Family comes First

Will is officially one!  So break out the balloons, the Will Smith cd and the wrapping paper, and let’s get down with our bad selves!!! 

Okay…maybe that first line was a little over the top.  Put down the curling ribbon and let’s start over.  (breathe Katie breathe).  As some of you may know, this past week held Will’s first birthday.  And we decided that this first birthday would be the perfect excuse to gather friends and family members for a big barnyard themed shindig.  So we sent out invitations to our loved ones to announce the party that would be held at our new (still unpacked and a total messy) home on Saturday afternoon.  And what is better than a party celebrating the little light in our lives?!  Well, two parties of course!  

I know.  We overdid it.  He won’t remember it.  It’s crazy and dramatic and an energy/time/money black hole…but we can’t help it.  Honestly, we both love parties.  We would throw parties for each national holiday if we could….each national holiday for every nation in the world if we could.  And when it comes to our little man, we try to celebrate everything…I mean, we had a party and cake for his half-birthday so it is no surprise that our family birthday party would be something to make a little more memorable than just another cake and ice cream after dinner.  It’s all about the memories, right?!  Even if it just the memories for us old people to cling to as we pluck out our gray hairs.

Long story short, I decided that I wanted to start some family traditions with birthdays…the first being, I want to be able to use a color scheme that I could use for each child (current and any possible future kiddos) and decided on the rainbow.  It’s so universally happy and can apply for any gender that I thought it was the best bet.        

Everybody loves those Martha Stewart tissue paper balls…I just tied a bunch to the chandelier with some balloons and called it a day.  And yes, Will was mesmorized by the colors…either that or he was trying to figure out how to climb up there to get the balloons….it was probably the later.

The centerpiece was a green vase (it was originally from Crate & Barrel…but some random lady gave it to us for free when we bought a table she listed on Craigslist) stuffed with $1 Target pinwheels.  I just stuck some tissue paper down in the center and it held the fun rainbow spinners upright perfectly.  And yes, there were several of us blowing the centerpieces during dinner…some may say this is a child’s type decoration, but I can attest that it amused even a 50 year old. 

The table cloth is actually a piece of fabric that I got at Goodwill.  I sometimes use it as a backdrop for photoshoots (like this old post with a couple sweetie-pies posing on it).  It was a little long, so I cut the end to drape over Will’s highchair…and you can see that I used the little cupcake placemats that I picked up at Pier 1 for some spare change a while back. (you may remember them when I bought them back in this old post!)

Overall, I loved how simple and cheap the entire thing was…all while being totally smile-inducing.

And since we were doing a little pre-partying, we decided that it was also a great time to open a few family presents.

Will was excited…more because he was the center of attention, I think.  He’s such an fame hog :) 

No but seriously, little Mork was happy as a clam with all the hub-bub.

And his big present from us was a WeeRide Kangaroo Child Bike Seat
 (it’s a bike seat for kids that sits between the legs of the cycler…and yes, Matthew McConaghey has one so we had to get it too) and of course, the proper headgear.  Jeremy had been talking about the thing for AGES…and so we cashed in some credit card points for an Amazon giftcard and bought the set up for Will without spending even more money. 

Such a big boy…

He’s just so darn cute.  And the baby is too.

I think the group opinion was…it was perfect.

We may have a little mountain biker in the family…

I’m sure that he’d have to lose the suspenders for the group rides though…I don’t know if the men can handle that much color.

After all the appropriate cheering and screaming ‘WEEE!” as Will & Jeremy went by was over – or the sun set and neighborhood dogs thought we were trying to communicate with them…we went inside to have brownies and ice cream.

He was super timid.  And yes…we know brownies are chocolate…and babies are like dogs and you aren’t supposed to give them the good stuff…but we were saving the icing-fest for the next day.  So caffeine was on the menu.  It didn’t seem to affect him.  Must have been all that coke I drank when I was pregnant…hmm… 

I made Will’s hat last minute…yes, it looks ridiculous.  and yes, I love it. 

Overall, the entire night was really fun…and the fact that my family came to celebrate Will with a small intimate setting was the proverbial icing on my proverbial cake.  I can completely understand why some folks just choose to throw just a little get together…because you really do get to commemorate the child without breaking the bank.  And in my book, family always comes first…so we are ALWAYS going to have a family shindig each year even when we don’t throw a big party.  

Of course, my favorite part of the night was a big first – for me.  I got to continue our family tradition of the Birthday Story.  In our family, the mom always tells the birth story at the birthday dinner.  (no I didn’t tell the 38 chapter version…although the thought crossed my mind).  It was just so special to be able to share the things that I remember about the day we first met Will.  And to sit in a circle and think about what a gift we received, what a year can do, and what a blessing Will is every day is my favorite part.

 And speaking of circles, those big baggy ones under my eyes aren’t there for nothing…the big party was the next day and it was OH-so-fun.  But more on that later… 

p.s.  Did you see what Will’s baby girlfriend got him for his birthday?  Well, it was just the cutest thing ever…totally mountain biking appropriate and yes, we are printing out that first photo and framing it in his room…and that’s where it’ll stay until it makes it’s way into the the big wedding day’s slideshow :)



  1. Austin McCaslin says

    Happy Birthday Will! We had the boys birthday Saturday actually so we were thinking of you guys.

    Question – We got the boys for Christmas a little bike tote thing….its cool in theory, but Noah doesn’t like being back there. What is your bike attachment called/ do you have a link? I’m wondering if that will work better for them.

    Miss you girl. Hopefully see you soon!

