Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Simple Family Birthday Party

Our daughter just turned 3 and our son is not quite 2 which adds up to a total of 4 birthday parties we've put together and this most recent one is the first one that didn't cause an anxiety-induced tear fest. I'm not talking about sweet, nostalgic tears. I'm talking about full-on anxiety attack tears.
Growing up we always did birthday dinner and dessert and I usually had some type of party as well. I looked forward to the celebrations and never felt like having my favorite meal and dessert wasn't enough. I loved it. So, I'm not sure when I decided I needed to throw Pinterest worthy parties for my kids, but in years past I found myself searching Pinterest for endless ideas of how to make our kiddos parties so special that they couldn't help but feel loved, cherished, and celebrated. Before it sounds like I'm knocking Pinterest, I just have to say it's my number one search engine, but I've searched Pinterest looking for validation that I'm a wonderful mom much like thinking money will buy happiness or being skinny will attract meaningful relationships. It just doesn't work that way.
This year, we decided to take a different approach and ask our daughter what she wanted. Her list was simple. 
1. A strawberry grape cake
2. Cheese pizza and ranch dressing
3. Friends (meaning cousins + grandparents + aunts + uncles, mostly)

We made sure those things happened and we even went shopping for birthday jammies and a birthday dress. She picked the fanciest dress Walmart had to offer.

Payton and her brother helped me make a strawberry cake, from a box. After I frosted it we let her decorate it with grapes, strawberries, sprinkles, and Frozen cupcake toppers. She was beyond the moon that she was able to do this all by herself. She was even more proud of it when everyone was admiring it while singing happy birthday. Surprisingly, everyone liked the grape addition.
Our daughter was so happy the entire night! She had her moments of grumpiness, especially after her bedtime, but it was obvious that she felt all the things I thought a Pinterest worthy party would provide. She really just wanted to have a space to be heard and to see her creative vision come to life. It truly was magical watching our daughter be her own person in the world. I am so proud of her for putting her artwork out in the world for others to enjoy, as lopsided and non-Pinterest worthy as it was. 
She glowed with confidence and that's what made me cry tears of joy. Thank you, Jesus, for the ability to let some things go and give her the real birthday party of her 3-year-old dreams. This mama wants a lot more moments of being present and fewer moments paralyzed by anxiety. 

Do you have any birthday traditions you remember as a kid or that you now have in your own family? I think birthday cake creating and decorating just became one of ours.


  1. This is so sweet and I love that she got to decorate the cake! I think it looks even BETTER than all the perfect professional cakes out there. Lol, my niece just turned 3 and we all celebrated basically the exact same way. Her happiness was contagious. :)

  2. This looks absolutely adorable. Also, that cake looks so freaking good. Now I'm in the mood to bake and the last thing we need in the house are sweet treats, haha!

    1. I get you! Thankfully, the cake was gone.