Bar Mitzvah: A Year Later + Excuse To Eat Cake


I can’t tell you how many separate drafts I started for today’s post. The fact that the Bar Mitzvah was a year ago now had me feeling all sorts of nostalgic emotions leading up to this past weekend and I didn’t really know how to address it.

bar mitzvah

^From the Friday night Shabbat/Bar Mitzvah services.

On one hand I just can’t believe how the year has flown by and on the other, I can’t help but reflect on the details of the party including the major emotions that were brought up that night.

bar mitzvah

^I absolutely put my pretty dress on over the weekend. Glitter heels for life!

I cannot recall one word or section from the speech that I gave about my little boy. I am in a total block which is so unlike me. I can tell you word for word the posts I have written not only for my blog since 2013 but AllSeated’s blog too.  But my speech? Not a clue.

So as this weekend hit, I was like OKAY, we are now a year out from the Bar Mitzvah weekend. A party that I completely paid for in full with no debt to my name. A party that had a few decor items go wrong (which I still think about way more than I should even though I know nothing ever happens 100% according to plan) and serious divorce related situations that I had to face and swore I would never fully recover from in my life.

bar mitzvah

^This is the welcome board that the decor company forgot to put out at the start of the party. They also forgot to display the sign in board! Both boards ended up being set up super late and this one was positioned by the water bottles that were given out at the end of the night. I won’t even discuss that they messed up the sizing of the giant canvas photos or that one of them looked wrinkled in their placement. Or that we noticed the props missing from the photo booth. This is one part Mitzvah mom craziness and one part working in the event industry that still has me focused on these issues!

But see, over the past year, I did recover. In fact, what sticks with me now most of all from the Bar Mitzvah are the hysterical, fun moments from the party rather than the drama I described in the post, My Story To Tell. 

bar mitzvah

^The three of us are still laughing our way through life. You have no idea. Even yesterday, Meghan and I somehow got through Target without wetting our pants while laughing. We shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

That’s me though. Always one to remember to good over the bad, the funny over the difficult. Life is too short to focus on anything negative, not to mention, negativity is unproductive and quite the downer. It’s pretty crazy sometimes for me to look back to see I am a much stronger person for what I went through during my divorce and even for what I went through at the Bar Mitzvah.

I will forever be the type of person who is grateful for the little things too. Like the sweatshirts we gave out as party favors. I don’t even care how much I paid for them at this point, they were worth every penny because every time I wear it, I am so proud.

I am so proud of my son for his years of dedication to Hebrew school and his amazing ability to read from the Torah AND proud of myself for putting together such an affair and pulling it off. My divorce was not easy, planning/hosting a Bar Mitzvah under my set of divorced conditions was not exactly simple either. But I did it and lived to tell about it. The sweatshirt washes really well too! The orange on the sleeve never fades and it doesn’t shrink!

bar mitzvah sweatshirt

Some of the Bar Mitzvah decor still lays around the house and I have no intentions to putting it away. The candy table sign is still in my kitchen.

candy table

The giant 3D version of the logo sits in my parents house. I wonder what they plan on doing with it.

bar mitzvah logo

If you are interested, here’s the link to the Bar Mitzvah spotlight featured on AllSeated which discusses the more technical side of the planning process.

bar mitzvah

I don’t think I ever mentioned that Heather not only came up from Florida for the Bar Mitzvah to keep me sane but provided the linens from her company, Atlas Event Rental. She helped me throughout the planning process and worked with my decor company (and with my friend Dina, who is an event planner aside from being one of my closest friends) to coordinate the linens and pillows for the lounge along with my color scheme and decor items.

bar mitzvah

I never in a million years thought Heather and I would work in the same industry but we do and it’s so funny to me! This photo doubles as an event industry photo because Heather, Tiffany, Dina and I are personal friends AND industry colleagues too. Life is so funny like that!

bar mitzvah

So the plan for this weekend was to watch the Bar Mitzvah video and eat cake. I celebrate everything I can with cake, you know that by now. Life is too short not to celebrate with cake!

chocolate cake

So I picked up a chocolate layer cake (chocolate fudge frosting, vanilla cake with a layer of chocolate buttercream and a layer of chocolate fudge) from the bakery and watched the Bar Mitzvah video.

