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POSTED: March 25, 2014 2:00 p.m.

I’d like to take just a moment this week to thank all my readers out there who’ve been so kind and complimentary to me since I began writing this column a year and a half ago. People regularly call, email and stop me in public to praise my writing and tell me they enjoy the stories I tell, and that means so much to me. I’m grateful to you all for your willingness to step into my chaotic, messy, unpredictable world each week, if only for a few minutes. In addition, I’ve received some good advice and tips regarding the topics I’ve touched on here, and I’m appreciative of that as well.
That said, however, last week was a bit uneventful, and I’m afraid I don’t have much to write about. The biggest thing on the horizon for our family is Reese’s second birthday next month.
I’ve gone round and round on whether to throw her a big party with all the trimmings. We blew her first birthday out of the water by inviting nearly everyone we know to a huge, rainbow-themed bash that featured perfectly coordinated invitations, decor, food, gifts, favors and even thank-you notes. When they arrived for the festivities, my family gave me a good-natured ribbing by claiming our house looked like the site of a rainbow explosion.
Reese had a great time at her first birthday party, but wow, was it a lot of work for me! The cleaning, cooking, planning and shopping nearly became another full-time job. And, of course, I started borrowing problems left and right. What if no one shows up? What if our guests get annoyed by our dog, who has a penchant for begging? What if the other moms in attendance judge me for the rainbow-decorated birthday cake, loaded with artificial food coloring (a big no-no in the “natural-parenting world)?
In the end, all of my worrying was for naught. The party was a huge success; our house was filled to capacity; the weather was perfect; the guests enjoyed the food and drinks; and, most important, Reese
loved every minute of it.
This year, though, I just don’t think I can deal with all of that again. Don’t get me wrong — I love having all of our family members and friends in one place, catching up, socializing and having a good time. But the stress and pressure that come with organizing a shindig of that nature are almost too much to handle.
I do know that many of Reese’s relatives plan to travel to Georgia to celebrate with us no matter what. So, for now, what I’m planning to do is coordinate a fun family outing for our loved ones and the birthday girl. I’m thinking perhaps a Tybee Island beach adventure with a picnic, or maybe a day spent in downtown Savannah with stops at Forsyth Park and a cupcake bakery. My husband suggested introducing Reese to Chuck E. Cheese, and I’m not averse to that, either. Hey, if birthdays aren’t the perfect occasion for pizza and a nice ride on a miniature, coin-operated amusement ride, I don’t know what is.
Honestly, I keep reminding myself that the day is about Reese and letting her do what she enjoys most. However, I’m not so sure our out-of-town visitors’ idea of a good time is clipping colorful hair bows in our dog’s fur while being allowed to eat an unlimited number of cherry popcicles.
On the bright side, though, that activity requires little to no planning on my part, so I’m fine with it.

 

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