We are now a family with a three-year-old and a one-year-old, both with December birthdays. The past six weeks have been a whirlwind—a marathon rather than a sprint. Thanksgiving to New Years offers 5 major events/holidays/birthdays in our family. It’s as festive as it is exhausting.
The beginning of January we wrapped up the season with Hadley’s first birthday party. I knew I wanted the whole thing to be utterly girly but I hadn’t had much time to plan with all the other festivities. The night before the party Josiah and I went out to shop and grab the party supplies we needed. After rummaging around for 10 minutes I was one wrong color away from a royal hissy fit. It was shameful. What Wal-Mart had to offer in way of paper plates just didn’t suit me. They were too bold, too themed, too tacky…you get the idea. I was underwhelmed with the selection and all the Pinterest worthy parties were swirling through my head. I finally decided to get my act together and chose some decorations that I thought would work. We headed home with a delightfully tacky assortment of pastels, gold, and glitter glue (my 7th grade self would have been proud). I saved a string of blue cirlces from Noah’s party that I wanted to recover with scrapbook paper and glitter so I set to work with my DIY project while Joe wrapped her presents in leftover Christmas paper, I wish I was kidding. Thankfully it was red herringbone and to the untrained eye it couldn’t be associated with Christmas. Hopefully. We finished our projects and headed to bed, the house a hot mess. Toys, homemade confetti (proof that Noah’s big boy scissors are being put to good use), dirty dishes, Cheetos smeared on the couch, you name it. I woke up in something of a frenzy, worried about how I would manage to get it all done before 4o’clock. Josiah, being the hero he is (no joke), played with the kiddos while I started preparations. I’m ashamed to say that after Noah’s party I acted a sight. I won’t go into details, because frankly they aren’t important. What is important is that I chose to focus on what wasn’t instead of what was. I chose to see all the imperfections that come with a little kid’s party. The distractions, the chaos, and it passing so quickly. I chose to focus on how imperfect my homemade cake was instead of the fact that Noah and I made it together. As I was getting ready for Hadley’s party I could feel the tug on my heart. God’s sweet reminder not to get caught up in perfect but to enjoy the fellowship. The reminder that 20 people were taking time to come to our home to celebrate another birthday with us. That they would spend their money to buy presents to make them feel special. Stand around a table singing happy birthday and watching them blow out the candles to kick off a new year of adventure.
(Unfinished but more icing didn’t really improve it)
I’m not going to pretend I heeded to the truth instantly or that I didn’t make excuses for my very homemade cake when people arrived. I finished cleaning my house and enjoyed some time alone preparing. When the party started my house wasn’t spotless and the cake sat there in all its lopsided glory. We served hot and ready pizza and 2-liters instead of a fancy spread of food. The circle banner I spent time recovering flipped (only halfway) to the blue side and Haddie refused to wear a party hat. I’m not gonna say I wasn’t shooting for Pinterest worthy or that I was thrilled to be the newest addition to the collection of Pinterest fails but for 3 glorious hours family and friends gathered to celebrate our girl—and that was enough.