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A Hello Kitty Birthday Extravaganza!

We are partied out over here, but I wanted to show you some of our celebration!
I can so appreciate an easy party now because I acted so foolish when I was a young mom with the boys.
I made a big deal out of all the wrong things.  Can you relate at all?
I fretted over our house and the yard…making sure they were perfectly cleaned and manicured.
I invited kids that my boys didn’t even really know because their parents were my friends.
I made it more about me than them.  I’m praying they were too young to remember!
One of the greatest things about getting older is learning a better way to do almost everything.
When we know better we do better, and this has certainly been true for me with kids birthday parties!
Lydia wanted a Hello Kitty party, so we set out to make it happen.
She and I went and picked up all the food and decorations together.
 She LOVED picking out everything and having a say on what we would eat and how we would decorate.
she wanted to decorate Hello Kitty sugar cookies and make a couple of crafts, so that’s what we did.
It was simple and fun, and we all enjoyed ourselves so much!  
I’ve come a long way since those early days of being super uptight with the boys.
Here’s proof!

I didn’t even send invitations.  I sent all of her friends’ moms a text about a week ago.
I don’t know how it is everywhere else in the world, 
but in the South, there are ways that you are supposed to do things.
I’m pretty sure sending a text for a party invitation is one of things you’re NOT supposed to do.
But, life happened.  There was Christmas.  There was a vacation. There was food poisoning. 
There was school starting back.  There was a major head injury with my middle child this past Monday.
If a party was going to happen, it was gonna happen through a text this year!
Guess what else I didn’t do.  We didn’t touch our yard and I never cleaned the house.
I lit a candle and put everything in it’s place.  The end.
This is HUGE for me.  Getting older is awesome.  Well, except for the wrinkles.
At the end of our lives, the invitations and decorations and clean houses and manicured yards won’t matter.  
Our kids feeling loved and celebrated is what they’ll remember.
Lydia felt totally loved and celebrated by us and her friends today…that’s what it’s all about!
On a side note, I have to tell you about her brothers…if you know them at all, it’ll make perfect sense.
Seth, our total people person kid, managed to find himself constantly in the mix with the girls.
{all in the name of “helping” them}
 Andy asked Lydia’s friends to each tell something they love about Lydia,
and Seth found a way to be near enough to share that he loved everything about her.
Meanwhile, Luke, our oldest and more reserved kid, never came downstairs until the very end.
He quietly said “Hi” to each of the girls and waited for everyone to leave
before he sat in the floor next to Lydia and asked her for every last detail about her party.
These boys of mine are so very different, but they are each so incredibly special, and they both adore their sister.
{thankful for}
656. the sound of giggling from sweet little girls.
657. a husband who will make a banner and hang it t-minus two hours from the party.
658. simple celebrations.
659. the way the boys love her.
660. a dinner date with Andy after it was all said and done.

Coastal Cottage Dreams - Sometimes we feet over the smallest things in life, don’t we. See how everything came in place. Did anyone really notice the yard and housework….I doubt it! The most important thing is that Lydia had a wonderful time with family and friends and by reading this, I know she did. Happy Birthday, Lydia! Love her birthday photos.

Kellye - The whole older and wiser saying is so true!! We just celebrated a birthday for a friend’s son Friday night with a couple of hours before text to meet for wings if anyone was available and it was so much fun!!! We had a table full, the birthday boy had a blast, and it was perfect, spontaneous, and completely against everything us Southern gals know!!!! I LOVED IT!!!! So great job to you Momma and Happy Birthday to Miss Lydia!! It sure looked like a great party!!!

The Avery House - Oh what a sweet party to celebrate Miss Lydia turning six! I am totally with you on the easing of the party planning frenzy as I have gotten older. I use to do expensive fancy cakes and cupcakes and then this year i found myself going to our local grocery store for cupcakes for our youngest daughters past birthday. They were just as good and a mere fraction of the fancy bakery cupcakes. The kids just lick the icing off anyway so I didn’t feel like I had waisted a bunch of money when it was all said and done. Simple parties actually turn out to be the best parties, don’t they? I am so glad you all had a wonderful celebration that she will always remember. Your boys are such great big brothers and so sweet. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Jackie at Roots and Wings - Hooray for the wisdom that comes from experience!
Her party was precious and I know she felt loved. :) Good job, Mama!

paige - oh my gosh. that made me tear up. all of it…

Megan - I love what you have to share here. I have come a long way myself in this area, and I can totally relate to the old you. Last year for Gabe’s birthday, we had concrete floors, so much construction dust and plastic tarps over half the house! I remember one of his friends hitting the couch and showing me how much dust was coming out of it. But you are right, Gabe won’t ever remember what the house looked like! I too am thankful that the Lord matures us over time, which is hope for me still!
I love her Hello Kitty themed party – how I loved Hello Kitty as a little girl! How fun doing all the party prep together. And what you wrote about the boys…so sweet!

omerzati - I just have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy reading about your blog. Especially your stories about your family. Your daughter is beautiful and this story about your sons love for her is so special. Your love for your family and our Lord shines through your posts. Thank you for sharing!

