I think it ended up being absolutely perfect. Low key. Family affair. Just the right amount of cute. And still special.
We had a huge Sunday dinner together as a family, then switched gears for some quick birthday party fun. I decided to do a mini-patriotic bash since 1) Ev is a July baby, 2) we were celebrating over 4th of July weekend, and 3) I could reuse a lot of the dollar store merchandise I had already purchased for our wagon's neighborhood parade makeover (nothing like a two for one deal, I tell you). It turned out really festive and fun!
I threw together a few homemade decorations (banner, chalkboard printables, cake pendants), to avoid mom guilt (since I made all the decorations for Kaden's first birthday party).
Since we'd just finished a huge meal, probably a good five minutes beforehand, a simple two-item menu of cupcakes and watermelon sufficed. I made our all-time favorite cupcakes: lime-coconut with coconut cream cheese frosting. Divine. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love these. They're that scrumptious.
And at the last minute, I decided to go all crazy sauce and made Everett a mini-layer cake, because a cupcake just didn't seem fancy enough. (And he didn't get homemade invitations for his first birthday party like Kaden did. So I was grasping at straws to alleviate the mom guilt pains. I almost made homemade invitations to give to our family members. I have a sickness. I freely admit it.)
We all piled into the den and watched Kaden open Everett's presents.
He got to open the one or two that managed to escape big brother.
This cost me 50 cents at a yard sale the weekend before the birthday party. I'd say it's the best 50 cents I've ever spent, except I'm already going crazy listening to Kaden race around the house with it. It turns out the sweet little sound it makes when slowly pushed by a baby starting to toddle, isn't as sweet when amplified by a sprinting preschooler.
Then, we watched a video recap of Everett's first year, and I didn't even cry (since I'd already bawled through the whole creative process of putting it together). For some reason, it won't let me embed the video directly into my blog (possibly because it has background music?) but you can find it by clicking here.
Then we headed back into the kitchen for the ceremonial birthday song:
And, at long last, it was time to let Everett dig into his birthday cake.
And now, let me thrill you with a million photos of a semi-naked baby devouring cake. It doesn't get much better than that:
Then the re-dressed birthday boy snuggled with Poppy while we packed the car.
Until Kaden convinced them to join him for a ride on the porch swing.
I got pretty emotional at the end of the evening, as we prepared to leave. Sometimes, it is really hard living half a world away from my family. It really is. Especially when my kids celebrate milestones like their first birthday. I was reminded on Sunday of what a blessing it is to have Chad's family feel like my family, too.
I can't believe that in eleven days my baby will officially be ONE. This year has flown by for me. Happy birthday, Evers! We love you!