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 :)