Since January, I've been planning on throwing a big party for River and Austen in September, right in the middle of each of their birthdays. It was going to be carnival themed. We were going to have pie instead of cake, popcorn in cute red and white striped bags, and cotton candy made from natural, juice-flavored hard candies. Snow cones, carnival activities, and face paint. I was going to convince my brother to dress up like a clown. I've made lists to check off, found some cute crafts for the kids to do, determined a budget and a healthy spread of food, and made a guest list. I love throwing parties, and last year, we didn't do parties for the kids, so I was really excited.
So, much to my disappointment, I decided a big birthday bash wasn't realistic this year. Yes, it was actually more my disappointment than River and Austen's. I told the kids we couldn't do a party with friends, but that we could still have a party with our family; they were still thrilled. I suggested a different theme... something generic, something they could both agree on that would make things simpler for me. Much to my relief, they agreed on a dinosaur party. Awesome! Every store has dinosaur party stuff.
We ended up just having a tiny little party with my parents and siblings. It took hardly any energy at all to pick up dinosaur party supplies, stick some miniature dinos in store-bought cupcakes, and pick out matching dinosaur skeleton shirts for the kids (which they loved). A big birthday party will have to wait for another year, and the most important thing is that my kids felt celebrated, and we were able to get together as a family and make that happen. Deciding not to throw a big party was a hard decision for me, but once I made it, it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. There was no way we could have afforded it this year, but kids don't care about that. They probably had just as much fun during their "dinosaur party" as they would have a huge carnival party with all their friends. :)