Happy 1st Birthday, Son!

I wasn’t planning on having a party for the baby, at first. 1) Birthdays were never big in my family and 2) This has been an extremely busy year and I didn’t know if I could manage planning something and organizing something in less than three weeks. However, I forgot that travel always rejuvenates me. Traveling to Iceland made me feel incredible. I had so much energy after we came back that I decided I would throw him a typical American big 1st birthday party.

I couldn’t think of a theme, I looked through some sites online and didn’t feel anything was appropriate with the time of year or what I could throw together. Then, my friend, Sarah Beth, sent me some links to a vintage pumpkin party. I decided that was a great idea, but I would enhance it a bit and make it an apple and pumpkin orchard theme. We’ve been fruit and veggie picking many times over the summer, so it made sense to create this type of party. The weekend before his birthday, we went to Fishkill Farms and picked apples and pumpkins, so I got a lot of my decorations and some food that day.

Sebastian loves eating apples. He takes large chunks out of them and chomps away. If he sees an apple, he wants it and there’s no saying no to a kid who wants an apple.

On his actual birthday, Hubby went to Crumbs after work and got a pumpkin cupcake for the baby.

We sang happy birthday and blew out a candle. The baby was more curious about the candle than the sweet. He tried a little bit, but didn’t love it. I think it’s because he’s never had a sugary dessert in his year of life and wasn’t interested in something so sweet! If only I could feel that way…! From that little bit of frosting, Sebastian had such a sugar high, he started running around the apartment and chasing Daddy for another 20 minutes before we finally got him in the bath and down!

The day of the party, I put up decorations I had made earlier in the week, in any free moment I could find (always when the baby was asleep). I found scrapbook paper, printed out photos and glued them on the autumn style paper. In one section of the living room, I hung photos from various farms we had gone to, including photos of the fruit, veggies and Sebastian sitting in a row of strawberries.

On the other side of the room, I hung up photos that showed Sebastian’s progression from the day he was born all the way until 12 months of age. Sometimes, I had a few pictures for each month because I couldn’t decide which was the better photo. I labeled each photo with a fun font I found on Word. Luckily, my Aunt Fran and her daughter, Morgan, hung each photo on the string, while I was frantically trying to prepare for the 2:30PM gathering.

We ordered balloons, some latex orange and red balloons and some were mylar shaped like apples and pumpkins.

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law made and decorated apple and pumpkin cupcakes to go with the theme. They turned out so beautifully and a lot of people were asking where I bought these cupcakes! On top of that, they were very tasty! The picnic basket gave it that farm touch.

The party favors were apple and pumpkin candles, which I found in Michaels.

It was an appetizer and dessert party, so I worked with my mother and mother-in-law on the food. One of my favorite appetizers (along with buffalo wings!) were cut up apples and Trader Joe’s caramel (of course, my friend, Elissa, made sure to add lemon to the apples, so they wouldn’t brown).

Various juice drinks were a hit at the party. I had Izze drinks, Fuze, Naked Juices and homemade punch, made by my Aunt Terri. The bale of hay gave the food some height and the burlap table cloth, some authenticity to an apple and pumpkin orchard! I also had an autumn spice candle lit to give the apartment a great smell.

There were a ton of delicious treats, like chocolate covered strawberries, caramel cookies, pumpkin pie, amazing cupcakes and Belgian and Polish cookies, which my parents couldn’t resist mailing to us.


Besides balloons, there were fresh cut flowers; some were brought by my friend Alice and others were brought by my parents-in-law and sis-in-law. My friend, Nancy, found little branches with mini pumpkins growing on them (ok, they look like mini pumpkins, but in actuality, it’s an edible plant, which goes by many names like:  the Japanese golden egg, Chinese scarlet eggplant, Hmong eggplant or tomato eggplant) and added the little birds and birthday signs, which added great details.

It was such a team effort and I was so glad that my friend, Ania, ended up staying late after the party to help me clean up and put everything back in place. Well…I will be leaving those photo strings up for the rest of the month because I just love looking at how much Sebastian has changed throughout the year and hey, it’s his birthday month. We should celebrate every day of the month. I am so grateful for every moment I have with him. He is a great blessing from God.

I also made a video of Sebastian that I played for everyone. I always send updates to my hubby and family of neat little things Sebastian is doing, so I decided to actually do something with the videos and add some music behind it. Since I had scrapbook paper up, I figured I would use the scrapbook theme on iMovie. It’s definitely a long movie with lots of clips, but you can see how smiley the boy is all year long. He’s a very happy baby!

The birthday boy had a blast. He was looking around everywhere as we sang happy birthday to him (Check out the 30 second video below). He did seem a bit hesitant when everyone started singing Happy Birthday, but then he was happy to be the center of attention. He didn’t smash the cupcake or eat very much of it, but that’s quite ok with us. The longer he stays away from sweets, the better. In the meantime, we’ll keep feeding him his favorite things like broccoli and beef and wild fish.


We had such a great time! I'm so glad you decided to have the birthday party. The apartment looked and smelled wonderful. I'm going to have apple slices and caramel sauce at my next gathering for sure. I loved looking at all the pictures and videos to re-live Sebastian's progression over the past year. It's funny to think that a year ago at your baby shower we didn't even know what he would look like!