It started out with me saying, “Now I don’t want anything over the top for this party. Only our closest friends and family – nothing crazy.” My little angel was about to turn one and there was much discussion on the topic of her big day. My husband’s family is infamous for throwing over the top events, where the guest count outnumbers the time it takes to say ‘hello’ to all of them, so I had concerns that such a monumental occasion might run the risk of warranting one of ‘those’ events. Since this was going to be such a special day, I wanted to really be able to take it in and share it with Grace, not run around the entire time and worry about wine not getting chilled or desert being consumed prematurely. In my mind, this was going to be a quaint little gathering in our backyard with a little birthday sing along and a few photos of Grace smearing cake all over her cheeks. Then Pintrest stepped in and said “Not if I have anything to do with it!”
I seemed to have forgotten that birthday parties involved DIY project possibilities, and that DIY just happened to be my middle name (not really, that would be weird). Add pink and girly to that equation and I was doomed. I started out small, thinking “I should definitely make a few things to make it feel more special”. Soon I had picked out a theme and was up until 1am every night working on countless projects. After a few weeks, I had forced my friends (with wine bribery) to come over at night and “join in on the fun!” And by fun, I meant punching out hundreds of paper flowers and putting push pins through them. By the time the big day rolled around, my kitchen and family room were overrun with coffee filter pomanders, burlap and crystal wrapped mason jars and hundreds of flowers from the San Francisco Flower Mart. My one year old was sure to appreciate all of this!
To my dismay, all of these projects had also had a hand in making the guest list balloon and we now somehow had over 40 people coming over, not counting the catering crew. I had a few moments of wanting to cancel it all and go back to my original small idea, worrying that all of this hubbub would make Grace feel like a zoo animal at her own party. But on the morning of her birthday, it was as if she knew it was her special day. She behaved like a perfect angel, taking it all in, gazing around at all the love in the room. And I made a promise to myself that this would be my special day too. I would remember every little moment, from Eric and I lighting a single candle on the girliest cake I’ve ever seen, to watching the birthday girl play with other kids, in her over the top tutu dress and feather headband. I would notice my parents standing over in the corner with their arms around each other, smiling and looking lovingly at their granddaughter. I would enjoy reading all the wishes our guests wrote for Grace on the wishing tree I made, over a glass of wine late at night after the party was all done. And I would not care that the desert table got ransacked by kids (and a few adults) before lunch was served. It was the best of both worlds. We now have some great photos to show Gracie when she is older, of her very first special day and how much she enjoyed it, and I got to let my creative flag fly a bit. And although of course I got some “whose wedding is this?” jokes from our friends as they arrived to the party, I know they really enjoyed the day.
Her second birthday is six months away and we decided to take Grace to Disneyland, where she will be safe from mommy’s Cricut machine and hot glue gun. I believe they check for these things in the security line.
~ Thanks for visiting. For a few tutorials on some of the DIY projects I did, please go to the DIY section or click HERE.