Simplify.Celebrate.Enjoy -- Second Birthday Recap

Our girls turned two about three weeks ago. We had a nice party for them at our house, and thankfully the weather cooperated and we got to spend the majority of the evening outside. It was a pretty run-of-the-mill party, simple, and full of love. It was perfect, and I use that word intentionally.

Do you want to know what the best part was this year? I actually got to be with my daughters and watched them enjoy their party. If that seems like a strange thing to say, let me run through a quick comparison of this year's party vs. their first birthday.

First Birthday

40 or so guests
catered food
made a smash cake from scratch (which turned out awful by the way)
had a cake made
made brownies
bought too many decorations
very specific "It's a Party" theme with all decorations coordinating
waited until the last minute to put up decorations
had a small army fanning out paper flowers (so sorry to some of my dearest friends!)
spent too much time perfecting dessert table, appetizer table, & drink table
ran around checking everything most of the evening
embarrassed myself ugly crying during "Happy Birthday" song
Maddie started running a fever during the party
didn't say good-bye to any guests
didn't open presents until the next day

I'm exhausted just remembering that weekend. My biggest lesson? SIMPLIFY and accept help.

Now let's fast forward.

Second Birthday

15 guests
Josh grilled burgers and hot dogs
no more cake baking for this mama
Picked up our cake from Sweet Betty's Bakery in Evansille. YUM!
simple chips, dip, & "cook out" food
no fancy cocktails
recycled paper flowers and lanterns from last year
loosely interpreted pink & gold theme
girls wore "princess" dresses I found on clearance at Target (so cute!) & tiaras from Lubberdubber's
chased the babes around and played
sat and had dinner with the birthday girls
got to actually catch up with some of my favorite people
still cried a little singing "Happy Birthday"
opened presents with everyone

Why am I sharing these silly lists? I hope you can see the difference between how I remember these celebrations. I know the first birthday is especially important, and it's a major milestone for both the kiddo and parents. My point is that the special day shouldn't be overshadowed by us mamas putting pressure on ourselves to make everything just right.

The best parts about those parties were the moments I saw Molly and Maddie smile, laugh, and run around our yard with a balloon having so much fun. I got to share a lot more of those this time around, and it was so special. I know someday our girls' birthday parties will revolve more around their friends, so I'm soaking up these moments for as long as possible.

Here's my point. Enjoy your babies and guests instead of trying to do too much like I did. This year's party was still lovely and festive, and most importantly I learned that balloons provide a lot of bang for your buck in terms of party decor. Seriously, go nuts...never too many.

Until next time, cheers to you, friends! 

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