Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A First Birthday Sail-abration

I never knew a year could go by so quickly.  It seems like yesterday when we first met our sweet little girl.  Now, over a year later, she is her own person with a big personality.

To celebrate Anderson’s life we wanted to make her first birthday something to remember that also reflected things she loves.  Since we discovered we have a little fish on our hands through swim lessons and days on the beach, we decided to plan a nautical themed birthday party.
For months leading up to the big party I was scouring Pinterest, Etsy and making notes for creating this nautical themed party.  Thanks to these very helpful sites, I think I actually spent more time browsing “first birthday” party ideas than I did for some of my wedding planning.

But it paid off, with a really cute theme and lots of fun decorations to celebrate the life of our special girl.  With my love for planning, I tend to want to be in control of all party details.  But, with working a full time job and being busy with life obligations, I knew that I needed help on some projects.  We enlisted some crafy family members to help with a few of the decorations.  Needless to say, we have some very talented DIY ladies in our family.  The pictures below don't do justice to the cute decorations and details of Anderson's Sail-abration.  It's just not possible to be a Mommy, party planner, host and photographer all in one day.  The pictures are quick snapshots between dressing the birthday girl, cleaning and organizing.

"Anderson" name banner and "I am 1" high chair banner, courtesy of Mimi and the MJHS teachers.
Welcome sign, courtesy of Aunt Dani.

My attempt at a DIY personalized "A" wreath.

On a recent family vacation we visited Captain Anderson's Marina for dinner. Of course, we had to buy some momento to bring home for her nautical themed party -- and it definitely wasn't going to be the fish and sharks caught on the deep sea diving boats at the marina. Her birthday invitation and "Captain Anderson's Marina" bumper sticker had a place of viewing for Miss A's big day.
Food and cake table, with fabric polka dot and chevron banner, courtesy of Grandma.
Since this would be Anderson's first taste of birthday cake, we wanted to make her cake pretty special.  We used a local lady who makes cakes.  I sent a few pictures over of a couple cakes that I liked -- and she came up with this.  The cake weighed about 20 pounds, and tasted amazing too!

"Smash" cake.
Anderson's "smash" cake was adorable too.  I wasn't feeling adventurous, so stuck with vanilla cake for her; however it wouldn't have mattered what flavor it was, she was not interested in it at all.  She picked at the pink dots, tasted a little of the cake with our help, then tried to push it off her tray to show us she was O-V-E-R the cake. 

During my "first birthday" research I found the adorable birthday stats posters, which I knew I had to have for her party.  I thought this was a great way for family and friends, who aren't able to spend a lot of time with us to find out little fun facts about our special girl.  We also printed out pictures of her "monthly" birthdays to show just how much Miss A has grown and changed over the past year. 

Finally, the star of the show was studded out in her own personalized "First Birthday" outfit.  Besides ripping the bow off of her head in about 10 seconds, the outfit stayed on, and fairly clean for the entirety of the party.  This was one of the only pictures we got of her in her entire birthday outfit.

Through my Pinterest research I found many Time Capsule ideas for first birthday parties.  I love heartfelt mementos like Time Capsules, scrapbooks and yearbooks, so I knew this was another item I wanted to include in her party.  I hope that she will enjoy reading all the nice notes people wrote her when she turns 18 in 2032.  I also hope I don’t lose the Time Capsule in the next 17 years!
Even though the celebration was a very happy occasion for all of Anderson’s family and close friends to get together to honor her day, as a Mom it was also a little sad.  I want to keep Miss A little forever.  I know that’s not possible and am looking forward to making so many more memories with her and planning many more fun birthdays in the future.

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