Those whole post can be summed up in 6 words: Don't Have It At Your House.
This is the first party we've had for one of our kids that has not been at our home. It cost me less money. I had (almost) no stress (keep reading). I didn't have to clean my house or entertain 15 four year olds. I spent time this weekend playing with my daughters instead of yelling at them while I struggled to get ready for the party. I spent the birthday party watching my daughter and her friends enjoy themselves and not painting or serving food. I can't think of one single downside.
That said, I don't regret having her first three parties at my house. I enjoyed thinking about the crafts we'd do and making fun invitations and themed goody bags. I am looking forward to doing the same for her sister.
Oh - and that little bit of stress I hinted at earlier would not have been avoided if the party at been at our house. This morning my darling daughter woke up and told me today was her birthday party and that it was going to be a "fancy dress up pirate party". Well, she had not mentioned that before so it wasn't a "fancy dress up pirate party" and when I told her that her eyes filled up with tears. She didn't have a tantrum that I could easily say no to. She was simply sad. So, her grandmother picked up some pirate paper goods and we added a "fancy dress up pirate" element to her party.
The Mote's actual birthday isn't until April 21 - so be prepared for some reflections, birth stories etc. in the coming days.