The boys turned SEVEN yesterday! Seven years old!
There have been many days I wasn’t sure any of us would survive, but hooray for us! We all stayed alive and relatively unscathed for SEVEN years!
Every year (ish) I try to remember to take a picture of the boys with their teddy bears. My mom brought them back from FAO Schwartz in NYC when I was on hospital bed rest. It’s so strange to see how little they were when they were born! Their heads were smaller than the bears!
Party or No Party
Well, since their birthday is smack in the middle of summer, and since they were changing school for second grade, I decided to have a blowout for them at a local inflatable place before school ended (Pump It Up – 2nd birthday party we’ve had there and we HIGHLY RECOMMEND it!) Both of their classes were invited, and siblings, and it was NUTS. But so fun.
But a summer party isn’t the easiest, so we instead went low key for the actual birthday. (Truth be told, I had it in my mind that I’d take them on a 3 or 4-day cruise but “researched” too long and they all sold out before I got one booked. It was just as well!)
The less-is-best gift-giving plan – last year
So anyway. One thing I struggle with when it comes to gifts for the boys is remembering that less is more. I always think I want to do the three gift rule, but typically I go overboard. It’s just so easy to get out of control (which contributes to my house being out of control, but that’s for another day.)
Last year (turning six) their birthday fell on a Friday. We were having an extended family gathering that night at my uncle’s restaurant, but I like to do some presents in the morning and I’ve always given them a cupcake for breakfast on their birthday. So I decorated and set out a few presents for them to make the morning feel “birthday-y” and celebrate before summer camp.
I chose the present they MOST wanted, a book, and a couple of other things.
It was PERFECT.
The other gifts I’d bought but held back for later – I ended up hiding and either using later as a special surprise or gifting to others. I was reminded that giving them the thing they MOST want, and not overwhelming them with a huge volume, they actually loved and enjoyed their gifts even more.
And they did. They played with their toys/games and really appreciated what they received.
The less-is-best gift-giving plan – this year
So this year – I wanted to go with the same plan.
I was slightly ahead of the game with presents wrapped two days in advance, made cupcakes and cakes a day in advance, and decorated the breakfast nook! (This is SO unlike me.)
Jake was up at 6am begging to wake Reid up. I finally agreed at 6:30am. For gifts again this year, I wanted to choose the thing they said they MOST wanted. That, however, was a very expensive Indominus Rex Lego set that I had to say, uh, not a chance to. But they were reasonable in their second choice sets, so I went with those.
They were THRILLED! Throw in some new glow-in-the-dark dinosaur pajamas, a new book series with – you guessed it – dinosaur themes, and cupcakes for breakfast – you get some pretty happy birthday boys! I did throw in a joint “bigger” present that they didn’t know they wanted – a Nintendo Switch. That was a fun surprise for them – but they really would have been just fine getting the thing they said they wanted most!
After our happy birthday morning, my mom came over, then my dad came over, and a cousin stopped by with gifts. We decided to go for lunch to a local sandwich shop with THE. BEST. SUBS. EVER. (Shoutout to Angie’s Subs, Jax Beach. If you are in the area, GO GET A SUB!)
AND LOOK what they did for us! Thanks SO MUCH to Angie’s for this!
I booked a room at a nearby hotel on the beach for the night. They have a super fun pool – and we just love a hotel. We went swimming, had more aunts, uncles, and cousins stop by there, ordered pizza in the room for dinner, ate more cake, went for a walk, and just had a fun overnight getaway!
The best part was we slept in, got hotel breakfast, ran a couple of errands and Home was just a few miles away.
Birthday Wrap Up
Ultimately, the weekend ended with these thoughts (and reminders):
- I am SO happy we did their big party bash two months earlier!
- Couldn’t be happier that I procrastinated booking a cruise, and instead, went lower key with the people we love and who love us!
- I actually liked making them cupcakes/cakes myself, the way my mom used to do for me. (do more of this!)
- Reinforced, again, that you don’t have to give a million presents. When they are seven years old, getting them their (reasonably cost) most desired gift and not much else to compete with that is THE. BEST. APPROACH. (Note to Self: Remember this at Christmas)
- We are SO fortunate to have the people we have in our lives.
- Having my boys was the best decision I could have ever made! Love them SO much, and cannot believe they are seven years old.
P.S. I pulled out these shirts for them (like…made them real quick!) before we headed out for birthday lunch. I’m not kidding – SO easy. Love my 6 1/2-year old Cricut!