An elephant themed second birthday party and a store bought cake.

Well, Jaxon’s birthday went off without a hitch!

ummm…….wrong.

Let me first start off by saying to every mother who throws a “Pinterest worthy” birthday party and that pour all of their time and love into what will probably end up being shorter than some movies that are out right now, you are amazing.  You deserve an award or at the very least some flowers or chocolate at the end of the night.

I LOVE to throw parties.  Always have.  Before children, I even dreamed about the amazing parties I would throw for my future kids. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize throughout all of my daydreaming, is that when you are throwing birthday parties for your kids, you actually HAVE kids.  Meaning what you don’t have is time!  This time around I even tried to get a head start on some of the decorating, but it still wasn’t enough.  There was no way I could account for the growth spurt my littlest was going to have in the days leading up to the party, which left me chained to a couch nursing her pretty much non stop, and the fact that I had planned on making most of the decor myself. In hindsight, my one week head start would have been much better off if it had been one month.  Next time, right?

There ended up being a lot of tears in the hours before the party started. I am only slightly ashamed to say that they weren’t from my newly turned two-year old, or my newborn.  Aside from not having enough time to complete everything I wanted to do (and also sleep) and make all of the “gourmet” looking desserts that for some reason I thought was needed and a realistic task, I also ended up ruining my cake two hours before the party started.  The homemade cake that was going to be delicious and replicate an elephant perfectly.

For about ten minutes I sat on the kitchen floor and cried while trying to salvage my completely crumbled cake.  I irrationally tried to explain to my husband that I didn’t need a store bought cake, which I definitely did need.  Who was he to be the one to say it?  In that very moment I NEEDED a win.  I needed for that cake to kick ass.  Instead, it was a bowl of crumbs mushed together with frosting sitting in my lap laughing at my failure.  I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t do everything because I wanted to be “that mom”.  The one that seems to defeat time and reality.  Needless to say I had a bit of a crazy ten minutes before finally pulling myself together and finishing everything up, with the help of family that came just in time.  When the time came to actually pull the cake out I was pretty much over it, but not completely.  I hate to admit that it felt a little good when Jax refused to blow out his candle or eat his slice of cake.  I am choosing to believe it is because he was also boycotting this store bought cake.

You know what?  The party was great.  You couldn’t tell pre-party me to save your life that that was how it would be or that she didn’t need handmade props for the Photo Booth and that no one would notice that the flags hanging up weren’t evenly spaced. Trust me…Justin tried.  Post party me knows now.  She has come out of this stronger and with a much more rational view of what a party needs. Hopefully.

The truth is, I couldn’t have been happier about the way things turned out.  Everything was beyond perfect, and the people were the highlight, not the decor, the food, or the cake.  I have said it a hundred times before, but I will say it again.  We have the best family and friends one could ever ask for.  I am not sure how we got so lucky, but I will never take it for granted.  Once everyone arrived, everything was put back into perspective.  We had a blast just sitting around catching up.  Jax played for hours with his friends and cousins and the two of us relaxed and took in the fact that our first born is now two years old.  Two.  I am actually still trying to take that in.

We kept everything else simple with a make it yourself sandwich spread and a lot of eat while you chat finger foods. The goody bags were filled with cute little animal trinkets for the kids.  There were masks for pictures in the Photo Booth, and we had a large drawing area on the wall for the kids (and adults). The party was relaxing and all about playing on the floor and visiting with family and friends that we don’t get to see often enough.

I am never short of amazed at my pre-party mindset vs. my post-party mindset.  I continue to tell myself that I won’t be a crazy person next time, but honestly, I know the truth.  It is part of me.  I will always bite off more than I can chew and I will always laugh at how insane I got in the hours before an event.  If anything, motherhood has brought more of that out of me because not only do I want things perfect for myself, now I want things perfect for my kids.