Wednesday, October 02, 2013

having a ball

As we start to begin what is known to our family as "party season" with birthdays and Thanksgiving, it's a time of year where it's easy to get caught up with the preparation of guests, food, gifts...and lose sight of how special this time of year really is.

Since one child is going on a school camping trip smack dab in the middle of all these parties, it's just one more thing to pack, organize and be prepared for.  With so much going on, I was hoping I'd take a more simpler route this year and just book a pre-packaged party.  But as I begin booking venues, I realize sometimes what appears to be simple isn't really that simple after all.  One venue only accepted complicated online reservations and couldn't guarantee a party room until mere days before the event.  Another venue  couldn't guarantee there would be a place to store gifts while the children are enjoying the venue's activities (so I'd have to shuttle gifts to the car before they played!). What a circus!

Maybe I'm worried what really will be missing, is the element of the personal touch.  Because at the end of the day, I just want to create happy, memorable moments, and I hope it doesn't get lost in the busyness of logistics.

I suspect that I feel this way because I am watching my older child go off independently on a camping trip, and part of me misses that time when they were really young.  An age before they were old enough to dress themselves.  An age when they had sweet little birthdays with a few select friends and family were invited to eat cake, do a small craft or activity, and enjoy opening presents.  A time that seemed slower, where I  actually got to capture little moments.

As the kids get bigger, maybe I just need to be faster to catch up with them. With all the giggling, smiles and "It was the best trip EVER!" or "I had the loudest, most outrageously awesome birthday party ever!"...I will capture a different, more bigger moment.  When they'll still enjoying being a kid and the world seems like one big circus...and they're just having a ball.

Quick Party Cheese Ball

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Finely Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cups grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ cups Finely Chopped shallot (or red onion)
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • ¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl. 
  • Beat with a hand mixer on medium-low speed until well combined.
  • Scrape the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with the plastic wrap and shape into a ball or log. 
  • Put the cheese ball on a plate and place in the refrigerator to harden, at least 30 minutes (it's best if it is 1 hour).

Place on a serving plate. Allow to sit for approximately 15 minutes before serving.  Serve with crackers.

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