We had two major parties this year: my 30th birthday, and Mini’s 1st birthday.

My party went over wonderfully.  We had friends over on a Saturday afternoon — we barbequed and ate and drank and the kids ran wild.  My birthday cake was fantastic; I made a Paula Dean coconut cake.  I knew we had so many people coming over that I used two boxes of cake mix and made two 9×13 sheet cakes into a two layer cake.  I have a wonderful picture of the cake, completely white and covered with fluffy coconut and candles on top spelling out “Happy Birthday.”  I loved it.  A house full of friends, a pile of presents (and thank-you notes completed within a week!), good food, and babies refusing to go to bed until after midnight.

Mini’s birthday … it could have gone better.  We were off on timing with the food, and he didn’t open presents until after people had left.  I didn’t get a picture of his big cake, and I think he would have preferred a different flavor.  It was fun, he had a group of his little friends and cousins around, but I didn’t feel like a good host.  Next year, I think I will have a better handle on what needs to be done and what can slide.  And a better idea of how much time to budget (and a bigger backbone to push back on Manly when he wants to move the time earlier in the day).  I think it will help, too, that we won’t have to deal with Halloween scheduling.  It probably will sound odd to most of you, but given that we are in the Heart of the southern bible belt, Halloween being on Sunday this year was a disaster.  Round here, lots of people don’t trick-or-treat on Sundays, and all the local churches hold their “fall festivals” on Saturday.  So we had half our guests running home to deal with trick-or-treaters, and we were trying to scurry out to go to a festival with a friend.

Overall, I think parties have gotten more fun as our group of friends has gotten older.  We’ve mostly outgrown the wild drunken fraternity bashes of years past.  Not that there was anything wrong with them at the time, but now I can barely stay up past 10:00, much less drink until dawn.  We’ve moved more to barbeques and dinners and game nights and football Saturdays.  And as more and more babies get added into our circle, we get more and more laid back. 

Tomorrow night we have my company Christmas party.  Mini will go to his grandparents, we’ll get dressed up, and we’ll enjoy dinner and drinks on my company.  If we’re lucky, we’ll win a door prize (but I’m not counting on it).  Simple as it sounds, I’m going to enjoy it.

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