Buenos dias mi gente! It’s a cloudy, cool summer day and I wish I could have stayed in bed just a few minutos longer jejeje. Pero igual, aqui estamos dandole duro as always. This weekend we celebrated a friends’ son’s First Birthday. We spent the afternoon at a conservation park in Ajax, Ontario and it was a beautiful day for an outdoors event. The Wild One theme was so appropriate for the setting and they even brought out Zoo to You, unos animalitos that we learned about and got to touch and see. Estuvo bien padre, mis chamacos had a blast. The beauty of attending these milestone celebrations is not only reuniting with amigos y familia, pero tambien being able to experience other ways of celebrating with different traditions and interests. Tambien, it makes me reminisce on our own precious memories that we’ve had con los chamacos and how quickly time has past. Asi que, para hoy, vamos a chismear en las fiestas y celebrations that we’ve had so far and how we choose to host and celebrate. Un te calientito and these Canelitas galletas that I can’t get enough of. Vamonos!
Celebrations es un tiempo para la familia y los amigos to come together in recognition of a particular event. Siempre hay lots of food, decorations and mucho amor to share and spread with everyone attending. Todos tenemos our own way of celebrating certain things. Aveces we only choose certain milestones to celebrate, tal vez we do small gatherings, algunos go all out and host huge fiestas, and we get to share and experience different foods, music and traditions from every familia we celebrate with. Regardless, it’s always a great experience and a fun time.
Eso lo digo as an attendee. Jajaja Si estamos hablando of being the host/hotess, pues things can quickly become more complicated and stressful. Y es por eso that for mi familia, we try and keep things on the smaller, simple, cost efficient side of things. No es por decir that it’s the right way or better way to do things, we all do what is best for ourselves and our own familias. Y tambien, that doesn’t mean that we also don’t feel the added pressure of the Pinterest/Instagram worthy set ups either. Jaja.
Bueno para empezar, we had our weddingS (jaja yes, we got married twice) in the same year as having our first chamaco. It was a wild time to say the least, which I will share in another post porque sino, we will be here todo el dia jaja. In short, we had a civil marriage in February of 2015, Javi nacio en August of 2015 and then we had our Wedding and Reception in November of 2015. 2015 was a big year for us jaja. All of which were planned simply and elegantly, with lots of DIY and last minute hook ups jaja. Planning your wedding while pregnant and also planning to give birth for the first time is A LOT! Pero, it worked out beautifully as you will read in another post jejeje. Keep‘em coming back for mas chisme!!
La primera celebration we hosted as a familia was Javi’s Bautizo. Javi was 9 or 10 months old cuando lo celebramos porque as I mentioned, we had our wedding take place just a few months before this and we needed a break from planning and hosting. We held the event at the same Iglesia where we were married and continued the celebration at our casa. Javi wore a traditional Charro ensemble with a Sombrero, all white with gold trimmings. Fue divino!! I had saved various pictures of what I wanted and sent them to mi Tio en Salamanca, Mexico where he purchased el traje and shipped it to me. We set up Bautizo decorations from my favourite, one stop shop of Party City, y mi mama handmade giveaways for our guests. Pedimos comida from an Italian spot here in Markham and the food fue delicioso! Invitamos a la familia de mi esposo and my immediate familia (porque most don’t live here in Toronto, they are either in Thunder Bay or Mexico). Algunos close amigos y nosotros. It was a beautiful celebration.
Only a few months later, Javi turned the big UNO! We had a small dinner and cake with only the immediate familia de mi esposo, porque we were off to Thunder Bay for a few weeks and would have a big fiesta there. In Thunder Bay, mi mama preparo most of the Fiesta which we hosted in my childhood casa and backyard. Javier’s theme was First Fiesta, a Mexian theme with traditional Mexican attire y comida. We had frojoles charros, alambres (pork skewers), tortillas, salads and lots of botana (esnacks!). Our decor included sarapes, papel picado y Feliz Cumpleanos banners all sent from Mexico. We also had giveaways from Mexico tambien, mini Sombreros that read “Javier’s First Fiesta 2016”. Que bello! Javi hit his first Pinata and enjoyed the company of many familia y amigos who came to celebrate his first year of vida. It was a bittersweet day for us, pero an extra special one para mi porque it was celebrated in my childhood casa and hometown.
Ya llego la princesa de mi vida, Mireya. Jajaja, ay Mireya, we celebrated her Bautizo when she was 10 months old as well. By this time she could already stand and walk just like Javi, ay Dios mio. We ordered her an hermosa vestido (I will link you the site porque it was really gorgeous, I will share pics on my IG later, so look out for them @mamapoderosa) from a shop in the US. Otra vez, we hit up Party City for decorations and ordered comida from a Portuguese place in Ajax, Ontario who also does catering (it’s the best, te lo juro, we love it there). Mireya was baptized at the same Iglesia as Javi and as our wedding, which we love and appreciate porque we’ve shared special milestones there y porque we go there every domingo for mass as a familia. Tambien for this celebration we invited la familia de mi esposo and my immediate familia, pero only super close amigos (like 4 familias).
