I had great intentions for Jake’s first birthday: a handful family members, a smash cake, and a camera. Low maintenance yet memorable. Uncomplicated.
But these things have a way of snowballing right under you. For some reason, I didn’t really think anyone besides my family would be interested in coming, until my best friend mentioned she really wanted to be there. So then my brain scampered off down a rabbit trail of inner conundrums and self-imposed stress about party throwing options – would other friends want to come? Where would I cut off the guest list? Do I have enough room in my home? What about friends with kids, what activities would I have for them? What should the theme be? Wouldn’t it be even more memorable with a cute theme and homemade decorations?
And then, even knowing it was a dangerous move, I let the lover-of-all-things-creative in me answer the siren call of Pinterest’s procession of party planning goodness. There was no reigning me in at that point. “Low maintenance” was officially tossed out the door.
In the end I did decide it was best to leave the guest list really small: a handful of family members, my best friend, and one of Jake’s baby friends who is the daughter of my friend/co-worker. This was a good move on my part because my normally very social baby boy seemed a little scared at first by the amount of people there focused on him.
And now, some Pinspired projects:
I made the birthday banner on the wall using scrapbook paper and ribbon themed with owls, trees, and fall leaves. I’d decided the party theme would be autumn/owl/woodland. It’s inspired by a few different ones I found on Pinterest.
Autumn-themed food descriptor set in a pine cone. Delicious pumpkin hummus recipe. We also had “twigs and berries” (pretzel sticks were the twigs) and s’mores that we made on an outdoor portable fire pit.
I had 13 balloons, each for months 0 – (almost) 12 of Jake’s life, with a photo of him during that time tied to the end and a leaf-shaped label. I saw this done on Pinterest for someone’s wedding anniversary, with each balloon carrying a photo from each year they’d been married.
Owl lantern lights. The idea was mine, but I found the pattern for the owl faces and the idea for using cupcake holders as wings from things I saw on Pinterest.
Owl and fall leaf cupcakes. (From a bakery.)
My little man loved his cake.
It turned out to be a great day for everyone. Though I’d spent many a late night working on my projects, I was happy with how they turned out and I loved making his day special. I will treasure them forever.
What did you do for your child’s first birthday? Did you keep it small and simple or did you throw a big celebration?
Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom to a 12-year-old, and Mom to a 12-month-old.