt Sandy brought a ring toss and bowling game.




They LOVED the sack race (Party City). My former self would’ve done a sign for each event brilliantly printed to match the theme. Here’s some sacks on the ground. You get what to do, right?



And they even figured out how to play this game of “cup pong” – Carey taught me. Tape cups on a table. Use straws to blow ping pong balls into the cups. My former self would have NEVER taped such ridic signs like that. Freedom at last!




I don’t even have a photo of the table! Gasp! In the past the food table would’ve been the deal! Like pure perfection – great coordination. I had chips/salsa, pretzels and water bottles. And cake! It was 4 o’clock. They didn’t come for a full 5-course meal – they came to play and eat cake. Can you tell I’m proud of myself for such strides in letting go? Oh, wait – I did borrow my friend Nikki’s super cute popcorn machine – that was a major hit.

And they left with animal crackers and cotton candy in some random bags I found on clearance that Ella did with Sharpie and messed up and scribbled and wrote beside them. And I ran out. That part did give me a twitch. I like a cute party favor.

Bouncy House

Worth every penny. Entertained a classroom of first graders for two hours. And mine for about six hours. Hence red faces.



Sweetest Moments

And at the end of the day, what matters is family and friends. My sweet girl picked out her cake and wanted all her friends there from school and church. She smiled and she ran and she giggled.


She wore the dress mom ordered to match the theme even though she really didn’t want to.





She was super excited to have some of her big friends and biggest fans there – three of her super star babysitters, “intern Katie,” “babysitter Amy” and Kailyn. I got a chance to thank them for loving my girls and loving Jesus. Their influence matters. I am so grateful.




She did a great job trying to include and play with such a huge crowd. She let her sister invite her bestie Annalee.



She was so proud to have her grandparents there. They love so big and are the BIGGEST helpers. Thankful.



You know how this made me smile. All my head gear in use.




I didn’t have chairs – had visions of a cute table all set. This works. They sat for literally 40 seconds.




She loves her friends.



And I loved whispering to them “Thank you for being Ella’s friend and being there for her. We are so glad you came.” with a sincere hug whenever I could get one of them one alone as they raced by.
And that was a wrap. Finishing up tonight with prayers in bed over her sweet sleeping body. Thanking God for this baby girl. Not so much out of “fear” and “protect her” type of prayers. More about, “God use this girl. Thank you for who she is and how you’ve made her. Thank you for how you’ve incredibly blessed us already with her life. …
Her real birthday is not even until Wednesday! I’ll be back with a “special gift” similar to what we did last year – and we’ll do a giveaway for that.

Similar Posts


  1. This is awesome! I don’t even know you and I’m proud of you. As a mom, it is so easy to go overboard on birthdays. You only want the best for your child, right? Thank you for being real and sharing your life with us faithful blog readers/moms who need real encouragement. God Bless You!

  2. No shocker, I’m crying over here. As the baby=sitter that is often at the parties….let me say thanks. I’m helping with one for one of my precious soon to be 7 year olds this Wednesday, and I can hardly wait!!! As for the theme and execution…perfection…imperfections and all 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.