Bethanie - I’ve learned lately, to straighten it all up when company is coming, but to do the heavy cleaning when the party is over!! It’s going to need it again anyway, and once all the people get in your house it seems to get “trashed” too quickly for anyone to notice how clean it was to begin with.

Totally off subject, but my mom (in PA) just commissioned y’all to do a sign for her with the names of Jesus. Im so excited to see it…I tried getting her to come down and pick it up (I live in Gainesville), but that little tactic didnt work, they have too much going on right now! Such a small little blog world, I’ve read your blog for a long time (you and I actually have a mutual friend, I work with her, and I believe y’all went to college together) anyway, I’ve always loved your signs, love Paige’s and Kariannes…she saw your work thru Karianne’s blog.

GLENDA CHILDERS - Good job, mama! And I love that you are letting your boys be themselves, too. My mom always said, “vacuum your guests out the door and never vacuum before they come.” :)

Is your boy okay? Head injuries can be scary.


Beth - I love low key. I probably don’t even rate a key, ha! But I love the simpleness of the decor, cuteness.
Hope she had a fantastic birthday!
How is the middle child? And his head? Scary stuff.

Beth - Oh I love your way of thinking! I’m getting there….slowly. The yard perfect, the house perfect, the party decor perfect, the invitations perfect. I need to let go. I am seeing all this now, and I’m truly looking so forward to the day that it will be that way. It seems like bday parties have become more of like everything else… a competition. Anyway, love to read your blog. It’s always so encourgaging :-) Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to your sweet girl.

Beth - Oh, and I love how you were describing your children…your oldest son Luke sounds SO much like my John Luke. He is SO reserved. And when you were telling about how he stayed upstairs during the whole party until the end, I noticed something. That was ok. That he stayed upstairs. I would be so uptight about him being upstairs thinking he was being rude. But it clicked with me when reading that, that it was ok. I think sometimes I put too much thought and effort into things that shouldn’t be so much of a big deal. Thank you for that enlightenment ;-)

kelly - your boys’ personalities remind me SO much of my boys’ personalities. so different in the ways they live and love! i’m so glad she had such a fun party! mary fran did hello kitty one year and it’s one of my best memories. of course, i still remember the party for knox that luke came to- knox fell off a chair and had a near concussion and black eye before everyone showed up. yikes! we’re going to be very wrinkled and very grey (and very happy) before this is all over.

Debby - Sounds like a perfect party to me. Our youngest son, also adopted, came to us when I was an older mom. It is true, you worry less and are more experienced. I remember one birthday he had just had a horrible head injury. We had to postpone his birthday. When we recovered from his accident I threw together a quick party at Taco Bell (hah). I was the clown (I am one, so that’s okay)…..a handfull of friends and my best friend. Guess what I forgot……a cake. And cakes were the most important part for him since he never had one til he came to live with us. My great friend ran and got one. (My dear friend passed away a couple years later at the age of 50) Your daughter is just adorable…..I know I say that alot but she is. Your sons ove for her is something special.

Empty Nest Full Life - Sounds like a great party for such a special little girl, and it is wonderful that those boys love their sister so much, and such different ways to show they care. You sound like you are doing a great job of raising all of them. Not to long ago I shared something with my son, that was a something that I dealt with when he was small, something that I thought could have a negative impact on him, to which he replied that he didn’t remember any of those difficult times, he only remembered the good stuff, and for that I was so thankful! Now get you some rest, and have a blessed week!

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I love that story about your boys. How precious!! Love all your sweet photos and what a darling party. LOVE it all… so girly and sweet.

About Laura - Last fall, I didn’t clean the inside of the house, and it seemed the outside as well. We brought the cake to the driveway, and just let it rip with 12 $uper on sale nerf squirt guns. the end. I get it. Girl, texting an invitation… lol!! (have you ever seen the book titled “being dead is no excuse” (all things southern & hillarious!) hugs, love all the pink~ Laura

Sarah - I’m all choked up right now by your description of your boys talking to their sister. What a blessing she has in them! Love, love the Hello Kitty party. And you are so right, no one ever notices our dirty houses. Hospitality is so much more than a clean house, and it is definitely something we learn as we get older! :)

melissa shepard - Oh my goodness!!! I was the same way!!! I used to order the “good” invites… thinking I had to keep up… I wont ever forget the year I let go and bought them at walmart and let my son fill them out… huge step in the right direction…now we just text… sooo much easier! I got tired of trying to impress the parents! Now we mainly just invite family anyway…soo much easier… good for you, girl! Party looked fantastic.. thanks for keeping it real ! We want to see more pics. of you.. you are as cute as your kiddos!

Tiffini - I LOVE the bright colors! I love her smile
I love that getting older isn’t the end of the world..but rather the beginning:)
I love that your two boys are so are my kids and so am I from my siblings
you did great momma:)
hugs..and big ones!

Barbara - Oh boy what a party so cute, love a good cupcake cake!

Katie - Holy pink! What a cute party, Tara :) I’m taking notes to not be so uptight when I have kiddos…easier said than done?

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