Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trackers 1st Birthday Party

I started planning Tracker's 1st Birthday months ahead of time.
There is something really amazing about planning your child's first birthday.
Its an accomplishment.
You have made it a year!
For Ryan and I it was even bigger.
It was the first birthday we were able to have for our children.
We have had a child for 4 years now. but this was the first birthday we were able to celebrate.
It was a BIG deal.

It started out being a Tractor theme.
Somehow Ryan talked me into adding more Farm items than I wanted so it became a Farm party with a few extra Tractors thrown in. At the end of the day I absolutely loved it and so did the birthday boy himself! It was a success.
No party is a real party without a few several hang ups.
but without those hang ups we wouldn't have some of the memories.
I will vow right here and now- I will NEVER plan a party in one state while it will take place in another. It was so frustrating. We have the best family and friends who would help with anything but there is only so much I was willing to ask them to do. and we were only going to be getting to Utah the morning of the party so our time was very limited as to what we could do. 
I prepared ahead of time as much as possible but factoring in a 10+ hour drive without ruining some of those party preparations was a royal headache.

The Invitations:
Were suppose to be super simple.
Made them myself on photo shop. Printed them on this recycled paper from my own computer.
Cut out a trillion of these triangles. Attempted to stamp his name in white on there but when that failed I resorted to embossing. (another thing I will NEVER do again. Emboss a trillion letters)
Strung the Trackers name across the top of the invite and stapled it in place.
I wanted it to look raw, imperfect and just fun.

Some of the prep...

Mini brown paper bags filled with candy. Thank You tags stapled to them.
Easy Peezy gift for guests.

I envisioned these wheels for months. I imagined where I would put them and how they would hang. I did not factor in 1. Wind
 2. Rain and 3. That I envisioned a completely different backyard than my sisters...
Yeah I have been there about a billion times and somehow her backyard became acres of space with a flat rock wall as a perfect backdrop. I kind of had it similar but not really. Oops. again the reason why I will NEVER plan a party from another state again.

I bought this template off a shop on Etsy and did as much as I could with it. I made these circles GIANT, Medium and miniature in size. I glued some to sticks to place in the ground, I put some of them on these wheels and I used the miniature ones to make the banner around his highchair.
Highchair banner was a rough cut out of burlap triangles. Burlap I had previously used as a table runner. I stapled small circles behind the Farm themed circles. I then used the string to add a little something extra. I used as many of the same items as possible throughout the entire party. The blueish grey circles are the same paper I used to cut out the triangles for his invite. The string is the same string I used to tie signs, the invitation banner and other various things at the party. I again used the staples. 
Made it easy and the more easy look I was going for.

Banner was party of the template bought off Etsy. I printed it from my house on the thickest card stock I  could find to make it look nicer. This was another item that I had a vision of where it would be placed but that vision was apart of my imaginary backyard. We kept moving this banner at the party because of the pesky wind that wouldn't go away. I am not sure if a single person even saw this banner at the party.

The Party:

I am obsessed with these tassel banners. I think they made every party more fun. 
I tried to display everything in a fun way. Every food item was labeled to match the theme. I had a treat table full of Trackers favorites. My sweet friend made Trackers birthday cake and my SIL made the cupcakes. I had several of those mini brown paper bags left so those were put on the treat table for people to load with popcorn and sprinkle some seasoning and shake the bag up.
I ordered the T and the 1 for his cake months ago. I originally had a different color scheme in mind for his party so when I changed the colors I had to paint the cake toppers myself. I went with a solid color instead of painting the dots a separate color. Ryan cut up all the logs to make different levels and add in a bit more of the farm/rustic vibe.

I made sure to include Tracker in every aspect of his party. I made sure that his favorite foods were served and planned everything else on the menu around those items.
Mac n' Cheese was the first item. He could eat an entire box by himself. I did a little research of home made recipes and combined a couple to make my own. It turned out really good. 
Mandarin oranges were next on Trackers list. I went with "fruit" and added some of his other favorites like strawberries and blueberries. I probably could have stopped there as far as Tracker is concerned but I decided our guests might want a little more. So we added pulled pork sandwiches, veggies, deviled eggs, salad, chips n' salsa, fruit dips and lots of drink options.

I set up a Tracker table to bring the theme together and show off how adorable this little man of ours is. I set out some of my favorite pictures from this past year and than mounted several of his 1 year pictures on foam board for display. I ordered a few dozen red, yellow and blue handkerchiefs. It was an easy way to make each of the tables match and bring more of the farm feel into everything. The cow print table covers I loved. I hung his monthly pictures with tiny clothes pins on twine. Its amazing to see how much he has changed this past year. I had to stop several times while putting this party together and just thank God for this. For this life. For this past year. I cant even put into words how blessed I feel to be able to share every single moment with this child. That I am his Mum.

