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Something So Right.

I don’t know if I have the words to carry this post, but I do know I have the photos.

birthday parties

Birthday parties have become such a big deal in this house, that it might be really tempting to just rent out an air-conditioned movie theater next summer! We’re all spring and summer birthdays – all of us – and I only know handmade and homemade and imaginative dreamscapes for birthday parties. My mom did all that and we had the backdrop of our huge swimming pool then too. Now did she prepare a bit better and a bit more in advance than we do? Most likely. Cassidy and I don’t really spring into action until the last possible minute, and then it’s about a week of insanity, and then we somehow pull it off. Every time.

birthday parties

I’ve learned a few things over the years, and mainly, it’s that Cassidy needs help with execution. And sometimes? I do too.

birthday parties

birthday parties

I totally failed at invitations this year. It’s the one thing I do every year, and do well, but I had to defer it to Scarlet and Cassidy this time. I couldn’t handle the pressure. It was silly and tense, but it all worked out. A lot of our friends couldn’t make it – in fact, a whole bunch. And yet our party had about 70 people at it at one point, which just goes to show you the power of old and new friends. Silver and gold. Kids move on – through daycare and preschool and kindergarten and beyond. They shed a few friends along the way, and make a whole lot of new ones. There are some who stay forever. And how.

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In the last year, I’ve become more financially independent. I’m not saying I AM financially independent, but just more so. I put my money on a Superman bounce house, and I have no regrets. I figured that even if we dropped the ball on every other aspect of the party, which would never happen, then it would still be a memorable party for the kids if it had a bounce house.

Who doesn’t love a bounce house?

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There’s also the magic of sno-kone machines.

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The theme of the party was LEGOs, chosen by Scarlet. I was surprised no princesses this year!

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A shout-out to Groot – living patiently and silently in our garage.

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Scarlet got her very own apple tree from my in-laws, which is about the greatest gift ever. She had wanted her own baby tree, but I think there’s something very special about apple trees in Massachusetts. May they grow beautifully together.

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Then we set up the wonderland, only about a half hour before guests were due to arrive.

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Cassidy took home a ton of cardboard boxes, which we then wrapped together over a few nights before the party. I had no idea of his plans, but putting giant cardboard boxes with kids just has a way of working out really beautifully, as you’ll see.

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The same can also be said for bounce houses! Adults got in on the action too.

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All three grandmothers wore hot pink, unplanned. Scarlet did as well. I did too!

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Did I ever tell you the love story between a boy and his sno-kone? Wait, I’ll show you.

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Also. Bubbles.

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We also got super cool pinatas that require no hitting of a bat – just the pulling of strings.

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And of course, the cake. Putting it at kid-eye level was perhaps the worst decision we’ve ever made.. but we survived.

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I was pretty calm before, during and after the party. With all that talk of doing it more simply next year, I have my doubts we’d really downgrade. We sort of like to go big or go home. I grew up this way and it’s a gift to do this for our kids as well.

“They’ve got a wall in China
It’s a thousand miles long
To keep out the foreigners
They made it strong
I’ve got a wall around me
You can’t even see
It took a little time
To get to me”
— Paul Simon in “Something So Right”

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102 Comments

  1. We did stellar parties for you but I learned how from nana and pop pop. Nana made sandwiches that were turtles one year and race cars the next. Pop pop organized the famous peanut hunts with the winning peanut being green. He played Disney cartoons on a real screen in our basement. It doesn’t get any better. And the love goes on. And on.

    1. Turtle sandwiches!? Promise me you’ll make them for the kids one day?
      It’s definitely a family cycle and we are keeping it ALIVE!

  2. OK, that party looked amazing and now I feel kind of lame that we had Emma’s 6th birthday party at the local chocolate place here with her fiends making chocolate lollipops and fondue. Seriously, you totally go big or go home! Happy Birthday again to both kids and again loved your recap so much πŸ™‚

    1. Lame!?? That sounds like the stuff of dreams! Are you kidding? Birthday party at a chocolate place = heaven.
      I need to steal that idea one day.

          1. I know, seriously keep getting BlogHer invites left and right and only going Saturday if at all I can swing for a few hours between Emma’s birthday and a family reunion on Kevin’s side, but still wishing you would be there now.

  3. This has to be one of the most amazing and magical birthdays that I have ever seen! You guys are just so awesome. I am terrified because my baby’s 4th birthday is in less than two weeks! ACK!

    1. Aw, thank you!! We do it up big every year. It’s like our standards keep growing.
      I can’t believe your cute little threenager is growing up so fast! Didn’t she just turn three?

  4. AWESOME! I think my kids might feel ripped off if they saw this. We did it a little simpler this year than in years past. I do think that LEGO cardboard box idea is brilliant. That would be fun on a well just because day I think. Happy, Happy Birthday to your cuties. Three and 6 is a big deal πŸ™‚

    1. haha, ripped off? Also, thank you for spelling LEGO with all caps because I should have done that. I may go back and edit.
      Three and Six! A big deal!

