I’m not sure what’s happening this year but time is flying. It would feel fast enough if it was just regular life passing by, but my job also involves documenting my regular life, and I CANNOT DOCUMENT FAST ENOUGH. I’m in a perpetual state of “catching up.” Case in point— I have still not written about Mazzy’s 8th birthday party, which was all the way back in December.

I mean, it’s understandable. After her birthday was the holidays and then we went away to both LA and Park City (haven’t written about those trips yet either) and then I moved offices (never mentioned that on the blog) and then everybody got the never-ending flu (talked about that quite a bit I think) and then we were in the thick of it with school and now all of sudden, it’s May and I feel like everyone is already prepping for the summer and I’m like, WTF HAPPENED???

Anyway, today, I am going to talk about Mazzy’s birthday. And if all goes as planned, later this week, I will post about our trip to LA. And then if everyone likes that, maybe I’ll take a huge step back in time and talk about my teen years, or something.

I used to say that I am running out of stuff to write about as the kids get older. That is no longer true. I HAVE SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT. I just have no time to write it. But “having no time” is a different blog post I am planning to write. When I have time.

What was I writing about again?

Oh yes, Mazzy’s birthday. She turned eight. Eight is that magical year when you’re able to stealthily convince your kid to let go of the large birthday parties where the whole class is invited and just invite a small group of close friends. Because that is the “cool big kid” thing to do. And your kid agrees (“Yes, mom, that is the cool big kid thing to do”), but then when you start talking about birthday party activity options, she says she wants a Descendants themed party and you’re like, “I thought we would just take a couple people to a restaurant or a movie or something,” and she’s like, “NO. DESCENDANTS THEMED PARTY.”

So, we researched options together and decided on a small party at Muse Paint Bar, a place where they instruct groups of kids (or adults) on how to make a very specific painting. Basic party is ten people.

“Mazzy, are you okay with a ten kid party?”


“You understand that the ten people will include you and your sister?”


I called up Muse to ask a few important questions.

“Can the kids make a painting of Mal?”


“Mal from Descendants.”

“Uhhhh…sure. Just give us a picture that you want us to work from.”

Then Mazzy and I spent several hours over numerous evenings google searching Dove Cameron to come up with the perfect picture. You’d be surprised how many pictures are NOT PERFECT. For instance, the picture must depict Mal in Descendants 2, not Descendants 1, which is very important because her hair is different. And also, the picture must not look like she is posing for Maxim, because THAT WOULD BE WEIRD.

Then we sent out invites to Mazzy’s eight closest friends.

And then, a week before the party, we learned that a few of those close friends couldn’t come and I was like— oh shit, did I really mess up by encouraging this whole small birthday thing??? Because a few kids not coming to an already small birthday party creates a pretty big dent. So I did my best to prep Mazzy by saying things like, “Remember you wanted a small birthday party, right????” When really, I was the one who wanted a small birthday party.

The party ended up being six friends in addition to Mazzy and Harlow.

Which was actually perfect for everyone to get a good spot and listen closely to Mal painting instructions, which included about 5000 separate steps.

All the kids sat still and followed along, even Harlow. It was pretty impressive.

Jack and Neve (my little niece and nephew) filled out the two empty spots by painting the most abstract Mal paintings you have ever seen. Originally, they were just going to come for cake.

This is how Jack’s Mal turned out:

And this is Neve’s Mal:

Mazzy had a great time, but barely gave me or my camera the time of day. That’s cool. Welcome to my new life.

We had to ambush her for the photo below.

The cake was made by Lavenson Cakes to look like Mal’s Spellbook. Mazzy thought is was PERFECT. Harlow liked it too.

Speaking of Harlow, she ended up painting a kickass Mal.

Mazzy painted an even more kickass Mal.

Everyone painted a pretty kickass Mal actually. Listening to 5000 steps really pays off, it turns out.

In the end, I learned that what makes 8-year-old parties into big kid parties is not that they are small. It’s that they really have nothing to do with the parents.

I mean, we’re there to supply the cake and pay the check when it’s all over. But mostly, we’re just sitting back and watching our “cool big kid” hold court with her closest friends and have fun all on her own.

Happy Birthday, Mazzy! (Five months ago.)