Her first birthday party

About two weeks ago, we celebrated my youngest daughter’s first birthday. As promised in the post on the minimal preparations I was taking this time around, the party was simple and easy. Barring one…okay, two, “moments” that I had in Hobby Lobby involving a cart full of felt paper (again!), lights, multi-colored construction paper, and glitter, I stuck to my plan. I did not go overboard with decorations and Pinterest DIY projects, projects that I knew, going into it, would never get completed. Heck, I didn’t even have a theme! But all this was part of the plan.

One of two of her store bought birthday hats.

We celebrated with family and friends, with store bought cupcakes, pizza, and cookies. We didn’t really have any decorations except some balloons and a birthday hat (that was worn only for pictures), but we had a great party.

“This is more fun than last year!,” I remember telling my husband as we ate the cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate icing that we had purchased hours earlier.

Last time just felt so contrived and forced and stressful. Coloring a caterpillar on the day of the party, baking cupcakes, re-doing a party hat just hours before “showtime”– it was all too much.

It was fun last time and in hindight, I think we had to have that party. But this party was just as great.

I took lots of pictures and at the end of the night, I didn’t have that feeling that you sometimes get when you realize that you’ve stressed out about something that didn’t really warrant the stress. Or, that’s how I felt with my first daughter’s party.

I’ve been thinking about some advice that I would like to give to new parents planning first birthday parties. First, I thought to go through the list of things I thought I did wrong and say “don’t do this.” But, as with most things in parenting, it’s not that easy. Sometimes you have to plan that insanely expensive and crazy stressful party because as a new parent, that may feel right to you. But then, when your second child comes along, you may change. You may, like me, have a stressfree party that you’ll love just as much.

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Jessica lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with her husband and two girls. Once upon a time, pre-motherhood, she did many things as a “serious-looking” woman who managed to successfully balance a reality TV addiction with a career and academic pursuits. She's now a serious-acting woman whose primary job is raising her children. She writes, reads, fantasizes about minivans, and takes midday naps. She enjoys (among many other things) dancing to 80s music, photography, laughing out loud (at, usually, inappropriate moments), and writing about writing, being a writer, and becoming fearless on her blog Jessica F. Hinton

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