Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's almost Lila's birthday!

I said that to Eric the other day and he just shook his head at me.  See, if you know me at all you know that I lovelovelove birthdays!  Especially my own.  And I have a really special tradition of starting the birthday countdown about three months out.  Actually, Eric won't let me start counting down to my birthday until after his, so since we've been married, I'm only allowed two months of birthday anticipation.  The nerve.

And now I have another birthday to celebrate!  And really, people I think I'm gonna be just as crazy about Baby Girl's birthday as my own.  If not more so.  Because this December 16th, I'm not only celebrating our first year of life with my sweet little pixie, but I'm also celebrating how awesome I am.  Now I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty awesome.  Do you KNOW how hard labor is?  And let's be honest, I didn't have the most graceful of pregnancies what with all the puking and swelling and all - plus it's hard for a hobbit-footed hippopotamus to waddle around gracefully.  So I say once a year it's reasonable to recognize just how awesome I am for surviving all of that misery!  Who cares if every other mommy in the world went through the same thing and they don't see the need to throw themselves a party?  I say, "Three cheers for ME!"  Oh, and "Happy Birthday, Lila!"
little pixie
I am a little nervous for Lila that her birthday will get overshadowed by...oh what's that one holiday?  Oh yeah.  CHRISTMAS.  And let's be honest, Christmas is really very proud of itself.  Christmas is even more self-aggrandizing than I am!  Christmas insists on Target hauling out the decorations for its party in SEPTEMBER (yes, my friends, I saw the Christmas lights on the back wall of Target the other day.  Ridiculous.) as well as having every radio station play songs dedicated to it starting 2 months out!  It would be like me insisting on you guys singing happy birthday to me every time you saw me starting in February (not that I'd complain).  Come on, Christmas!  Let my Baby Girl have some attention, too!  (By the way, as a disclaimer, I would like to say that I actually do love Christmas.  But I love the part about celebrating the day a tiny baby was born who would one day wipe away my tears and fix my heart and forgive my mistakes and save my life.  I'm not so keen on the giant snow globes and inflatable Pooh Bears dressed as Santas.  Sheesh.)

I'm not sure why I love birthdays so much.  Maybe it's because I love presents.  Especially unique, thoughtful, handmade, one-of-a-kinders.  Or Anthropoligie gift cards.  I'm not picky.  I also love giving gifts and have been told I'm an awesome gift-giver (that's okay to brag about, right?).  But if you didn't get one from me this year, it's not because I don't love you.  It's because we are short in the dollar department since I lost my job or maybe because I agonized over finding the perfect gift and then couldn't be satisfied with mediocre when nothing was screaming your name.  It's a blessing and a curse.  But I digress...

Maybe I love birthdays because birthdays were always a huge deal growing up.  My mom pulled out all the stops in the creativity department.  (I won't mention that every year she would be up late the night before swearing "I'm never doing this again! Next year we're renting out Chuck E. Cheese and calling it done!")  I had a princess party one year (okay maybe it was a few years in a row.  What can I say?  My daddy called me Princess, I had a complex maybe) and she drew a poster of a princess in front of a castle.  Then she MADE magic wands as party favors (sewed little stuffed cloth stars and affixed them to the tops of wooden rods with streamers coming down.  For reals.)  Another party was a backwards party.  She hand-made the invites, writing them each backwards so my friends had to hold them up to the mirror to read them.  We all dressed backwards and we played backwards games and did everything in reverse order.  Kids had to come to the back door and say "Ho ho ho! Merry Halloween" to get in (I'm not exactly sure why that's the backwards way to say Happy Birthday, but we thought it was hysterical).  I could write a whole post about our birthday parties, but what I'm getting at is, I've got a lot to live up to!

So needless to say, I'm feeling like I need to have my A-game on to live up to the tradition my mom has created of over-the-top birthday parties AND set the precedent for all of Lila's birthday parties (not to mention to put a certain holiday in it's place).  So today I was googling "awesome ideas for one-year-old birthday" and feeling a little disappointed by the LAME results (Mickey Mouse plates and napkins, a round cake with cupcake ears?  That's all you got???) and I thought, I've got to tap into some true creative juices.  That's you guys.  I want to hear about your favorite parties growing up or good ideas you've witnessed or original ideas you have to celebrate Lila Josephine!

Because really, presents and parties aside, I think I really love birthdays because they celebrate life.  Tony Campolo tells a story about the time he threw a birthday party for a prostitute because it seemed like the kind of thing that Jesus would do -  bring celebration to people who have nothing to celebrate.  The truth is, people are meant to be celebrated simply because they are.  We seem to be hard-wired to appreciate genius and beauty.  Just as we celebrate a work of art or a beautiful novel or a provocative movie or a football victory (did you SEE the Chiefs cream the 49ers??), we are meant to recognize the genius and beauty of God's favorite bit of creation.  And never before in my life have I been so amazed by the creativity of the Lord than I have been as I have watched my daughter grow - first inside my belly and now outside of it.  I can't think of anything more worth celebrating.  In 82 days.


Katy said...

Aww, I know you LOVE birthdays and Tony's is coming up in December too, three days after Lila's. He will be four and I want it to end there. He can't get any older, he just can't. I am not ready for him to trot off to Kindergarten...but I do have two years left since he won't be five in time...yeah!!

Um, I can't think of any real birthday parties I had growing up but I will tell you I am making Tony a Lightning McQueen cake this year. I decorated once for practice and I will say I am not too bad. I do have a McQueen cake pan so all I have to do is decorate it neatly.
Miss you!! Katy

Jessica said...

my favorite birthday memory was the one when i blew out the candles on my cake and caught my hair on fire...and daddy video taped it.
oh i'm sorry, did i saw favorite birthday memory? i meant most traumatizing, and scarring birthday memory. i don't recommend this one for L.J's first birthday.
back to the drawing board i guess.

annaelyse said...

i have the SAME gift buying complex. if i can't find the absolutely most perfectly awesome one of a kind gift for someone, they get nothing. thankfully this has only happened a few times.

i do think that lila's first birthday should celebrate you. i mean she won't remember it will she? ;)

(talk to ker/jenae. they have seemed to throw the most darling little girl parties for em/stella)

Caley and Patrick said...

I love your blog posts :) My mom was unlike your mom and I stopped getting parties at about 9 years old. So, I don't really have any ideas but I will tell you that I love celebrating other people's birthdays and have begun to look at my birthdays with the same anticipation as you. It's great to celebrate and be celebrated- just because we are. I have often asked myself why we wait for birthdays or weddings to celebrate people. What if we had parties for people just because it's a Friday night? Just a thought :) I've never done it, but maybe when we get friends in Wichita I'll give it a try!

PS- I love the stars with encouraging things hanging from the ceiling that always decorated Julie's Christmas parties. Maybe this could turn into a birthday tradition too?

amy said...

I realize this comment isn't about birthdays, but I just have to say that Lila is my favorite little girl. HANDS DOWN. Gosh. Seriously.

I will be ALL up ons for her birthday. (Ok, NOW it's a comment about birthdays. Such a rule follower I am.)