I wasn't thinking of doing much for Penny's first birthday, to be honest. In the same way we were able to spend her first Christmas in Hawaii, I sort of felt like we could get away with not acknowledging the occasion, because, well, you know, she doesn't really know otherwise. I thought we could just have a cupcake after dinner or something. Then my mom booked a ticket to come all the way across the country, and the event became more important. As it turned out, we had the most beautiful day outside I think I can ever remember, here in Portland. Seeing our friends, old and new, acknowledging our daughter's first year was really special. I can't believe I almost disregarded it, and I'm so glad we didn't.
We had it on Easter Sunday in a local park. It was perfect, as our small house could in no way house/entertain the kids. I decorated a picnic table with bright tablecloths, foil Easter eggs, and potted grass in chalkboard plant pots that said, "Happy Birthday Penny". I got the idea here. We had balloons so our friends could find us, and all the food was catered. Hello...easy!
There were treat bags for the kids, in the colors I tried to stick to: orange, yellow, and green (this is the extent of my decorating skills - decorating terrifies me!). Anyway, we included some things the children might like to play with in the park, like sidewalk chalk and foam bird gliders. I traced Penny's profile from a photo and we printed it out on sticker paper. There really is no mistaking that head, is there? ;)
This is Penny's BFF, Camilla. She's two weeks younger than Penny and ahead in almost every milestone. It's ok, at least we get to party hard first, right?
It was great to have my mom here. She took her first flight ever less than a year ago to see newborn Penny. This time, it was lovely to see she and her granddaughter form a relationship. Penny laughed and smiled all day long with her, and even took her first steps while my mom was here! Penny is still looking for her when we enter the living room, a week later.
I wanted a carrot cake, for the sake of Easter and we also had cookies for the Littles. We brought Penny's high chair to the park, so she could sit at the table and eat her first real taste of sugar. She's never been a voracious eater, but wowza friends, she was literally licking the plate. I loved it. It really felt like she enjoyed her birthday, and also with carrot cake, there's a vegetable in there somewhere, right?
"Daddy, hold on a minute, we have to discuss getting more of this in my life."
We spent a gorgeous afternoon with friends and their children, ranging in age from 3 months to 5 years old. I only wish we had gotten a group shot, so that when the kids are older they can see that they were together on this day. How cute is baby Frank??!
I'm so thankful to everyone who came to celebrate, and to my mom for assisting in the event, and to Penny, who napped until literally 5 minutes before the party, so she could enjoy every moment of her celebration.
She makes having a party completely worthwhile, even if she doesn't know otherwise.