Birthday Party Stress

Why was Pinterest ever invented?

I mean, I’ll be the first to sing its praises: Hello blueberry cheesecake cookies and kitchen art project! But it’s also causing us mama’s to lose our minds over birthday parties.

Hi! I’m Emily, and I like to compete with women with DSLRs and endless amounts of time to create unrealistic events their children won’t remember.

I think birthday’s should be special. For sure.  But the stress I put on myself to get it JUST right for everyone is dumb.

Don’t forget, it’s ALWAYS somebody’s birthday around our house.  I’ve experienced a lot of this stress since 2011. This is why we’re capping the big parties at 5 for our bunch.  Only 9 more parties left to throw.

That made me sigh out loud just typing it.

And all of this leads me to “We had a great Tea with the Fairies for the Fourth party for Marnana this weekend!” So, thank you Pinterest. I guess.

The heat was ridiculous, the tea cups were too small for all those sweaty friends, and the mushroom cupcakes disappeared by the handfuls whenever Amos was around them.  The epitome of F.U.N.

I’d been on a mission for a few weeks before the party to find real tea cups.  In my mind, all these cute little girls would gather round a little table and eat finger foods and sip their drinks from floral cups, talking about their summers.  Then Margaret Hannah poopooed those ideas by telling me she “don’t want no flowers and cups I can’t drink out of all the time cause you say I’ll break them,” and how since I wouldn’t let her have a Frozen party, she wanted boys there to HUNT the fairies down instead of look for them.

Anything for this wildcat if it means I get to avoid Elsa and Anna.

So I scaled my search down and hit up all the flea market shops (there’s 4500 in my town alone) and our Christian Center for only tea cups. The kind boys AND girls would like to drink from.  No frufru allowed.  But I kept running into the same problem on my hunt. People done lost they minds over how much a tea cup is worth in this town!!!

I picked up several handwritten cards on cup and saucer sets detailing whose great aunt gave them this piece from Bavaria for their wedding, and they couldn’t take less than $30 for the set.  So I placed that rare cup right back on its dusty perch and went to the next booth.  There, I found the EXACT same cup (but from France) with a different note on it asking $15.

No, guys!  No one is going to pay you that much money for a chipped cup with a made in China stamp on the bottom of it, ok?

Pinterest didn’t tell me it would be this hard to find tea cups when I started pinning things for this party.  Or how hard it would be to ditch the flowery fun of a real tea party and head in the direction of a fairy hunt everyone could enjoy.

My last stop was the Christian Center, and it was the mother load.  I don’t know why I didn’t start there sooner.  Amos went with me to offer zero help in carrying the cups.  I bought 14 teacups for $3.50, 3 coffee mugs Amos broke for .75, and some floral pillowcases to serve as table clothes for $1 that Margaret Hannah told me looked like an old lady she saw in Walmart.


The day of, my niece, Sydney, stayed with us and helped tons and tons with all the party prep.  The biggest undertaking was getting fairy sticks ready.  They were MH approved because I changed them up from being a perch a sweet fairy could land on when she visits your house to a trap of sorts for a few of the party goers.  It worked.

We first painted rocks to put in everyone’s yards to entice (lure?) the fairies to their gardens.  All the friends did a great job getting paint on all the things, and making some awesome rocks for their perfect spots back home.

After a little time playing on the trampoline, throwing a frisbee, and one rogue party member trying to dig up what was left of Pan and Mr Gold down by the compost pile, everyone was ready to make their fairy sticks to hang in their favorite trees.

Not only do you get to eat party food at a Ferrell party, you must also practice your fine motor skills to earn your party favors.

We moved on to the gift unwrapping, and Abram was very interested in watching Marnana open all those packs of pens and notebooks so she can write her appointments down.  In notebooks as opposed to her bedroom walls. Thanks Avery, Levi, and Rylan for that!  She also scored a pack of Frozen ChipChop (aka chap stick), new toothbrush, snackez cup, backpack, and pistol WITH “handcups.”

An unbelievable fourth birthday party in her eyes, no doubt!  I won’t tell her how frustrating it was to make fairy bread, or how much our fingers hurt after wrapping 14 sticks with different colors of embroidery thread, or even tell her how much I hate placing food on a table so it looks just like the picture from Pinterest.  She’ll just remember getting to hang her fairy stick up in the best spot on the white oak out back.

I hope she also always remembers how she was surrounded by friends who care about her, family who know how special she is, and all the fairies in the area who wanted her to have a great fourth birthday.

I might not be able to make hasselback potatoes that turn out like the picture I found on a “Must Eat This” board of a friend, but I can do up a birthday celebration  like a boss.

Tell me about some of the stress Pinterest has caused you.  Maybe there will be enough that we could compile our own Fails list of projects gone bad, been too overwhelming, or just plain blah.  Or even some accomplishments you’ve made because of a great pin you came across.

PS Thanks tons and tons and tons Nana, Pawpaw, and Merle for all you did to help us give the greatest fairy party ever.  And for gifting her a mattress so she can stop sleeping on Hank’s now.


4 thoughts on “Birthday Party Stress

  1. It ALL turned out really good and I’m so proud you are able to flex your “craft muscles!” I bet Hank will appreciate the mattress just as much as Margaret Hannah will !! XOXO


  2. I thought the party was AMAZING! Ethan had a blast & frankly so did I! You are a GREAT mama, teacher, & friend!! And you need to write a book cause you are HILARIOUS!! Xoxoxo!!


  3. I’m the same way with “pinterest” parties. Who am I kidding, if I see a room on pinterest that I like, I try to recreate it, so parties are no exception.

    The biggest parties I’ve done, are a “crab shack” party for Layne. It was a pool party and I painted names on red and blue totes for every guest under age 10 prior to the party. I painted a ton of signs, and even had crab shaped cookies made. I also threw an “owl party” for EK, and it was over the top. I made a table look like a bed…literally, even did a backdrop in the house and cut a cardboard window out and had bedding on the table so it looked for “real”. And I did a Hello Kitty party where EK and Kenly had matching dresses with Hello Kitty that my mother in law made. I made sugar cookies shaped like Hello Kitty’s head and put the royal icing on…all on my own. I thought I was something. I had a card board box painted for them to stand behind and have their pics made. I mean, why in the world did I do such things. Took years off my life.

    And most of us don’t even need pinterest, b/c when I see Toyia’s birthday party pics I automatically feel sorry for my own children b/c she throws amazing parties, and it seems that you throw awesome ones too. I think I’m going to just stop before the twins come. It’s making me tired thinking about it.


  4. I made an executive decision that Charlotte can have a “big” birthday party every other year. That’s when I will stress myself out trying to (unsuccessfully) be crafty and creative while also being cheap and busy.


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