Big Guy Turns One – Ice Cream Theme 1st Birthday Party

After recovering from Monteczuma’s Revenge this past June, I had a very, very important job to do. It was time to plan my son’s 1st birthday party! I was torn on how big or small I wanted to make it. I could keep it simple and low key, just inviting our immediate family over for cake and ice cream, or I could plan an actual themed party and invite all family and close friends. In the end, I thought, “He’s my first child, and the first year as a parent is fabulous and tough as hell, so we might as well celebrate big!”

We have a rather large family, when both sides come together, and some close childhood friends who still live in the area, so planning and paying for a full-on meal with cake was unfortunately out of the question. It was hot, the end of July, and practically everyone loves ice cream, especially me, so I finally decided on doing an ice cream theme party.

I will apologize now, this is a long post and very cute photo heavy. All photos are a great courtesy of Courtney D’ne Brown Photography.

Ice Creme Theme Birthday Party Ice Creme Theme Birthday PartyIce Creme Theme Birthday PartyIce Creme Theme Birthday Party Ice Creme Theme Birthday PartyIce Creme Theme Birthday PartyI’m not a fan of cliche store bought decor nor did I have a big budget, so like usual around here, everything was pretty DIY. I made “ice cream cones” out of regular balloons and brown paper that I just rolled and taped together. The invitations, one year poster, ice cream jar monogrammed labels, bunting banners, and thank you photo cards were all made possible by the awesome and easy tutorials over at Just a Girl and Her Blog. Who knew I could make such things in Microsoft Word?!

Ice Creme Theme Birthday PartyIce Creme Theme Birthday PartyIce Creme Theme Birthday Party

For drinks we had water, lemonade, green iced tea, and beer (not shown) available. Of course we had to incorporate the same “Saegertown Aristocrat” box we used for Big Guy’s newborn photos and one year photo shoot. We like to bring things round circle around here. The banner above the beverage table was made with twine and clothespins, and a photo from each month during his first year.

Ice Creme Theme Birthday Party

 

Ice Creme Theme Birthday Party

Those who know me well, know that I really do not enjoy being on either side of the whole “sit and open every gift in front of everyone” process. Most people really only care to see their own gift opened. My husband and I tried our best to open gifts in front of just the gift giver, and anyone near by who cared, as soon as they arrived or we had the chance to give them a proper welcome. Larger parties are usually hectic, so this also ensured each guest got quality one-on-one time with Big Guy and Matt or myself, and sometimes but rarely, all of us together.

1st Birthday Opening Presents

I also had a table set up with different photos and decor telling the story of Big Guy’s first year of life outside the womb that became a landing spot for guests to put presents in the meantime. There, we had a guest book available for his loved ones to write him a special message. Matt and I both wrote a short letter to him and plan to do the same thing at each birthday.Ice Creme Theme Birthday Party

The cake was made by my best friend Courtney, who also took all of the beautiful photos that day and for our family photo shoot. I gave her these sugar-free recipes to work off of, and she made her own delicious version.  I even saved and froze three pieces for us to enjoy on his second birthday. The topper is vintage from my mother.

1st Birthday Smash Cake

1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake

The cake sat on his personal wood dish, which sat on an antique musical metal cake plate. It is a family heirloom on my Mother’s side. We unfortunately forgot to wind it up when I presented him with the cake, so she stepped in and helped.1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake Naturally, we had to do a taste test to make sure it was safe. 😉1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake 1st Birthday Smash Cake

 

It was such a wonderful day full of love from all sides. The rain held off so we were able to finish our family photo shoot. To finish it off, here are some awesome shots Courtney captured before and after the party. These first ones are some of my all-time favorite photos.

Breastfeeding on bed Mother and baby in bedroom Baby Playing Piano Baby Playing Piano Baby playing piano Baby playing piano Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on couchAnd after the party…

1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot We used this shot below to send as a “thank you” card.

1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot 1st Birthday Boy Photo Shoot I cannot believe I now have a one-year-old son. My, oh my, how time flies when you’re having the time of your life. I love you so much, Big Guy.

Big Guy Turns One – Family Photoshoot

I am very fortunate to have a best friend who is a fabulous photographer. Her name is Courtney, of Courtney D’ne Brown Photography based in NYC. I am unfortunate in the fact that she lives 7 hours away. Lucky for me, she was able to fly in for the weekend of my Baby Shower last year, and graciously did a maternity photo shoot with me. For months, even prior to my pregnancy, we would share inspiring maternity photos with each other via the internet.

Of course once my baby was born, I wanted her to not only meet him, but be the one to capture his one year photos. It was very last minute but she was thankfully available to fly in yet again for the weekend of his first birthday party this past July. Not only did she take beautiful photos again, but she baked her butt off in my kitchen preparing for the party. She also loves to cook, and takes over the entire kitchen while she visits, feeding us delicious meals. She is, hands down, a very best friend. Now that I am writing this, I sadly realize that we never got a photo of just the two of us! I’m not surprised.

On that Friday evening we did a family photo shoot in our yard. Here are my favorites:

First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography

First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography  First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown PhotographyFirst Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography    First Birthday Family Photoshoot by Courtney D'ne Brown Photography

Isn’t she so superbly talented?!  I am never, ever disappointed. Thank you love for capturing the essence of my family. You can see more of her photos from Big Guy’s 1st birthday party by clicking here.

How Not to Pose for Your Passport Photo

We’re preparing for our missions trip to Guatemala this spring, and Big Guy needs his first passport. Instead of paying up to $15 to get his photo taken elsewhere, I figured like most things around this household, I could easily do it myself. All I needed was a white or off-white background. What I didn’t realize was how difficult it would be to get a photo of him with a neutral facial expression!

I took a bunch of photos, and thought I had the perfect one. I went to upload it to the travel site to make sure I had the correct dimensions and positioning, and realized he was not supposed to be smiling, and we didn’t have enough time to risk it getting rejected. So alas, we had to keep trying until it was “perfect”. This morning when filing the application, the really nice clerk at the Post Office told us, and I paraphrase, they would have accepted a photo of him smiling, they are usually more lenient with children. I am surprised at what they let slide and what they don’t though. One time this little girl took the cutest photo, but because her head was tilted to the side, they rejected it.

Yea, I’m still glad I didn’t risk it.

The “out-takes” were just too sweet not to share though. How not to pose for your passport photo…

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