Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweet Pea Birthday Party

What a momentous day for me. Two days before she turned one, my baby had her first birthday party. I could cry just typing those words and I'm not even sure why. So many people told me that a first birthday celebration is just for me, since the baby won't remember. This is true, yet I knew I wanted to celebrate big, make a fuss, hand-make every decoration, stay up late cooking and crafting and gluing, and invite all of Annalise's little friends and their families over. I've been thinking about this party, this event to celebrate the life and miracle of my angel baby girl, for months, but I couldn't articulate to myself why I wanted such a big fuss. Then I read a post from this blog and was struck by a short quote from a mother who lost her daughter to a choking accident two weeks shy of her second birthday. In a letter to her son on his first birthday, she wrote, "Dearest Little Peter Boy, I didn't know that your sister, Lucy, would have only one birthday. Just one. We had a small party for her. And it was sweet and wonderful. But after she passed away, I realized what a big deal birthdays are. Another year alive. Another year with our loved ones. And I vowed that I would make your first birthday a huge celebration. And we did! It was all I could have hoped for and more." I agree. They're a big deal and they are indeed a miracle. One which I do not take for granted and Annalise's party was my way of expressing that and reveling in it. I thank God for my precious baby.

The theme of the party was Sweet Pea, her nickname. She was a Sweet Pea for Halloween, got a Sweet Pea Christmas ornament for her first Christmas, and has a special song her Daddy sings her called Sweet Pea. The invitation:

The day started off well, with Annalise sleeping in and getting a good night's rest (including a four-hour sleep stretch!). My mom flew into town to celebrate with us and she and I put the final touches on the food and decorations all morning until it was time for the guests.

The cake table:

Luckily my mom made tons of food, because if it was up to me, our guests would have been dining on theme-y pink-colored snacks and decorations.

The name of the game was THRIFTY! I wanted to do a fun party from scratch and not spend much money. There were loads of streamers and paper pom poms,

plates and utensils from the dollar store,


and cups from the dollar store that got jazzed up with sweet little sweet peas. 

The cups were for drinking from the spouted glass beverage jar full of pink raspberry sherbet punch, and custom-labeled water bottles were available too.

I printed the labels off on my printer and then attached them by laying clear packing tape on top so that they looked like shiny vinyl and the colors wouldn't run from condensation. There was even a special birthday version of Nutrition Facts on the backs of the labels.

This vintage kitty napkin holder from the thrift store started out broken and dark brown. A little glue and some white spray paint fixed that right up!

These candle sticks and bowls came from the dollar store,

and once again a little glue and spray paint (on the bottoms of the bowls, so they could still be eaten out of) worked their magic, transforming them into beautiful milk-glass look-alike serving bowls:

which held some yummy treats.

The room was sprinkled with thrifted milk-glass bud vases, sporting handmade pinwheel flowers,

I found this wooden sign at the dollar store and knew I could doctor it up:

I plucked off the ugly felt horse and added my own touch:

Much cuter!

I wanted a bouquet of pink blossoms for the mantel. An outgrown tutu stuffed upside-down in a crystal vase did just the trick.

The cake table sported a hand-made Happy Birthday banner, and I printed out some pictures with birthday messages to switch out with the regular pictures in the frames above the table.

Some more treats:

I didn't get pictures of all the treats, but you get the idea. And what would a Sweet Pea party be without sweet peas to munch on?

We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, and my mom spent hours making potato salad, baked beans, spinach and artichoke dip, deviled eggs, and sumi salad from scratch for 30 people. Of course, for dessert there were cupcakes for the guests and a smash cake for the birthday girl, which I decorated with a little felt and pom pom sweet pea that adorned the top of the gift I won in a contest from Lisa of this lovely blog.

I made the cake stand out of a plate from the dollar store and a $2 wooden candle stick from Big Lots that started out black before being shot with some shiny white spray paint.

The cute salt-and-pepper sweet peas in front of the cake stand were also part of the gift from Lisa.

The cupcakes were frosted with homemade buttercream frosting, sprinkled with little pea-look-alike sprinkles, and had Happy Birthday cupcake toppers poking out the top.

Before we ate dessert though, we had fun practicing the traditional Korean celebration of Tol. We put Annalise in front of her Tol Table, where she could predict her future by the first two items she touched. As is tradition, there was a book which means she'd be a great scholar, an orange which means she'd have many descendants, noodles that would mean she'd have a long life, a spoon that means she would be a good cook, a cookie which means she'd never go hungry, money which means she'd be rich, and finally an item of her father's choosing (usually what the father would most like to see for their child). Apparently Dave's greatest desire is for Annalise to become a golfer, so onto her Tol table he put a golf ball.

The first thing she touched

A book! She's going to be a smarty-pants! And the next thing she picked up...

was the spoon! A smart chef! I can definitely handle that. Maybe she can make up for my lack of cooking prowess. And even though only the first two things the baby touches are supposed to count for their fortunes, Annalise picked this up next:

and this was her father's reaction:

He insists it counted too.

Next was time for birthday cake! Annalise enjoyed it very much. For a few minutes she ate and ate.

Then came the Great Birthday Disaster. Our friend was holding up a blanket behind her and over her head so that the lighting would be good for me to take pictures. As Annalise noshed, out of nowhere his son ran headfirst into the back of the blanket behind her. I caught a picture of it just as it was happening.

