We hosted Porter's party on his actual first birthday, and it was one of the most fun parties we've had (according to Nate and I, at least). Having kids with birthdays in March, May, and now July means it's getting successively warmer each time with better chances of having most of our guests outside for the parties. This is a plus when you have 30-40 people celebrating with you because having everyone crammed into our home doesn't have the same feel as an outdoor BBQ with plenty of fresh air and tornado children. We had about 30 people at Porter's party, at least half of the guests were kids, and I wanted to take more pictures during this party since I felt that was lacking at Cecelia's third birthday party. Somehow I did manage to take a ton of pictures AND enjoy myself/talk to the seven other families besides our own. I had the thought a few minutes before the party about how I *should have* just hired a photographer or a friend to take the pictures for me, so I could fully focus on hosting. But alas, it all turned out just fine, and it sure doesn't hurt to have my mom and both of Nate's parents here to help Nate and I with the party duties.
For this first birthday party, I truly did NOT get worked up over decorations or the menu or Royal Icing cookies or a homemade cake/cupcakes. Third baby still got an excellent party that was a ton of fun but I dialed it down about 100 notches from Truman and Cecelia's first parties, when it comes to Pinterest-y things. The 'theme' was PORTER and the concept was 'Have fun!' and that's about it for a cohesive idea;)
Invitations were from Pear Tree Greetings ---I have been doing Evites for all birthday parties for some time now, but having paper invitations for the first birthday is something I couldn't relinquish to my third baby ways. I have the other kids' invites framed with their birth announcements and 20 week ultrasounds, so if nothing else I wanted a paper invitation for Porter's party to complete my little time capsule of baby-things.
Loved his invitations so much, probably because I was able to pick out seven pictures for the folded invite. YES.
That red card up there was something else I included with the invites---a little bonus for Porter-P to have in his baby album. The responses we got were HILARIOUS and so special, and I'm really glad I included them!
Minimal decor (for me) did need to include my monthly pictures strung up as a banner. So I printed the chair shots and also the rug shots for my boy, used photo squares to mount them on pre-cut 4x6 card stock, and hot glued them all to a string. Funny story: mom helped me glue these together the night before the party and we were both very tired, hence how we managed to reverse the order with BOTH banners. Would make my Type A self much happier if they went 1 month through 12 months, but I suppose counting back from present day is alright, too :/
I also added heart punch outs with the month written on them because the sequencing was bugging me too much, and labeling helped;)
Other decor included Pear Tree Greeting's cupcake flags, but since I ended up NOT making cupcakes for the first time ever, I had to get creative on how to use these babies. I did stick a few into the big cake later on, but I like how it turned out to have them taped inside of our wooden flower box thing on the mantle. Also, the bunting banner from PTG turned out adorable. I think I have an obsession with banners.
Slideshow playing on the TV up there, except our Apple TV was acting cray and wouldn't loop it continuously for me which cause me significant rageful feelings!!! Same thing happened with Cecelia's third birthday party. First world problems to the max, OMG, I know.
For Truman's first birthday party, we just let him have a cupcake to smash, and the rest of us all had the other homemade (from a box) cupcakes. For Cecelia's first birthday she had a (very obviously) homemade smash cake and we all ate from-the-box cupcakes again. This time? I entered the dark side of store bought cakes and I am NEVER going back!! So tasty and beautiful and freaking easy---I could never ever replicate this little guy.
And THEN, onto the birthday boy himself. GoGo offered to make Porter's outfit since that is one of the things she truly loves to do (and her talent is endless, seriously). We found a onesie on Pinterest that looked adorable and mom thought to add a bow tie, since that is Porter's signature look from the monthly shots. Literally cannot handle this chunker. You'll see the back later in a different picture. Also, he was (and still is) OBSESSED with balloons, so I had to get 10 helium ones for our boy.
The party began at 4pm, which is a favorite party time for us---right after naps, good for an early-ish dinner, perfect for a BBQ. Of course, then the birthday buddy threw us for a loop when he took a late morning nap which was SUPER long. I woke him up from that one, hoping he'd do another shortie before the party but NOPE. He was not having it once he saw the balloons. Also, he can apparently sit up from laying down now (other big milestones happening here, like CRAWLING!!!) so he just kept sitting up in his crib for the first time in his life, right when I wanted him to snooze. So anyway, I braced myself for a very fussy babe by the end of the night but he somehow held it together for his big day.
Cecelia also woke up a little crankier than usual, and I was scrambling around trying to find a presentable outfit option while messing with the ridiculous slide show and setting up outside. We were in charge of grilling the meats (well, Nate did that---regular burgers, mini-burgers, brats, and hot dogs), I made a big fruit salad, had bags of chips, all of the beer/water/La Croix/juice boxes you can imagine, and I got the cakes for the party, too. OH, and I also had Nate make our favorite drink recipe for 'Milwaukee Margaritas' which you should definitely try. It's 1 can of limeade concentrate, then fill that can with tequila for a punch, next add a can of Squirt and then 1 wheat or a light beer. Freaking phenomenal.
All of the other sides were made by Lois, because she is the queen of amazing side dishes! Side dishes from Lois included her homemade baked beans, black bean quinoa salad, Asian slaw salad, and her pasta salad that has bacon and asparagus in it. I know I should link to actual recipes and someday I will get them from her! She and Tony came over around 3:30 to get their dishes together and help set up, and we all pulled it together as our guests started to arrive.
Did I mention that Nate and his dad re-did our patio to make it larger and we also got a new table and chairs set? I got Nate the bean bag toss (corn hole?) game for Fathers Day, stained it, polyurethaned it, and he ordered the Packers decal. A fun addition to our outside games.
The man of the hour really started coming to life when our guests arrived. He is a total show boat.
Many of the children were running wild in our back yard and into the county property behind our house, but somehow nobody was injured or lost so that's good.
BABIES! Slam dunks. and growing babies. ;)
We served dinner around 5:45 and some people ate inside and some outside.
Porter was voicing his opinion after dinner, so I thought we should move things along to the part when he could jam sugary goodness into his mouth. Note the back of his onesie here;)
Lois took this video of us singing to Porter, and then I got t this video of him loving the attention so much that it was a game changer for his outlook on the party as a whole. Seriously, the cutest little one year old ever!!
He carried on with the cake and the big kids were highly entertained, so Nate and I cut up the bigger cake for everyone else. We bought a half sheet cake and had easily half of it leftover, since I think most of the adults didn't want a piece. It was delicious the next day when I finally sat down for a slice!
He had a ball.
Oh, other signs throughout the house and one of the adorable cards given to Porter by Louie, a six year old;)
Cake and then presents! Porter was kind of over it by now but the big kids loved 'helping' Porter open the gifts. He got some really nice things and we've all been playing with them non-stop (a doggie guitar, a drawing board that works with water pens, Little People superheroes, new clothes, a new tiny chair, and lots of really great books). No links because: lazy.
I demanded a family shot before P went to bed, which was a fabulous idea for this time of night, post-consumption of pure sugar. But whatever, got a classic one of Cecelia at least!
And then our baby needed a bottle and bedtime by 7:15. It's going to be really fun to get rid of the bottles in lieu of sippy cups soon.
The last guest left our house around 8:15 and then Truman and Cecelia's bedtime started at that point. I think they were finally asleep by 9:30 or 10:00 and it felt like midnight. We all cleaned up and commented that it was a wonderful party and we were beyond exhausted, in a good way;)
I have to say it: last first birthday party for us, wahhhhhhhhh!