The sweet little boy in this photo just turned THREE. As milestones usually make me do, I started reminiscing, going back and reading through his first year posts to remind myself of the fleeting nature of each phase. As I did, I noticed that I had never posted all the photos from his first birthday party. So, here we are, two years later, and I’m finally sharing the photos from this sweet celebration.
I feel like a first birthday is as much a celebration for the parents as it is for the little one. We made it! We all survived the first year, still smiling and loving each other. We’ve cried. We’ve learned. We’ve become oh-so-empathetic and non-judgmental to all the parents we’ve seen giving videos, sneaking candy or carrying screaming children in their arms. Only compassion now. And so we wanted a celebration where we invited the family and friends who have supported us and cheered us on, brought meals, and offered helping hands or encouraging words. Sixty of our dear friends showed up to celebrate with us.
The idea for the party theme came loosely from the book The Wonderful Things You Will Be, a book our friend, Kathy, gave us when Theo was born. One of the pages of the book reads,
“I know you’ll be kind…
And the bigger your heart,
The more it will hold.”
I’ve been reading that book to Theo since he was born (still do), and every time I read it, it makes me teary. I took ideas from book and created a few activity tables, mostly for the kiddos at the party, but many adults joined in the fun.
Our friend, Matt, brought his photo backdrop, so our guests could take family pictures, if they wanted to. I created an activity table with a sign that said, “Be silly!” The table included crafts to make glasses or masks, with feathers, markets stickers and other supplies. It also had signs that mimicked the themes from the book. Be kind. Be courageous. Be clever. Be bold. Guests could use the props and signs at the photo backdrop.
Another table held a sign that said, “Be creative!” and encouraged guests to decorate their own sugar cookies. To make it easy on myself, I purchased sugar cookies and icing from a local bakery. I put the icing in squeeze bottles, and then I also bought sprinkles in shaker bottles.
We held the party at the Ciao Thyme Commons owned by our dear friends Jessica and Mataio. We filled the space with balloons from our friend Brittany at Spruce, and Brittany also created all of the signs for the activity tables. I created a photo board of Theo’s first year, filled with all of the people who had visited us and snuggled Theo in that first year. We also ran a slide show in the background, filled with more photos of our first adventures as a family, including our trip to France.
Jessica and Mataio created a beautiful, delicious brunch filled with Theo’s favorite foods–an avocado toast bar and a pancake bar. Avocado toast and pancakes are still two of his favorite foods.
I made Theo’s birthday cake, a healthyish carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and he had way more fun smashing it than eating it. The large cakes for our guests came from the same local bakery as the sugar cookies.
The best part of this day: Theo had a great time. He really seemed to get that it was his birthday and that everyone was there to celebrate him. We all went home feeling happy and filled to the brim with friendship and love.
Photographs by Matthew Land Studios.