We celebrated my baby's first birthday today with our friends and family. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. For Emma's first birthday I went a little crazy. Overboard, really, with decorations, food, goody bags...everything was just too much. I didn't enjoy myself and I think I stressed the birthday girl out too. So for Ben's party I had decided a while ago that we were going to keep things as low key as possible. We went to a park, spread some blankets down, had some yummy sandwiches and everyone brought a salad to share. Tate and Trenton set up a volleyball net, ladder ball, and Trenton's mom brought sack toss for us to play. My favorite part of the whole day was after Ben had his go at the cake when I gave spoons to all the little ones that were watching with patience. They dove into that chocolate cake without any hesitation. Nobody was worried about germs, or how much of the sweet, mud-looking chocolate they had smeared on their faces or clothes. They were totally going for it. Truly embracing every icing and chocolate drenched moment. The sun was perfect, not too hot, and most everyone stayed for hours after the party. My stomach didn't hurt once because I was enveloped in happiness. And most importantly...Ben had a blast. He loved being passed around from Grandma to Grandma, Cousin to Aunt, Uncle to Grandpa. And he got to crawl around in endless, silky grass, and eat his OWN adorable cake that his Grandma Laurie made just for him.
My point to all this is that today I learned just how happy we would all be if we could model these children -unabashedly seeking joy, and not being embarrassed or ashamed to get it. And I also learned just how pleasurable and truly relaxing simplicity can be.
If you would like to see the rest of the pictures from Ben's Birthday, I will be updating those on my family blog- http://www.jantrenemm.blogspot.com/.