ONE little MOMMA: Experiences vs. Things

Experiences vs. Things

As a style blogger, I definitely appreciate 'things'. I love clothes, shoes and accessories as much or more than the next girl. But I've come to really appreciate experiences much more than things- especially when it comes to my kids. 

When my boys were smaller and had birthdays, I tried doing the fancy, decorated and themed parties. And although it made for cute pictures- it stressed me out and left me feeling 'meh' afterwards. Last year I decided to instead ask my kids what they would like to go and do for their birthday rather than what theme they wanted and who they wanted to invite. Easton chose to go rock climbing as a family last year and Kesler chose to go to the Renaissance Festival. And we had the best time! We all still remember the occasion- much more than whatever gifts they received. We still have a cake and a little themed party with my family, but nothing over the top or difficult.  It does take a little more planning to go out and do something, and sometimes it costs more, but it ends up being a win for all of us. 

This week our hometown team the Royals are playing in the World Series. We've been watching them all season and when we found out they were really going to be advancing to the World Series- we decided to bite the bullet and buy tickets to Game 1. At first I though I might go with Soren, but after about 10 seconds of that, I realized that I was and am in no condition to sit/stand at a baseball game for hours. Even if it is the World Series! We decided Soren would take Easton and that was such a good decision. Easton was so excited to go and they had the best time. The game was a nail biter! It was so eventful that the game went into extra innings and they didn't get home until after 2 am.

It hurt a little seeing the price tag on those tickets when we bought them, but that was all made up when they texted me this photo from the game. 

Pure joy right?!? They got to do something together that they will always remember and that is just priceless. This definitely confirmed to me how much I want to continue to look for opportunities to choose experiences rather than things. 

Have you found this to be true in your life too? What experiences have you chosen- for yourself or your family?


  1. I love this post. I as a mom am starting to not enjoy all the toys that my kids have and leave out everywhere. I am really wishing I could sit the grandparents down and say no more stuff. Experiences or put it in their bank accounts for college.
    I also learned a few years ago that experiences are all you have. My little brother passed away at 16 in a sudden accident. We were all shocked, never thought anything like that would happen to us. And yet it did. Since then we, my hubby and I, made more of an effort of putting together experiences with our kids as we could. We went camping 6 different times in one month this summer. And those are the things my kids talk about now. And where we might go next summer. I want them to remember time with family as being fun. And that when you don't have a loved one with you, you always have the memories.

  2. Love this post, and you are totally right.
    I am trying to do it also since couple of years with my Family:
    2 years ago I 've paid my parents a Wellness week-end as a Christmas present (they just LOVED it, and came back as new ), and for my brother a coupon for a game with 5 others friends (they had also an amazing time).

    When they asked me what I want for my birthday, I told : “You know me quite well, buy me a book which you think would help me to develop further in my personality”. I didn’t say anything else… It took time for them, but they bought me like 3 books from a fantastic Hungarian writer, and it really worked.
    OK, I know the books are “things”, but I really feel these books helped me a lot in my personal journey.
    This year we’ll go to the theater to celebrate ! 

  3. I just started reading your blog and I love this post. I have 5 kids and the toys and things were just getting to be to much so last year we decided for Christmas we would do more experience type gifts. My girls and I went a musical together and spent an entire weekend just the girls. No pesky brothers! The boys got to spend the weekend with Dad and although they didn't go anywhere thought it was great also. This year we are suprising them with a family ski trip. So they havesomething to unwrap in Christmas they will all get new gloves and whatever else they might need for skiing. I think they will remember those times for the rest of their lives but I know they can't remember what toys they have received.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this post! I've been feeling the guilt of not planning a party for my oldest in a couple weeks. Reading this made me realize that the memories he'll make doing something really special that HE chooses with our family is plenty and far outweighs the couple of hours of chaos/mania with all of his friends/classmates.

  5. This is such a great post! Wise words from a mom in labor. We roo have done the elaborate big parties and have been trying to do more memories than things. Christmas is another time I think needs to be experiences not just things they get. You are good parents! Keep up the good work! And enjoy snuggling that sweet new baby.

  6. Love, love this post. I've been meaning to blog about this as well. When Gavin and Sophia turned 1 & 2 I felt like I made their birthdays into such big productions that definitely left me burned out and tired! I just remember feeling like that wasn't normal. We now do something very similar to what you do. With Sophia sonce her birthday is in October, we have made it a family tradition to go to the pumpkin patch on her birthday. Experiences are for sure much more meaningful then gifts. Although I can't help that my love language is gift-giving and it kind of warms my heart to see them opening up those gifts too. But a balance is definitely needed to not feel burnt out on something especially birthday parties! Congratulations on your new baby boy by the way he is so handsome!


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