  5. THE BOXES!! Oh my goodness, the best idea ever. You guys need to make those and rent them out. What an awesome thing to have at a party. And I’m still so jealous of your home. Look at all that greenery! And SPACE! lol. Great job Tamara, and happy birthday to the kiddies!

    1. I never would have thought of it, but it was such a great idea! The kids just had fun with them and used their imaginations!
      We do have a LOT of greenery, but do you know what we have a lot of in the water? Snow!! Ugh!

    1. It was really fun! I’m so glad we did it because Scarlet said it was her favorite party to date. She said that was mainly because of the weather, which we didn’t really control.. but I’ll take credit!

    1. That makes me so happy! I think about that with Des now – I can remember being three. I wonder if he’ll remember this? Probably at least good bits and pieces.

  6. Can you guys come out and create magical birthday parties for Eve? Seriously, I know I’m going to end up throwing something together last-minute. (Granted I still have quite a few months to go.) I think it’s so awesome how you guys go all out and make it look like so much FUN! I bet when the kids are in high school their friends are going to remember their parties.

    1. ha, yes. Yes we can. Don’t worry – she’s still young. We didn’t go quite elaborate until Scarlet became four or so. Before that, we still had huge parties but without themes.
      Although Cassidy made up his own theme for her second birthday – food on a stick. Even the cake. Cake pops.
      Yum.

  7. My 7yo and I read this together. She asked if you made the pictures and the story just for me. I said yes, I think she does.

    She wants to say something – passing her the phone.

    Happy birthday Scarlet!

  8. Ohhh, the apple tree. So long as you have your blog it will be fun to see the tree grow, yet bittersweet to see Scarlet and Des grow. I mentioned the lovely name “Scarlet” to Matthew, and now he suddenly wants to impregnate me with a girl-child (true story) and name her Scarlet. See what you’ve done to us? (Not gonna happen.)

    1. I’ll definitely report on the tree!

      I think I side with Matthew on this one. The world needs another Josie baby. A Scarlet one!

  9. Your yard looked like a very inviting playground, Tamara! I used to watch a kiddie show when I was Scarlet’s age and it was called “Birthday House” hosted by Paul Tripp. That’s what I thought of when I saw all those happy and colorful photos you shared with us. You and Cassidy did such a wonderful job making Scarlet’s birthday Everything So Right.

  10. Every area of this party is so thoughtful to Scarlet. I love that all her girls in the family knew to wear pink on their own (it’s purple in our fam bc that’s my neice’s fav) and that Scarlet wanted a tree!! Cassidy, again, knocked it out of the park with his Lego guys πŸ™‚

    1. That’s what’s so funny – it’s purple with half of us too! My two mothers-in-law love purple and so does Scarlet. My mom lives pink, but I love red.
      And yet we all wore hot pink!

  11. This pretty much looks like the best kid’s birthday party ever. Legos? A bouncy house? BUBBLES AND SNOW CONES?! Most importantly, it looked like everyone had a blast πŸ™‚

  12. What a magical birthday party!! Scarlet and Des will remember this forever! (Especially if they read your blog!)

  13. Love the pictures. LOVE the party. I had to laugh at the cake one. The little boy in gray looked like he had been told more than once not to touch the cake. LOL! Love the grandma’s in pink too. Perfect picture! The apple tree IS the best gift ever!

    1. ha! I wonder if he did grab at the cake. He’s Des’ best friend and he certainly looks guilty there but I think other kids were louder and pushier. For sure.

    1. Bubbles are just so great! I need to start bringing them to kid photo shoots more often because it always helps me with kids. 100% of the time.

  14. Seventy people is still a lot of people. I can’t imagine how many people would have been there if everyone showed up. It looks like it was a really great party. I love the big homemade Legos.

  15. wow looks super cool – love all the lego stuff – my 15 year old – is just looking at this post and said it looked awesome πŸ™‚

        1. I just saw this! My longest flight ever was six hours. I used to do it often and completely drink and pill-free. Now I’ve been told the best way to fly is to take a sleeping pill or something!
          Can you imagine a bounce house on your plane?

  16. “May they grow beautifully together”
    Love that.
    You guys know how to party.
    Digging the ladies in the non-planned pink. Great minds think alike.
    Chunky’s party is coming up and he’s all boy so we are doing laser tag. Less work for me!! But more money — mother eff!
    She looked like she had such an amazing time and surely she’ll remember this one for a long time. You’re a good mom Tamara xoxo

    1. Laser tag sounds great! Scarlet LOVES doing that. Perhaps we will one day too.
      We do know how to party. I think Chunky should come to one of our parties one day.
      You’re a good mom too, ya know!

