Smith’s Hunting Party

On January 17, this guy asked to sleep in my bed because “it would be so cool to wake up on my birthday in your bed” and because I can’t resist those blue eyes and that dimple, this happened that night…

, Smith’s Hunting Party

One boy, one football, one Angry Bird, a blankie and the biggest bear slippers you’ve ever seen went to sleep six and woke up seven.

(Side note, disregard my shoes in the background…we’re replacing the floors in our closet and well, they’ve had to make a temporary home next to the bed…)

So, the next morning, January 18, this guy woke up SEVEN!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

And he wasn’t pumped at all about it 😉 .

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Seven and eight look great!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

He requested waffles with butterscotch chips for breakfast and then opened the gifts from us before heading off to school.

Now, mamas of young kiddos who absolutely love planning your kids’ birthday parties and are dreading the day when they request their own theme and not the one you so painstakingly have planned via Pinterest, please listen to me.  I understand your passion.  I understand your love of creating secret boards and filling them up with ideas that you love and your kids have no input/opinion about…but please believe me when I say, one of these days, they will decide for themselves what kind of birthday they want AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS.  I promise you, it will.  I used to think I would hate it…but you know what?  I love it!  1. They get exactly what they want (no matter how silly you might think it is).  2. It’s always so much less complicated than what you had in mind (because really…no kid cares if you’re up at 1:00 AM crafting together individual party favors).  3. There is zero pressure because it was their idea and not yours.  I’m telling you mamas to young kids…you should be looking forward to the day.  Which leads me to Smith’s birthday party on Wednesday…

, Smith’s Hunting Party

He wanted a hunting party.  In our city.  On a Wednesday night.  In January.  Now, I’m no hunter…but I don’t think any of that is really possible, right???  But that’s what he wanted.  He said he wanted lots of camo and hunting stuff.  When I asked him to dig a bit deeper and figure out how to make that happen, he said “I just want to take my friends to Cabela’s and walk around and then eat BBQ after like guys do”.  Done.  And done.

, Smith’s Hunting Party

So, he set off for school in his camo jacket…because, duh?  And then I was going to pick him and three friends up after school for our birthday fun.

I went by that afternoon and picked up these adorable cupcakes from my friend Emily.  Hello?!  She somehow made camo icing!  How cute is that, right?!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Emily is soooooo talented. I can make cupcakes…but I can not make cute little sugar cookie toppers that look like a work of art to go on top.

, Smith’s Hunting Party

And every year, I add a sign to our birthday wall.  Didn’t my friend Amy do a fantastic job?!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

And then after school, Andrew and I took these handsome fellas to Cabela’s to “walk around and look at all of the cool stuff like the fish, boats and tents”.  #thispartywassoeasy

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Kensington stayed behind with Ebby Lee for the talent show dress rehearsal but of course we had to bring Bowen too!  I laughed because I tried to get Bowen to be in the all boy pic above and he said no…he only wanted to be in pictures with Ashby.  How sweet is that?!  We roamed the store for about 45 minutes and let each boy pick a toy to take home as their party favor.  We actually had a lot of fun in there together!  They climbed in tents, they looked at the big boats, they saw the fish…it was a very outdoorsy time!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Lovie, Sean, Catherine and Samuel came too (Papa Jay was out of town).  It’s a shame Madeley isn’t in to Samuel…

, Smith’s Hunting Party

I love this boy SO MUCH!!!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

And so does Madeley :).

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Right next door to Cabela’s is a great BBQ place, so we headed over and loaded up.  These boys were so much fun!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Love my family so much!

, Smith’s Hunting Party

Smith opened presents from his friends and my family…

, Smith’s Hunting Party

…and then it was cupcake time.

, Smith’s Hunting Party

And just like that, my baby turned seven.

One other thing mamas to young kiddos…I know you’re tired, I know your house is probably a little dirty, your hair isn’t washed and you have laundry up to your eyeballs…but right this minute, go sit and snuggle your babies because I promise you, you are going to blink and they’ll be seven.

, Smith’s Hunting Party

It goes by fast.


To see Kensington’s parties from years past, here you go…
Kensington’s Spa Party
To see Ashby’s birthdays from years past, here you go…
To see Madeley’s first birthday with us, here you go…
, Smith’s Hunting Party
And if you link up with our What’s UP Wednesday, this week’s bonus question is a fun one!  This week, we want you to tell us which Bachelor is your favorite from year’s past.  Randomly over the weekend in Utah, we were behind Andrew Firestone in the security line at the airport.  Is he mine?!?!  Or maybe Bob?  Or Jason?  Or Ben?  I mean…maybe it’s that Sean Lowe guy???  Any way, that’s our bonus question this week.  Link up on Wednesday!
, Smith’s Hunting Party
  • Leslie Z. January 23, 2017 at 4:43 am

    How great that he came up with that theme all on his own! Those birthday signs get me every time. They’re SO GOOD!