My son doesn’t love to watch it but I have gotten better at allowing myself to enjoy it.

bar mitzvah video

I can see in my face at times during the video that the drama and emotions were trying to take over and at first, that was hard to watch. It wasn’t easy for me to relive the night via video but over time now, the wonderful parts from the party and seeing all of the kids have fun is what sticks out most.

bar mitzvah

This is who really matters anyway. Sometimes in the planning of a Bar Mitzvah party, you get lost in the details and outside noise rather than focus on what the celebration is really about.

bar mitzvah candle lighting

^I was really happy with how the candle lighting display came out! And I am so glad that I added those giant fans to the stage you see in the background. They were a last-minute addition and totally worth it.

To be honest, the only part of the video I have yet to watch is the service. It’s a shame because my son took over his service like no Bar Mitzvah boy ever has (even the Rabbi said it) but I can’t watch it yet. I think the service was the hardest part for me (which I mentioned in the My Story To Tell post) and I’m just not ready and may never be ready to look at myself during that part of the night. This is probably why I can’t remember my speech, I’m blocking that portion of the party out!

The Bar Mitzvah: A Year Later #barmitzvah #events #eventplanning #divorce Click To Tweet

3 things you did over the weekend? Best thing you ate?

How do you like to celebrate anniversaries? Anyone else use it as an excuse to eat cake?


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  1. says

    A night we will never forget! You did such an amazing job planning it and no one but you will ever know about the details that went wrong! At the end the laughs are what we will always remember plus a few other details that we probably shouldn’t share.

  2. says

    Your honesty right to the bone, love of life, love of family, your friends, your ability to handle the down turns and pop back up into the positive is a major life strength. I found that strength also many years ago because life’s journey can be awesome, magnificent, excellerating, but it can also be at times and hard to imagine how we will get through the next minute soooooo with positivness and a strong sense of self and a love for life and our loved ones we plug on with heart and leave the in a pile on top of those who dumped it on us. They eventually suffer in their own misery because what they do once they recreate in other situations and relationships throughout their life. I told you once before we are all a pretty package on the outside, but take winded and clean other people’s windows and you will find the same . Life’s beautiful and ugly and like you I choose to analyze, some times spend an hour feeling heart wrung, and then move on into the sunlight. Life’s to short not to suck it up with a big ❤️

  3. says

    I love that you are a person who remembers the good and also cherished the little things (those sweatshirts rock). I could already tell that from your writing voice, if that makes sense, that you have a good spirit to you.

    Okay, enough sappiness. What I really want to say is that the cake looks delicious and I wish I had done for breakfast right now.
    Jamie@TheMomGene recently posted…The Hallelujah MomentsMy Profile

  4. says

    I can’t believe the Bar Mitzvah was a full year ago! I love how you poured your love for Benji into this event. I’m a sap for anniversaries – we don’t always celebrate with cake, but we celebrate the anniversaries of when we got our dogs, when we got married, when we got engaged, everything like that. Like you said, life is too short not to celebrate!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…CIM Training Week 9My Profile

  5. says

    Whew, that sounds like a beautiful, emotional, hard, wonderful day.

    I ran a 1/2 marathon this weekend! This was my 1/2 PR course (minus a downhill course that I don’t really count) at 1:40 and I went into it super worried about my stomach and possibly having to stop for restroom use, but nope. It went awesome and I came in 1st for my age group and 4th overall female at 1:39! Whew, such a great feeling 🙂 I definitely celebrated with some cake! It was a chocolate and champagne scrap cake. It’s the best! Our local cake shop cuts off and uses the scraps from their cakes and throws them into a cup and sells them for like $2! So good!
    Marissa @ Run Riss Run recently posted…Race Day PlansMy Profile

  6. says

    Im so glad you are able to remember the good parts of the night and Im sure the stress was well worth it. Isn’t it crazy how fast a year can go but at the same time how much our perception of things can change during that time? Hope you enjoyed your cake this weekend!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Do As I Say, Not As I DoMy Profile