Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Jonah's First Birthday Party! + 5 Ways to Make a Party Simpler

Monday, August 6, 2018

Jonah's First Birthday Party! + 5 Ways to Make a Party Simpler

How am I the mother of a one-year-old??? Jonah strangely feels like he's been here for forever and at the same time it feels like we brought him home yesterday.

I had been looking forward to his birthday party since last summer, and it got here way too fast! But it was so fun... I loaded up my parent's front yard with Lego decorations from Dollar Tree, and Jon smoked way too much BBQ. We wanted to keep it realllll simple and just focus on the folks around us, so we asked everyone to bring a side and BYOB, and it was so fun.

Everyone told me "Jonah won't even remember it, so don't stress yourself out." So I didn't. And Jon made Jell-O shots! Lol. Anyone remember what he made last year for our gender reveal party?? ;)

The biggest reason I was most excited about Jonah's party was his smash cake... who doesn't love an adorable baby covered in cake???
But, unfortunately, he ate so much before we brought the cake out that he didn't even touch it! Next time I know to make sure the kid doesn't have anything to eat leading up to the party ;) And I did get him to eat some icing later on!

I was such a sweet evening to be reminded that we are surrounded by some amazing people. Jonah has so many kids his age around! We're so blessed.
So how can you throw a fun 1-year-old's birthday party and keep it cheap + simple?

1. Make it a potluck!

Provide the meat and ask folks to bring a side. Everyone brings something they like to eat or something their kids can eat, and it makes sure you don't have to worry about pleasing everyone with all the food you're providing. It also makes things a whole lot cheaper.

2. Have something for the kids to do.

Parents can't enjoy themselves if their kids can't enjoy themselves! By the end of the night, the kids had gotten soaked in a make-shift sprinkler system! But something as simple as a bubble machine or a water table helps keep the kids occupied

3. Make dessert easy

We didn't serve any dessert. I had picked up some cheap popsicles, but they didn't freeze in time *facepalm*... so my brothers ran out and got ice cream sandwiches! Again, something quick, easy, and affordable. Lots of adults don't even want to be tempted by birthday cake, and would prefer for their toddlers to not be hyped up on sugar

4. Decide what is ONE thing you HAVE to have

Don't pressure yourself into having a picture-perfect Pinterest birthday party for a child who isn't even going to remember it. Is there one picture you reallyyyyyy have to have? Get that one picture! And then let the rest go. Find what's important to you, prioritize that, and be easy-breezy 'bout the rest. This keeps you from feeling like you need pictures of every single moment, too
For me, it was the picture of all the kids + mamas. I wanted to remember how many people were in our life at that stage, and thought it would be fun to look back on how many little friends Jonah had at this age! 

*Bonus tip, if you do want pictures of every moment, ask a friend or a sister to take extra pictures throughout the day! Ask them to take pictures of the smash cake or the decorations or the small things, that way it's one less thing you have to worry about.

5. Make sure YOU have fun!

Enjoy it. No one can enjoy a party if the host isn't enjoying the party. What will help you have fun too? Maybe don't have food at all. Maybe just meet at a park with cupcakes. Maybe all meet at the zoo. Make it an excuse to gather people and show them that you are grateful for their presence in your life. And make it fun.

How did you celebrate your little one's first birthday??

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