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 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)|
|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.|
|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. :(|