Amelia's First Birthday Party

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Last Saturday we celebrated Amelia's first birthday with a big bash. As a child I loved having a summer birthday and was secretly thrilled when I found out my due date was the same month as my own birthday. Sure we now have three birthdays within two weeks but it's kind of fun to cram all the celebration into one short burst.

When I started thinking of how I envisioned Amelia's party I kept going back to the coral accent wall in her bedroom, which we jokingly referred to as gender neutral color because we didn't find out her gender before she was born. With that as a launching pad I decided to stick with a sherbet palette. Then I found this book and knew flamingos absolutely had to be part of the festivities.
In a happy coincidence many of the packages and party guests even coordinated with the color scheme unbeknownst to them. The day before the party I had one major hiccup with the smash cake frosting and ended up going with a regular buttercream mix instead. Turns out Amelia only wanted to eat the raspberries and scrap off a little frosting with her index finger. So much for demolishing the cake. Ha!
For the food I wanted something hearty yet refreshing and something that would capture all the flavor of summer. These chicken pesto sandwiches were a hit, paired with a kale brussel sprout salad and a monochromatic fruit medley. My friends made the most ridiculously adorable flamingo sugar cookies and I set out some squeeze packets for our littlest guests. A week before the party I found a $2 Goodwill ceramic pot that was perfect for a floral arrangement. Thanks to Trader Joe's roses and foraged neighborhood flowers I assembled the centerpiece in about 20 minutes. 
Over the course of Amelia's first year I took monthly photos of her in front of the giant Stendig calendar. They were a fun visual at the party and even though it was sometimes hard to get a decent shot of her not flailing her limbs or climbing out of the frame I'm SO glad we did that every month. Now I kind of want to leave it up permanently! Fortunately I also put the same pictures in her baby book so she can look at it when she gets a little older. 
I wanted our guests to leave with something fun which is why I spent a couple weeks crafting during nap time to create these happy-making flamingo pull toys. Every time I look at the one I made for Amelia I break into a huge smile, happy that I took the time to spread out party preparations for nearly a month. For the bigger kids I set up a flamingo ring toss in our backyard, which I think would have been a fun activity for the adults too had it not been so hot outside. 
Amelia was a riot throughout the party, making funny faces and walking around the room attached to one of her parents' fingers. (She's not quite walking.) We were so lucky to have my mom visit from Utah and my aunt drive up from Georgia. They laughed and chatted with us the night before the party while Ken and I assembled our first ever balloon banner and we ate the cookies my sister sent. The key to making a successful balloon banner? Two people, fishing line, lots of colorful balloons, gaffer tape, and patience. Luckily it turned out great and made a huge impact. 

Even though she won't remember this I'm so grateful we were able to celebrate the success of one year together. Amelia multiplies happiness in our home and we love to see the light and joy she shares with others. Happy Birthday darling girl.
A huge thanks to my friend Alexis for capturing this special day.


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