As I mentioned in my previous post, we recently had a birthday party for the big one's 6th birthday. What you should know is that I really don't enjoy birthday parties - attending or throwing. But my kiddos want parties. In order to help us all get what we want, we are on an every-other-year schedule. The big one gets parties during years when he turns an even age. The little one gets them when he turns an odd age. This rotation means I throw one a year, and on the years when they don't have a big party, we get to enjoy quiet, simple family celebrations. It's just one of those little ways we are maintaining a balance that works for our family.
Summer birthdays are great for birthday parties - the ability to celebrate outside allows for some fun ideas. The birthday boy wanted a "summer fun" party, and we were lucky enough to be able to hold it at my father-in-law's church (he's the pastor). The parking lot was a perfect bike riding area, and the grassy areas were great for baseball, soccer, and football games. Really, it was all very simple.
But the thing that made it even easier? One of my favorite new addictions - Pinterest. For those of you who are unfamiliar, here's what it is. Remember when you used to flip through magazines and tear out pages of recipes/decorating ideas/quotes/crafts that you wanted to remember? And when you first started to use the internet you used to print out the ideas that you found? And then you found that you had an overwhelming list of bookmarks for all of those great things, but could never quite remember which bookmark led you to which tutorial or photograph? This is the answer. It's like online corkboards, where you can "pin" all those great ideas. You see a tutorial you like, "pin" it, and sort your pins into boards according to theme. Then you can go to your board, see all of your ideas, and follow those ideas back to their original source on the web.
I used Pinterest to gather my ideas for the birthday party. In fact, here's my board. And here's the same ideas at the actual party:
But the best part? Because of the pre-planning/organizing using Pinterest, I was actually able to sit back and enjoy the party. The preparations still took time, but we were able to do things the way we wanted (little expense or waste, lots of activity and creativity) without any last-minute stress. I can't recommend it enough! I've still got a few invites left, so if you are interested in signing up, just let me know in the comments.