Yesterday was my first birthday party in decades - really, and it almost wasn't (the party, that is).
Brilliant as I am, I've been seeing signs around my city about a block party on August 31st at a local park. Each time I saw the signs, I'd think to myself, "Good thing that's not Sunday, when we've planned my birthday party for the same place - lucky thing." I'm sure you can see where this is headed. The park seems like the perfect place, because I wanted something low-maintenance, so people could toss their kids in the car and go. Playground equipment, shelter (with electricity), restrooms, lovely setting - it's got it all. Except that Sunday was the 31st. Ugh.
Didn't realize it until yesterday morning, as I was ordering the pulled pork and such online - the checkout kept saying they'd have it ready the 31st, and I kept thinking, "No, I want it today, not tomorrow!" I'd try again and again, and then I saw that it said Sunday the 31st. At that moment (yesterday morning), I realized that I had 50 or so people coming to a park at 4:00 that afternoon that would be overrun with hundreds, likely thousands of people. Maybe not the greatest idea ever.
Called Mom and Dad first to let them know we had to cancel, and they insisted that we'd just have it at their house. 50 people. After much consideration (most of it about people who'd turned down other fun plans to be there and done at least some amount of planning for it), we agreed to have it there. There were a few factors in our favor - first, we were able to call everyone and let them know about the change in venue; second, my folks' house is perfect for this sort of thing, with a couple of acres of yard to play with - in fact, my sister's bridal shower was held there on Saturday. We told my brother yesterday that it was up to him and his wife to have something there today, or the trilogy would not be complete. Anyway, third, despite the fact that my folks live in a very nice area of town, due to circumstances that could only be true in a story involving my family, there was a drug raid/shootout next door that has left that house abandoned since last fall; this meant that we could park all of the cars in their backyard with no complaint. Perfect!
We called some friends who have every sort of equipment possible for entertaining little people (bouncy house, bean bag toss, small picnic table, etc.), stopped by and picked up everything that would fit in our Jeep, ran to pick up some food and some extras, and then up to help my folks arrange it. Bless them, the place was set up perfectly - more chairs sitting out than I thought they had, four tables to hold food (which was lucky, given that people must've recognized my penchant for sweets and brought more than two tables' worth of dessert alone), games, a swing and a hammock in place, and big smiles to boot.
It was lots of fun - got to see so many friends, catch up and watch all the kids playing together (if you ever want to make a party a hit, get a bouncy house for the kids!). I think it ended up better there than it would've been at the park after all. Happy day certainly!