On July 22nd, ten days after his first birthday, we celebrated Levi turning one with family and friends at our house in Omaha. Being a first-time mom, I was terribly anxious about this milestone event. Truthfully, I may have actually been more nervous about the party itself than about my baby officially becoming a toddler. JB and I put our out-of-town guests to work that morning, but even with six extra pair of hands on deck, we were scrambling to set up and put the finishing touches on the decor.
The party kicked off at noon with a 30-minute music class in our air-conditioned basement led by Deborah, owner of Baby Maestro. Levi and I attend her weekly classes, and he simply adores her. We sang songs, played instruments and danced with colorful scarves.
From there we moved into the backyard for lunch and water activities. The theme of Levi’s first birthday party was rainbow colors. The confetti tablecloths and polka dot paper goods were all from Target, as were the colorful bottles of bubbles that doubled as party favors and weights for the balloons. Unfortunately, the wind tangled all of our balloons, making my decorations look more like a cluttered mess than anything else.
We set up two baby pools and a sprinkler on the sunny side of the lawn, hoping that the warm sun would take the chill out of the water. Despite having record-breaking heat (over 100-degrees!), the water stayed pretty chilly. Meanwhile, all the grown-up were roasting without the protective cover of our giant oak trees. In retrospect, we probably should have moved the pools into the shade next to the picnic tables.
Levi’s little friends seemed to enjoy splashing around the baby pools, but not the birthday boy. He didn’t want anything to do with the water and only sat there long enough for my dad to snap a couple of photos before crawling out and refusing to be put back in.
We sort of rushed into dessert around 2:00 pm when we noticed that Levi was starting to get cranky. Nap time was approaching for many of Levi’s party guests, as well. My mom helped me stack the 96 mini-cupcakes that we baked the night before and frosted that morning onto the homemade three-tiered dessert tray. The smash cake and cupcakes were all made from Funfetti mix–my favorite–and the frosting was dyed with food coloring. It must have taken me over an hour to frost all of them. I have no idea why we made so many!
Again, Levi was hesitant to dig into his personalized birthday cake, so JB decided to help him out by smashing a handful of cake into his face! Sitting on our beach towel as a family, all of us covered in frosting, was probably my favorite part of the whole party (although my heart swelled watching Levi participate in the music class).
Do I wish I had done things differently? Of course. Naturally, the perfectionist (and blogger) in me regrets that the party wasn’t a Pinterest-worthy event packed with creative DIY elements and professional-quality photos. There are some really out-of-this-world first birthday party pictures floating around the internet, such as this cardboard box birthday party and this carnival party. (Maybe next time I’ll hire a party planner! That would relieve some of my stress, right?) But our friends and family seemed to all have fun, and, more importantly, so did the birthday boy. It may not have been perfect, but it was definitely a very happy afternoon for Levi and for us.