the birthday post of epic proportions

So, remember that time that I sat down to write my son’s first birthday post and then I proceeded to stare at the screen for the first 20 minutes of naptime because, O My Heavens, what do I even say? I mean, if I write the post about him being one entire year old doesn’t that mean I can’t deny it anymore? Won’t that make it official and I will have to stop pretending that he’s a wittle bebe after that?

Because I do. not. want. that.

But, as it turns out, I don’t so much have a choice. One day, there I was, bouncing on a big exercise ball at 39.5 weeks pregnant, hoping and wishing and praying that time would speed the heck up, and then BAM, here I am dragging my feet more everyday as we hurdle toward toddler-hood. And I guess if I don’t have any say in the matter, I might as well do it up right, no? So here are 1374 words of birthday goodness, comin’ atcha.


I feel a little bit like I’ve survived a wedding weekend, what with the out of town guests, the piggy-backed events to plan, coordinate, and host, the merging of friends, family and neighbors, O, and the exhaustion. Definitely the exhaustion.

My parents came into town Thursday and we were off running with dinner out that night and a Friday (OBaby’s actual birthday) filled with celebrating at Ikea eating Swedish meatballs and buying first birthday presents (yea, I plan ahead like that).

Friday evening, O My Immediate Family (all 11 of us) sat around 2 tables in our living/dining room for a birthday dinner (either I need a bigger dining room table or we need a smaller family). OBaby was not interested in dinner, so he nommed some blueberries and saved most of his tummy room for…

PS: My son apparently does NOT like being told “No, you cannot touch the flame.”

PPS: He DOES apparently like cookies and cream frosting.

The shirt and bib, by the way? A beautiful gift from the beautiful Kim (of I Want a Minivan). She doesn’t have an etsy or other online shop yet, but I was thinking that if you and I sent her some gentle persuasion, maybe she would open one so that we could all have a little Kim craftiness in our lives. Did I mention that the bib was reversible (as in, double the cute)?

Gift time was so wonderful. A few pieces of clothes and a few toys were given to OBaby. OBaby now has a college savings account in his name (praise God!) and a few new great, educational, hands-on toys. Nothing was over-the-top or ‘you shouldn’t have’. I am so grateful for our families; their priorities are evident and admirable.

We took Saturday to spend time with my parents, going to the farmer’s market, a park, and the science museum together. (Like I said, it was practically a wedding weekend. Non-stop family and celebrations.)

Sunday was the big bash with friends and extended family, including but not limited to great aunts, great grandparents, 1st cousins once-remove’ds, The Flipping Couple, The Howells, and Kelly at Love Well‘s beautiful family. This day, friends? This day was literally the epitome of God’s provision. Provision of OBaby’s first year, of family and community, of food to share, of weather to enjoy.

We had reserved a picnic pavilion at the lake up the street, and thankfully the weather was beautiful because 26 people would have been a tight squeeze in our house (see: needing a larger table/smaller family). The setting was so beautiful on its own that I decided that the only decorating I would do was a banner that matched OBaby’s invitations (banner tutorial in a forthcoming post).

Wait, have I told you about the invitations?

They set the theme for the entire party, and I am so, so grateful for that. Back in, what? May? I was already feeling daunted by this whole first birthday thing but these invitations and the easy, causal tone they set was per.fect. They were given to us by Pear Tree Greetings, along with matching thank you cards and address labels. When I first started working with Pear Tree in June I jumped right on their birthday invitations page and fell head over heels for this design (I mean, the banner! And the birdie!) and knew I had found the right fit for our party. Having them provided to us by Pear Tree was just the… well… icing on the cake.

(Cue lame transition:) Speaking of icing on the cake, THE CAKE! Isn’t it amazing?! So here’s how that worked out: There’s this incredibly talented woman named Amanda.  She loves the Lord. She makes spectacular cakes. She lives in Minnesota. She has a website. I like her a lot. I asked her one day if she had room for a cake order in her busy life, and she was so incredibly sweet about it (get it? sweet? cake? bahaha), working with my schedule and offering to meet me half way for pick-up. I did little more than send her a picture of the invitations and she was off and running with her incredible creativity.

If you need culinary inspiration, I highly recommend her baking blog full of recipes and tutorials. Here is her post about how she made this very cake! (I also highly recommend eating her chocolate cake while taking a hot bath to recover from your son’s birthday party. But that’s just me.)

Cooler than having a beautiful and delicious cake for OBaby’s party, though? Meeting Mrs. I Am Baker and her lovely family. It was so special to me to see how God has put wonderful people like Amanda (and Kim, and Cindy of Pear Tree) in our lives and how they each became a special part of the celebration.

So yea, the cake. It was yummy. And blue. And awesome.

(OBaby totes agrees.)

{cake smashing photo credit goes to Marjorie of The Howells whose Nikon I now covet}

This right here? This is about about the point in the week where my planning and foresight ended. Ran out. Hit a wall. Went kaput.

Because after feeding a total of 55 meals to various mouths in 4 days, I failed to anticipate the following situation: Blue frosting all over baby and baby’s clothing. at a park. without a towel. or change of clothes.