The invite list has slowly had some cuts. No porque we don’t want to host todo el mundo, pero it becomes very stressful in making sure you’re not leaving anyone out. If you invite this person, then that person will know and we should invite them, pero then we have to invite these people and oh, those people too. Ay ay ayyyyy! It gets to be way too much, mucha gente for just our casa of a venue, mucha gente to feed and give giveaways to, y la verdad we end up having an abundance of gifts and presents that we don’t know what to do with. It becomes very overwhelming. Ademas, when there are so many attendees, we don’t even have enough time to even spend with everyone or catch up and really give attention to. Para nosotros, we have learned that we like to keep things at a minimal in order to maximize the quality of our experiencia and celebration.
Javier turned DOS soon after Mireya’s Bautizo y again, we kept it simple. A little too simple this time as we had NADA planned, no gift, no card, nothing para su cumpleanos. I felt horrible. In our defense jaja we had just returned from a 3 week visit in Thunder Bay the day before y ademas, he did have a small backyard BBQ, Toy Story themed party con mi familia y amigos un Thunder Bay. Pero igual, it was his ACTUAL birthday and we had NADA.
Spontaneous idea to spend the day at the Toronto Zoo turned into the best Birthday ever imagined. Cuando llegamos, mi esposo pointed out a familiar face at the Hot Dog stand near the Panda Exhibit. He had a gucci diaper bag hanging off his stoller and we were sure it had to be Darwin Barney from the MLB Toronto Blue Jays team. Sera?? Enserio?? We approached him and nervously asked, are you Darwin Barney? Yes! I am, nice to meet you! AY DIOS MIO!!! AHHHHHH, being huge Blue Jays fans, we were ECSTATIC beyond words. He was so generous, kind and humble. We took some pictures and he inquired about our Zoo visit, which we explained was a random idea since it was our son’s second birthday. Pues, ni lo vas a creer, pero he exchanged numbers with us, invited us to the game and batting practice, and gave us VIP seats to the game that night. No pos GUUUAAAAUUUU!!! Lo maximo!!
Ni podiamos concentrate on the rest of our Zoo visit, we were SO excited. We ended up leaving within a couple of hours, hardly seeing any of the Zoo jajaja and we anxiously waited for his text. 2pm, ding ding – it’s Darwin Barney! He let us know which gate to enter, where we received VIP name tags, and we were escorted down to the field for batting practice and hangout in the dugout with some of the jugadores. BEYOOOOND! He gifted Javi an official MLB bat and ball, signed and dedicated to Javi. We sat up in our seats with hot dogs, popcorn and a couple cervezas, courtesy of Darwin Barney. It was espectacular! Aveces having no plans end up being the best plans.
Another big celebration fue cuando Mireya turned the big UNO tambien. She also had a First Fiesta, with traditional Mexican attire sent from Mexico. Instead of a cake smash (which we never did anyways) she had a concha smash! Jajaja, it was really cute. Mi mama made the backdrop with flores de papel, y mas decoraciones sent from Mexico to fit our theme. Again, we had our usual suspects attend jaja Solo familia y close amigos. We hosted in our casa, and had the backyard for some play and Pinata time.
The rest of their birthdays have been and will be continued to be celebrated in our casa with close familia y amigos. We work so hard to be able to have our casa and we’d like to make the most of it and keep costs at a minimal for our celebrations. Lo importante is that we have our loved ones with us and that the day is enjoyable for todos. Keeping things simple and small allow us to actually feel like we’re a part of the celebration as well, no solamente running around like pollos sin cabeza trying to have one minute convos with everyone, snapping quick pics, and making sure there is enough of everything still out for guests. Our celebrations started off that like and I always felt so drained and cansada. Entonces, from then on, we’ve made sure to limit our invites, order cost efficient food and have simple decor setups in order for us to enjoy it all tambien.
Ademas, the celebrations are for los chamacos. It’s not about us or la familia. It’s their celebration y la verdad, they’re pretty content with lo que sea we present to them. Chamacos don’t know if it’s Pinterest/Instagram worthy, or if so and so is going to feel ways porque they weren’t invited. Keeping the focus on los chamacos has really helped us in making sure that our events and celebrations are about them. They choose their theme, aparte de their First Fiesta, as they couldn’t express that jaja. It’s not about where or how expensive and over the top the cake is, if the decor was custom ordered or DIY, the trendiest venue or en tu casa, or even the giveaways. Los chamacos just want A cake, a few balloons that they can play with until they pop, su familia y amigos y unos dulces to take home. No olvides, that we set the standards for our chamacos.
Es dificil, I won’t lie, to not feel pressured or expected to have all these extravagant things for each and every fiesta. Pinterest y Instagram will set the bar unexpectedly high and will make you feel like your fiesta sucks. Jajaja, Enserio, I told you I’ll always keep it real here. O cuando vas to other celebrations and events, it’s hard not to compare, it’s hard not to feel like oh, I wish I could do this or have that – lo que sea. Solamente acuerdate that you’re you and that’s them. Neither is right or wrong, better or worse, they are just different and unique to each of you. Imaginate if every fiesta was the same, you wouldn’t enjoy or have the wonderful experiences that you do now. Por decir, I know that when invitados come to our events y fiestas, we’re sharing our cultura and traditions with them, which they don’t get anywhere else.
Eres magica. You’re special. You bring so much to the table. Put your blinders up to what isn’t meant for you y tu familia and celebrate how you want to. These milestones are few far in between and you don’t get any redos. Asi que ponte las pilas mujer, and show who you are in everything you do. Con ganas.
*Pic from IG @reynacreates*