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.

My First Maternity Photo Shoot

Every since the weather warmed up, leaves began growing on the trees, and the birds started singing I’ve been feeling immense nostalgia for the birth of my first son. He was born at home in our bedroom in the heat of summer on July 25, 2014 at 6:28am. I distinctly remember hearing the wind in the trees and the morning calls of the birds while in the “pushing phase”. It is not a bad or painful memory at all, rather blissful and ethereal.

maternity photo in the woods

maternity model photo

This past weekend last year would have been when my best friend and uber talented photographer Courtney flew out to my house from NYC to take my maternity photos and help with my baby shower. Since I hadn’t yet started this new blog then, I now feel compelled to share the beautiful photos she captured during that special weekend. Especially since now I’m researching ideas for my son’s 1st birthday photos. Has it really been a year already?! Today I share with you my favorite maternity photos by the lovely Courtney D’ne Brown Photography.

maternity photo in the woodsmaternity photo in the woodsWe took all of the photos on our property and the creek at the bottom of our property. Our wood piles for our future outdoor wood furnace ended up becoming a magical backdrop.

maternity photo with dog

We of course had to have one full family photo including Miss Kona Behr. She had no idea what was coming. Poor thing.

maternity photoshoot maternity photoshoot

I wanted some fun photos of my husband and I before our lives changed forever. For real. Forever. We had no idea what was coming. We didn’t want the typical cheesy cliche “hands on belly” photo, but still secretly wanted it, so this was the best we came up with. I love it.

husband kissing pregnant belly

hands on belly maternity photo

Then we headed down to our creek for the remainder of the photos. This creek is one of the main reasons we fell in love with our property. God’s beauty.

IMG_3791 maternity photo in water

I loved being pregnant. Well, until the last month when I had really bad sciatica pain. Other than that, I never felt more beautiful and grateful. The mystery of being so intimate with creation is not one to be taken for granted.

maternity photo from above

If you are contemplating getting maternity photos taken, just do it. You won’t regret it, but you will probably regret not doing it. There have been so many times when I look at them and am so grateful to have such a talented best friend who doesn’t mind taking my photos. Once that special time in your life is over, it really is hard to remember the details. Now, as for photos of the birth and my son’s first day of life, we majorly dropped the ball and hardly have any “sharable” photos of him, us, or me with him. God willing there’s a next baby, there will probably be too many photos to make up for the lack of any with this child.

Thank you Miss Brown for capturing that precious moment in my life: my first time being pregnant. My mommy brain probably wouldn’t remember it if you hadn’t!