"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Celebrating Jaden

I will admit that I oftentimes fall victim to the Pinterest curse. The pressures of wanting to create the perfect party, implementing too many ideas into one event and wanting to create something worthy and eye-catching for my camera. But as December drew to a close, and I had to start thinking not only about last minute Christmas needs but also about planning Jaden's birthday party, I decided to listen to my gut feeling rather than giving in to the pressures of the outside social media world. That's a goal of mine in 2014... to do what feels right for us and the time we are in. It's amazing the pressures we moms put on ourselves to throw the biggest, best birthday parties for our kids. When I really sat down and talked to Jaden about what HE wanted for his birthday, his only request was pizza with nana and papa and a new video game. What he didn't say he wanted was a frazzled mom the entire week leading up to his party.

And so for Jaden's sixth birthday this year, we went simple. We went easy. We went intimate. And we did what he wanted. This doesn't mean that next year, we won't go for a more extravagant affair. It just means that this year, in this time that we are in, simple and less was definitely more. It felt right.

We made his day special. We filled it and the days leading up to it with all of his favorite things. We picked out the perfect gifts. He got to eat his favorite foods. There was cake and candles and balloons, and of course... the nanas and papas. There was the four of us gathered around my computer two days beforehand... looking through all the pictures of Jaden's first few days in the hospital. He saw for the first time the picture of his mommy holding him in her arms for the first time. He saw for the first time the picture of our entire family surrounding my hospital bed, peeking over me for their first glimpse of him. We talked in detail about that special moment we met him. We didn't throw him a giant party, but we did show him a lot of love. And of course... there was fun. We had so much fun. And now that the celebrating is over, I can look back on how we did it and know we did it right.

So... get ready for serious picture overload.


Pizza Hut night at his request. We did this a few days before his birthday when we could work it in to everyone's schedules, and it was just what he wanted. Family, balloons, his favorite food and presents.

From the looks on everyone's faces here, Jaden was in the middle of one of his goofy stories.

What are cousins for, if not to help open presents? ;)

Brandon's face... ;)

And the day and night of his birthday. He started his birthday off with a two hour delay, extra time in his jammies, breakfast with mom and treats for his class. When I picked him up from school, you could tell he'd been treated pretty special. "Ms. Kimpston sang to me, gave me a hug, and all my friends told me happy birthday ALL DAY LONG!"

And that night the four of us headed to Chuck E. Cheese. We hadn't been in a really long time so it was kind of like going for the first time again. This was the first time that Brandon was really old enough to enjoy it, and the first time that Jaden could handle all the games and tokens on his own. We all had so much fun. It was a great night with just the four of us, and it was definitely a birthday celebration I will remember. And when all was said and done, Jaden told me how much he loved his birthday. That's all that matters.

Brandon was very concerned with his tickets all night, and when we sat down to eat after the first round of games, he counted his stash multiple times.

And then decided to measure his height with his tickets. ;)



Brandon got so into all the games and flew at rapid speed from one to the other. Of course we had the talk at the beginning of the night that once the tokens were gone, they were gone. And of course, Daddy snuck away and got more tokens when we ran out. ;)


They also had a lot of fun crawling through the tunnels and going down the tube slide together. You would have thought that they had never been on play equipment before. Every time they got to a window, they would squeal and wave at us. I had a smile plastered to my face the whole night just from watching them.

 Jaden's favorite games were the boat races and the Mario Kart races. He didn't care that those didn't ever spit out tickets, he spent most of his time bouncing between the two.

The roller coaster simulator for the boy fascinated with roller coasters. ;)


Brandon also loved putting his tickets into the counter machine. He'd come away with just two tickets from a game and would race over to the machine to get his "receipt." ;)

Such a great night for us as a family... and we almost had the whole place to ourselves.

We came home for presents and cake, and then Cody and I looked through all my pictures after putting the boys to bed. I took over 200 just at Chuck E. Cheese's alone!

For cake, again I went simple. Whenever I make a big cake, 2/3rds of it ends up going uneaten. With it being just the four of us, we went small... with a football on top and six candles. It was the perfect size, and chocolate -- just how Jaden likes it.

Singing 'Happy Birthday.' He was so embarrassed... ;)

Thank you to our family members that sent presents, money and gift cards to him in the mail. He's pretty excited to go shopping this weekend... and put some away in his piggy bank. :)
So thankful for this boy...