We celebrated my oldest's 4th birthday this past weekend. Her birthday falls on the day after Christmas, so I always like to have the party well in advance since people's schedules get pretty busy closer to her birthday. I normally go all out for her parties, with lots of activities and a huge venue, because I don't ever want her to feel like her birthday gets overshadowed by Christmas. I know as she gets older people will inevitably forget about her birthday, or people will give her a present for Christmas and her birthday. Unfortunately, I can't control that. But I want her to know from her mama that her birthday is truly a special occasion. I had Ava at 18 and she really is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She continues to teach me everyday and inspire me to be a better person. She is all of the good in me and all of the bad in me. Can you say karma? I know I'm a little biased, but I absolutely adore her.
This year for her party, I decided to scale things back a bit. I did the same for Maia's first birthday in the summer. I wanted to get away from big parties where everyone doesn't interact. I noticed that I spent a lot of time making activities, decorations, etc. all from scratch and I would get really overwhelmed the day of the party. So I decided that I would keep the parties very intimate, with just some of our closest friends and family and focus more on each other's company. I went with an Ava in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) tea party theme. She had been talking about tea parties and so I thought it would be perfect for her. When planning the party, I knew I wanted to keep the colors very neutral, with lots of eucalyptus and of course macramé! For the goodie bags, I printed out some Alice in Wonderland coloring pages, got some flower seeds, and some tea packets.
Unfortunately, practically no one showed up to her party. The only people that showed were my mom, Mike's mom, and his aunt. I hate to be negative, but I was really shocked and disappointed because I only invited close friends and family. I had to not invite people I love because of the limited space. No one reached out to say they couldn't make it nor have they even apologized. It hurts because I was looking forward to her getting to play with my friend's kids since she isn't in preschool. Plus I put a lot of effort and money into the party. But I'm trying to remain positive. Ava still had a great time and she won't remember that no one showed. Instead, she will remember that she was surrounded by the people who really do love her. She may have only gotten a couple of presents, but I hope that she will grow to learn that less is more. As her mom, it breaks my heart. But, at the end of the day, she is very blessed to have everything she needs and to have family that loves her, even if it is just a few of us.
Despite this, we still made it a fun time. My sister had some fun games for us to play- one of which was who could stand on one leg the longest. I was doing good until Ava tackled me. The cupcakes that my mom made were a hit, and my scones and banana bread weren't too bad either. Ava got to be the center of attention and enjoyed playing with her sister and uncle who is the same age as her. We are so thankful to those who did came, and those who have reached out with kind words that have lifted my spirits.