Friday, August 24, 2012

henry's little man mustache bash

We recently celebrated Henry's first birthday, and of course, I had to go all out.
No, Henry will never remember it, but hopefully some day he will look at the pictures and know he was loved like crazy.

The theme was "Little Man" and there were lots of ties and mustaches.
I've actually known that was going to be the theme of his first birthday party since the first tie onesie I made him 11 months ago.
I had the whole thing planned out in my head and was all excited to get started with creating an invitation and party decor. 
I was searching online for more party inspiration when I came across Shana's etsy shop.
I couldn't believe that she had already created so many of the things that I had dreamed up in my head...right down to the milk jugs and a play on words about "milk mustaches".
I realized that I could save myself hours and HOURS of work by just purchasing her $30 printable package.

But there was one problem.
Her son's party was blue and green.
I knew I wanted Henry's to be yellow, gray and aqua to match his room, (since I would be using several things from his room to decorate and because I knew I wanted to finish the photo gallery in his room with pictures from the photo booth at his party.)

I messaged Shana and asked if she would do a custom order and she wrote back to say that she had a lot on her plate and was afraid she wouldn't be able to get it all done in time.
But she linked two other custom color combinations that she had already created.

One of them was called "blue and orange".
I almost didn't even click on it but I am so glad I did.
The "orange" was actually really similar to the mustardy yellow that I have used in Henry's room.
And when I hear "blue" I'm thinking Indianapolis Colt's blue but this blue was actually pretty light and bright and almost turquoisey.
So, even though the colors weren't EXACTLY what I had been dreaming of, I decided I needed to just let go of my perfectionism and my artistic need to always be different (and difficult) and save myself (and my husband) a lot of time and trouble.

This party was a major exercise in me letting go.
I think God used it to teach me a thing or two.
The morning of the party, it was pouring.
We live in an 1100 square foot house and had about 60 people coming.
We were relying on that half acre of yard outside.

The forecast said it would clear around noon.
The party started at two and almost everything needed to be set up outside.
Once the rain stopped, it was crunch time.
I had to just let Christian and our awesome parents, who were there to help, put things where they saw fit and not obsess about it.

Some things never got hung.
I made a HUGE pennant flag banner that said "Happy Birthday Henry" to hang between the house and garage and no one even saw it.
But who cares, right?
It's not about the decorations; it's about celebrating Henry's first year of life.
(Okay, for me it was sort of about the decorations too but I'll keep telling myself that.)

Celebrate, we did.
We were so, so blessed to have so many friends and family members there to celebrate with us.
Here are some pictures from the big day:

The menu included fresh fruits and veggies, baked beans and sloppy joes ("Little Man" 'wiches), mustache shaped sandwiches, "Tough Guy" pretzels, and "Little Man" munchies.

Christian's mom baked cupcakes along with the gorgeous cake that I requested (this recipe) and my friend Jess made the most adorable tie cookies.

(These pictures make me dislike the color of our kitchen even more. Ugh. Boring! Looks like I have a new project to conquer...)

For drinks, we had "Little Man" lemonade, all the fixins for milk mustaches, and of course some adult beverages too...

So... we invited a lot of people.
And lots of our friends have kids.
Many of them have multiple kids.
And pretty much everyone came, which was AWESOME!
But I had this idea to make every child a shirt as a party favor.

28 kids later...

I didn't even get a good picture of it but those shirts lined our deck.

A week before the party, I was up to my ears in ties and flowers and I just about had a nervous breakdown while sewing the first tie on, so I had the genius idea to use fabric glue instead.
The bottle says it's machine washable.
They lie.

At the party, many kids were running through the sprinklers or dipping in the kiddy pool and the ties were falling right off.
I wanted to save time, but man, what a waste!
I am now hunting down my friends and insisting that they let me sew those dang things down.

(Umm... I was so touched when little Jude wore his tie shirt in the family photos I took of them, by the way!)

This was my second favorite party detail:

My favorite part of the party, by far, was the photo booth.
I loved it because I knew the pictures taken there would be something Henry could always look back on.

We just used some pvc pipe, a white sheet, some heavy duty clips, and the pennant banner from Henry's room as the backdrop.
(Now you see where the inspiration for my blog's new look came from.)

I borrowed my friend Jess's camera (so that I still had mine to use during the party) and Christian borrowed a remote and a tripod from a friend at work so that people could take their own pictures.

I plan to make Henry a photo book of his first birthday and I love that he will be able to look back at these pictures and see who attended!

Recognize this pretty couple?

Miles and Ka'Lena:

Teacher friends:

Teacher friends' families:

Our bible study (minus the Von Merveldts who were at the hospital delivering their baby girl, Reese!)

The Reddingtons:

I was really bummed when I learned that Emily, Aaron and Quinn weren't going to be able to make it to Henry's party because they had a wedding in Nebraska the night before.
I was sad because in our long friendship we been through so much together and because Emily had helped me cut out mustaches for the straws we would be using at the party.
But I think mostly I was sad because they wouldn't be included in the photo book I would be making for Henry and I felt it just wouldn't be complete without them.

So imagine my surprise when they showed up!
I literally screamed and almost cried.
They are such amazing friends that they decided to wake up at 3 in the morning or something absurd like that to drive back and surprise us!

Okay, I'm crying now just thinking about it.
I love you guys!

The Wehner Family: 

 (That's Jess...the one who provided the tie cookies and the camera for the photo booth... along with glass bottles, paper straws, hole punches and blue yarn balls she had left over from this fabulous baby shower she threw).
When her husband, Ben, figured out that they had provided all of that, he said, "Wow. We are cool!"
So cool. 
I can't thank you guys enough!

My side of the family:

Christian's side of the family: 

My favorite photo booth picture of the day:

Here is our little man eating his grammy's delicious cake:

He loved it, of course!

Opening presents:

(That's one very loved and very spoiled little boy.)

The rocking horse from his Uncle Jimmy:

Henry and Quinn testing out the new Radio Flyer from Grammy and Grampy:

This party was so much fun.
Thank you to everyone who helped make it a great memory for our family.


  1. Amazing party! You are very creative and your love of the little details is awesome :)

  2. This is just beautiful!
    I was wondering where did you get that cake stand?

    1. Julia,

      I wish I could tell you but I actually received it as a wedding present four years ago from a dear friend who lives in San Francisco. I think she bought it at a local pottery shop there. :(