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!


caseyp said...

SIMPLE!!! You are an amazing Mom!! Ryan is an amazing Daddy!!!

Trinity said...

It always makes me feel awful when I see these darling parties put together. I do not do half of the cuteness, love it, but I never seem to actually do it. His party was absolutely beautiful! Happy first birthday, Tracker. I have a party to plan and I better get on it if I want it to be somewhat decently decorated, I only have 5 weeks left.

Alli E. said...

So cute! He is a lucky little guy to be surrounded by so much love!


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