The Big O-N-E
It happened. Our sweet little girl turned one. We officially no longer have a baby in our house. We have entered toddlerhood, or kneewalkerhood since this little babe is refusing to walk on her feet. As with all of our kids, we had a party to celebrate this big O-N-E. While prepping for the party, I reminisced about the previous first birthdays in our house and boy, have we relaxed and changed along the way.
With our first child, I was fresh from my stint in the hospitality industry as an Event Manager. My party planning skills were on point. The firstborn loved giraffes so that had to be the theme. We had a giraffe cake, giraffe cookies, and every child received a giraffe hand puppet book as a party favor. Our family and friends enjoyed a meal among inflatable giraffes. My mom and I scoured the internet for the perfect first birthday shirt and bow, which she also had professional pictures taken in. It was quite the affair.
A few years later, our little guy arrived and we celebrated at my parents’ church. We decorated the gym with lots of construction vehicles, had a bulldozer photo cut out to pose in, and even had a family friend cater a meal. Smash cakes were just becoming popular, so of course we had two cakes. Each kid donned a construction belt and hat. Big sis even talked me into pink construction hats for the girls. Our little man and his crew partied hard!
Then, a decade passed and things changed. I quit hiring professionals to make personalized party invitations. Goodie bags and party favors slowly disappeared. Text messages to friends and parties at our neighborhood gymnastics center became the norm. Birthdays were still a big deal in our family, just less of a production. But… we were having another first birthday. Another chance to celebrate the first year of our sweet baby’s life. I have to be honest with you- I jumped on Pinterest and started down the “Girl’s First Birthday Rabbit Hole”. I was quickly consumed with themes, color schemes, and smash cakes. It was overwhelming. Our life is so chaotic, I tend to crave simplicity these days. So, I took a step back. Jared and I discussed it, and we decided to go with a small celebration at home. We sent a text to our family, threw some soups in the crock pot and called it a day. I made a little smash cake and let our oldest daughter make the cupcakes for everyone else. Our decorations were bought secondhand from a friend whose sweet girl turned one a few months prior. We squeezed everyone in our kitchen, living room, and dining room and I’m pretty sure this third baby had just as much fun as her older sibling on her first birthday.
We will be celebrating another birthday later this week. Invites have not gone out, presents will hopefully arrive in time, and I’m going to attempt to make another cake on my own. However, I have learned that it’s the little things my kids remember the most. They typically look forward to our tradition of waking up to a poster board or construction paper sign on the morning of your birthday or being able to pick out dinner that night way more than they remember that I melted crayons down into the letters that spelled every guest name. (For real, I did that. It took like 7 days. That was stupid. )
So, I guess what I am saying is soak in the simple. Focus on the time and the people you have gathered together. Save your sanity instead of losing it over party details. Believe me, if you are a busy, tired Mama like me, you need every ounce of sanity you have left these days!