Smashing Cakes and Embracing What Matters

Once upon a time (before Brady arrived), I didn’t quite understand the whole ‘mommy thing’.  You know, the obsession with itty-bitty outfits, and pureeing green beans, and taking two hundred photo’s of a little human eating cake.  And yet here I am, obsessively pouring over Pinterest, tidying up the kitchen after a cake smash, and planning a birthday party for a little boy who honestly couldn’t care whether or not there are tissue paper palm trees hanging from the ceiling.

All he wants is some pasta and watermelon on his tray for lunch.  And maybe a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (because that’s his favorite).  Oh, and that tissue paper?  He wants it within reach, because it makes a fun crinkly noise whenever he shoves it into his mouth.

I have to remind myself of that sometimes…  As good as Pinterest has been to me, sometimes it’s also a taunting voice in my ear that’s saying, “Do more!  You must do more!”  All the while, my budget and availability echo back, “Is this birthday party over with yet?”

When I found myself stressing about the upcoming parties, I knew it was time for a reality check.  (Or, well, maybe a friend or two had to remind me.  But still, I eventually came to the conclusion as well).  🙂

Living in the age of Pinterest definitely puts a ton of pressure on us mama’s to be the next Martha Stewart.  “Welcome to my son’s birthday party.  Would you like a bacon wrapped scallop?  No?  Well, you should definitely try the bruschetta.  It’s simply out of this world!

I decided to scrap the plan for foods that would leave me frantically rushing around the kitchen and to instead keep things simple.  My focus will be quality time spent with Brady and our guests (with some easier snacks to munch on before cake and icecream).  And the decorations will be kept to a minimum as to accent our home… but not to turn it into an actual jungle.

Granted, my sister and I may have really gotten into this weekend’s cake smash photo shoot, taking out all of our photography equipment and buying some new stuff.  😉  I am a mom, after all.  And even though I never understood it before, I am obsessed with everything baby and all the things that come with raising one.  It’s fun!  It’s over-the-top fun to play with baby things and to capture every single moment in an over-the-top way (even if your original cake-smash cake came out horrible, so you were forced to wake up early to bake a second one).  😉

But for the parties themselves, I’m glad I’ve decided to keep things simple…and to keep the focus on the one thing that really matters – Brady!

As a mom, I always want the very best for my little one, but it’s easy to misplace what ‘best’ really is.  There are so many must-buy toys, and adorable outfits, and toddler activities… and over-the-top birthday parties to plan.  But my little guy really just wants quality time with his mommy and daddy, love, and simple things to explore and experience.

It’s the simple things in life that count.  And although it can be difficult to remember that as a parent, we definitely can learn a lot about that from our little ones.  🙂  (Case in point, have you ever watched a toddler play with a cardboard box?  They don’t need big and fancy in order to be happy).

As a society, we’ve definitely allowed ourselves to get caught up in stuff.  And I really hope that I can instead focus on what really matters… and raise Brady to focus – and appreciate – that as well.  🙂


I can’t  wait to share the cake smash photo’s with you!!  But for now, here’s a sneak peak…

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14 thoughts on “Smashing Cakes and Embracing What Matters”

  1. Happy birthday to your son 🙂 my baby’s bday is next week. I don’t think there will be a party…lots going on…but I’d like to make her a cake. 🙂

    1. Your little one won’t mind at all that there’s no party; and if you have a lot going on right now, you’ll be able to enjoy the birthday so much more without having to plan, cook, and clean for it! 🙂 Definitely smart thinking!!
      Happy birthday to your baby as well! Time flies too fast, doesn’t it?!? 🙂

  2. My Mum is my older cousin’s Godmother and she always reminds us that for her 1st birthday, which was around Easter time that year, my Mum got her a big Easter egg with a gold bow on it. All she wanted to play with was the bow. She couldn’t even eat the chocolate yet anyway! I’m sure my aunt and uncle enjoyed it 😉

    1. Too funny! Babies really do like the bows and packaging so much more than present itself. (Hmmm, after reading your comment, I kind of hope that someone buys Brady chocolate for his birthday). 😉

  3. Oh my goodness, I can’t agree with you more on this. I feel like this is so common. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told Christopher that as much as I love Pinterest, I’m SO glad it wasn’t around when we planned our wedding. This obsession with everything looking perfect for the photos almost makes us lose sight of what is really important. And I’m not saying that I won’t fall into this same line of thinking when it’s my kid. But that’s why I need friends like you to keep me accountable!

    1. YES! I am with you on that one! I’m soooo glad that Pinterest wasn’t around when Nate and I got married as well. There would have been so much more pressure. It’s as though we’re now constantly subjected to pretty pictures of how things’ should’ be… As you already know, I LOVE Pinterest. But still, it can get out of control. 🙂 Life is all about balance, isn’t it?!?

  4. This is literally the best thing you can do for yourself and Brady! We went a bit over the top for Charlotte’s birthday party, but the one shred of sanity we stuck to was that once the party started, we would enjoy our time with our girl as if we were guests. Everything was out and ready, so the running around was so minimal (if at all)… And honestly, we had SO much fun! Also… That sneak peek… Omg! I can’t wait! Soooooo cute!

    1. It’s sooooo easy to go over the top, I’m realizing! I felt guilty right up until today (which was the first of Brady’s two small birthday parties). I kept thinking, “I should have done more. I should do more.” But then Brady had a rough morning (he was teething and he also fell and ended up with a small cut near his eye), and I was able to be with him… instead of prepping for a big, fancy party. And I realized that this just worked for us, and I was grateful for the small – but special – event that we were putting on for him.

      I think that the lesson is that whether the party is big or small, it’s what you make of it!! I would have been happy with a bigger, more elaborate party; but our little party was really intimate and special… and kind of perfect.
      Maybe all that matters is celebrating our little one’s special day, no matter how simple or elaborate we do it. It’s just important to focus on what matters and to have time to celebrate with the ones we love. 🙂

  5. I love the pictures you shared in this post! You have such a great view on keeping things simple with the party. I know what you mean about not going overboard, but also investing in things like good pictures. Just think, you will have the pictures forever, and the whole home jungle decorations would just take up space in storage after the party! I think you have a really balanced approach to doing, baking, decorating, cooking what you can and just keeping the focus on Brady enjoying his cake and upcoming big day!! Pinterest kills me too, sometimes! It is just FULL of ideas and then I pin them all and start stressing out about wanting things to be great. Sometimes I wish it didn’t exist, and sometimes I’m so thankful for the ideas I get from it, haha. It’s a love-hate relationship with Pinterest 😉

    1. Ooh, good point on decorations taking up room in storage! Ha, ha. 🙂 Nate and I are really working hard to declutter and keep the house organized, so reading that point from you made me extra glad that we’re keeping things simple!
      Today was Brady’s first, first birthday party, and it went REALLY well. I’ll be blogging about it, hopefully tonight. And it definitely made me happy that I decided to go the simple route. 🙂

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