Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

party prep

February is always a whirlwind of activity. First up was the little one's 5-year birthday party. I hesitate to say that I went overboard with party decorations. It only seems overboard because it all wrapped up yesterday but I do believe we can leave them up for a little while.

Here are ten things I learned from this year's experience:

1. If the decoration are good, no one else but me and the little one will notice them. Although there wasn't much spoken about them, the overall comfort and celebratory nature of the party tells me that the decorations helped create the atmosphere.

2. Parties with guests are the absolute best way to get all that house cleaning done. And to finally get those photos up on the wall. AND to finally getting that coffee table we've wanted for 15 years. To be honest, I'm glad we waited so long to find the right one because it's fits our home perfectly. Dave came home on Saturday with the craig's list purchase, a narrow but long coffee table made from old barn wood. 

3. Next year start decorating at the beginning of February so that the decorations can be up for a little while, like holiday decorations.

4. Craft punches are the best! Making stars and snowflakes out of glitter paper was a breeze.

5. Using a wet dishcloth is great for clearing dust - no need to get overly concerned about cleaners when just a cloth and water will do.

6. We only invited one other little girl to the little one's party. She's been wanting a play date in our house and she finally got that. Besides, having 12 little, drama-inclined girls at one party in a small house doesn't seem like a lot of fun.

7. Cater to the adults at the party.We had Bloody Marys and pizza. Everyone had a blast.

8. Expect the kids to entertain themselves. Of course, encourage any performance type things for the kids to present to the adults. In this case, we set up the microphone and let the kids "karaoke" for a while. Yep, that's right "Let It Go" was heard many, many times.

9. Wear something exceedingly comfortable. I didn't let my husband talk me out of the dress I chose and I regret that.

10. Make a point to go to the happy hour/Mama's night out even if it seems a impossible to step away from all the party prep that needs to be done.

Can't stop there. Here are a few more things I need to remember.

11. Get a big plastic contained to keep party paraphernalia for next year: plates, cups, napkins, candles, etc.

12. Don't sweat it if the plans don't turn out like you planned. I scrapped plans left and right and told myself that I was keeping it simple. In reality, the plans were great but just needed adjustment to suit our style.

13. Staying up until 2am each night of preparation seemed just right. I'm back to being a late-night person and I enjoyed having the time with Dave as we got everything ready punctuated with a little time wasting playing angry birds.

Now it is Monday after the party and I am a little deflated but only a little as I move into packing mode. Board meeting tonight, then off to Florida on Thursday. Somehow I must also remember that February is always crazy with activity. I wouldn't want it any other way as this totally makes the winter fly by faster!