I remember the girl's first birthday party like it was yesterday. I was fat as hell pregnant with her brother, she had just tried sugar in the form of homemade rice crispy treats the day before and had since lost her damn mind, the fairy princess theme had cost me a little over $1000, and I was SO over the top concerned with everyone else. Who would come, and how much to put in the goody bags, and if there was enough food, and if the rec center I rented out was big enough.
I wish I could go back to that day. Because I would have cared so much less. My heart would have broken so much less had I just paid all of my attention to her perfect little freshly walking self, on a sugar high, running around chasing balls and jumping in the bounce house, rather than focusing on the fact that not a single new mommy friend showed. I wish I could go back to that day and make it more about her than everyone else.
Because after her 4th birthday, it's finally hit me.
It's hit me that none of it really matters unless it's about her. Because her favorite thing on earth is being center-stage, feeling loved. My kid's not an over the top people pleaser, and I love that about her.
I figured this year, since she is 4 and 4 is LITERALLY SO OLD, that she should *help* plan her own birthday. So she took over like a Pisces does best. I outlined the basics like "what should the theme be?" and "what should we eat?" and "what do you want for presents?" but then pretty much let her pick out whatever she wanted from Pinterest and party decor boutique, Bonjour Fete.
Spencer picked Cats. But not like, regular cats. Like Japanese cats. She wanted sushi, candy sushi, and hello kitty galore. She picked the playlist, filled with Ellie Goulding and Lights and Bien. She picked everything down to the wrapping paper she wanted her gifts wrapped in. And she did a marvelous job.
She planned it all down to her kitten cake and its strawberry flavoring that was executed by my aunt Velvet - Cake Extraordinaire. On top of being too cute, hands down, this was the best cake all of all time, and everyone who attended can confirm this.
I made candy sushi out of rice crispy treats, fruit by the foot, Swedish fish, and nerds! The real sushi was from Sushi Ya in Anchorage. Spencer's favorite! We also munched on Pocky sticks and mochi balls and Japanese candy from New Sagaya.
Her godmama Marisa sent her this Kate Spade birthday outfit, which she was so psyched on, she wore it three times (for no more than 10 allotted minutes) before the party. The perfect twirling skirt with flowers and sparkly gold. Obviously.
We also made wooden letter necklaces a few days before the party with the jewelry making kit her other godmama, Mattie got for her. Spence made her own, Ollie made his own, and then they took bead-by-bead turns making mine and Jake's!
She spent the day blasting confetti (or what Jake likes to call "a hell of a disaster for 3 seconds of fun") playing with all our favorite puppies, sharing her new toys, and blowing bubbles with her uncle Nate and all her friends and cousins. She got very antisocial when she realized there were avocado rolls, and consumed a whole roll before returning to her own party. She freaked out when she realized I added "Can't Stop the Feelin'" to her birthday playlist and we danced around Nana's house that was more crowded than I'd ever seen it. We tried to squeeze in the people who love her for a selfie before singing Happy Birthday, and quite frankly, less than half of us fit.
We discussed the cat she had wanted for this birthday (damn our no-pets policy holding condo) and how she'll wait till Christmas for Penny Lane, her future white kitten that we will dye pink with hair dye that's safe for kids and animals.
Then we sang to her, watched her open all the lovely gifts - a paint set from her uncle Nate, cutesy hair products from her uncle Bub, the most perfect Octi from Evangelene and Robbie, a handmade dreamcatcher from Andrea, Melissa & Doug ice cream sundaes from Emily, a velvet Calico family, home, and car from her Darla, and a camera from her Jakey. These were just some of her most favorites. We had to purge our home of old toys to fit everything.
My curly girly was over the moon, and I couldn't even remember who RSVPd and didn't come. Because honestly, they probably wouldn't have fit in the packed house. I didn't stress that the Japanese fans kept falling from the light fixtures, or that the balloons didn't stay perfectly on the mantle. I played such a small role in the planning of this, and she was full of such pride and joy, that it truly, for the first time, didn't matter to me at all.
That's the cool thing about them getting older, I suppose. They contribute to their own lives more and you don't have to be so harshly critical of yourself and whether or not you're doing everything perfectly properly.
HUGE thanks to Kate and her beautiful girls for coming, and for gifting us these photos so we can keep them forever and reminisce on the first party Spencer ever planned and how completely perfect it was.
Decor by Bonjour Fete | @bonjourfete
Cake by Velvet Weber
Photos by Kate Ensign, Ensign Photography | @ensignphotography
Birthday Suit by Kate Spade (currently ON SALE! only 12-24 mo. size)