i seriously can't believe this little girl of mine is 4!

learning how to dance like royalty...with balloons of course!

favor bags were filled with items from the dollar aisle.  spinning tops for the boys, crowns, for the girls, and lots of candy.

the kids had a ton of fun making pipe cleaner bracelets and paper crowns!

funfetti cupcakes just like my mom used to make them for my bday parties.

i will forever be a party girl at heart.  but now that i'm about to have my 4th little kiddo, i've realized that if i continue to throw over the top birthday parties for each of my kids, i will be retiring to my grave early.  something at least i for sure don't want.  so, at the end of last year, as i was setting goals for myself with the start of 2016, i decided that i would scale back on my parties, throw more

at-home birthday parties

and only throw elaborate ones for my kids' milestone age birthdays (1, 5, 8, 12, 16, 18...).

emi's birthday is january 12th, so she was the first one to try this out one.  so for her birthday, i planned a princess themed party that was just like the one i had as a little girl.  which meant store bought party decorations, pictures taken by mom (me), plastic table cloths, pizza, simple diy party crafts, and funfetti cupcakes with vanilla ice cream.  however, i couldn't completely turn my back on my over-the-top party girl ways, so i contacted happily ever after utah and arranged for princess belle to come.   even though it took emi quite a bit to warm up to the in-person princess (i think she was in shock that belle was actually the flesh!  haha!) she did a great job at entertaining the hoard of four year olds we had running around at our party!  she seriously was the highlight of the day.  even for the boys!

the two hour party flew by in a breeze, and even though i was tired by the end of it (i blame my prego body), i was way less stressed than i have been with past birthday parties.  and even got to enjoy and observe a lot of what was happening instead of spending most of the party running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  but, the best part of all was emi saying how much she loved her party!  it just re-affirmed to me that you don't have to throw lavish parties parties for your kids all the time to show that you love them (unless that is something you thoroughly enjoy doing all the time).  at-home birthday parties will do just fine; because, as long as your time, effort, and love are involved in the things you do for your kids, they will enjoy anything that you do for them.  promise!

so the next time you are browsing pinterest, instagram, blogs, or whatever, and start to feel bad whenever you see an themed party that another mom is throwing for her kid(s).  don't let it eat you up inside.  at the end of the day, your kids have you; and for them, that will always be enough.

in case you missed it:

party entertainment- happily ever after utah

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