getting tangled up with a Rapunzel birthday party

(Sorry about the title. I couldn’t resist.)

Audrey turned three on Saturday.


So, real talk: I know big, elaborate parties for kids aren’t everybody’s thing. And that’s totally fine! But you know what? I LOVE PLANNING THESE PARTIES. I love picking a theme and coming up with decorating ideas and scouring the internet for pictures of cakes to send to the bakery for inspiration. I love inviting WAY too many people and panicking about how much food we need and I am EXHAUSTED when it’s all over and my house is usually a disaster at the end, but I don’t even care. The parties are FUN. We have had a party every year for Maggie (except her 6th, which we had at a local arcade-type place because I was a million years pregnant) and Audrey has had two others. I plan on doing more for both of them, plus parties for Zach. I think I’ll tone them down a bit after age 5, just because that’s when they start wanting to have more friend-centered parties, but as long as my kids want to celebrate their birthdays with us (and as long as it’s in the budget as an option), I’m going to have crazy parties. Because someday my kids won’t be home for their birthdays and DAMMIT, I’ll wish they were, right?

That being said, I really was going to keep this one simple. I just started back to work! I have a baby to take care of! Then I went to the craft store and sniffed too much glitter or something and before I knew it, my dining room was filled with purple cardstock and gold paint markers and my hot glue gun and a giant pile of yellow yarn and… well. It all turned out kind of awesome, if I can toot my own horn a bit.

Rapunzel hair
My first attempt was a braid and I got about 4 inches in before it was a giant mess. So I knotted it every few feet instead. SO MUCH EASIER! I wish I’d done more!

dining room
This was me showing restraint. I WANTED to make paper lanterns with the golden sun shape stenciled on them, but thought that might be taking it a step too far. I do need sleep, it turns out.

Rapunzel birthday banner


golden sun treat bags
a homemade stencil and a gold paint marker, I think I got HIGH on that thing

party stuff

Rapunzel needs to watch herself
Rapunzel needs to watch herself

balloon walk
Birthday girl window photobomb

The day was not without drama, though, of course. Audrey refused to wear the (NOT CHEAP) Rapunzel dress we got her as a gift to wear for the day. Then during the party, she was found wandering down the sidewalk outside, crying with bleeding knees, blubbering something about looking for Maggie at the neighbor’s house (Maggie AND the neighbor are AT THE PARTY IN THE BACKYARD, CHILD.) But other than that? It was a pretty awesome day. The kids got along so great (we had 16 kids! SO MANY!) and they even tolerated my organized games for a few minutes before dashing back outside in the beautiful weather (which was fine with me- the weather was PERFECT)

pin the frying pan on Flynn's face
Game #1: Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn’s Face

frying pans and lanterns
Game #2: hit the floating lantern (yellow balloon) with the (paper plate and plastic spoon) frying pan

(I had also planned to release a bunch of floating paper lanterns at the end of the party, but when I did a test run a few days before, I nearly lit myself on fire because the stupid thing wouldn’t float. So. We skipped that disaster-waiting-to-happen. heh.)

Melissa and her family drove in from out of state and it was so great to have them here! She took some great pictures of the party activities, which I really appreciated because once things got going, I completely forgot to take any.

party peeps

kid huddle
We think they were picking who was IT for tag? Or something? Cute huddle.

balloon walk


Present time!

birthday girl
Watching her birthday video

The kids LOVED the video
Probably laughing at one of the many naked Audrey pictures in her birthday video

Can we talk about the cake for a minute? First, it was delicious. We ordered it from a small bakery in our little town and they’re always amazing. BUT. Dan went to pick it up and looked at it and didn’t notice that HER NAME WAS WRONG UNTIL I POINTED IT OUT. I maybe flipped out initially before realizing that I could probably fix it. And I did.

Had to perform minor surgery on the cake when Dan got home with it. !!!!!

it tasted amazing too.

it tasted amazing too.

Even the inside was amazing.

the inside of the cake was PRETTY

It’s hard sometimes at this age to know if the kids are having fun or not, I think. Audrey seemed mostly bewildered the whole day, and I wasn’t sure a few times if she was enjoying herself. But then she was dancing around the living room after everyone was gone, singing along with the musical Rapunzel card from my parents.

Dancing to her Rapunzel card that plays music. Birthday mayhem in the background.

So, I think all the chaos and work was worth it.

blowing out her candles

Next up? Figuring out how to survive another girl through Age Three. !!!!


  1. Melissa

    September 17, 2013 9:10 pm

    Lady, you should plan parties on the side. You know, with all that free time you have… KIDDING!!! (OMG) But seriously, you are talented. The photos don’t even do it justice.

    Your kids may not remember every detail of every party but they will growing up knowing their birthdays were a Big Deal because they are very loved by their parents.

    Thanks again for inviting us! It was an honor to be there… your family is fun and we had a great time!

    Hopefully Age Three won’t be too bad. (*clears throat nervously*) But either way Audrey is an awesome kid (they all are!) and I’m sure there will be just as many laughs & good memories. :)

  2. Lacey

    September 18, 2013 9:32 am

    LOVE it all! I’m a fan of big, organized parties too for the same reasons as you. My favorites: Rapunzel’s hair stuck in the door, that cake!, and the braid! So creative and cute!

  3. Dave (Scrumpy Daddy)

    September 18, 2013 2:25 pm

    Oh, I love the theme and all that you did for it! The yarn braid all down the steps, and the piece hanging out the front door are GREAT! The bags look great, and I LOVE the catch the lantern with the frying pan game! That cake looks awesome, and it definitely looks like a great time was had. I agree that sometimes it is hard to tell if the kids are having a good time, especially at the younger ages, but as you mentioned, you can usually tell it was a good day for them at the end of the day (or sometimes not until the next day, when they are talking about it all day!)

    THIS –> “She took some great pictures of the party activities, which I really appreciated because once things got going, I completely forgot to take any.” <– YES. That. Every party we host. It is hard, as the hosts, to try to get pictures, whether it is forgetting, or just being too busy to bother. We have a standing policy with my parents and in-laws that they take a bunch of pictures, and we copy their memory card at the end of the day. :-) Fortunately, for our most recent party for Abby, we both *did* manage to get a bunch of pictures with our camera, but there are always some things better captured by others. (Especially cake cutting & serving, and gift opening, as the parents are often very involved with those tasks.)

    Great job, Jen & family! It looks great, and looks like it was a great time!

  4. K

    September 18, 2013 6:14 pm

    You always throw the best parties.

    And, holy moses, do I now want cake. That one looks AMAZING.

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