baby’s first birthday

Hudson’s birthday was several weeks ago, but I keep having to remind myself that he’s actually ONE. Zach keeps trying to tell me that the little person walking around our house is a toddler, not a baby, to which I, like basically every mom in the history of ever, reply, “Umm no. He will always be my baby.” (Sing it, Mariah.)

Despite the fact that I was a little nostalgic about my little peanut growing up, I loved getting to celebrate his birthday with family and friends. I had so much fun, in fact, that I somehow managed to not take a single picture during his party. Thankfully, my much-more-photographically-skilled-than-I-am mother-in-law captured everything so well! Today, I thought I’d share some of her shots with you.

First, a little backstory: each year, our town hosts a fireworks celebration on the 3rd of July. This past year, since we were fairly confident that we would be able to see the fireworks from our house (we could), Zach and I decided that it would be fun to host a party for some families from our church. After our list of people we wanted to invite kept growing, we decided just to invite the whole church. Eight weeks after we moved into the basement of a house that was looking like this. Yes, it was as insane as it sounds. Thankfully, by the grace of God, it went amazingly well, and people haven’t stopped asking if we’re having another one. As a result, we’re planning on the 3rd of July shindig being an annual event.

All that to say, I decided to go with a color scheme of red and blue for Hudson’s party because I could reuse most of the decorations for several years. Oh, and also because it’s cute.

Aside from red and blue, the only other goal I had in mind while planning the party was to make it as stress-free as possible. I didn’t want to be working myself ragged and get to a point where I couldn’t relax and enjoy such a special day.

So, here you go: Hudson’s Red and Blue, Low-Stress, First Birthday Party:

The banners:


IMG_0128I made the bunting about a month before the party because I anticipated it being somewhat time-consuming, and I wanted to be able to work on it a little bit at a time. Thankfully, it ended up being pretty easy. I looked at several tutorials online, but none of them were quite what I was envisioning, so I came up with this. To be honest, I really love it. Hudson seemed to like it too- I hung it up on his actual birthday, and he kept pointing at it and babbling- love that boy. Most of the fabrics were scraps from his Christmas present, so it was pretty inexpensive, and I’m hoping to use it for his birthday for several years.

The food:

IMG_0185 IMG_0186 IMG_0188 IMG_0136Again, the idea was to keep it simple. I opted for things that I could make ahead of time, because the idea of guests arriving while I got things out of the oven and scrubbed dishes sounded a little nightmareish. We went with pasta salad, fruit salad, Pioneer Woman’s salsa and chips, and subs from the grocery store. Our local grocery store does a $5 footlong deal that includes all the toppings on the side, and if you cut them into thirds (you can see from the picture that they were still a great size), it’s a really reasonable price for very little effort. Zach’s mom made all of the cupcakes the day before, which was such an amazing help. They were a hit! I overestimated the food needs a little bit, but I was definitely in the “I’d rather have too much than too little” frame of mind. Plus, we had delicious leftovers!

The decorations:

IMG_0154 IMG_0153 IMG_0155 IMG_0164

The bunting was the main thing I had in mind to reuse when going with the red and blue theme- I’m hoping we’ll get lots of 4th of July use out of it over the coming years.

I bought the red journal at a handmade market when we were in London on our honeymoon, and have been wanting to put it to good use. It was fun to see which songs guests chose and how their choices reflected their personalities.

I backed Hudson’s weekly photos in paper I had leftover from my scrapbooking days (so thankful for digital albums), and we hung them on the wall. They were probably the highlight of the party- I mean, who can resist cute baby pictures?

The pinwheels came in packs of three from the dollar store and ended up being the perfect table toppers- inexpensive, simple, and a hit with the kids!

One bonus of the color scheme was that we ended up having lots of things in the house that worked for accessories- blue and white enamelware, our distressed table, and our runner all helped bring everything together.

It was so much fun to put everything together and celebrate one of my favorite people! I’ll hopefully share another short birthday post so you can see how the man of the hour enjoyed his first party!


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