Once upon a time in my former professional life, I did a substantial amount of programming for college students. Everything from invitations to t-shirts to food to favors matched the theme. I both delighted in and obsessed over every detail, often challenging myself to trump my level of creativity from the previous year. At that time, there was no doubt in my mind that my future child would have the cutest and best planned birthday parties ever.
Maybe those years burned me out on party planning. For each of Mason's birthdays, I've tried to get into throwing a humdinger of a themed, matchy matchy party, but I've been surprised at and even discouraged by my reluctance. I admire other children's cutesy parties, but I usually leave them longing to err on the side of simplicity for my boy. Why is that?
For Mason's first birthday, I put substantial work into creating a monthly picture banner, which I've saved and we will treasure forever. For both birthdays, I've made and decorated his cake, a tradition I hope to continue. His cake last year was nothing fancy--just a little smash cake. But this year, I let him choose between two of his obsessions: trains and airplanes. Here is what we came up with:
This choo choo cake recipe was amazingly easy, even for a non-baker and non-decorator like me. And it was a huge hit with the birthday boy. A win on all counts!
(Mason entertained his guests by shouting, "Hurray, choo choo cake!" over and over when I snapped the picture above.)