He smashed into Annalise and her cake, both of which went flying. Annalise had no idea what hit her. Luckily we caught the whole thing on video:

She was pretty sad when it happened but I'm pretty sure it'll make her laugh someday!

Thanks to all of Annalise's friends and their families who came and helped us celebrate our little Sweet Pea's first year!


Lisa said...

How Beautiful AND adorable. Makes me want to SQUEEEEL. So happy it turned out so great! Thank you for the sweet mention. She is a blessed little girl to have such a sweet momma. May this be a special year for you and your sweet pea!

Jodie said...

What an adorable party! You're so talented Jess. Happy Birthday to the sweet Annalise!

Todd Hillyard said...

Wow. It was amazing how much work you did. It was a great party and the cake was so great.

Confession- that was my son that ruined the day.

Jessica said...

Haha Tood, I was trying to keep it on the DL and not call you out! It WAS your kid, but he didn't ruin the day. He just made a priceless memory!

[M] said...

BEAUTIFUL. I love it all.

PDXTingeys said...

Wow, I'm so impressed! You are such a great party planner. I love all the decorations! Happy Birthday Annalise!!

Valerie and Mercado Family said...

It sounds like a party only Jessica could do- thrifty, yet beautiful and perfect! I wish I had been there! Congrats!

Jessica said...

Val, I wish you could have been there too!!!

Cindy said...

Did you have to do anything to the glass bowls to make the paint stick? It didn't run off or anything? Very clever!!!

melis said...

omg, i am soo impressed with your creativity, craftiness and thriftiness. how fun!! and it turned out so cute.

Jessica said...

I just sprayed the glass with Krylon spray paint and it stayed perfectly! I think it's recommended that you sand the glass first or treat it with the stuff for glass etching, but I didn't do either because I didn't want to be bothered and it worked for me!

Kim said...

Oh! I love how you put my feelings into words! Birthdays should be celebrated Big-time! You made the day beautiful. How awesome to have taken a video of the birthday disaster!!! Your pics are great!!

rjlove143 said...

I just wanted to say how absolutely adorable this party turned out!!! I am planning my little Sweet Pea's first birthday and I am using a lot of your ideas as inspiration!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Antonia said...

I found your blog through the Leigh Anne site where she was featuring your party. I just loved what you did. I read your comments on how you wanted to make a fuss and I am so happy to have found someone who feels the same way I do. My girl is only 4 months old and I am already planning! With a little one you have to start crafting early. I hope you don't mind that I used some of your comments in a blog post to share with my friends. Love your blogs they have become new favorites!

melissa weiss said...

where did you get the template to make the water bottle labels? I am looking to do the same thing for my daughters 1st birthday! :)

Jessica said...

The link to the water bottle templates is in this blog post!

Dana said...

Can you share the template that you used for the sweet pea decorations on the cups?

Jessica said...

The little sweet pea decorations on the cups were cut-outs from the Cricut cartridge 'New Arrival'!

The Witherspoon Family said...

On the water bottle labels, how did you edit the Nutritional Facts? I don't have Adobe Illustrator. Thanks! Love all of the ideas and your sweet little girl!

Jessica said...

I created the nurtrition facts in Photoshop. :)

Jessica said...

*nutrition* :)

Kristin G said...

i love your invitation and we want to do a sweet pea birthday for our daughters' first, as that's our nickname for her. Did you create that yourself and would you be willing to share the template? i'm having trouble finding cute backgrounds like your green toile, etc.

grace said...

I was touched by what inspired you to do your daughter's first bday big! I feel the same way and people think I'm crazy! Birthdays are special to me and I want them to be special for my kids. I call my daughter "Sweet Pea", too. But I wasn't sure if I could pull off the theme since that theme seems to be associated with baby showers. Thank you for the inspiration!

Jessica said...

I didn't create the invitation myself- I found it on etsy! It didn't have the sweet pea on it though- I just added that in Photoshop. :)

P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
P said...

Hello, found your beautiful post from Google when searching for water bottle label. I did find the template you used from that site but I'm looking for a editable version for the Nutrition Facts. How did you edit it? From that template it's just a picture. Would you mind sending your psd to me? I need it desperately for my daughter's 1st birthday coming up soon. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!

EZ said...

This party was absolutely precious!!!! Any chance you would be willing to share your water bottle template? Even just the nutrition facts? :)

Anonymous said...

Cute party! Looks like you have been hacked though. :( The link for your Book Club post took me to... um... well, no books there, just videos. :/

Ashby Ashes said...

I have been searching HIGH and LOW to find this invitation somewhere. I am not crafty at all and do not have photoshop; nor would I even know how to create such an awesome invitation on my own.

Is there any way you'd be willing to share this invitation so I could "edit" it for my daughter, who we also call Sweet Pea, as her 1st birthday is coming up in one month. I'd love to hear back from you.

Thank you.

Drew Watts said...

Your baby may not remember her first birthday but those pictures are going to be priceless for both of you. I still shed a tear or two looking pictures from my son’s first birthday party. We were celebrating his 18th birthday at one of the Chicago venues. I printed larger sized pictures from his previous birthdays for decoration purpose and he loved it.