Thursday, April 21, 2011

Celebrating Our Samuel, Part I: Starting off

Sam's first birthday party was soooooo fun!  So much fun, in fact, that I don't think I'm going to be able to get it all in one post!  So be prepared for a few post on this... we'll see how long it takes, but for now I'm just going to jump in!  (By the way, special thanks to my parents and my sister for their help in setting up the party and taking care of the boys while Dave and I were occupied with details, and to Ang for helping me sort through my gazillion pics of Sam and picking favorites for the decorations!  Also, thanks to my cousin Joel, Ang and my mom and brother for their help in both taking lots of pics to send to me and in handling both my main and my backup cameras so that I could be in 4 places at once and not miss a second of my baby's first birthday party!)

Since Sam obviously loves animals, Dave came up with the idea to have either a petting zoo or a pony ride at his birthday party.  He gave me the choice of either a Noah's Ark theme and do a petting zoo or a Barnyard theme and do a pony ride.  Well, since Sam's room is a barnyard theme and since I already had some great barnyard theme graphics, I chose Barnyard!  And, after further thought, we decided to also do both a pony ride and a petting zoo, and add a donkey ride since it wasn't that much more and we were going to have a lot of kids there.  I made the invitations and had so much fun planning the party and we couldn't wait to celebrate our sweet little man!

The Invitation.  Making the invite is usually one of my two favorite parts of party planning! (Okay, I guess one of my second-favorite parts... my favorite part is celebrating the guest of honor!)
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We decided to have the party at my parents' church, and we were so thrilled that we did... especially since it ended up being less-than-ideal weather.  I had planned the party while we were having our 80 degree January, and when it came to the week of the party the forecast ended up calling for loads of buckets of rain!  We moved the party in the fellowship hall and put the petting zoo on the patio under the awning and the pony route on the covered walkway and prayed that the torrents would stay away and that we'd get sprinkles at most... we had all of our friends praying for no rain!  And it worked!  It sprinkled on and off and we had a great time!

The setup in the hall
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I hung pictures of Sam throughout his first year.  On one side was the photo in color and the other side I had the same photo in black and white. There were about 29 of them since I couldn't narrow it down any further... I initially had only narrowed it down to 50!
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My other favorite part of party planning is planning and making the cake(s)!  I decided to go delicious this time rather than my usual Funfetti cake... I found some great cake recipes and I made a giant snickerdoodle cake (the dirt field cake), a delicious chocolate/chocolate chip cake (the fun barn cake), and Sam's smash cake (the tractor) was just funfetti, since he wasn't actually going to eat much of it.

This was my favorite cake I had ever made (until Jack's 4th birthday cake... which I probably won't get to posting for a while), and I had so much fun making it!  It was my first time using fondant, which I used to cover the cake and to cover the barn and for the letters and as the brown "field".  The details, animals and everything else were all icing.

Sam was a great help in the kitchen before the party started...

And Jack was a great help in making sure the bunny didn't escape its cage during petting zoo setup!

But before we could start our farm activities, we all had to eat!  The babies needed sustenance to keep up their energy for all the petting and riding they would be doing... it's hard work!
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And then, it was on to the petting zoo!  This is a good segue moment, so I'll end part one here... stay tuned for more party, cuteness, and... 4 day old baby goats!!!

Note: It ended up taking five posts to finish the party!  
For part two with the petting zoo, go here.
For part three and the pony rides, go here.
For part four and the cake, go here.
For part five and the pinata, go here.


  1. Aaahhh! That is so cute!
    love, grandma

  2. Love the decorations and cakes!! What a great idea - so so happy it didn't rain and fun was had by all :)