Celebrate Good Times
Why I Love to Party

There are a lot of things I love to do. But hovering right up at the top (in between baking and eating cookies and let’s be honest, taking care of baby animals) is throwing a good party.  I come from a Greek family where no celebration happened without lots of wine and dancing. And almost every occasion was worth celebrating, birthday, name day, holy day, holiday, all were met with a party.

My Yiayia well into the night celebrating her 79th birthday on my last trip back to Ohio.


Even in high school my friends and I threw elaborate parties. One had a band and a dance floor, another  formal wear and dinner dates. Then summer parties had trampolines, scavenger hunts and always lots of costumes. We loved to get people together. We loved staying up late and chatting until we were so goofy that everything was hilarious and we would laugh uncontrollably. Many of these girls are still my best friends today.

My house during Christmas break in college. You can’t see the band or the dance floor in this shot. There was no alcohol or anything illegal at this party (our parties were so fun no one even missed it), just a bunch of kids having fun.
We did scavenger hunts all over town and made matching costumes for our teams.
We were always looking for an excuse to break out the formal wear.
My last night at home, that morning I left for college. I love these girls.

Today when I say party I don’t mean the drink too much, stay up all night party, though that sometime is a component.

I don’t even mean necessarily a gathering of more than four  people.

What I mean is, let’s celebrate.

We are alive. Let’s live life together and let’s live it fully and richly. Let’s make good food and sip wine and hot cocoa and tell stories.  Let’s make new friends and connect with old ones. Let’s make darling little place holders and flower arrangements so that you know when you sit down at this table that you are loved and  we have been waiting to serve you.

What I mean is, let’s connect.

Let’s make friends. Don’t just be my co-worker or classmate, let’s be part of each others’ lives. I want you to meet my mom and my neighbor and Zenie’s God-mother Gina. I want to toast and pray and I want you to feel celebrated.

What I mean is, I want you to know that God loves you.

You see in our in our family hospitality isn’t a way to get you to hear the Good News of the Gospel. To us it is the Good News. When we welcome you into our home, we (the body of Christ) welcome you into Christ’s home. He dwells here and He dwells in us and we hope that you will encounter Him. That is the message. There is an encounter to be had and it is with  a person and His name is Jesus and He is God.  He loves us and He has given us good things.

So let’s celebrate.


Really all of this is an intro just so you will understand why I put so much work into Zenie’s third birthday. Sometimes I look at pictures on Pinterest and my feelings alternate between jealousy and disgust at how much trouble and money can go into an event, especially a little kid’s birthday party.

I want you to know that parties are a love language for me. So I wanted this to be special for Zenie to reflect the person that she is and give her a chance to be a hostess (okay and really I also wanted something that would give me an excuse to make a teepee but that is only one aspect of it). This party wasn’t about getting every detail perfect, it was about celebrating with new friends.

And that is exactly what we did.

We are new to town and I  didn’t know what to expect as a turn out for Zenie’s party. We were moved and overjoyed that 20 families joined us for this event. We are so excited about the connections we made and look forward to a lot more celebrating.

So here are some pics. I’ll post more on some of the crafts and ideas that I used to pull this together in the next few weeks.

Flowers from a sweet boy
Flowers from a sweet boy


Check out the bear cave and Teepee in the background.


New friends.


Three is an awesome age.


And more cupcakes.
And more cupcakes.


And more food
And more food.


Singing to my sweet girl.
I love her smile and, just love a kid wearing ears.
Blowing out candles.


Finally, time for a cupcake.
Life is good.

Let’s celebrate.


  • Shannon Reply

    Oh my gosh I’m dying at all the cuteness. Zenie, obviously the frontrunner there, but also the decorations and the food! Sooo special. I’m so glad you had lots of new friends show up!

    • egjarrett Reply

      Shannon, Thanks! I wish y’all could have been here. I am a sucker for kids birthday parties. I’m so grateful that I had the time to put it all together. Zenie is still eating on the left over cupcakes, now a week later. We probably should throw them out but she still seems to be enjoying them.

  • Cheryl Watson Reply

    Hi Erica, Thanks for accepting me into the group. I enjoyed all your pictures. Your little girl is lucky to have you as her mom. I have two grown sons. My oldest will be 34 on Sunday, and my youngest is 28. When they were young we had clown parties and once we had a woman come with a monkey. Most of the time it was the kind of parties where they would run around the house, Matt or Brian would open presents, and after that have cake & ice cream. Now that their grown its pretty much the same way we celebrate, except no running in the house (except for our three grand kids running around). Matt’s birthday celebration starts tomorrow night. He and his wife are going to have a crawfish mini boil. I’m looking forward to visiting, but not the crawfish. We will give him presents tomorrow night, and on Sunday we will have his birthday cake. I will close now, and give updates on the activities later. 🙂 Cheryl (Maw)

    • egjarrett Reply

      I love the idea of a lady with a monkey, that sounds amazing. Sometimes I get sad thinking about Z growing up and not having a kids birthday party to plan. It’s good to remember that parties are fun at all ages and there will always be little girls and boys in my life that I can help throw a party for even if they aren’t mine. Thanks for joining in Cheryl.

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