I had planned a few simple activities for the kids to do so they could stay busy. I put out 8 batches of homemade play dough along with cookie cutters. Somehow these tables remained untouched. The plan was for all the guests to take a piece of the play dough home with them. That didn't really happen since no one was interested in this childish thing :)
I also had sidewalk chalk, crayons and stickers out which those items did get used.
I was a bit of a mess running around getting everything ready for his party. When it came time for the party to actually begin I took these pictures but that's about it. There was several other details that I didn't take pictures of. I got hardly any pictures of the guests and not many of Tracker enjoying his party. I am a wee bit disappointed in my lack of documenting but I guess that means I was either having to much fun or to frazzled to think about anything else. We had several hay bales placed around the party for people to sit on and for the presents to be placed on. They were really cute. I also had balloons all over and didn't get many pictures of those. I will remember for his next party to set aside time for me to actually take pictures before the party begins.

The tables were white paper so everyone could color while they ate. There were pictures of Tracker, farm animals, crayons in soup cans and cow tails on each table.

We were suppose to watch a movie outside but in the middle of present opening we were forced to run for cover inside when a rainstorm canceled our plans. It was not a huge deal because by that time the birthday boy was pretty much ready for bed. I know Tracker will never remember this day. It wont be something he will look back on and think how much fun he had. but Ryan and I will. I am so thankful we were finally able to celebrate such a huge day. I am so thankful that we have been given this life with Tracker. I wish more than anything we could have had this with Makenzie. You better believe I am planning the first birthday we will have for her in heaven!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My idea of perfection

Today is a good day.
Sitting here is my idea of perfection.
But that perfection is not anyone else's ideal. My ideal is this fall weather. The wind is blowing the sun is shining. It's quiet with distant sound. I'm warm but not hot. I need a sweater. I hear the trees russle in the wind mostly. It drowns out some of my silly thoughts and reminds me to be still. I lay here. On the grass. Which isn't wet. I trace her name in stone. I talk to her. 
I imagine what life would be if this wasn't my ideal place.
Tracker is sound asleep in the car. 
The windows are down and I can hear his snore every now and again.
I listen for him but my focus is on our time. I love laying next to her. I love this warmth. I brought toys today. I try my best not to think of the time or what other items I need to get done. I just lay here. What makes it even better is the coffee I decided to treat myself to that I have been craving for months. This place. This moment. Is my perfection. This is what my life is. This is a moment I wish I could relive over and over. This is a memory I want to save. One that I hope I can pull from my memory jar when I'm hundreds of miles away aching to be here in this place. Another life lesson to never take the simple things for granted. I miss this place more than anything. I miss this peace. I miss this comfort. My daughters body lays under me. Her spirit is close. This place is ours.
Oh how I miss her.
This time 3 years ago she was here. We were together. My perfect place was with her in my arms. I miss that time. That innocence. That naive state of mind.
I'm learning time doesn't heal wounds. It only allows you to learn how to live with the pain better.
I wish I could come back in December. To be here and celebrate her angel day. In our spot. It kills me that its not possible. That we can't make that happen.
So for now I'm not leaving. Not until that little boy has had enough and I have no choice.
Please hold me my love. Mama misses you so much.

Tracker is 12 Months

Tracker 12 Months
Weight: 24.8 lbs (87%)
Height: 32" (98%)

Clothes: Pants and shirts are 12-18 month and Jammies are 18-24 month
Size 4 diaper. Size 5 shoe
Sleep: Sleeping this past month has been just about the same as last month. He goes down between 7-8 and sleeps until 5am. We bring him in bed with us and pray he goes back to sleep which sometimes he will do. We have tried sleep training once again this last month as well as moving his naps around but nothing has changed. This boy sure is strong willed. I honestly cant complain much. I pretty much look forward to 5am every night just so I can snuggle that boy next to me. He is still napping twice a day but those naps are becoming shorter and shorter. All these Mums that tell me their kid sleeps all night and than takes a 3 hour nap during the day... WOW... I don't even know what I would do with myself. Perhaps get a few more things done around the house.
Eating: This boy can eat. He is pretty good about any new foods we introduce. He loves any and all fruit. He can eat an entire can of mandarin oranges, a container of raspberries and strawberries and blueberries. He loves yogurt, bread, mac n cheese, pasta, squash, zucchini and goldfishes.
He really will eat anything we give him though. He is becoming more independent when eating so I have had to get a bit more creative on how I prepare his food so that it can all be turned into finger foods and he can do it on his own. Meal time is very messy.
He love his bottle and I don't even want to think about the time we will be taking it away. I admit we haven't even thought of a game plan. He drinks water and juice in a sippy without a problem but its more ME that just doesn't want to think about him as bottle-less.
Likes: Our walks, the park, crawling on the grass, watching other kids play, wrestling, throwing balls, climbing, trying to walk, standing, peed a boo, swimming.
Dislikes: That he cant swim alone, that he cant run, when he is alone, when I take something away from him, when we are in the car to long, getting out of the bath, changing his diaper, the word no.


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