We lovingly refer to our family's extended birthday party-ing as, "the birthday extravaganza." The downer is that our family is so spread out that we don't get to celebrate all together. The bonus (for the kids!) is that they get a rolling month or two of cards, gifts, packages, and cakes as family members are able to gather. Neither party took place on the actual birthday, so to make the "real days" special, we gave our big present to each boy (my family tradition) and went out to dinner (Hubby's family tradition).
"The airplane I've wanted my whole entire life!"
Party #1 this year was mostly for Spork's birthfamily plus Uncle T and Aunt A. I poached the cowboy/western theme and many of the ideas from my favorite blogger. Bought a straw bale from a local farm, hats and bandannas from Oriental Trading Co for photo ops (my favorite picture of the boys will also be included in the thank you notes). I used red gingham and shiny gold cupcake liners for the desserts, kraft napkins and gold Solo cups to keep the western theme without going over the top. Made mini sandwiches with Honeybaked ham and turkey with cheese on Hawaiian rolls, condiments on the side so I could prep them the night before. Brought veggies and dip, cornbread salad, fresh fruit, chips, and popcorn. Mimi and Bobby brought pasta salad. Printed up these invites from Shutterfly. Used a fun font to print signs for the coolers marked "Vittles" and "Waterin' Hole". Back at home, we had the desserts - cupcakes, ice cream, and mini cheesecakes. The Nugget's favorite feature was something we've done with our moms' group before; I created a make your own trail mix bar. We set out mini pretzels, Corn Chex, Craisins, Reese's Pieces, honey roasted peanuts, chocolate covered peanuts, m&ms, and granola. I decorated paper lunch sacks with markers to read "Happy Trails" and drew a little horseshoe on each.
This here bale ain't big enough for the two of us.
Nugget: Party on! Spork: Where's my cake?
A serious cowboy samples his trail mix.
Too much birthday.
Party #2 was our second year with just a few of the Nugget's friends at the kids' waterpark. I love celebrating this way! The venue is the activity, and aside from packing everything in and out, it's very low stress. We recycled the theme, which made everything run smoothly and easily the second time around. Outsourced a little baking to my talented friend this time around. Look at the adorable cookies she made for the favors! Also stuffed into each 'danna is a squeezable applesauce, a pack of chocolate milk straws, and a party blower. The faux barbed wire is also from OTC. Forgot it for the first party, so I was really glad I remembered to pull it out for party #2. Since we splurged on ham and turkey for the first party, we kept the second party budget low by making our own PB&J for the kids and pasta salad for the adults. Rounded it out with lots of fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese, crackers, cupcakes, cash for popsicles, and the trail mix station.
The favors and gifts.
Dawa tests out her party blower.