The Birthday Party Recap

It was a fun little afternoon. I could have saved myself a lot of time and planning, though.

Note to self: Simple. Simple. Simple is always best!

J. is a very good “worker bee” he just pretty much goes along with all of my crazy ideas and does the grunt work – whatever needs to be done. But he had two different suggestions/ideas that were the single two things that made the entire birthday party a success.

First, a little background info – I had told J. that I wanted an patio table umbrella for my birthday. I LOVE dining alfresco, I don’t really care what we are having, I just like being able to sit outside and enjoy my food. And the girls and I love to just hang out on the patio during the day, but last summer we found that it just got too hot. We could be out in the morning and then after 4 o’clock or so – but the sun beating down on the Spanish tile…it was too much.

So fast forward to Saturday, we are in Target picking up some last minute things and J. suggests that I get my birthday gift early – and bonus! – all the patio stuff is on sale. It was a good 90 degrees on Saturday, and supposed to be about the same on Sunday for the party – so I agreed. But the umbrella J. picked out, this one…I was not so sure about. It seemed SO BIG, and a little unnecessary, and I was worried it would be way too much for our courtyard.

After trekking to 3 different Targets, manuevering it into the Volvo, tying the trunk closed, wrangling it into the courtyard, buying sand to anchor the base, and setting it up – I conceded that I was wrong, wrong and wrong. I really like it. We don’t have the bug screen on it – but it looks really great in our courtyard. And come Sunday, there was absolutely no way we would have made it through the party without it. We had almost all of the tables set up under it, everyone was cool, relaxed and comfortable – I was so very wrong about the BIG umbrella. (So, J. – I stand corrected. You were very, very right.)

Also, in one of the Targets we visited on Saturday, J. and Em found these little bug cages. They were in the dollar spot and they both were so convincing- “it would be a very fun party favor for the little girls who were coming to the party!”

After our ladybug incident last week, Denise had bought Em a bug catching kit for her birthday – and now she is completely obsessed with catching ladybugs. These little cages are slightly less high tech than Em’s, but we ended up getting one for each of the girls.

So the “stage” that Em wanted for the High School Musical performance she and her friends were going to do? Yeah, it never got used. Some of the other “games” Mama thought up? Yeah, they never got played. What did all of the girls want to do? Catch ladybugs!

We took a little field trip to the field across the street and the girls ran around for a good 30 minutes, shrieking and catching bugs. Each of them went home with a full cage of ladybugs. And yesterday all of the moms told me how obsessed everyone is with releasing the bugs and catching more.

Who knew. Stupid $1 cages = hours of fun.

So J. was the superstar savior of the birthday party. And I think Em had a great time, which is all that really mattered.

More photos are up on Flickr. Happy Birthday, Peanut. It is fun to celebrate your birth, but I am so happy it is all over for another year…

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11 Responses to “The Birthday Party Recap”


  1. 1 Kim April 16, 2008 at 3:16 am

    Looks like you really captured the essence of the party. Em’s dress is really cute! 90 degrees! Jeez! I was happy that it got into the 70’s on Saturday! 🙂

  2. 2 msscatter April 16, 2008 at 4:55 am

    That umbrella looks awesome and it looks like a great time.

    Bug catchers, Target, $1 spot . . .nieces and nephews, must look for.

  3. 3 thelandofka April 16, 2008 at 5:41 am

    That patio umbrella looks great! Sounds like a great time was had by the kids. Catching bugs is so very fun for kids, and those little cages as party favors are awesome.

    90 degress, huh?? 😉

  4. 4 MommyBrain April 16, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Sounds like a great party. I’m going to have to check out Target’s dollar section for those bug cages. And I love the lady bug thank you notes you did.

    So what games DID you think up? I was really curious to see what a HSM party would entail.

  5. 5 Maggie April 16, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    How fun! And I too am going to have to go and scour that $1 section for some of those bug cages….too fun!

  6. 6 carey April 16, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    it sounds like a great day! so glad it went well and everyone had a great time.

  7. 7 Christina April 16, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic party – even if it did go in a totally different direction than planned! LOL, motherhood’s crazy like that…we go out of our way to plan something extra special, and then they end up having no interest in it. but as long as they are happy, we are happy! And Em looks happy. 🙂 Just look at those rosy cheeks!

    The patio umbrella looks/sounds terrific! We could use something like that, especially now that our big shade trees are gone.

  8. 8 melody is Slurping Life April 16, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    What absolute fun. Yeah, relax always works after we’ve worked ourselves into a party frenzy. This party was definitely a hit and I adore the photos.

  9. 9 arizaphale April 17, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    What a contrast to my overplanned and incredibly structured party!!!!! Those cages are amazing value ( and so educational :-)!!!…). I must say that at that age, if they are all happy and entertained….why knock yourself out?? Sounds like the best time.
    I covet that patio umbrella. Ours is faded and small and can’t be adjusted by a cantilever like yours. That is the umbrella i want!!! 🙂
    Clever J

  10. 10 Kim April 18, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Holy umbrella!!!! You need to get a shot of it in your courtyard. Looks cool.
    So glad the girls had so much fun at the party!

  11. 11 Tessa February 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Please tell me where you got the “cages” for a dollar?
    Thanks so much! What a beautiful party! 🙂


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