A Last-Minute Valentine Party

I'm really not the type of woman that plans and executes fantastic parties. To be quite honest, I don't even throw huge birthday bashes for my children. I wish I could be that mom crafty enough to come up with Pinterest-worthy themes, decor, and food and invite myriads of children to come into my home and enjoy it all. But I'm not. I'm a last-minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of mom who copies ideas from the ones that others have already spent the time and creative energy to produce. And I'm so last-minute that I also tend to run into the store the night before a party and grab the pre-decorated, pre-baked, sugary treats that the store bakery sets out on a table specifically for all of those moms like me. And I'm totally cool with that.

The past few years, I've made it a tradition to prepare a cute Valentine's breakfast for my children complete with balloons, flowers, and red and white dishes. I should clarify that this is really a big deal since my capable kids are in charge of making their own breakfasts most days.

This year, though, after having been invited to numerous homeschool Valentine parties that we've had to politely decline, I decided that we would throw one for ourselves and a few of my children's best friends on the Thursday before Valentine's Day. I made this decision Tuesday morning, mind you.

Tuesday afternoon I called up two of my friends and told them what I was thinking. They happily accepted my invitation and asked what they could bring. Yay!

Decorative fluff balls that Ron strung up for me.

Wednesday night, after putting the children to bed, I ran out to the store with a list in my hand. I grabbed cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, hot dogs, and various decorations, paid for them and zipped back home. Ron was gracious enough to sit with me and string up almost 100 red and pink fluffy balls and hang them from the ceiling. 

The kids created Valentine's cards for their friends.

Thursday morning the kids and I were up and ready for partying. While I did a quick clean of the main living areas and finished blowing up the balloons, the kids worked hard at making a mess creating Valentine cards for their friends. We finished cleaning and decorating, set out the treats, and made hot dogs for lunch. 

Some of the yummy treats I procured.

As the friends arrived and the kids exchanged Valentines and hugs I looked around at the chaos and smiled. The actual "party" only lasted long enough for the kids to wolf down a couple of hot dogs and more than a couple sugary treats before running off to play. These are the good old days – the days where my kids and my friends' kids are running around and laughing and playing together. The days that I will miss when my little house is one day quiet and there is only the memory of laughter, chaos and the pitter patter of not-so-little feet.

It may not have been a Pinterest-worthy party or have been fit for the Queen of England, but for my babes and their friends, as well as we three moms, it was loads of fun, and a memory-making experience. After all, it's not the party decorations or food that they'll recall when they're grown, it's the fun time we allowed them to have with friends.