Despite all of my misgivings about inviting a million people to our house, the birthday party was perfect. Yes, everyone came (55 people!). Yes, the house was full. But you know what? I worried too much. It wasn't too full. It wasn't too chaotic. It was just right.
I had ordered Pooh decals, and used them to decorate the walls. We used 4 dozen green balloons (two shades!) and paper packaging from boxes we'd received to craft a giant tree the middle of our living room to recreate the Hundred Acre Wood. We set up the bouncy castle (Tigger's Bounce House!) in the living room, and art projects in the dining room (create your own Pooh headband, and face painting like Pooh). There were snacks. A big meal (hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese for the little ones; a ham, fruit salad, and pesto pasta salad for the big ones). Chocolate cupcakes (SB's favorite) and a chocolate cake, both decorated like beehives (honey!). I successfully made buttercream icing. I unsuccessfully made the cupcakes the first time (ugh. . .baking at altitude. . .they exploded). But you know what? I figured out what further adjustments I needed to make the second time around to make the recipe work at altitude, and it all worked out.
It was just. . .fun. It was the perfect birthday party for a two year old. We celebrated her, she had a blast, and all of our friends (and grandma and grandpa) were here to celebrate with us. It was just really, really nice.
It's so easy to get caught in the trap of overthinking birthdays. It's not that I wanted to outdo anyone else. But I wanted SB to have a good birthday, and I wanted it to be special. And it was, for all of the right reasons. We did it OUR way, and in the end, THAT was what made it work, and what made it special. I am so, so glad that we went ahead and had it at home, and that I was able to do the things that I wanted to do. It was personal, and it was. . .just really perfect. It made all of us really happy.