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