This past year has brought some changes to my professional life that stress me out enough. I just didn't think I could do the usual routine this year (while also keeping my sanity intact).
So I decided (with much encouragement from my awesome hubby) that we would strive to have a stress free (or close to it) birthday party this year.
So how did we take the stress out of the big day? I baked a standard chocolate cake and let my oldest help me decorate it. Instead of making my own, I used frosting that came out of a plastic can. The cake was a little lopsided, and some of the sides had no frosting at all. There were no decorative borders and for toppers we used some toys from Wal Mart.
Tom also helped hang the decorations - almost all recycled from previous years. Nothing really matched, but it was all festive and colorful. I did make two posters. One with Yoda from Star Wars (Tom's favorite) and one with a monster truck (Huck's current obsession). Those, a few banners and maybe six balloons was pretty much it.
My husband prepared all the snacks and the punch and some salad. He wrapped the presents. We got $5 pizzas from our local Little Cesar's to feed our guests lunch.
The night before, Hubby and I did a little party prep and then we sat down on the sofa and watched an old Magnum PI episode on Netflix and went to bed early. Did I have a million things that should have been done first? Of course. I won't apologize though. This system worked. It worked so well, that I guarantee we'll use it as a model for future parties.
When our family began to arrive this morning, I was relaxed and happy Mama instead of flustered and exhausted Mama. You know what they say? "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".... Well, today Mama was HAPPY! We had a fantastic time with parents and siblings and our kiddos. It was really a perfect day.
I didn't dust every surface in my house. I didn't vacuum under the couch. I didn't wash the windows. I didn't spend three hours decorating the birthday cake. You know what? I also don't feel guilty. We had the best birthday party ever! Would Martha Stewart approve? Probably not.
Good thing she wasn't invited. :)