Friday, April 8, 2011

The Big Shin-dig.

Well, I survived planning my first birthday party. And I'd just like to say I'm glad we aren't celebrating birthdays to this magnitude every year. This year though, Matthew and I thought we kind of deserved a little celebrating with the birthday boy. We did it! We survived our first year of being parents. I'll never look at another mom or dad the same, knowing they have gone through and experienced all the highs, lows, frustrations, joys, etc. that comes with being a parent. On to the party details...

We decided to have a little bumblebee theme. We call Eli a busy bee all the time, yellow is spring-like, and a theme helps me plan better. We had about 30 adults and 10 kids coming, so we hoped and prayed it would be relatively nice that day. It turned out to be a little chilly, but in the sun, it felt pretty nice. We also planned it right after Eli's morning nap, hoping he would be in his best mood. I'll try to take a picture of the invitations we made, but they stated, "11:30 - naptime". And that's pretty much what happened. Towards the end, one by one, the bigger kids had to get home to their naps!
Here's the outside decor. We hung tissue pom-poms from our pergola, yellow and black balloons from our tiki torches, white tablecloths with flower centerpieces, and bumblebee cake pops in small baby food jars on the tables. We nailed the banner into the brick wall, and the beach balls had bumblebees drawn on them with each child's name. They all bounced the balls around the backyard and took them home as their favor.

flower centerpieces with bumblebee cake pops

The banner was pretty basic...and simple. I just cut out the white letters, put them on the yellow card stock, drew some bumblebees on there, and strung some polka dotted ribbon through them. "Happy Bee-day Eli!"

Each balloon had their name and a bee waiting them in our yard.

In our dining room, we had a wall of Eli. I blew up all his monthly pictures in black and white and taped them up! I could hardly bring myself to take them down. I think I'll save them and use them as scrapbook paper whenever I actually get around to scrapbooking.

 The food. We kept it very simple. I wanted to make lunch food I could prepare early and easily. We had "honey-roasted" turkey sandwiches, fruit, pasta salad, chips, and "p.bee.j's" for the kiddos. We didn't get any pictures of the 3 cakes I made, but you can kind of see them on the buffet.

We were so glad that all of our friends in Knoxville could come and celebrate with us. We are thankful knowing that if we live here in Knoxville forever, Eli will be surrounded by lots of good kids and great parents raising them to be sweet, God-loving babes. And they share. :) This handsome boy Carter is actually leaving us soon, and we're definitely sad about it.

Here's Aunt Leah and Eli in his bumblebee outfit making his new favorite face. My mom and I sewed that little jon-jon the night before, and she literally sewed the buttons on that morning. Thank goodness for her, because I still hadn't found him a birthday outfit I liked!

Collin and Carter playing a little football. Collin's mama took some great pictures of the party too, and I got to relish every second of watching my sweet boy! I was so glad I wasn't running around trying to take pictures, celebrate with Eli, and mingle with people.

Eli with Uncle Luke, who graciously took all of these pictures for me, so I could enjoy the party.

Here's little Ben in his awesome hat. We celebrated his birthday just a few months ago.

 And here's pretty Josie scowling at Luke.
My teacher friend Jess modeling one of my bumblebee cake pops. Believe it or not, those little treats took WAY too much time. Cute, but probably not going to be made again.

Everyone is singing to Eli in this picture. You can get a little glimpse of the smash cake I made, and the party hat I attempted to make. It turned out a little huge, and I forgot the pom-pom top, but it looks cute on my baby!

We blew out his candle together, and he tentatively went for the bumblebee first...

 But quickly put that aside and just went for the whole cake instead. I had to give him a little finger lick of the frosting first, and he had no trouble after that.
Clearly, he's a boy after his daddy's heart. He LOVES cake.

I know this is ridiculous, but I really wish we had moved his chair to the shade, so all the pictures weren't him squinting into the sun.

Most of the adult party crowd cheering him on.

After cake, we opened presents, and everyone was truly too good to Eli. He has gifts for months, which we quickly decided to pick out a few he can play with now, and put the rest away for awhile. We can rotate them in and out and they'll all seem like new!

After presents, just like the invite said, it become clear that it was naptime for the kiddos, and everyone slowly cleared out. Our families stayed and visited outside in the warm sun, and enjoyed the company. We watched Eli play with his new toys, and he showed off his full-time walking skills while we all clapped. Before his afternoon nap, we took one last picture of our family of three.

Eli went for a ride around the yard in his gift that we got him. He loves his new radio flyer wagon and we've enjoyed many walks around the neighborhood already. The party was a success in our books, and we so enjoyed celebrating with our friends here in Knoxville. The only thing that would have made it better is if our friends from Franklin could have been with us too. Hope you like all 100 of these pictures. :)


  1. Hey, we represented Franklin for you! Love you mama!! Was so glad to be there and see you all :) Come home and visit soon!

  2. oh my gosh...looked like a blast! i hope i can live up to it!! coop's party is in 3 hours!! what am i doing on the Internet?? happy b-day eli!!

  3. This is the second time I've looked at these pictures, and I am still in awe of all that you did for Eli's big "bee-day"! It's a shame he won't remember such a grand shin-dig! Glad there are hundreds of pictures to show him when he gets older. What a cutie-pie!

  4. That's about the cutest 1st birthday party I've ever seen!

  5. Love the pics Jane! You did an excellent job! Congrats on your 1 year old!!