Monday, April 04, 2022

Dorothy's birthday party

 The last normal thing we did before the pandemic shut the world down was host Dorothy's 7th birthday party, a movie night at our house

Saturday, TWO YEARS and 17 vaccine doses later (4 for Ben, 3 each for me, Harry, and Jack, 2 each for Dorothy and Cooper and ZERO FOR MINNIE GRRRRRR,) we hosted her 9th birthday party, also a movie night at our house.

We called it a slumber under (the sea), and it was a mermaid themed sleepUNDER party. I have to tell you, the sleep under party is the way to go when you're planning an at-home party. Have it slightly later than you normally would (Dorothy's guests went home at 8 pm, which is a time of night that Dorothy is usually getting ready to be tucked into bed), and have your guests show up in their jammies. Then, do all of the normal sleepover things-- movie, junk food, silly games, etc. Only instead of the kids staying up all night and doing god knows what after you have given up and fallen into a fitful, guilty sleep, they go home and everyone sleeps in their own beds and wakes up happy and sane the next day. It's the best.

This year, Dorothy's party was made even better by Ash + Arrow Events, a local company that specializes in themed slumber tents but also does spa parties, movie nights, and even glamping. I have been drooling over their Instagram for years and was so happy to finally have an Ash + Arrow party at my own house!

Ben asked me if I thought the tents were worth it for a brief party, and I have to tell you that I absolutely DO. The girls loved  eating on their cute little trays, playing hide ad go seek in the tents, bouncing from bed to bed, and lounging to watch Encanto. They also anchored the party in a really good way. Like, the kids got up and sang and danced along to the movie songs, and then they snuggled back in their tents and mermaid tails to watch the next part of the movie.

We also had a kid cancel last-minute, so I got to stay for the whole party in my own tent, and that was pretty great too.

Dorothy and Coop ended up camping out all night, and Minnie adored playing in the tents the next morning-- a huge thumbs up from all of us. And talk about adorable!!

We were able to fit 7 in the family room, but I was worried for a second there

All of the details were darling

I cheaped out on the balloons and just had Party City deliver some (and then the kids popped half an arrangement between 12-5, and my head exploded a little bit even though I kept telling myself they’re just balloons.

To be fair, I was slightly on edge anyway because Ben and Harry went to Eau Claire for the Wisconsin high school state speech tournament, so I was on my own with everyone else from Friday afternoon on. we weren’t even sure if they would be home for the party, so I bought Minnie a mermaid nightgown and crossed my fingers. They were home, though, because Harry just missed breaking to oratory semis. I was sad for him but happy for me, you know?

Here he is with his negative rapid test results moments before he and Ben packed the car and left town (no symptoms— the team just asked everyone to test before the trip).
We had THE MOST LUDICROUS cupcakes, with a frosting to cupcake ration my friend called untenable (and I have to agree). THE KIDS LOVED THEM.

I love Encanto but did not have a great view of the TV from my tent at the very end of the line. I made do.

Dorothy had the best time

So did Minnie

The next morning, Minnie was thrilled to hunker down with 4 pillows, 3 mermaid tails, and all of the lanterns to watch Daniel Tiger

And Dorothy wrote all of her thank you notes— and delivered 2 of them— before 10 am

A perfect party!


  1. That is SO fun and what epic little tents.

    We have done the "under-slumber" party twice now and it really is one of my favourite ways to host, too. Pajamas are so cozy and having a movie at the centre of the night just anchors the evening and seems to take a lot of the pressure off me.
    We didn't do it this year (it was a "small" year, so my daughter was only allowed to invite 3 friends), but next year is a "big" year, and if she's up for it, I will 100% try to pitch another late-night movie party!

  2. Happy birthday! What a fun idea - and an under the sea party too. I haven't ever hosted a sleep-under party, but I have had teen boys in my house overnight playing video games until god knows when, and I think sleep-under sounds much nicer. Cute cupcakes too!