I can’t believe my once tiny baby turned 1!
A few pictures from our last night before Isla turned 1
Isla’s actual birthday was on the 14th, but since we had already planned her party for the next weekend I wasn’t really thinking about anything special for her actual day. However, when I put all my calendars together and realized Tahd was going to be out of town for her birthday I got a little sad. Her birthday felt like an important culmination point to a difficult journey – a time to celebrate how far we’ve come – and having Tahd gone didn’t feel okay to me. Luckily, he didn’t have to go too far from home – just had late meetings and would have to stay overnight – so Gabe, Isla and I joined him that evening and stayed overnight with him. In the end, it was a wonderful way to celebrate – just the four of us, all together. And swimming; we went swimming, which Isla loves since it’s kind of like a giant bath!
Our weekend was filled with party preparations of my favorite kind – all pink and frilly and girly! Since my birthday is at the end of the month Isla shared her first birthday with me, which gave me full license to do whatever I wanted, right? I know she won’t remember the decorations or the cake or the pictures, but I will, and I’m glad we put in the effort to make the party pretty and loads of fun!
I gradually picked up decorations here and there, and when I finally unpacked them on Saturday evening I realized I had many, many lanterns/poufs/fans, etc. Instead of setting some aside to return, I put my family to good use assembling and finding places for all of them. Thank goodness for Tahd’s family, who arrived on Saturday afternoon and helped me realize my dreams! ;)
Tahd was so thrilled.
I loved the picture garlands on the mantle. Two strings of twine, 80 pictures and some clothespins made for a fun look through her year.
On the ladder above our table we put some of the millions of poufs as well as some streamers. My husband and father-in-law – the detail people they are – wanted specific guidelines on what I wanted for streamers. I tried to tell them to just “go with it,” guidance they totally loved. ;) But they did a great job!
I picked up a paper tablecloth from Target as well as some napkins/plates/etc. I’d rather spend my energy on decorations than doing dishes!
I loved these pink and yellow napkins, so I ran them down the center of the table as a runner of sorts.
Then I added some miscellaneous poufs/fans/candles to the center and called it good!
A few more poufs in our entryway! On the console table, I found a jewelry stand with a bird on top. I painted it white and we cut little birds out of painted/mod podged chipboard so our family could write notes to her. I haven’t written mine yet…it’s hard to think of something meaningful to write that will fit in such a tiny space! I guess I tend to be wordy!
The cake was my favorite. I made it using Joy of Baking’s butter cake and confectioner’s frosting. I made two butter cake recipes – so four tiers – and stacked them up with frosting between each layer. Then I did a thin crumb coat all over the outside and let it set.
Later, I came back to my frosting and dyed it the faintest pink. I used Wilton’s pink gel and a few drops of yellow liquid food color. I piped the rosettes and then tinted the frosting a little bit darker for the next row. Finally, I repeated the tinting to make the bottom row darker. I loved it – it was so beautiful and just what I wanted!
To finish it off, I cut some triangles out of glittered cardstock, adhered them to baker’s twine and tied the banner to bamboo skewers. I think it’s so pretty, and it was deceptively easy!
On the morning of her birthday, she was most excited about eating the puppy chow. I could hardly keep her away from it, and if someone else had some and she didn’t she’d whine for it like a sad puppy!
By the time she was ready for her cake, she was covered in food. The cake was quite anticlimactic!
The “one” candle I used on her cake was the same one we used on Gabe’s first birthday cake.
Blowing out the candle proved to be a mystery to her, so Gabe and I took care of it for her.
First up – she dumped the plate!
Then it was present time! She was only mildly more interested in the opening than she was at Christmas.
Gabe read the cards to her. I love his outfit! While we were getting ready for the party I mentioned to him that I wanted him to wear something a little nicer. He told me not to worry because he was planning to wear his suit coat. Love that it’s hilariously too small!
The big hit of the day was the Leap Frog learning table. She loved it! She has since decided that it can be used as a walker, so she walks all across the wood floors with it.
I love this little necklace she got. Of course, it’s not something she’ll wear yet; we just put it on her for the remainder of the party. But I know it will be a really special keepsake!
Back to the table…
Tahd and I haven’t gotten her anything yet. Well, that’s not entirely true – I knew we wouldn’t have what we wanted so we got her a few little things. For Gabe’s first birthday, we got him “big boy” bedding. I love that his first birthday gift is something he’s still using to this day! I’ve looked all over for what we’ll want for Isla’s bed when she’s out of the crib, but I’m not 100% settled. I thought about buying something just to have it, but in the end I figured that since she won’t remember I can wait until I’m certain and give it to her a little bit late. I’m thinking about this or this.
And then it was over! A whole year, a healing year, a wonderful year! Did I mention a fast year? Because it was much, much faster than I remember it being with Gabe, and I’d love to slow things down about a dozen notches so I could extract more joy from every moment. She’s such a precious addition to our family, and I’m still completely and totally in love.
Happy first birthday, Isla! We love you!