Apparently I can’t do it all.

DanO decided that the rinse-off spigot on the water fountain was the best means by which to clean off OBaby, but that was about as far as he thought, because mere moments later we had a naked, wet, cold-ish baby without any dry clothes to wear.

Remember that whole God’s provision thing? Well, this may seem silly, but for a reason you may or may not know about, I had brought a change of clothes for myself to the party just in case. With a trick I remember seeing my friend do at the state fair for her little boy, I tied the straps of my tank top together and made a shirt for OBaby.

A really long shirt.

Ok, so it was more of a dress.

But OBaby looks really cute in a dress, no?

Which already has me planning ahead: 2nd birthday, toga party.


{An Update: (Because 1151 words wasn’t a long enough post already…) We are so thankful for your thoughts and prayers over the last couple of days. I want you to know that they were felt. I also want you to know that we are doing well. So, so well. That peace, His peace, has continued to be on us, it has been a good week so far. Once the physical pain I had was lifted yesterday, I felt exactly like myself again. OBaby and I went back to life as usual today, and I can truly say that we are glad to be exactly where we are in life right now. Summary: You guys are great. God is great.}

{Update #2: To the O My Birthday Bash Winners – I have decided to keep all the prizes for myself. Just kidding! I wanted to ask that you please forgive me for not emailing you all back just yet. It is on the top of my list, I promise.}

25 Responses to “the birthday post of epic proportions”

  1. Elizabeth

    oh my gosh, that picture is HILARIOUS of micah in the “dress.” i would’ve just let him run around in a diaper instead of dragging your shirt on the ground. but then you wouldn’t have gotten the awesome pictures. :)
    his party looked like so much fun! and you looked gorgeous!! :)

  2. Shannon

    oh man, that’s adorable!! I’ll just go ahead and tell you – those Mega Blocks will now become his favorite toy until.. forever. My nephew got them YEARS ago and *still* gets them out all.the.time. ALL the time. They never, ever get old!!!! :D I love your pics too. And his cake. And everything – even the dress. Too cute!!!

  3. Erin

    It looks like a lovely party! He is so cute in those cake pictures. I also forgot a change of clothes for Tommy post-cake massacre, so he ended up spending the rest of his party clad in only a diaper. The things you forget in the midst of planning!

  4. mama23bears

    what a perfect 1st birthday party! the invites, the cake, the location! perfect! Obaby looks adorable as usual! you are one incredible mama!! now, you’ve given me a jumping off point for planning C’s party a mere 3 months from now!<—that makes me sad!

  5. Sarah

    Such an adorable party!! You did a wonderful job! I love the top-left picture of Mr Birthday Boy eating the cake! So very cute. How fun for you to have those blog-turned-real-life friends at the party Makes me hope(once again)that maybe someday I’ll get to meet you too! (Do you ever come out the New England way? Particularly Massachusetts?)And so ends my comment wherein nearly every sentence ends is “!”! :)

  6. harmskills

    another beautiful post about your beautiful family! what a glorious celebration. I might have to steal your ideas for C’s 2nd

  7. Char

    Oh my gosh. The pictures of Micah in the water and his ‘o’ face with blue frosting? Precious!!

  8. Julie

    What a fun day! I am so glad I am not the only one dragging my feet to toddlerhood. My little guy turns one this Saturday and I am really having a hard time with it. Hope you are doing well my dear!

  9. Amanda

    You are an amazing woman my dear. I am so honored to have had a small part of your amazing day. And always praying and lifting up your family to the Heavens!!

    Be blessed-

  10. Kelly @ Love Well

    I was all glowy (totally a word) the rest of the day Sunday. We were so honored to be included in OBaby’s celebration (and to eat Amanda’s cake, because wowzers yummy). HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OBABY! And many, many more.

  11. Lainers

    Hey, I was there at said state fair experience! I tell her every time you mention what a great mom you think she is and I know it is such an encouragement to her…and I mean, she’s awesome, right? :) kinda like you!!

  12. abby

    Sounds like a fab celebration! Thanks for letting us be a part of it through pictures!! I still remember reading your posts about your swollen feet and waiting for Obaby to arrive. I can’t believe he’s already 1!!! My, how time flies!

  13. Tiffany

    It looks like you had such a great day & wonderful company! The photos are priceless! You are right though – birthday weekends are exhausting – and unfortunately that doesn’t change no matter how well you plan. Seven years later and I can honestly say that it doesn’t get easier as they get older.

  14. Elaine

    “O” my goodness, you must be exhausted just from the sheer celebration of it all! And the fact that Ms. I Am Baker made Obaby’s cake, well color me jealous!! She is so very talented. All in all it sounds like the fabulous first birthday that you all deserved. Enjoy this year, it will go by just as fast as this last one, if not faster! ;-)

  15. Grandmama

    It was a wonderful weekend. So glad we made it out to help celebrate that cute little buddy’s first birthday. As usual, great pictures, great post. You and Dan do such a good job parenting. We love you all!

  16. Nicole

    Wow what a busy momma. It looks like he had a great party and you guys had a great time with family and friends. LOVE all the pictures, thanks for sharing.


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