  17. What a fun party! So cute that all the Grandmas dressed in pink and those snowcones! I am in awe of the gift from your inlaws! What a great idea for a gift that will bloom and give for years. Looks like a great party you put together – that is a lot of people! Happy Birthday to Scarlet!

  18. OH. MY. GOSH. YOU GUYS KNOW HOW TO THROW A PARTY!!!!!! That is just INCREDIBLE!!!! I kept thinking, “thank God the weather was gorgeous for that!” Oh, how your kiddos are SO blessed to have you!!!

    I only wish I could have come and brought my kids to celebrate with you!!

  19. You go big, but you are so smart to throw a joint party for your kids. In the end, I bet you’re doing less work than throwing two smaller parties. And as long as they are good with it, do it! My kids have birthdays 18 days apart, and having two bashes in August was tough! Happy belated birthdays again to your kiddos.

  20. OOooooo, I just LOVED the party! You have the PERFECT backyard for parties! Big space! LOVED the lego people cut-outs greeting people and around the backyard. LOVE that all the grandmas were in hot pink, including you & Scarlet. What are the chances. And the HUGE lego blocks. How awesome. Good job, family! You pulled it off splendidly. And pinatas that only require pulling on strings? Mind blown!

    1. I know! The pinatas! I had no idea! Cassidy bought them last year and now it’s become something we do. And he always goes crazy with the bubbles. He’s a very gifted party planner and I love to join in.

  21. I love seeing what you all come up with for your birthday parties! The big lego bricks and the mini figures are awesome! Such a wonderful way to celebrate your beautiful girl. Love the apple tree gift and pull-string pinata! That’s always the bane of our bday parties – the pinata that never breaks open! Happy Birthday Scarlet!

    1. I know! When I was a kid I was almost hit by a bat at a birthday party so the whole baseball bat/blindfold thing couldn’t happen here. I couldn’t bear it!
      Was so much fun!

  22. UNREAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your kids are beyond lucky for all of the love and magic you create for them not only on their birthdays, but everyday. They will never forget these parties and probably carry on the tradition of magic to their kids! Des’s face by the cake I can’t freaking handle!! I know mom captured one as well, this whole blog just brings tears to my eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE!

    1. Thank you! And yes, he made that happy cake face and I can’t handle it. The way his hands are clasped at his chest is TOO MUCH for me.

  23. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!! What a fun party, I love it!! I agree with Lindsay, the love and magic you and your husband create for those sweet babies is phenomenal! My son πŸ˜‰ would have had a blast there. πŸ™‚
    XOXO

  24. What a fantastic party! Looks like the weather was perfect, too. How is it that you and Cassidy are able to pull off such gorgeous cutouts? Wish I was that artistic. And the giant Legos are awesome too. I can only imagine the creations they could make.

    1. Oh it’s not that hard! He borrows a projector from work and gets images from the internet to blow up on the wall of our garage. Then he traces them and paints them.
      Honestly, you could do that with your eyes closed!

    1. Thanks! We have a knack for that, but it always begs the question – If we worked together and planned in advance, what would we be capable of? I hope the world knows that answer one day!

  25. You’ve got the best parties ever! And your lawn is super awesome and soooo huge, I bet everybody had a great time! I’d love to get a bounce house if I have the funds for it! LOL. Happy birthday to the kids!!

    1. It is so huge, but mowing it is a big pain!!
      I’d seriously love to keep a bounce house. My brother found one on eBay! He gets to keep it forever! (or as long as it lasts without popping…)

  26. Have you ever been to Alexandria, Virginia? I lived there for 3 years+ 2 years IN DC, and I thought that they did the biggest birthday parties ever, which totally stressed me out b/c my husband is way too cheap to do anything like what you have done here. You did it right. Now I’m beginning to wonder if humongous bday parties is an east coast thing, rather than just an Alexandria thing, as I used to think. We just might crash your next party. πŸ˜‰

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever been there! Sadly.
      I’m not sure if it’s an east coast thing – good question. I grew up in NJ and I do know that the closer you get to NYC, the more over the top people can get.
      I think our big birthday parties are just a symptom of combining two birthdays and my husband being an artist. This is rather big compared to what our friends throw!
      You can totally crash next year!

  27. OMG! It looks like an amazing part. And I love that all the ladies were in hot pink:). You yard looks so pretty. We have summer and fall birthdays – but the summer parties, are difficult, because it’s soooo hot!

    1. I can understand that. We’ve had some hot ones, but this year was only 72 or something. What are the chances?
      I think fall birthdays would be fun. My sister is September 20th but that’s technically still summer, I think.

  28. I so want to come to a party at your house. and keep the Lego boxes. I’m not too good at bouncy houses because I’ve had 3 children and tend to pee my pants when I jump. just a little — I just call it excited puppy syndrome. but seriously – Amazing!!! I love those pinatas — we get them every party too.

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