So I realize that it is almost August, and Jude's first birthday party was in April, but it's better late than never so I figured I would get this post up regardless, even if it's only me reading it, so it has a place on the world wide web to refer back to when I become emotional and nostalgic about his first party.
April is a hit or miss kind of month around Michigan. Some years it's hot, some years it snows, and some years it rains. I was so anxious for warmer weather (how do moms keep their kids entertained in the winter?) and although I knew I was being risky, I figured it was a good decision to plan an outdoor party. I timed it so it would be in the middle of the month in hopes that the 'May flowers' would be starting instead of the 'April showers'. The theme was 'garden' themed in an effort to have it feel like Spring. I envisioned BBQ, hotdogs & hamburgers on the grill, outdoor yard games, and a great Spring themed playlist.
I made a bad decision.
The day of his party was an absolute downpour. The entire time. It didn't even let up enough to try and get a picture of us outside. The 'garden' themed party I had envisioned turned quickly into a 'greenhouse' themed party from the comfort of the great indoors.
Despite all of this, my son was turning one and he will never remember it or care. The absolute best thing was having 50 of our best friends and family celebrate our greatest joy. Everyone showed up, despite the rain, and came to celebrate our sweet Jude.
Here are some photos of the day and some of the projects we tackled to make it special.
We ordered both the 'big' cake and the smash cake from a local bakery (succulents and greenery courtesy of Home Depot!).
To say Jude loved the smash cake is an understatement. It was the talk of the party of if he would love it or cry hysterically. We all had our bets on cry hysterically (he doesn't do well when he's the center of attention) but he surprised us all and was the poster boy for smash cakes.
We ordered Jude's crown from this shop and we DIY'd a lot of things as well.
The rings were made out of embroidery hoops bought on Amazon and faux greenery from Joann Fabrics. I just used jute rope to affix the greenery to the hoops and fishing line to hang them from the windows.
I made his monthly photo board from an idea I got off Pinterest (from this blog). I used a sheet of scrap plywood from the local hardware store and left it natural. I ordered his monthly photos from Parabo Press (they run deals all the time to get 25 free prints and you just pay for shipping!). I used the leftover greenery from the embroidery hoops and strung it to a wooden dowel. It was so great to see all of his monthly photos in one place and our guests really enjoyed seeing how much he's grown!
We also did a balloon arch that was seriously pointless. The plan was for it to be outside above the garage as a photo backdrop and I was so dead set on it I had to just put it up even though it was raining. Also, major props to my Mom who realized you can use an air mattress pump to blow up balloons. That made this project take all of 30 minutes instead of 3 hours! If you're wondering on how earth people make these things, go to Party City... by a ton of balloons, and buy the balloon arch tape. There are little holes throughout the 'tape' that you can stick the tied ends of the balloons in and it stays put! Easy Peezy.
We made 'dirt cups' to go with the garden themed using this recipe. They were a BIG hit. We had a local restaurant cater lunch (hello Mac & Cheese bar!)
My husband deserves a gold medal for this one, because he turned a half-finished project that he was planning on turning into an outdoor bar into the most amazing lemonade stand that we will be able to use for years to come. He spent so much time on perfecting it and it turned out amazing! Unfortunately because of all the rain, we didn't end up using it for the party, but luckily my younger sister had a graduation party a few months later and we were able to debut it there.
Although going all out for my sons first birthday may make me #basic, I am so glad I did. Despite the weather, the stress, and the fact he won't remember a moment of it, his first year was 100% worth celebrating and so will his second (maybe with just a cupcake next time!) So tell me moms, did you go all out for your kids first birthday? Would you do it again?