Monday, August 15, 2011

American Boy Birthday Party

 It’s been almost a year since I last posted, so I guess I’ll just call this my annual blog post. But it’s certainly worth a post -- my little boy turned ONE! Before having a living child, I never knew why first birthdays were such a big deal. Just another year, right? Whew, boy, I had no idea. The first birthday is a celebration of everyone making it out alive. And I don’t even mean that sarcastically. Ater having gone through loss after loss of my babies, and then knowing all the dangers babies face in their first year, his birthday was a gift in itself. I have a LIVING, completely healthy toddler -- he didn’t even get a fever or infection of any kind his entire first year! God has blessed us, just like we always KNEW He would. Like Biblical character, Job, the second half of our lives is proving to be far better than the first!

So I just had to share the pictures from the momentous event -- his party (held July 16)! When I first started planning the party, I envisioned it enormous, with catered food, bounce houses, fireworks, a three-tiered professionally designed fondant-covered cake, something magazine worthy. I wanted it to encompass the relief and joy that we are experiencing, after having endured such an arduous road to his pregnancy and his life... and such a challenging first year of life too (colic, his despising sleep longer than one-hour stretches, tortuous teething, food allergies, but of course it got better after 7 months!). But then I thought about the point of a party -- a simple celebration of the people in your life that make it worth living. So, I scaled down my vision (honestly, my budget wouldn’t have allowed that crap anyway), and came up with an American Boy party: antique boy toys, retro candy, a casual farmlike Americana style, classic American food. Being such a girly-girl myself, this was the best I could do at not adding lace or frills! :)

The Whole Spread!

My favorite photo of the decor: an antique iron truck carrying Whirlypops!

I made 68 of those cupcakes! Lots of work! I was frosting them just minutes before the first guests arrived. I used the Magnolia Bakery recipe, which seems to always work well :)

Side angle! The 1980s gumball machine really "made" the look of an old candy shop.

Some of the food! All of it was homemade. Here was the menu:
Baked Mac N Cheese
North Carolina Pulled Pork
Apple Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Potato Salad
Creamy Coleslaw
Not homemade: Cheerwine, IBC Rootbeer, Old Fashioned Coke bottles, tons of candy

these drinks were later labeled -- lemonade and iced tea!

Happy Family

My cutie pie through the months. Jeff created his own Photoshop action for this.

I made this wreath, including designing the prints on the paper, but I got inspiration for this project from another party I found online a few days before our own party!

Here’s the Vendor List, in case you’d like to throw an American Boy party yourself! I’m also willing to rent out the antique pieces that I bought.

I, of course, made all the Paper Goods from scratch. They included: the invitations/envelopes & thank-you cards, all food labels, Lochlan's high-chair banner, skewer flags for the fruit, trash/recycling signs (not pictured), and the wreath was my own creation too -- down to the little "welcome" flags made with my own paper designs! If you'd like to buy any of it, or a custom version of it, contact me through Sugarcoat Paperie!

Wall Banners: Custom made by HerBeautifulLife on Etsy.
Tablecloths: Upholstery fabric cut from rolls at Ikea.
Brown Paper Runners:Contractor's paper from Lowes ($7 a roll!)
Striped Dishcloths: Ikea
Galvanized Cupcake Stand and Silverware Caddies, Antique Pepsi Crates: Pottery Barn. I bought the cupcake stand literally TWO days before the party, after I saw it and loved it on Holly Mathis Interiors blog that also did a patriotic party!
Penny Jars with lids: Target
Decorative candy canisters and drink-straw holder: HomeGoods
Galvanized mini-buckets (that held the candy bags): Hobby Lobby.
Scalloped paper plates/napkins/cupcake toppers, Drink Dispensers, Drink Chalkboard Labels: Sur La Table
Lochlan’s personalized Bib: Custom made by LizaLane on Etsy.
Paper Drink Straws: HeyYoYo on Etsy.
Mason Jars: Can be found at Harris Teeter or WalMart, depending on when they're in stock!
My dress: Forever21 ;)

Antiques were bought from random shops in Virginia, and a few were borrowed from parents. They were as follows: gumball machine, 3 toy trucks (one was new from ebay),  tinker toys, Playskool pull toy, baseball, checkerboard tray.


tea_time said...

Beautiful as usual Heather. What a great idea for a party, and so perfect for your family and sense of style. If you didn't already have enough on your plate you'd be a fabulous professional party planner! :)

Anonymous said...

Ah so good to see you! I would expect nothing less from your little ones first birthday!! You need a style/ design blog! Or have this featured somewhere it's so adorable and you and Jeff are the perfect all-American family!
-Jen (sporty)

Kristi Trahan said...

Hi Heather, I have asked Jen Decker Donahue to get me your contact information (or facebook or something). I just lost my baby girl, Tenley at 39 weeks (5 weeks ago today). You seem very relatable to me, similar in many ways I can see from reading your blog. I'd like to chat with you ... my facebook is under Kristi Bratcher-Trahan...

Amy said...

He is getting so big! Congrats on his first birthday and I loved your ideas.

Malorie Padron said...

I hope you know that years down the road i have stumbled across your story, and read all of it. It had me balling at points and others smiling. i wanted to say congrats on your beautiful baby boy. Who im sure is getting to be a big boy now. I pray that God continues to bless you and your family.
-Malorie Padron

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog. keep it up!