Last week this little family packed up all of their essentials and hopped on a plane to Chicago. We were on a mission to celebrate! To see family that we've missed ever so. And friends too, beloved long-time friends, the kind of friends you grew up with, the kind you can't make in adulthood. And their offspring.

It was Thora's second birthday afterall.

My child has thankfully not connected with any characters yet, no princesses, no Trademarks. It's a blessing for me because it means I get to keep on decorating at my whim. She does like crayons though, and paint and chalk. She's a coloring machine so obviously what's more colorful than a rainbow? Not to mention, easy to whip out with two days of local shopping before the big day.

My poor mother. Upon arrival at my parent's house in Rockford, I unloaded upon my poor mother my frantic, anxiety-riddled need to prepare for this party. It was Go! Go! Go! until the moment guests arrived. Plus Thora was dealing with the two-hour time change and, I realized when we got home, the arrival of one of her two-year molars. Needless to say, she was grumps. Mike and I tossed her back and forth like a football and when I was off-duty, my mother and I were driving across town hitting up Target, Part City, Hobby Lobby, Logli... oh I'm exhausted just thinking about it. She probably wanted to kill me too because I was being P-I-C-K-Y.

But it paid off! In the end, we managed to represent all colors of the rainbow, ROYGBIV style, and create a wonderland in the middle of my parent's sunroom. When Thora woke up from her nap that day, she was pretty psyched. My anxiety lifted, her joy was all I needed.

My folks have these amazing windows and we filled the center with paper fans and gift bags all in a row beneath. Oops, we forgot purple. Do not look behind the curtain. Moving on!

The gift bags each came with a pinwheel—which if you ever need cute pinwheels, Hobby Lobby is THE place—bubbles, a sketchbook and a pack of Crayola Washable crayons. These are a must! I would never unleash any other crayon on my friends or their cabinets, walls and carseats.

Speaking of crayons. To the right of this rainbow explosion we set up a little crayon table, Pinterest style. Each color filled a mason jar and I set out placemat pages to color on. I wanted something nice and generic for this but in my time crunch grabbed these Jake and the something or other Pirates pages. In the end I realized this detail was insignificant. The kids would have drawn on toilet paper for all they cared. Pirates or princesses or whatever, this crayon station became the hub of the party. Success!

We kept the food pretty minimal: a bunch of cheeses with crackers and bread, some nuts, Mrs. Fishers chips (gotta represent!) and these fruit kabobs, also a Pinterest idea. These turned out cute and they were all gone by the end of the party. We also had juice boxes and mini-milks, water and pop for the adults. I avoided candies, cookies and things because I considered the cake itself enough of a sugar bomb.

The cake, sigh... a Pinterest failure. I had ambitions about making the famous rainbow cake. You know the one, the white cake that teeters on 6 lovely layers of color, only revealed upon cutting. It's a sensation, a marvel! And from what I heard, time-consuming as all get out. Yeah, I don't live there. Absorbing the mantra, Accept the Things You Can Not Change, I trudged to the grocery store to order the least-offensive cake they had. And we were all more than happy. It was yum! And only kind of ugly.

Now for a slew of blissful chaos that was the time had by many toddlers, friends, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and one birthday girl:

What am I taking away from this experience?

• That kids all together in a gaggle is the cutest sight the world over
• Don't overthink activities. These children are creative and find fun in simply being in a new place
• You don't have to spend a lot, or craft a lot, in order to make a memorable event
• When throwing a party together quickly, don't shop around. Buy now and avoid multiple trips
• There is nothing wrong with cake from the grocery store
• If you can, aim to have a 10-year old cousin on hand. My nephew Ethan was the best ringleader, entertaining with bubbles and a fantastic sugar-burning game of chase.

I hope you had a wonderful second birthday, my pickle. I think you did! And although you still do not care about opening presents and only had two bites of birthday cake, you looked like you were having the best time. xoxo...


  1. Beautiful party and great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  2. great party! Quick question: where did you get the pinwheels? They are great! Thanks!

    1. Thank you! All of the pinwheels came from Hobby Lobby. They have a huge selection.