Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How To Throw An Unforgettable Birthday Party For Kids

This week, I'm sharing a guest post on my favorite topic: Kids' birthday parties! I won't share with you what I'm spending on Baby A's Beauty and The Beast themed party which is less than 2 months away, but will say that I'm probably exactly the type of parent she is referring to when she writes: There are ways to give your child a unique and special party, without dipping into their college fund. This article serves as a good reminder (to me and a lot of other parents out there) that parties can still certainly be memorable without breaking the bank. I may refer back to a few of these tips myself as I move forward starting next year with two birthday parties to throw within two months' time. What an amazing predicament to have, when there once was a time I worried about never becoming a Mom at all.
How To Throw An Unforgettable Birthday Party For Kids
There was a time when parents gave their kids traditional birthday parties. Most birthday parties had a cake, a few cheap games, (like Pin The Tail On The Donkey) presents and the “Happy Birthday” Song.

Today’s parents feel an obligation to make their child’s birthday party a major event. People spend huge amounts of money for professional entertainment, bounce houses, and rent out establishments with rides, food, and games that celebrity children could not compete with.

There are ways to give your child a unique and special party, without dipping into their college fund. We will share a few of these ideas with you below. Before we begin, we would like to point out that we are not going back to the plain traditional party, we will be pushing against tradition here. For example, instead of a sheet cake that costs a fortune, we suggest buying candy from an online supplier. Make goodie bags that match the theme of your party. If your party colors are blue, get with your supplier. For example,
buy pastels and blue candy from Sweet Services that will be unique and keep the theme color together. Save the cake for your family dinner that is in honor of your birthday child.

You can also set up a buffet or bar and display containers of candy. This is a cheap and easy way to treat guests. Get creative. You can use ice cream cones filled with scoops of pretty cotton candy, stuff small jars with gummy insects, or make lollipop trees. You are only limited by your imagination. There are many party favor boxes, bags, and bags to choose from.


Young children are easily entertained. They love simple parties that keep the focus on them for a few hours. For your cheap DIY toddler party, why not have a Teddy Bear Parade?

Invite each guest to bring their favorite teddy bear or other stuffed toy. Set up a “costume room”. This is where you will have baskets of dress-up clothes, shoes, bags, and other items. You can get your accessories from home, friends. The Goodwill, garage sales, and the local dollar store.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Sparkly materials
  • Hats
  • Ribbons
  • Bows
  • Beads and necklaces
  • Make-up
  • Flowers and floral leis
  • Umbrellas
  • Canes
  • Walking sticks
Check out the clearance section of your local hobby or fabric store.

Each guest goes to the costume room to dress up and to dress up their Teddy Bear. When everyone is ready, form a line and begin the parade.  March the party around the block or through the park. The parade ends at the location decorated and selected for the guest of honor to sit and unwrap gifts.

Photo credit

School-aged children

DIY Calming Glitter Jars are super fun and easy to make and costs very little. You need a jar (plastic if the kids are very young) with a lid, glitter glue in various colors, (chunky glitter and fairy dust are also recommended) food coloring, water, and some kids that want to have fun. Click here for exact instructions.

Some great ideas for older kids and teens include:

  • Scavenger hunt
  • Making decorative picture frames (use thrift store frames and buy accessories in bulk)
  • Karaoke
  • Races
  • Make a “weirdest tee shirts”

The most unforgettable part of any child’s birthday party is a present and attentive family. You can be a single parent or a large foster family. Your family may be made up of friends that you join with to create a community. The point is, children need to feel special. They need to understand the celebration is because they came into your world that day and you were forever changed. If you keep this in mind, an unforgettable party is guaranteed.


  1. I can definitely say I have not spent a ton of money on birthdays up to this point. Part of that is probably because it has basically just been out families that attend. I figure as he gets older, and can actually tell me what kind of party he wants, I will spend more I am sure. So exciting to think of getting to plan TWO parties, yay!!!

    1. I can't wait until she "just" wants on at Chuck-e-Cheese! I'm having fun now with the themes...I picked this one a year ago. But, as she gets older I've heard she may change her mind a lot!