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Jayden’s 4th Birthday And Letting Go Of Perfection


I’m realizing more and more that sometimes, I just have to let go. For the past 3 years, I’ve stressed over Jayden’s birthday parties. Family parties. With no kids. I always wanted them to be special though. I always wanted to bake some fancy cake and provide a unique party spread. Last year, I stayed up all night long trying to decorate a dinosaur cake. The first cake stuck to the pan, so I had to bake another. By the time our guests arrived, I was putting the final touches on the cake. I was drained. I never edited the very few photos that I took from the party. I didn’t blog it or host the giveaway in conjunction with my dino-masterpiece. I still need to do that and I keep guilt-tripping myself. Bottom line, I became overwhelmed and I shut down. And that’s a recurring issue that I have and am no longer allowing to take over me. I’m giving myself a do over.

As Jayden’s 4th birthday approached, I angrily said that I wasn’t going to host a party because I didn’t want to be bothered with the planning, the cleaning, the cooking… sans sleep. I changed my mind and thought having the party at Fuddruckers would be fun, but that wasn’t very frugal. I moved the party to Greg’s grandmother’s house. I planned on grabbing a cake at the grocer and ordering catered food because there was no way I was going to be bothered with cooking anything. Anything. Well, that catered food was not in the budget, so I ended up frying up some chicken drumettes and fries an hour before the party (for freshness). We had grabbed a carton of ice cream, some italian ice, and bagged salad to go with… some cheap party decorations, including a plastic table cloth *gasp*, the day before and called it lazy party.

This party won’t end up on Pinterest, but it was the easiest party I planned to date. Jayden enjoyed it no less and that in itself made it a success. Oh and the food disappeared pretty quickly and I had most of the cupcakes to myself :-).

Jayden’s 4th Birthday Party on April 28th, 2012

The obligatory birthday cake video. Yea, I don’t like being sung to either.

These photos aren’t my best. I can’t stand having to shoot with my flash or kit lens, but I’m letting go of perfection.

[slickr-flickr tag=”jaydenturns4″ use_key=”y” items=”50″]
:: Can’t view the slideshow? Click here! ::


Jayden’s Thomas birthday cake was provided by Walmart, so I didn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen crafting a cake. They also compensated me for trying out their custom cake bakery service as a voluntary participant in the Walmart Moms program. Can you believe that a cake so pretty was only $19? #winning! Oh and that was an opinion so you should know it is my own. Disclosure and all.

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  • Reply 1stopmom

    I learned a long time ago I could not deal with doing all out birthday parties. It just got to be too much. As long as everyone had a good time and enjoyed themselves(including you), that is all that matters. I love his cake. It’s hard to believe it was only $19!!

    View Comment May 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM
  • Reply Dear Crissy

    I am totally with you on this. I just can’t live up to the super-perfect party ideal, and that’s OK.

    View Comment May 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM
    • Reply Sheena

      Maybe once life slows down (if it ever will), I’ll be able to do something epic. Until then, *pffft*.

      View Comment May 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM
  • Reply Linsey K

    That’s the EXACT cake we want to get for Marcus when he turns 2 next month. So excited that it worked out for you. And letting go really makes you a more laid-back, stable mom. You’re doing great :)

    View Comment May 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM
    • Reply Sheena

      When I was ordering the cake, a worker raved about how much her grandson loved it. Glad I chose it! :-)

      View Comment May 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM
  • Reply Hilda Mills

    What a great birthday celebration. No need to spend much as long as you know that the kids will really enjoy. And Oh! My son adores Thomas as well and he’ll be envious towards Jayden if he sees that cake. ^^,

    View Comment May 8, 2012 at 4:35 AM
  • Reply Onica {MommyFactor}

    Oh what an fun and creative cake! Happy 4th to you son. My son’s 4th is coming up soon and I dont plan on baking. At all :)

    View Comment May 7, 2012 at 7:01 PM
    • Reply Sheena

      Thanks! Whatever you choose to do, I’m sure he’ll love it. Ahh, can’t believe our boys are 4!

      View Comment May 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM
  • Reply Drea

    well I think the party and theme is adorable! kit lens and all the pics look great too :) letting go of that sorta stuff is key to enjoying motherhood… we stress way to much over stuff that ultimately wont matter i the end… our kids wont remember the cute tags or water bottle labels… they will just remember you there and how much fun it was. Although its funny, once Caleb and Taite hit age 4, they began to remember specifics. Caleb to this day remembers what he got on his birthdays – and even what his cake was like. So far no complaints ;-) this summer he wants a pool party, which works out since our neighborhood has a pool! it will be very low key tho :)

    View Comment May 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM
  • Reply Kathleen

    Sweet video! I also don’t like being sung to. :(

    I get you with wanting to simplify. We did that last year, but I couldn’t help myself in planning a big party this time, though I usually tend to drop the ball with food, using pre-made stuff or guilting others into making it. Jude’s birthday this summer will be much more low key.

    Kids have a good time, no matter what!

    View Comment May 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM
  • Reply Karen

    Good for you! I am all about no-stress birthday parties! I did a Thomas party for Zachary when he was 2 and it was all decorations from the party shop and a cake from the grocery. Last year I put a little more effort into his 3rd birthday party, since it was Angry Birds, and I wanted to make some decorations. They were super simple, though, and we got his cupcakes from Walmart (which were, btw, fabulous) along with a bagel spread from the shop next door (it was a brunch). Not sure what I’m going to do this year for his 4th birthday, but no matter what, it’s again going to be a family party, and again going to be stress-free. There’s no need to go nuts when the kids are still this little!

    View Comment May 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM
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