I have always been a big fan of celebrating birthdays. We don’t go over the top, but there is something so fulfilling about making someone feel special on their birthday. Planning a party, organizing a group dinner, making a gift, or even just sending a card with a heartfelt note is something I enjoy. So when it was time to celebrate Jack’s first birthday, I knew I wanted to do something that would be special for our family.
Let me tell you, though. I did not think I would be the person who put so much time into a one year old’s birthday party. “He won’t even remember it” is something I would have said a few years ago. Obviously I am in a much different position now that I have a son, and I wanted the party to reflect our love for him. With all that being said, I tried to keep this party inexpensive. I don’t think the amount of money I spend reflects the amount of love I have, I’m too frugal for that way of thinking anyway. What I mean is that I wanted to put in the time to make decorations, make the food, prepare to fill our home with more people than we originally planned for. Fill it with people, fill it with love for our sweet boy who is indeed so very loved.
So I’d like to share some of the details about Jack’s big celebratory day. I’m proud that I was able to pull something off that was well decorated, consistent in theme, and mostly hand made – without spending a ton of money.
We used construction paper to decorate the walls with trees, old cardboard and tin foil for lumberjack axes. Our tables were decorate with cream colored table clothes and buffalo plaid runners to tie in plaid of other decorations around the house, like the lumberjack themed plates and napkins, and the plaid “Happy Birthday” banner found at Hobby Lobby.
I built a little campsite for the kids to play with using a mini Christmas tree, a shoebox, construction paper, newspaper, and old paper towel rolls. The stuffed dog had to be dressed in plaid to match the party guests!
We recently had an old tree trimmed down in our backyard, so we had some of the cut down branches sliced up into small picture holders, and we had larger slices used for centerpieces. We picked a picture of Jack from each month of his first year to chronologically show how much he has grown and changed.
Family members helped out with some of our side dishes, like two big trays of brownies and blondies for our dessert table! We made chocolate covered pretzels with green sprinkles to mimic the trees. We ordered a big cake from Costco to feed our guests, but the birthday boy got his very own smash cake.
Our cold Ohio winter called for warm, hearty chili to feed our hungry lumberjack. We had turkey chili and vegetarian chili (for Mama), as well as spaghetti, hot dogs, and lots of different toppings.
We had an amazing time celebrating our sweet boy’s first birthday. We were overwhelmed with the love our little family was surrounded with. Even though Jack won’t remember this birthday, I hope he can look back on pictures and hear stories, and know this day was a reflection of just how special he is to so many people.