I’m finally coming up for air after the crazy month of April. I’m not sure why the month ended up being so filled with things to do but I blinked and here it is May already (though I wish someone would inform Mother Nature of this fact, it still feels like March!).

April begin with Rees’ first birthday. We made it through the first year of parenting! (And we’re all still alive!!) In some ways I can hardly believe our baby is one however there were some stretches over last year that seemed incredibly long. I guess when everything is new to you, time can seem to drag out as you begin to learn the ropes as a parent. Most days, I still feel like I have no clue what I’m doing and my new greatest fear is not knowing what my baby needs, but I’m grateful for motherly instinct, my own mother’s advice and most of all, for Eric and his calm and steady demeanor and complete competence in taking care of Rees all on his own. There is no way I could do this without him and my favorite thing to do is watch Eric and Rees together and the special relationship that they share.

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When it came to the momentous first birthday celebration I put a lot of thought into the whole event. Before having Rees large, elaborate parties and entertaining was just my style but after Rees I’ve come to a better understanding of my limits. What do I want to do versus what I can actually do given my time and skill level? And most of all how many people do I need to feed? These two questions had Eric and I arrive at a more simple, less is more birthday celebration. We both have large families and most of those family members live within a drivable distance from our house so although we may have wanted to include friends we chose to keep this thing as small as possible and just invite family. Even so, we had like 20 people here!

Once we had decided on the invite list, it was food and decor decisions. I decided to make my work as little as possible and asked family members to each bring a dish to share. It was so completely not gourmet but it was SO much easier! Lesson #1 learned. I took on the task of the cake and a few other dessert items along with decorations. I used Pinterest for inspiration and wanted to do some really fun decorations for the party and based them all around the party dress I bought back in January for Rees to wear.

Let it be said that I am not what you would consider a crafty person. Yes, I love make a 5 tier cake or a cream puff tower but ask me to create something with scissors and glue and a 3 year old can probably do better than me. The most creative I ever did as a kid was coloring. I loved coloring because the picture was already there and I didn’t have to draw it! Why I ever though making my own party decorations would be “fun” I’ll never know but I’m sure I’m not the first person to gain false confidence from Pinterest. As I sat cutting out paper circles with red sore hands I kept cursing Pinterest. Next time, I’m ordering everything from Etsy where I can pay someone to make my Pinterest dreams come to life. Lesson #2 learned.

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In the end, the decorations were super cute and I loved the way everything turned out. The house felt festive and fun, perfect for our special girl. The biggest hit of the party were the pictures I put up of Rees as she grew over the last year. I took weekly photos of her until 6 months and then monthly photos of her until she reached 1 year. It was so fun to see how she changed and grew each week/month. I plan to put these into a photo book for her and that will be her baby book.

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My dessert table included strawberry swirl cupcakes, raspberry macarons and a chocolate cake with raspberry filling. Everything was a big hit!

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I loved seeing our families together celebrating this past year and Rees was so happy and fun at the party. I think cake is her new favorite food, she kept asking for leftover cupcakes the whole following week. We love you Rees and we can’t wait for this next year and all the new things you’ll learn and how you’ll grow! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

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