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Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Lessons Learned from 8 Birthday Parties

In Day-to-Day, Family & kids on June 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

Each year I look forward to planning my son’s birthday party. Some years have allowed more time for prep and planning than others, but each has taught me something interesting. I’m sharing the lessons here for the consideration of other parents as well as for any life-lesson value they might provide for all of us.

1st Birthday: If you have an adult girlfriend who has ever ended a story with “and I woke up and didn’t know where my wig was” you should consider that her goodbye hug to your one-year-old might resemble something more like a dance than a simple squeeze from a fellow mom. (Although it was quite enjoyed by my uncle, husband and f-i-l.)

2nd Birthday: If the design of the cake involves ingredients that will allow the cake to stand-up on its end without falling over, chances are you won’t really want to eat that cake. (But man that was a cool looking school bus cake!)

3rd Birthday: If Dad’s taking the photos and Mom is presenting the birthday cake to the birthday boy sitting at the table, Mom should wear a turtleneck. It doesn’t matter if it is June. It doesn’t matter if you think what you are wearing is not low cut. Trust me and pull out the turtleneck.

4th Birthday: Lesson #1 – The book Stone Soup makes a great theme for a birthday party and kids could care less that hot soup is not what you would usually serve in the middle of June.  If we had adult Stone Soup parties once a year, the world would be a much happier place. Lesson #2 – Just because you’ve offered peace and love to the universe by being a 4-year-old who asked to have a Stone Soup party, it doesn’t ensure that some snot-nosed little brat won’t come along and blow out the candles on your birthday cake.

5th Birthday: You win some, you lose some and some get rained out. Literally rained out. When the Bulls can’t play and roads are closed because of the biggest flood of the year (perhaps in several) happens the day of your birthday, go to plan B.

6th Birthday: Perception is everything. You may serve pizza around 5 p.m. at your kid’s birthday party, but if he doesn’t think of it as dinner, he will tell everyone that his parents didn’t feed him dinner on his birthday.

7th Birthday: Sometimes the best part of the party is what happens before the party actually starts or when it has ended. (Have you ever seen the huge inflatables being inflated?)

8th Birthday: Lesson #1 – No matter how much red food coloring you put into your homemade cream cheese icing, it will still be pink.  Lesson #2 – If you put your meant-to-be-red-but-in-reality-pink icing on a chocolate cupcake, put a candle in the middle of it and then remove the candle, it might look like something not appropriate for an 8-year-old party.

IDK Where I’m Goin’ but ISK Where I Been

In PRSA Counselors Academy on June 4, 2009 at 2:08 am

I like a little blues. I also really, really like folk, but THAT’s another story. I’ve always liked the blues line of  “I don’t know where I’m goin’ but I sho know where I been”.

Seems like an appropriate theme for this evening as I check into the hotel where I stayed my very first visit to NYC about 17 years ago as I was starting my PR career and was a member of PRSSA. This time, I’m here to attend my first Silver Anvil awards ceremony.  I just flew here from the west coast where I was attending the PRSA Counselors Academy conference.

Love the fact that PRSA is still such an incredible resource to me all these years later. Counselors Academy has shown me that PRSA is an organization that grows with you and vice-versa. I remember thinking as a student that I hoped some day I would be ask to join CA, and such amazing people have now allowed me to join them!

And of course, I hoped some day I would have the opportunity to do work that was worthy of submitting for Silver Anvil consideration. Thanks to my wonderful clients at Thomasville Furniture (and the folks of Darryl Carter, Inc. ) and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts who have allowed us at Fleishman-Hillard North Carolina to do incredibly interesting work with them.

I can’t even imagine what it will be like to stand in that room tomorrow night with all the other Silver Anvil finalists as we honor some of the best work being done in our industry. Congrats and best of luck to my fellow Fleishman and Counselors Academy finalists!