Although the love for parties flows deep inside my veins, I must admit to myself that I have my breaking points and cannot throw parties on the regular. Every day of the week seems worthy to throw a party, but I digress, there is more to life than celebrations (I know right? So boring.) Sadly, I came up with a family rule to keep my priorities in check (you know, like folding laundry weekly should trump planning my latest pinterest party). I informed my little tribe that they would get a traditional birthday party with friends and a theme every OTHER year, while we would focus on a small family get together the opposite year. This will keep mommy's sanity in check.
To complicate matters, last year we added another bundle of joy to our clan one month before Sitora's 7th birthday, her scheduled traditional THEMED birthday party, and I was so. not. ready.
Host a party full of people in my house with a newborn when I am feeling huge, oily, hormonal, sleep deprived, half- alive, with spit up adorning my shoulders? Yes, that sounds amazing. I'll take two orders of that please! Ya, no thanks.
Poor Sitora. She was disappointed but completely understood. Her ability to empathize astounds me and I am forever grateful for her constant loving attitude. (Case in point... she often says to me, "Mom, I can tell you are feeling stressed today so I did x, y, and z for you!" I don't deserve her.) So we ended up celebrating her 7th birthday with family members while staying at a hotel and planned a quick "surprise" party while she was swimming. I think we hung up a few streamers and bought some cupcakes, but that was about it. It was so incredibly simple, and she still talks about her one and only surprise party to this day.
Because of last year, I wanted to make up for it and give her the best party possible this year. Not because I have to, but because I want to. She is seriously the most incredible daughter on the face of this earth. She works hard at home on her schoolwork, chores, and with her younger brothers. I want to spoil her every once in a while.
I asked her to pick a theme for this year's party and it took her mere seconds. So I reinstalled my old friend pinterest to begin planning. (Yes, I uninstalled it from my phone. No, that wasn't what I truly wanted. Yes, I take too many pictures with my phone. No, I don't empty my phone often enough. Yes, I regularly delete apps on the whim to take just one more picture because I ran out of space. No, I will never delete you, pinterest, from my phone ever. again. Just kidding. I probably will tomorrow.) Pinterest came through, yet once again, and it took me all but a few days of pinning to create the perfect party! The hard part was over. Now it was just time to execute the plan.
I kid you not, in all seriousness and with zero exaggeration, it took me a full week working from morning until night with hardly any breaks to create this party. I'm guessing it was close to 40 hours. I bought all my supplies from Wal-mart in two separate trips (because you always forget something the first trip, amiright?) I put homeschool on hold for that entire week (except for what the kids could do themselves in their workbooks) and busted my tail off cutting, gluing, tying, folding, painting, coloring, and every other craft verb there is. Sitora helped as well, which sometimes was a struggle for me wanting every little detail to be perfect, but in the end I started to chill out and gave her some responsibilities.
At one point at the end of the week, SuperDan walked into the kitchen around midnight and glanced my way with a peculiar look asking, "Um, so... are you like... almost done planning this thing?"
He was right. This had gotten way out of hand. But it was too late to turn back. I had entered... the party hole. I was on a mission. And when I'm on a mission, ain't nothin' gonna stop me.
Did I also forget to mention that I was throwing this birthday party at a hotel over 2 hours away at our extended family Christmas get-together? Yes, I know I am 100% crazy. No need to convince me of that.
So we packed up our vehicle, which contained 50% people, 10% luggage for a trip lasting four days, and 40% birthday party supplies and decorations. I know this is completely logical. Makes perfect sense. Everyone should try this. It builds character.
Was it easy to pack up an entire birthday party and execute it somewhere other than my home? No. Did it turn out 100% the way I pictured it? No. But that's ok. Sitora was happy so I was happy.
We came. We saw. We conquered. Our vacation with family was a blast. The party was perfect. End of story.
So what did the party all entail?
1. Crafts- All the cousins decorated their superhero masks, personalized capes with the letter from their first name, a silver glittery cuff for their wrist, and a name tag hanging from their necks to scribble down their superhero name and check off the list when they completed their superhero training tasks.
2. Games- The superhero training games were: Super Aim, Shield Throwing Training, Jumping Over Buildings Training, and Find and Capture Evil Villains.
3. Music Video- We watched the Lego Youtube video to Jesus, You're My Superhero and danced along with the actions. It was epic. You should have been there.
4. Prayer time- Sitora asked that we all break up into small groups and pray for one another, because the power of prayer is our greatest superpower! (All her own words.) To say this moment brought a tear to my eye would be an understatement. Basically this was my favorite part of the entire day.
5. Cupcakes and presents- In my perfect mommy world, I would have made cupcakes from scratch and created other adorable homemade treats. But I am only human, and that's probably a good thing. SuperDan bought all the snacks from Wal-Mart while I was prepping the party and my sanity thanked him. He's still my favorite.
It was a party to remember. I am so thankful we were able to spend this special day together with family because we rarely get to see each other. The Lord has called us all to different parts of America and though it would be easier to just live in the same city and share life together 24/7, we all know following Jesus is best. Our family blesses us in so many ways and this was my small offering back to them as a thank you for everything they do for us.