Birthday Bash

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nearly two weeks later, and I am finally getting around to posting about Nora's big "1" birthday party. In short, it was a whirlwind. The preparation? Insane. The party? Chaos. But so much fun.

I had big dreams and plans for this party--after all, it's the only first birthday she'll ever have. We went big, inviting way more people than will be invited to her future birthdays. We figured it was an opportunity to celebrate our little one, but also to have everyone over to see our new house.

I just didn't count on our house being in such disarray.

I suppose we bit off a little more than we could chew when it came to house projects that could be complete in time. In the end, I had to throw a lot of party plans out the window, and had to accept that the house would look very much a work-in-progress.

I had visions of a picture-perfect party. Little areas set up for the kids and activities, lots of yummy (homemade!) food on display, a to-die-for sundae bar set-up that would look like perfection. The reality was that we threw chips and dip in a bowl, I pretty much left it up to the kids to entertain themselves, we ordered pizza, and the sundae bar was made up of store-bought ice cream (the horror!) and toppings that we almost lost altogether, then haphazardly set out at the last minute once we found them.

And did I mention that our home featured half-painted walls, walls that had been spackled (but not sanded) and walls that had been stripped of wallpaper, but not of 100% of the glue?

Yeah. But you know what? People seemed to enjoy themselves. My little girl was surrounded by people that love her, had her smash cake, and opened way more gifts than she really needed. And we had *perfect* weather.

I was up until 2:00 a.m. the night before, baking a cake and cupcakes and making frosting. The morning of the party, I had it in my head that it started at noon. It wasn't until Michael called me from his parents' house (where he was picking up tables and chairs), after he had seen their copy of the invitation, and said, "Did you know the party doesn't start until 1:00?"

No. No, I didn't know that. BUT HALLELUJAH THANK YOU BABY JESUS. I needed that extra hour like a desert needs rain.

I should note that we could not have pulled off this party without the help of our amazing family, who pitched in at the last minute to help decorate and set up and make sure that outlets were back in the receptacles and covers were screwed in so that little hands could not electrocute themselves. You know, all the little things. ;)

You get the picture. We ran ourselves ragged, had a lot of fun, then collapsed when it was all over. As I put Nora to bed that night (the night before her actual birthday), I just sobbed and sobbed. I still cannot really believe that my girl is already ONE!
The smash cake, as well as the cupcakes in ice cream cones for the guests
Not my best decorating job (hello, cake peeking through the frosting), but what can you do? I still loved the way it turned out, especially under such time constraints!
We put her monthly photos on display--only 11 of them, since it wasn't her birthday yet!
A cute birthday sign that we made (thanks to Tyler and Marie for cutting them all out for me at the last minute) with some free printables.

The birthday girl with her super cute birthday shirt (more on that later)

Love her.

The complete chaos that was our family room. It looked like a daycare in there.
Birthday girl eating some lunch
Our nephews and brother-in-law, running and enjoying themselves in our backyard
Nora's friends help her prepare to open gifts
She was into it for about 0.2 seconds. Then it was a struggle to get her to sit with me!
A cute little Leapfrog picnic basket (she actually got two of these, ha!)
I love the randomness that is Hunter in this photo. Why does he have a toothbrush and toothpaste?
Such a cute hat for winter. All she cared about was my cell phone.

Unveiling a toy box that my dad built for Nora
She wasn't too sure what to make of everyone singing to her. At least she didn't cry.
She went right for the cone!
My little ham.
The aftermath. I think it's safe to say she enjoyed it, don't you?

After a post-smash-cake bath, the majority of our guests left, so we went out to enjoy the backyard on such a beautiful late afternoon. 

Little birthday girl was on a sugar high (or just overtired), so she was GIDDY! Daddy was making her laugh here.
Family pics

Modeling her super cute birthday crown, made by her daycare provider

Look, it even had ribbons hanging down the back! There were a few more strands, but they accidentally got ripped off before this photo was taken. :( 

Birthday party = SUCCESS. We'll see what next year has in store!


Anonymous,  September 22, 2011 at 7:22 PM  

Looks like she had a blast! Great pics.

Kari September 22, 2011 at 8:36 PM  

She looks so happy in all her pictures! :) And it looks like the party was fun for her!

Anonymous,  September 23, 2011 at 6:41 PM  

any idea where the minnie mouse hat was bought?! its super cute and looks like something I HAVE to get for my god daughter :)

Helen September 23, 2011 at 10:17 PM  

It looks like she had a blast! I love her shirt!

Our Baby "D" September 23, 2011 at 10:56 PM  

I can't believe she's already one! Great pictures and what a sweet party :) Looks like a blast!

Michelle September 24, 2011 at 12:38 AM  

I thought Nora face down on the carpet was hilarious but Hunter with the toothbrush and paste is also awesome. :)

Heather September 24, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

Thanks, all.

Anonymous--Unfortunately, I don't know where the Minnie hat is from. It just has a "Disney" tag on it. I tried to do a quick Google search but did not see it anywhere. I can ask my cousin (the gift giver) the next time I see her. Sorry I'm not more help!

Pamela October 14, 2011 at 2:51 AM  

Heather you did such an amazing job with her birthday Bach. Looks like she had a blast :) and your decor ideas and cakes look awesome. That's a really neat idea. Again great job! Loved the pictures. I wish Nora the very best in life. She's already blessed to have a mom like you. blessings to you and your family.

Chelsey,  June 1, 2012 at 9:26 PM  

Hi Heather! We're planning our daughter's 1st birthday party and am wondering where you found the free printables that you used for Nora's birthday banner? I love them!

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