I picked the You Are My Sunshine theme when she was just two months old. The song had been on my mind since my brother-in-law TJ's wedding to Rebecca that took place in Virginia that previous fall. The outdoor wedding was at a time when the change of season was just starting to be reflected on the leaves of the trees dotting the rolling hillside behind their ceremony. As the beautiful bride walked down the aisle with her mother on one arm and her father on the other, that song played, and I fell in love with it all over again. A favorite from my childhood, it was so poignant to me at that time because I was loosing my Mother right around the time I found out I was pregnant. The absolute worst time of my life happened to coincide with the most joyous, and I already felt and knew that this new life was making me happy when my skies were the darkest grey.
Also, the Build-a-Bear that my my Mom made for Autumn before I was even pregnant, and before we knew Mom had cancer has her voice on it. She says "You are my sunshine, and you will always be my sunshine."
I built her theme around that song and the favors that I had decided to make. I wanted to crochet her favors for three reasons: My Mom taught me to crochet, my Mom crocheted for me on my first birthday and because making something for her guests just held more meaning than purchasing them. Here's what my Mom made on my first birthday:
|I still have the Kewpie Doll, but now it's Autumn's.|
|My Mom, at her first birthday.|
|Who knew you could make things that are not on Pinterest?! That sun shining through the window? All my idea!|
|She had a blast!|
Here's a list of the vendors we used:
- Taco Guy (we went with the unlimited package since they were small tacos)
- Tables, chairs and linens
- Balloon artist
- Face painter
- Balloon decorator
- Florist (Growers Direct in Tustin. I picked up flowers and did arrangements myself)
- Photographer - Juls Megill, we've been using her since our girl was just a few months old. She is very reasonable.
- High chair
Having a photographer come to the party was a bit pricey, but worth every penny. There is no way I would have had time to take the pictures myself and if I tried, it would have interfered with visiting my friends.
As the big day approached, I just had excitement. What could have been a very stressful event was just fun, because I had everything finished so far in advance. That morning, I put finishing touches on things before heading over to The Dry Bar to get my hair done. The only thing my husband had to pick up on the day of was the cake; everything else was brought to us. The one glitch was getting this video to loop on our smart TV, but my friend Andrea's techie husband Bill quickly solved the problem after I texted her at 10am.
I've said all along that our Little Bean is the happiest, most easy-going, well-behaved baby, and the day of her party was no exception. She took an hour-long morning nap, and then slept from 1:15-3:30 (her party started at 4). She wasn't overwhelmed or fussy, and genuinely seemed to have a good time, even (especially?) when covered with cake.
I received a lot of positive feedback from my friends, but they're supposed to say good things, right?
But someone who has over a dozen grandchildren wrote: A most remarkable & forever memorable 1st B-day party! The MOST FESTIVE 1st B-day party I've ever seen! And Autumn was perfectly behaved, no tears or tantrums with about 50 people making her the bell of the ball. She was the perfect little princess . . . even when she made a planned mess of her cake!
With that many grandchildren, I consider her to be a connoisseur of birthday parties, so her positive feedback means a lot to me.
It was such a wonderful experience through and through, and a day that I will never forget. I hope that when I'm gone, she will look back at the photos of her first birthday and know that it is but one small measure of just how much she is loved.
I promised my husband she would not have another big party until she was 5. But on the way to work this morning, a theme for her next party popped into my head. One quick pinterest search yielded a ton of the cutest ideas that fit that theme. Well, it will be a small one, I rationalized...with only family and our closest friends. Sending him the guest list for approval, he promptly responded with: What? Are we really creating a list for a party over a year out? This is insane.
Maybe so, but it sure is fun.