  • Shauna January 23, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Birthday wall?!? Can you please share a photo and explain where in your house you have this wall. It sounds like such a great idea!!!

  • Samantha January 23, 2017 at 4:55 am

    This was maybe the sweetest birthday party I have ever seen because it was totally about him! Way to go mama. I have no doubt he went to bed feeling so loved and celebrated. You are a few years ahead of me in parenting, so I am taking notes.

  • Katie January 23, 2017 at 4:56 am

    So sweet! My son will be 7 in a few weeks. He is requesting laser tag with some friends, so we are doing that! It does go by soooo fast! Happy Birthday to Smith!

  • Megan January 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

    “I just want to take my friends to Cabela’s and walk around and then eat BBQ after like guys do”. Best quote ever!

  • Erika Slaughter January 23, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Those girls out did themselves with the sign and cupcakes. It kind of makes me want to throw myself a camo party in August! Both of my boys had a blast at Smith’s party! You Shull’s know how to party!

  • Sheaffer Sims January 23, 2017 at 5:12 am

    This looks like the perfect party! I’ll be showing Carter this post and crossing my fingers it looks like the perfect 9th birthday for him. 🙂 20 kids with laser tag guns last year maybe wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. Ha!

  • Holly Hopkins January 23, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Love this idea so sweet that he wanted a manly party I love it! My Son’s birthday is the end of October and this theme would be perfect!
    Side note: I was reading your blog before I went to sleep last night and had a dream that my family came to your house Supper I dont know what you made but there was bundt cake for dessert. Our kids played and you gave them all big lego sets after supper. Haha…don’t worry we live in Rothesay, NB Canada!!! So you dont have to worry about us showing up for supper, lol.

  • Amy Heinl January 23, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Looka like great fun and I agree that its super easy once they can decide. I remember when he was turning 13 he wanted to go to a paintball outdoor park. His bierhday is late Oct and it was cold and rainy. They ran and played for 2 hrs and had a blast. They were covered head to toe in mud. I stayed warm and dry by the fireplace in our pavillion. Thwy had pizza there when they done . Easy peasy and we had smores instead of cake afterwards

  • Lesley McFarland January 23, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Oh my goodness with all the Yes’. Mommas the days are sooooooo long but the Years are sooooo short.
    And with the parties…love to plan a good kid party but for some reason when they have their own take on it it just seems better…..and way less exhausting.

  • Narci January 23, 2017 at 6:13 am

    What a perfect birthday! Also, those cupcakes are so cute!!! Emily is the best!!!!

  • Alicia January 23, 2017 at 6:28 am

    Needed those extra words of encouragement today! My 4.5 month old was up three times last night so this momma is exhausted and does in fact have laundry up to my eyeballs. But I just went downstairs to check on her and she and my husband are passed out on the couch together. Be still my heart.

    Smith’s party looks perfect!

  • Christy January 23, 2017 at 6:30 am

    High school flashes in seconds and before you know it you have 2 boys/men in college?
    enjoy every age and minute of everything. Cherish the memories… don’t look back missing those days because each stage is its own fun!!!
    But somehow I’m Still 35? (My favorite age)
    Love your blog and cookbooks?

  • Loren January 23, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I think this b-day sign is one of the BEST yet! What a great idea for a party. I think it all turned out wonderful. Happy Birthday Smith! 🙂

  • Kelly January 23, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Sleeping in your bed looks like he might have taken over the bed. Lol
    What an AWESOME idea for a birthday party and what boy doesn’t LOVE Cabelas? Such an easy, great idea! And Amy outdid herself on that birthday sign ! It’s incredibly cool !
    Samuel looks like Catherine in these pics. What an all-around cute family you have 🙂

  • HW January 23, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Best birthday rhyme…fellas to Cabella’s.

  • heidi January 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

    The cupcakes and birthday board are out of this world good!
    It’s so true.. I had 3 babies in 4 years. I never thought I’d get through it.. now I hsve a teenager and somedays I don’t think I can get through it # hormones but I know in a blink of an eye she will be of to college with the other 2 right behind her.

