Simple. Sweet. Happy.

Olivia’s birthday was yesterday.

For years, and for every birthday, we hang up a “Happy Birthday” sign. Just some sign I got at some party store years ago.

But it’s become old. Tired. And it’s a dumb-looking sign.

old sign

Lame. Yet festive.

When I was growing up, every birthday morning I’d wake up to a sign my parents made. A BIG sign made from butcher paper, hanging in the dining room or living room. “Happy Birthday Jenny!”. My parents and sister decorated the sign with notes, silly jokes and silly drawings. I loved those signs.

I have kind-of tried to carry on the tradition… a cheesy party store sign.  Not anywhere near as great as what my parents did for me, but in my “better than nothing” state-of-mind… it was better than nothing.

At least my kids didn’t have anything else to compare to, so they love it when the sign comes out.

But as I went to grab that old sign for Olivia’s birthday morning, I said to my self, “SELF. That is a stupid sign. You can do better than that.”

I also said to myself, “SELF. It is 11:30. What other option do you have?”

Within moments, and in a rare moment of genius… I opened up a new Word document. I set the font size to 550 and assigned different colors to different letters, and 5 minutes later… a new sign! It’s not grand. It’s not fancy (taped to the window), but simple, sweet and happy…

happy birthday

And wicked cheap.

The thing is, I would have loved to have hand-made a swaggy, fabric swag cutey sweet thing to drape across the windows. But I had 2 choices:

  1. Do something I could do… keep it simple, but fun.
  2. Hang up the old sign.

Friends, I used to pull together some pretty fabulous party-ness… back when I was a new mom. But I just about killed myself doing it.

Poor new mommies. SO much pressure. *rubs shoulders of the ghost of New Mommy Jenny*

I am not that mom anymore. I want to put in effort to make my kids’ birthdays different from regular days, but folks… life. LIFE. I just can’t maintain what I had set out to do when I was a driven new mommy with ideals and plans and something to prove.

I think I have proven I can’t hack it. And I am totes cool with that.

Though I do have plans and ideals, but they don’t involve hand making a robot costume until 3 a.m. the night before Halloween. Instead, they involve printing out colored letters that spell “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” at 11:30 at night.

So. Simplifying. Is it cheating or is it sanity?


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7 Responses to “Simple. Sweet. Happy.”

  1. Stasha says:

    When it looks great like that it is a must.

  2. What a lucky child to have you as a mom.

  3. I adore you. And you are a fabulous mother. Your kids will always remember that you put a sign out and it doesn’t matter what it looked like – take it from a kid who had nothing even close to that – it is better than nothing at all. I think I sometimes try to make up for what I didn’t have with my kids – as if they know what ‘I’ didn’t have myself as a kid…. 🙂 I would like to embrace the Simple. Sweet. Happy instead of the craziness of being perfect. You have inspired me to do just that!

  4. Kerry says:

    LOVE your 2 choices… LOVE that sign 🙂 Sweet xx

  5. jennielynn says:

    I am SO stealing that idea. Very, very cute. Sanity looks good on you!

  6. steph kirk says:

    Effort doesn’t require extravegance. I’m sure the original so-called lame sign is an important part of their childhood memories.
    Another idea – write birthday messages all around the house with window markers. My kiddo was pretty impressed with that one – it’s personal, I did it in less than 10 minutes after she was in bed, and it pulled double-duty as a party decoration.

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