    • says

      Hey girl…it was called the WeeRide and the link is in the post…just scroll up. It is nice because the cycler is around the kid…which in my mind makes him like a human shield :)
      xo – kb

      • Austin McCaslin says

        haha yeah….Noah likes to have mom-contact at all times, which is very inconvenient seeing as he is a twin. Hopefully this works….we miss biking, and the tote thing doesn’t work. Are you going to take Will to yellowriver on that? Is it safe enough for that?

        • says

          Technically – yes. Although I told Jeremy that if he fell at all, I would be withholding all sugary items for a month. And you remember when he did Atkins for four days? Yeah. Enough said.
          xo – kb

          • Austin McCaslin says

            Yeah…I wouldn’t even call what you did atkins either.

            I just ordered the seats. I’m sad we aren’t biking together. We would look hilarious.

  2. says

    #1… I’m in LOVE with those rainbow suspenders.
    #2… I love the tradition of stripping the birthday baby down to their skivvies for cake time ;)
    Adorable all around, and what a cute bike seat!

  3. says

    Yes Will will never remember his first birthday but you will never forget it. Your childs first birthday is monumental!!! Good for you that you had a big party! It looked adorable especially the centerpiece!!!

  4. SheilaG says

    Will is such a cutie pie! I’m amazed at how tolerant he seems of hats and straps under the chin- neither of my kids (many moons ago) would wear a hat more than a couple of seconds. I love the birthday hat- not overboard at all! :)

  5. says

    So very cute!! I love the bike seat you got for Will, I’ve never heard of it before – what a great idea! It’s so much better than wondering if your kid has fallen out of the cart that you’re dragging behind you . . . :)

  6. says

    I just wanted to let you know I love the way the family party came out so cute and original, and looks like Will loved the bike seat. Ive been reading along for a while, and I must say I love reading your post on the new house, and love your photography!

  7. Laura Miller says

    I love the tissue paper balls! Can I have a link or maybe a post on how you put the whole thing together! We have a birthday coming up too. Thanks.

  8. chris says

    so sweet and sentimental. its nice how youre cherishing every moment. i was the 4th born and have about six pictures of me under 4 years old so for my kiddos i always had/have all the memories and mementos with writing and pictures. too much happens in a moment not to!

    happy birthday mama and daddy! oh and will too.

  9. Mary Jo says

    Katie – I love your blog (been addicted for many months now) and I feel lucky to watch that little cutie-pie of yours grow up. My two kids are much older, but I get to reminisce about their childhoods as I watch Will and your little family. Happy 1st Birthday, Will!

  10. says

    Happy Birthday Will! Your family birthday party sounds like it was a blast! And the decor is just too cute! My favorite was the party hat for Will! :)

  11. Destiny says

    D wore the same birthday crown on his special day until he was sixteen. (He gave it up at 15 but brought it back as a gift to me at sixteen. I was thrilled!) It was felt and velcro, so it grew as he did. Even though it is now packed away in his box of childhood goodies, the birthday crown remains one of my favorite birthday traditions.

    Love your party and agree that there is nothing better than a family shindig!

    Looking forward to Wednesday!

  12. says

    Hi there! I recently did a post about some of my favorite nursery spaces. I used a couple of your images, and provided a link to your blog, but wanted to make sure that was ok with you. If for any reason you would like me to take the image down, please just let me know and I will do so immediately.

    You can see the post here:

    I couldn’t find an email address to contact you by, so thought this would be the next best thing.

    • says

      Thanks Sushi Mama for the headsup – and just for future reference, my email is that little envelope icon above our family pic in the sidebar – just click it to get a direct line to moi!
      xo – kb

  13. says

    How sweet!!! I love it! I am throwing myself a 25th birthday party this weekend – Maybe I can translate some of your ideas into an adult b-day celebration =) Happy Birthday, Will!

  14. krystle says

    Are you sure your child isnt a clone? Im pretty sure you just cloned yourself into male form. He looks EXACTLY like you! I wish my kids looked something like me :) in my best Napoleon voice, “LuuuuuCKY!” My birthday is Saturday and I am feeling old hitting 25, I wish it was my 1st birthday! Happy Birthday Big Boy WILL!

    • says

      You know what is funny? He doesn’t look anything like the baby-me! He looks more like the adult Katie than the mini one. Weird, huh?!
      xo – kb

  15. Jules says

    LOVE that bike seat! Question- In you/Jeremy’s expert biker opinion, will it really fit any ole Trek bike or is it better suited to a bigger/pro bike? If you aren’t sure, maybe ask Will since he is the one using it ;) Also, is there any one more genious and creative of a gift-giver as you? You’re like a gift whisperer!

    • says

      Hi Jules,
      I have a Trek and it does fit mine. That support bar that extends across the middle is adjustable (we actually ordered an extra one so that we can just switch the seat back and forth)…and the seat just simply locks onto that bar. And I can’t claim credit for this thing – Jeremy put it on his Christmas list and this was just a delayed purchase :)
      xo – kb

  16. Jennifer says

    You are going to have soooo much fun with the wee-ride! I LOVED mine and rode everywhere with my daughter in it (even to do groceries) the summers that she was 1,2,3 &4. She is turning 5 next month and she no longer fits the wee-ride which makes me a bit sad. I have such wonderful memories of biking with her and singing together and chatting and looking around the neighbourhood…. Precious times – enjoy!!!

    • Kat says

      Katie bower, my eight month old is counting on you to come through about these spinners to make his first birthday party complete. ;) the dollar tree spinners colors are A tad off. ;)

  17. karen says

    sooo cute! I enjoyed this post…how can you not about a 1st birthday..they are so special.
    You are such a great writer.
    p.s. I am doing a rainbow party for my baby girl in two months. Me thinks I gotta do those tissue paper balls!

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