  • Amanda Wilson January 23, 2017 at 7:36 am

    The post I have been waiting for!! I love birthdays!! Thanks for sharing. My baby of 5 turned 3 on January 18…. Time flies when you are having fun!

  • Casey January 23, 2017 at 7:39 am

    So cute!!! Can I ask where his camo jacket is from? My guy would love that! He just turned 9 this past Saturday and you are so right…it goes by sooooo fast!!!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 23, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      It’s from Gymboree!

      • Casey January 24, 2017 at 7:43 am

        Awww thanks! My guy has outgrown Gymboree, miss that sweet store!

  • Carly January 23, 2017 at 7:43 am

    When I was in college, I worked with a youth group. The youth minister’s wife one year had a “Jump!” Party for her daughter and a “pink and purple” party the next. She said, “I ask them what they want and then plan around it.” And I thought it was such a simple thing, but just perfect and I have followed that method from year 2 on, and have loved it every time! We have never repeated a theme in the 11 years of parties, but my party planning heart loves it! Looks like Smith’s was just perfect and just him!

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life January 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I love that Smith thought of and created his own birthday party idea! I love all the planning too but it is nice when they can say what they want!

  • Laci January 23, 2017 at 7:54 am

    That sign is fabulous! What a sweet and easy birthday boy!

  • Megan Butler January 23, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Love his manly hunting party. No fuss and simple. Smart man!!!

  • Paula January 23, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Probably one of or the top favorite birthday sign to date! I love this theme! I love how simple & fun!

  • Keisha M Dawson January 23, 2017 at 8:22 am

    What a fabulous, low key birthday! I love it!

  • Danielle January 23, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I love the party! The cupcakes-how adorable! You are so so right, it goes by so fast! I just had a little girl on 1/13 and I look at my two year old son now and I think where did the time go- and how did he get so big! Your post reminds me to savor all these moments, even the many sleepless nights ahead!

  • Angela Ellingson January 23, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Such a great birthday party! I’m sure the boys had the best time! Going somewhere for the party eliminates the need for decorations (which I actually love, but are the most time consuming part of my party prep). I just snuggled my littlest (9 months) and gave her about 3 dozen kisses. My “bigs” are four and six. It’s definitely going too fast!

  • Rachel January 23, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Happy Birthday Smith!

    Too cool! I love following your family and your advice is always so welcome. We celebrated my little girls 9th birthday this weekend. Her first desire was to go camping at the beach (we live in south Alabama), but the weather was not our friend this past weekend. So her next desire was pedicures with Momma AND Daddy, lunch and a shopping trip at Claire’s! It was a great day and I’m so glad that we could spend the day with her without the stress of planning and executing a big party.

    Also, I knew as soon as I seen the red and white checked tablecloth that y’all were at Rudy’s! We love us some Rudy’s! We lived in San Antonio for 3 years and miss it!

  • Nicola January 23, 2017 at 9:20 am

    What an easy party!….and probably one he will remember forever. I used to be a Pinterest party planner but as my kids grow bigger (and our family too), I am starting to get over that. Happy Birthday Smith!

  • Darcy January 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Happy birthday Smith! And I love, love, love his party theme. (We’re all about an easy party – and that was a great one!) I bet those boys had fun!

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog January 23, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Looks sooo fun and those cupcakes are just plain WOW!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Nicole F January 23, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I love how sweet your family is to attend this camo party on a Wednesday afternoon 🙂 This is my kind of party! Easy peasy.

  • Melissa January 23, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I love all of this (especially those darling cupcakes)! And you are right…it’s so much fun to see what they come up with and what they want to do. I’m all about kid-centered birthday celebrations. Good job, mama!

  • Kendra January 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Where is smiths camp coat from? My son would love it!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm


  • Kendra January 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I mean camo 🙂

  • Kelly January 23, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Don’t you love boys!?! They are so uncomplicated:). Those cupcakes and that sign are so great, I really need to find someone around our area who can do that.

  • Erica @ Whimsical September January 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I literally pulled my three year old closer to me to snuggle when I read your second to last paragraph. Thanks for the reminder. <3

  • Ann Marie January 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

    OHHH how cute! Good gosh- the CUTEST party idea EVER! Way to go, Smith.

  • Meg January 23, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Your friend’s signs are so darling…crossing my fingers that she one day will open an Etsy shop 😉

  • Amy January 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Happy 7th birthday to Mr. Smith! I’m so glad he had a wonderful time celebrating with his family & friends!

