Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers' Weekend...(Every day is Mother's Day...birthday party & OOTDs)

Happy Mother's Day, to all you mothers out there, official or otherwise.  Being a parent has been a lovely, yet fraught experience for me, teeming with feelings if you know what I mean.  It's a little mind-blowing, how all the things you do - all your choices, behaviors, and words - become weighted with significance because of the unfledged, still-forming human beings that are soaking it all in and being shaped by them.  There's a lot of pressure there - I'm not going to minimize it.  In fact, I think too many parents do - minimize the role of their own actions and behavior - on the development of their children.  That being said, well, we are human, and goodness knows, totally flawed (thank God for resilience) and hopefully, if we've done our job well enough, our kids will be able to look back on their childhoods and realize that we were doing our best and forgive us our shortcomings.

Me with my kids, still amazed that they're mine...

Every year until the year I had my own first child, I thought I appreciated my mom and how much she did for me.  This might be a controversial statement, but no amount of empathy or insight allows you to truly appreciate what your mother does for you, until you become one yourself.  It wasn't until those first few months of my son's life, that the realization of what our parents had gone through in raising and guiding us safely and well to our adulthoods really and truly settled on us.  Beyond the ongoing sleep deficits, the constant worry, and the everlasting nagging self-doubt, the love of a mother (or father) for her (or his) child is so deeply profound, all the other feelings - anxiety, happiness, frustration, relief, anger, joy - are magnified a hundredfold, and the resulting strain is...well, both exhilarating and exhausting.  My five year sojourn into parenting and parenthood has left me with a burgeoning awe of what I'm capable of  - physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually - as well as a growing list of all my inadequacies.  Let's just hope that in the end, the positives will outweigh the negatives, and as I mentioned earlier, my adult children will be able to look at their mom, and holding their own infant children in their arms, understand that I was doing the best that I could to prepare them for the responsibility of their own parenthoods and adult lives.

Okay, enough seriousness and introspection!  Let's get onto the fun stuff.  My little man turned five this past weekend (he was born on Mother's there's a Mother's Day gift!) and we had a party for him and 23 of his nearest and dearest friends (hahaha,'s true, we had about 20 preschoolers and their attending siblings and parents) at a party at a local park (Miramar Overlook Park, for those of you who live in San Diego - it's a pretty small park, but great for a party of this type.  I got lots of compliments from the other parents who commented that it felt like a private party facility, due to its size and layout).  Kathryn and I (okay, mostly Kathryn - I was too busy with writing this everlasting grant proposal) had been toiling over preparations for the last couple weeks, and it finally all came together on Saturday.  Here are some pics from the final product!
Dessert Table

Close-up of 1-up mushroom cake pops and cupcakes.

Plasticware + napkins + Kathryn = cuteness!

Mystery Block centerpieces (sunblock notwithstanding)

Rowan, blowing out his candle.

How many 5-and-unders can you fit on a see-saw? (Bouncer in the background)

And last, but not least our (rumpled after an exhausting day) OOTDs:

(Seriously, how does Kathryn look so fresh after only a 4.5 hours of sleep and a day packed with activity?)

Kathryn's wearing:
Dress: Beda, Anthropologie
Necklace: Oh, Hello Friend 
Shoes: Tory Burch Miller Sandal, Nordstrom

Carol's wearing:
Tank: Banana Republic, (old...2006? Similar here and here)
Skirt: Anthropologie (style # 18095562; not yet on website)
Belt: BP stretch belt, Nordstrom
Shoes: Star Ling, Nordstrom (2008? Similar here and here and here)


  1. So much fun! Looks like you guys had a professional party planner!
    Love the OOTD's, too.
    Happy Mom's Day, Carol. I really liked the introspection. :)

  2. Rowan's birthday party looks just perfect! Those cupcakes are fantastic looking - how did you decorate them?
    You both look remarkably put together still - and stain-free! - considering the day's events! Makes me envious of your weather (and closets!).
    And Carol, that is a lovely photo of you and your children.

  3. What a great looking party - you thought of everything. I love all the Mario-esque touches, especially the mystery box!

  4. You two did a wonderful job with Rowan's birthday party! I'm sure everyone had a terrific time! And you both look awesome!

  5. Hello Super Mom!!! You put together an incredible birthday party for your little guy! I KNOW how much work those park parties can be - we've done 4 of them - and you deserve some high praise for pulling that off in adorably fantastic style. WTG, Carol and Kathryn!

    Belated Happy Mom's Day - your post made me tear up. How cool that your guy was born on Mother's Day? Mine was born in 2005 as well - yay for Rooster babies!

    Love your OOTD's. Kathryn - I tried that Beda dress on last Thursday at Anthro NB - um, big FAIL on me. Especially since I know how it *should* look after seeing it on you and Carol.

  6. That party looks so much fun! I bet Rowan loved it :) You guys did a great job (and you both looked super cute doing it!).

  7. What a wonderful post about appreciating your mom. Not only is being mom a hard job, back then our moms didn't have a lot of what we have today. At least mine didn't. Thank you for your post!

    Your son's bday is a kid's dream come true. How cute were those nintendo mushroom pops!

  8. I just wanted to tell you that as a mom of an amazing six year old boy, I was very moved by what you wrote about Mother's Day. In fact, I have big crocodile tears in my eyes as I type (which makes it hard to type frankly, but I wanted you to know how much I loved what you said!).

    I agree with every point--from how tremendously stressful it can be to think that the big and little choices you make every day can have a profound effect on your child; to the fact that it's very difficult, if impossible, to appreciate and respect your parents and how they raised you (assuming you had good parents--which I did and do) until you have your own.

    A friend of mine once told me something her parents said to her that really resonated: "We're human and we made mistakes. We're sorry if we ever unknowingly hurt or ignored you. But please understand we always did the best we could at the time, and we always loved you." I expect I'll say the same to my son someday.

    Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day! BTW, I was also impressed with how great the party set-up looked. :)


  9. Thanks for all your kind words, everyone. They're tremendously appreciated. Yay for moms!

    @BA - the cupcakes were actually ridiculously easy...I ordered them from the bakery at the local grocery store (Vons) and ordered the cupcake toppers from a vendor on Etsy. Kathryn found the tiered cupcake stand for fairly cheap at Michael's (a crafts supply store) and she set them up. We did briefly consider baking the cupcakes ourselves, but nixed the idea, when we realized we probably wouldn't have the time. We found ourselves deeply grateful that we'd made that decision, sometime around 2 AM, the night before the party.

    All the fabulous little details that you see - the signs, the centerpieces, napkins, cake-pops, etc. were Kathryn's ideas and doings...I just followed her instructions and paid for things. =) I keep telling her she should start her own event-planning business, but she insists she's not cool enough...mmhmm....

  10. The outfits look great as do the party favors!!! I hope Rowan enjoyed it! :)

  11. Hi

    can I just say that I love your blog? I love how the both of you always look so sunny and smile so brightly in your pics. They make me smile too. :))

    I'm a mother of a 2year old boy. Sometimes he makes me laugh and sometimes he makes cry. I always feel that I'm not good enough to be a mother because I'm not motherly enough. I guess I'm still learning as day goes by. It's tough being a mum but I hope that some time my son will come and tells me that I a great mum. ;) I think his hugs are sufficient for me for now. ;P

    Btw I'm from Singapore and it's so unfortunate we don't have Anthropologie here. But we have Internet so anything is possible when it comes to shopping. :D haha please continue on the good work on the blog and I look forwArd to more inspirations from the both of you.

    In fact I'm going shopping now. I need to look for a belt which I can wear over a dress and a cardigAn just like you all like to do. :)))