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A busy birthday weekend

This time of year is always busy with school starting, activities getting underway, Hawkeye games kicking off and the most important milestone, my youngest daughter’s birthday. This year is the big 7 and we have been counting down for a while to the celebration.

The weekend started with me deciding to have a more low-key Friday. I debated going to the football game or even an Iowa Cubs game, because there are a lot of major leaguers in Des Moines right now. Instead, I opted to just get some ice cream after school with the girls and chill at home to prepare for the crazy weekend.

Saturday was game day which meant the girls and Lenny were heading to Pella while my husband and I were in Iowa City. We were doing really good on time, we even left early, but due to this and that, by the time we left Pella, we weren’t making record time anymore.

Driving into our tailgating area for the first time of the year is always exciting. We have a few stops before heading into Historic Kinnick Stadium and had fun chatting with friends and family along the way. I also like to sample the delicious tailgating food people who are much better chefs than me prepare for the festivities.

The game was good, not great. We looked like it was our first week and I can only hope we go up from here. A few new theatrics greeted us including fireworks and we got to see the finished product that is the new north end zone.

We had a long night driving back home, picking up the kids and finally getting to bed. The best part was, we had to get up the next day and do it all over again for a family reunion in Iowa City. We did get to see family from all over the country and, once again, eat some great food. It was nice to see family who doesn’t get together often.

Sunday evening I spent baking, writing and generally getting prepared for the birthday. Two dozen cupcakes, two dozen mini cakes and a large “7” cake later, I was ready.

Labor Day, the day my youngest was actually born on seven years ago, we were up bright and early to start the party. A crew of about a dozen of us headed to Pump It Up in Urbandale to jump, slide and really just be goofy kiddos for a few hours.

We had my oldest daughter’s birthday there a few years ago and had a really great time. The venue offers helpers so parents can just sit back and watch the fun instead of worrying about getting everything ready.

All of the kids had a great time. From the first room with the inflatable where kids jump from one post to the next and often crash into a cushy landing to the second glow room with glow-in-the-dark necklaces and inflatables, there were a lot of laughs, screams and giggles heard during the party.

A highlight of the glow room was the balloon drop, which saw the kids stand under a giant net of glowing balloons before they counted down to their release on top of them. Pure joy filled the kids faces as they jumped around, then later went down the large slide into a giant pile of the balloons, watching them fly through the air over and over again.

At the end of the party, we had food and cake, sang “Happy Birthday” and opened presents. I think it was pretty successful, judging from the kids enthusiastic reactions.

The rest of Monday was spent playing with new toys for the girls and cleaning and working for me. We got a lot accomplished on our Labor Day.

That brings today (Tuesday), which is my daughters actual birthday. I once again attempted to make a yard sign celebrating the day and it is there, just a little curly thanks to all of the humidity. My mom was on hand at the end of her driveway to give a birthday cheer to the birthday girl, which brought a huge smile to her face on the way to school.

My youngest daughter has always been a breath of fresh air in our family, fun, quirky, helping and loving all wrapped into one perfect girl. Happy Birthday to my big 7 year old!

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at

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