  • Heather January 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    What a fun birthday party!! My boys just turned 11 & 8… goes by too fast! I’m trying to soak up every minute with them. I have your sausage & lentil chili down to make on Thurs. Random question – do you count calories, or just watch your portions? You are so tiny and fit! Have a blessed week!!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      You know…I just enjoy real food in moderation. To me, that’s the key. I also think genetics are part of it too :).

  • Bernadine January 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I think we need an update on that wall…. please ?

  • Courtney January 23, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Your comments today reminded me of The Magolia Story. JoJo talks about a similar thing, not stressing over those little party favors or worrying about things being perfect. Great advice, I will be putting this in my back pocket for the future.
    By the way, love Smith’s party idea! 🙂


  • Caitlin January 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Happy Birthday Smith !! Side that Hard 8 BBQ?? I love it there!! Looks like a super easy birthday party that I can throw my husband this year 🙂

  • Bethany January 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the comment at the end of your post about snuggling babies. Because of it I’m going to hold my 13 month old (3rd baby) till she wakes up from her nap even though I have tons of stuff I should be doing.

  • Elaine Welte January 23, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    The cupcakes are adorable!

  • Heather Newman January 23, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    So FUN!!! Happy Birthday Smith!! I blinked and my oldest is 16!!! Oh, how fast the times goes by! Enjoy your littles!!

  • Denice January 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Sounds just like what my husband would like to do for his birthday! We love Cabela’s and Rudy’s, too!

  • Sasha January 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    This post really touched my heart. My “baby” boy us now 27, and recently moved 1,500 miles away to work at his dream job…. at Cabela’s! I guess they never grow out of that place! Enjoy your babies. You blink and they are grown!

  • Kylie January 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    SO cute! Love this idea! And that last line you wrote about mamas with young kiddos…it actually made me tear up, because I am in that world right now! I have a 2 year old and a 4 week old and you described the scene perfectly…a little tired, messy house, lots of laundry, but lots and lots of love and snuggles 🙂 I can’t even imagine my sweet boy at 7, but I know it goes so fast! Love your blog 🙂

  • Stacy Ambrose January 23, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Blink again and he will be 21! You get to plan their parties again at that age….kinda! Enjoy your posts and also the pictures of baby Samuel as he looks like my 21 year old son before I blinked! I love the big planters on your porch? Would you mind telling where I could purchase those?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 24, 2017 at 5:01 am

      I bought them at Jackson’s Home & Garden in Dallas 🙂 .

  • Jeanie January 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    What a simple and fun time for Smith on his birthday! That Samuel is a little doll. That chin! And you look like LeAnn Rhimes in Smith’s baby picture.

  • Maria D. January 23, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Happy Birthday to Smith! Time really flies as your kids grow up – looks like it was a really fun party and it did look super easy! The nice thing about parties is that they do get easier – at least for boys.

  • Allie Zusan January 23, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    I couldn’t help but laugh at his 7 year old logic! Such an old soul that sweet Smith has. What a fun idea. Smart kid!

  • Olivia January 23, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    How fun that he picked his own theme!! I just have to say.. I am a teacher and one of my students this year is the granddaughter of Mr. Cabela of the store Cabela’s. What a fun connection!

    Also, thank you for all of your posts. I enjoy reading and hearing about all of your family’s fun adventures.

  • Becky Carl January 23, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    What a fun original birthday party! Smith is a smart little guy and I know those buddies will be talking about what a cool birthday party! Your family is so sweet and special, so are you!

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams January 24, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Love Smith’s party idea! Your kids always come up with something so unique and fun 🙂
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams 

  • Jenny January 24, 2017 at 10:09 am

    You guys always have the sweetest parties. Love it!

  • Aubrey January 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Happy happy birthday, Smith! Seven is such a great age!

  • amy January 24, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I know a soon to be 16 year who would LOVE this kind of party! Literally sounds exactly like something that would come out of his mouth and when you had the browning head on the cupcakes I copied the link to this post and sent it to my husband. Cabela’s, Rudy’s, and camo. totally his love language too. Needless to say our baseball playing boy will be getting a truck in March and I am sure he will have some sort of hunting logo on the back windshield. Hold on mom, it goes so fast.

  • hannah January 25, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Why are you redoing floors? Didn’t you just move into a house you custom built?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 25, 2017 at 4:49 am

      We picked the wrong carpet for our master and closet…it did not wear well. Ugh.

  • Leigh January 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I’m holding my 3 month old as I read this, and teared up reading that last bit. He’s already changing and growing so fast!