I always vowed I would NEVER have a BIG first birthday party for my kids. I mean, the kid has no idea what is going on and all the adults feel pressure to attend and bring gifts for a kid who doesn’t have a clue.
Aren’t these parties about the parents showing off their kid and their mad party-throwing skills? (kind of like bow hunting skills and computer hacking skills…couldn’t resist the Napoleon Dynamite reference).
I was sticking to my guns on this issue until I read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Kelle Hampton. If you only ever add one more blog to your repertoire, I would suggest Kelle’s blog. It’s full of gorgeous pictures and poetic stanzas about the simple moments we find ourselves in everyday.
Kelle blogged about her daughter Lainey’s recent birthday and after reading that post, I knew I wanted to have a first birthday party for Grace, despite all of my previous objections.
I thought there was a whole paragraph about the importance of celebrating life, but as I scoured Kelle’s birthday party post, I couldn’t find the earth shattering passage I thought I remembered reading. I think there was just one simple line that did it for me: “And in the end, a four-year-old girl who felt loved and celebrated.“
Andy and I are so in love with our sweet Grace Ellen and she brings us an inordinate amount of joy. How could we not celebrate her first birthday?
If you took a moment to hop over to Kelle’s blog, you’ll see that she pulled out all the stops for her cowgirl-themed party. I wasn’t up for the daunting task of throwing that kind of super-party, but I had a moment of inspiration that a ladybug-themed party would be fun, so that’s what I went with.
What started out as just a small party ended up including nearly all of our extended family. I’m so glad people were able to make it despite the fact it was a holiday weekend.
The planning and preparation wasn’t overwhelming, but rather a fun way to blow off some creative steam.
Check out some of the details:
Polka dot cupcake wrappers
Chocolate cupcakes…using a pastry bag made filling them so much neater!
Decorated with “grass” icing and hand-made gum paste ladybugs. Thanks for helping me make all these critters Andy :)
On display :)
Simple yellow cake for the birthday girl. (Notice the OXO cake tester. I’ve always mocked those things because why on EARTH would you need a gadget for this when you could use a toothpick?! My wonderful friend Marie knew this about me and bought me the OXO cake tester…now I feel like I have to use it because I have it. Thanks Marie!)
I frosted the “smash cake” with homemade whipped cream instead of frosting so that my girl wouldn’t get sugar-shocked.
The smash cake “before” photo.
6 foot party sub from Bommarito’s…yum! I didn’t get a picture of the beautiful fruit salad or big basket of assorted chips. It all made for a fun, summery lunch.
A “year in review” photo display.
With leaf and ladybug pins :)
Dressed for the theme…her buttons are little ladybugs :)
Cousin’s and an uncle enjoying the fine weather and snacks.
Digging into her cake!
Here’s a clip of the cake eating “ceremony.”
Don’t worry…we got the ladybug out, and Grace survived the ordeal!
What a mess!
a day forever :)
All in all it was a wonderful celebration of the most precious gift we’ve ever received. I’m really glad I had a change of heart about the party…it was a memory we will treasure forever.