Table Topic Tuesday. 11/12.

Table Topic Tuesday time!

Here’s the question:


My perfect day looks like 80 degrees—from 8am-midnight. There’s sun, breeze. There’s a bottomless cup of sangria next to my pool or beach chair.  Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby is on repeat. In between turning over to keep my tan even, I get up and dance. I read a book from cover to cover.

Well, that’s a dreamy day.

On a perfect day, I get to laugh with them.


I get to kiss him.


Hug them.


Be silly with her.


Big-sister him.


On a perfect day, I believe in Disney magic with friends (and their kiddos) who love it as much as I do.

Disney Digression

On a perfect day, I realize how perfect life is—when you stop to notice.


My buds have perfect days, too.

My sister, Lindsey, says:

Any day I spend in Disney. Especially if it means pizza at the Italy pavilion and a trip on rockin roller coaster.

And Lindsay says:

This is an easy one. These are the events in order that define my perfect runnaroundd day:
-Get up really early and run a half marathon trail race.
-Hug my mom and dad and sister real tight {assuming they’ll be there cheering me on}.
-Drink lots of coffee.
-Eats lots of trail mix.
-Spend the day walking around Disney.
-Get on all rides in 10 minutes or less.
-Eat pizza for lunch at Via Napoli.
-Watch Magic Kingdom fireworks with happy tears running down my face and a Plaza Ice Cream Parlor cone dripping down my hand.
-Order dinner at my parents’ house from our favorite Chinese place.
-Watch Harry Potter on the big screen with a side of kitty cuddles and peanut butter M&Ms.
-Repeat {can I just have one more day, please??}.
runnaroundd collage

And Javi says:

My perfect day begins with me waking up in a white tuxedo, walking out of my cabana overseeing my gorgeous island paradise, and being met by my tiny friend and employee, in his equally matching tiny white tuxedo. My little friend looks up into the sky and wildly exclaims “look boss! De plane! De plane!” and I wait to greet my guests on my grand Fantasy Islan – no, no. Sorry. That’s not right. My perfect day begins with me waking up in an island paradise. Check. The sun shines down across the beautiful estate which I call home. And, as I run my hand through my thick and luxurious soup strainer mustache, I ponder the gathered facts surrounding an illicit crime that I, along with help of my trusted friend who flies helicopters must solve. A beautiful woman is depending on me to help crack the very sinister plot she knows is unfolding within her family… and there will probably be some quality mustache make out action if I do close the case. So, without hesitation, I ask groundskeeper Higgens for the keys to my Ferrari and speed away for clues. Such is the life of Private Investigator Magnu – Shoot! Ok, wait. My perfect day. I wake up, ready to fight crime as part of an elite justice unit where direct acton might provide the only feasible solution. And, I still drive an awesome car. Oooooh yeah. But, this car is no ordinary car. It’s an all black on black, murdered out, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. And, it’s got insaaaaaane technology and engineering built in. As well as an artificial intelligence that allows the car to drive by itself and actually talk to me, the driver, Michael Kni – C’mon! Get it together, man. Focus! My perfect day is back to me, solving crimes as a detective, with a partner. But, this time, my partner is a woman. A formal model. Yeeeeaaaahhhh.  And we work at a detective agency together called the Blue Moon Detective Agency. And together we’d be Moonlightinnnnnoooooooo!!!! NO! NO! NO! What is wrong with me? Alright… My perfect day would be complete if someone just brought me a sandwich, as if from no where, without me even hinting for one. And, it would be extra perfect if I overheard someone described me to friends as “adorkable”.

Okay, kids. What does your perfect day look like?

What perfect looks like

I made it as a mom more than 6.5 years before I finally gave in to hosting a birthday party. Oh, we’ve had plenty of celebrations and cake and unbirthdays (read: plenty of celebratory cake).

But I’d never done the official pick-a-theme-invite-all-your-friends-stress-me-the-heck-out kind of party.

I finally decided this was our year and for our littlest guy’s (that’s Case) 4th birthday party, he landed on dinosaurs. So, I did the sensible thing and spent a late night (or five) binge pinning clever, adorably easy-looking DIY dino party ideas. Roar.


Then, eyeball-deep in dino decisions, my namby-pamby right brain had a melt down. It’s the reason I hadn’t planned a party yet. I don’t plan. I don’t list. I don’t allot. Schedule. Formulate. Organize. Nope.

