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Ethan’s One Year Birthday Bash

2011 December 31

I can’t really believe it’s over, but on Thursday we celebrated Ethan’s FIRST birthday!!! As you can see from the photo below, Little Man’s favorite part was the cake. It was my favorite part too!

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I’ve been looking forward to this party for a long time. I mean, it’s his FIRST birthday party! No, he won’t remember a thing about it, but I will! It had a be great. I don’t mean tons of gifts and expensive decorations great, I mean meaningful, fun, and memorable great. I didn’t go theme crazy, just used the orange and blue we’ve become obsessed with grown to love. I threw in a few owls too.

I started with the invitation. I LOVE how it turned out.

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I spent way too many hours photographing and laying out this invitation. I couldn’t stop! But after a million drafts I ordered this final product from WinkFlash.com. I couldn’t love it more! The printed invites arrived with white envelopes and I sent them out exactly a month before the party…whew!

UPDATE 10/7/13: I used Winkflash.com to print these cards but they’ve since stopped offering the custom image 5×7 card option.

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We held the party at my parent’s house in Scottsbluff since we were there for Christmas. We kept the decorations simple, only hanging the owl garland (poorly pictured here) and some homemade bunting made from leftover fabric. I flanked Ethan’s cake (my blue masterpiece) with my favorite chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing.

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I made little owls for cupcake toppers—they included little googly eyes and were totally cute. Too bad I was so caught up talking to guests and trying not to cry about my baby getting older that I completely forgot to photograph them! I think you can get the idea.

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Since the party was on a Thursday, it had to be held from 4-6pm. So we kept food simple and did appetizers and cupcakes. My mom’s egg rolls and crab rangoon (a holiday tradition that’s been passed down to Stu and I—we make them every year!), shrimp cocktail, sausage-basil-tomato skewers, veggie tray, and peanut butter filled pretzels. Why the pretzels? Well, because that’s what I craved the night before Ethan was born! We tried to make the menu a little meaningful—we placed little signs (shown above) on the table to share our stories.

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We toasted Ethan’s birth minute at 4:40pm, then headed to the living room for “the viewing” of Ethan’s One Year Video. I spent countless hours choosing photos, video clips, and music for this little ‘recap’ of the Peanut’s first year. Since I doubted we would look back at all the 1-2 minute iPhone videos we’ve taken over the past 12 months, I thought it would be better to stitch them all together and add a little music. I plan on doing it every year!

You can watch it by clicking the play button below or by visiting it on youtube. I was so pleased with the reaction of the party guests—after all that work I got a little anxious showing the final product!

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After watching his year one video, we sang “Happy Birthday” and gave him a “Smash Cake”, complete with blue icing and mini-bunting. I just loved the look on his face when he saw it…it’s like he was saying, “Really Mom? I get that?”

He started out slow…just poking the giant chocolate “1” on the top.

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I can’t blame him for being timid…all 30+ guests were surrounding him, waiting to see what happened with the blue frosting I so carefully slathered over the mini layer cake. But, with the encouragement of the kid-guests (William, Tyler, Jake, and Lucy), Ethan dove in. And he didn’t stop…

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first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthday, smash cakeThe older kids encouraging Ethan to start digging in. It was so cute!

first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthday, smash cake first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthdayGrandma & Grandpa Schon (my parents)

first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthdayGrandma and Grandpa Voboril (Stu’s dad and step-mom)

first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthday, smash cakeAuntie Erika was the only person Ethan shared his cake with.

As you can see, the cake devouring was not going to stop, so we finally had to take the cake away because we weren’t sure what would happen if he ingested too much sugar…the kid had never had any!

first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthday, smash cakeHe wasn’t super happy about losing the cake, but there was no meltdown! Whew.

Speaking of cake, let’s break it down. After months of considering the low-sugar, healthy birthday cake option, I decided to just give the kid some sugar! He’d only had scant amounts in animal crackers and licks of occasional frozen yogurt, so I could not wait to see what he did with a full-on yellow cake with butter cream icing. The “#1” topper was made using Candy Writers I picked up at Michael’s—they are a super cool way to decorate in 3-D! The bunting was made from wooden dowels (Michael’s), thread, and some colored card stock.

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Ah, the crown. I decided he needed one just days before we headed west for the holidays. I made it using a cute pattern I found online—I didn’t trust my freehand at the last minute. It worked great! I just printed it, cut it out, and traced it onto a foam sheet I got at Michael’s. I embellished with a foam and fabric “E”, stars, and some ribbons to tie it on Ethan’s little head. He wore it through the whole cake smashing…I was amazed!

I also made a “1” onesie for the big event, something Ethan could destroy with cake. I just printed a big 1 in one of my party fonts (Georgia—super exciting, right?), traced it on fabric, cut out the fabric, and zig zagged it onto a plain white onesie. Well, my mom ended up doing the zig zagging because I procrastinated on this task. But it turned out super cute!

first birthday party, first birthday party ideas, birthday cake, first birthday, DIY birthday decorations, first birthday video, one year old, baby birthdayErika, me, and Amanda with Ethan after cake removal. 

Overall it was a fantastic party and just what we had a in mind for our Little Man’s first birthday. We missed having our St. Louis and DC friends in attendance, but were so happy to celebrate with our Scottsbluff (and Denver) friends that have given us so much support throughout the last year and so many years before.

I still can’t believe my Peanut is one. Sniff sniff. Thank you to everyone who helped us ring in Ethan’s second year with a bash!

 

 

14 Responses leave one →
  1. January 1, 2012

    So cute Becky!!! Happy Birthday Ethan :-)

  2. Linda Johnson permalink
    January 2, 2012

    I love this blog and being able to see all the fun that was had at Ethan’s first birthday. The cake was beautiful and Ethan sure enjoyed it.

    I especially love the video… I could watch it over and over. Thank you for the memories of Ethans first year. I cannot wait to see Ehtan again and watch year TWO on Ethan’s life.
    You are both such wonderful parents.

  3. Jamie Lasher permalink
    November 28, 2012

    I LOVE the video you did for this party! If you don’t mind me asking, how did you create it? Which program did you use? My son is 9 months old right now and I’m begining the planning stage of his first birthday. I would love to do a video like the one you did. I’m just not sure I know how!

    Anything you can tell me is much appreciated.

    PS – I’m a new reader and I just LOVE your blog. My husband, son and I also live in DC. It’s an amazing place to live.

    • Becky permalink*
      November 28, 2012

      First off, THANK YOU! You are too sweet.
      Ethan’s one year video is probably one of my most proud accomplishments. Not because it was hard, but just because it all came together and really depicts his first year to a ‘t’. I used iMovie (MAC) to make it, but if you are PC girl I have made videos in the past using Dell Movie Maker. iMovie has a slight learning curve, but you catch on pretty quick. And since you really don’t need (or want) to watch long clips of video, tid bits you’ve shot on your iPhone (smartphone) throughout the year work perfectly. Keep the transisions short, two seconds or less per picture, less than 10 seconds for videos. Just pick great, upbeat music, get a good mix of stills and video, and let your creativity fly! There are lots of great youtube videos about using iMovie out there too.

      Funny thing is, Ethan LOVES watching his video! I keep it on my iPhone for emergency situations. It always keeps him glued to the screen (and quiet for 8 minutes). I’m working on his 2 year right now and it’s not coming together as easily as the first one. Fingers crossed I get it done! Check back around Dec. 31 for deets on his bday party and see the video.

      Hope this helps! Good luck!

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