This is going to be hard, I thought.

This is going to be the best party ever, my then-3-year-old Case squealed, with innocent, absolute faith in me.

Determined to do it myself on the cheap, I reserved a pavilion in our neighborhood park and forced myself to make lists. I asked Case what he wanted. A dinosaur piñata and dinosaur cupcakes. Check.

I added a few things that I wanted: a themed invite to, you know, set the mood, themed activities, a suite of themed, designed signs, platters & such. Balloons for every kid, which I read was a must.


I checked off a few lists and hoped for a dry, sunny day. The forecast tortured me for a week, calling for a 60% chance of afternoon storms during our afternoon, outdoor party.

The day finally came—a dry, shiny, blustery day.

That darn wind. Not the sweet, gentle spring-type breeze.  No, no. It was a don’t-wear-a-dress (guess who wore a dress??) kind of wind.

The wind was totally PMSing.

I swear, my sister and I re-set the tables 3 times. We couldn’t even tape down the kraft paper. Hats and buckets were flying. My oh, so clever signs defied duck tape. The balloons that I had envisioned whimsically hovering beneath the pavilion roof were more tangled than Tiana and Naveen’s froggy tongues (Disney digression).

Tiana/Prince Naveen tongue tangle

Then the unthinkable happened. Guests started arriving before I was done. Before the table was set. Before my Pinterest-perfect party was ready to be beheld.

The party was windswept before it even started. I sent the punctual guests to play on the playground while I tried to squall-proof the set up by just setting out the basics.


Dino buckets

Sweet Eaters 2

Plant Eaters

Meat Eaters

Soon, all the kids, giddy with the promise of digging up treasure, were bounding back to the pavilion. So, we launched Operation Temporary Tattoo with a super sophisticated system—paper towels and water. Each kiddo was branded with a prehistoric critter.

Now, official paleontologists, they claimed their tools by writing their names on their bucket tags. Then, it was off to the Dinosaur Egg Hunt. I found these awesome eggs with a fun texture and a great prize inside. We were scheduled to be in full force egg hunt fun for at least a half hour. These super sleuthy kids found all the eggs in a matter of minutes—like, less than 5—and stashed them in their buckets.

name tags

Tucker's tag

The Egg Hunt

The next item on the ‘ol trusty schedule was activity #2, so we gathered at The Dig Site. This activity was the kids’ favorite and I wish I’d gone with deeper tins. They were content for a solid half hour (yay, schedule!) to comb through the sand with tiny paintbrushes, committed to finding each buried treasure. We’d hidden these dino skeletons and shiny confetti in the play sand and they kept every piece they found in their buckets.

Dig Site


Digging 2

Right before my birthday boy’s coveted piñata pull, the wind threw a tantrum and knocked over a glass bottle that was filled with edible dino eggs (jelly beans). So, we went on an impromptu Jurassic jaunt around the park while the dads made sure each shard of glass was tossed.


PSA: Glass bottles and mason jars? Cute and festive and presh, no doubt. Outdoors on a windy day? No ma’am.

Finally, the piñata pull commenced and Case’s life, to that moment, was complete.

After they collected all the candy in their buckets, we passed out the dinosaur cupcakes and sang happy birthday.


His candle was sweetly snuggled in a sea of jelly beans in a mason jar. I was going to pluck it out for the song, but I didn’t want to tempt the wind or attempt to light a match. So, he didn’t blow out a candle. And that’s okay. I’m hopeful that his wish had already come true.

Because, after that, the real party started. My activities only took us through an hour and a half of the two-hour time frame. But his friends all wanted to stay and play. So they ran around and roared at each other and watched balloons wander through the sky and collapsed in a sweaty kid heap. They had ridiculously amazing unscheduled fun. Imagine that.


balloons 1


I had imagined this perfect party for my littlest one’s birthday. All Case wanted was to have candy and cupcakes with his friends. For him, perfection was as simple as giggles and sweets. That’s it. And I never want to forget what that kind of perfect looks like.

 my heart

 (Special thanks to my pal Francisco–the super skilled dino sign designer. To my amazing sister who worked MacGyver-like miracles with duck tape. And huge hugs to Martha who captured so many sweet memories that day.)