June’s first birthday

17 February 2017

June’s first birthday fell on a Saturday, a delightful gift from the universe! We spent the actual day just with our family of three, hunkered down for a snow storm that never really arrived and reminiscing throughout the day about what we’d been doing one year before. We surprised her with pancakes and blueberries for breakfast and a gold star balloon tied to her high chair (one per year – a tradition I lifted from my friend Emily!). I also hung a birthday banner that I’m hoping will make an appearance for years to come. (I bought this one, then re-threaded it with a pink ribbon instead of the neon orange one it came with.)


She was super into the candle :) For dinner, John and I made our very favorite lasagna recipe, salad, garlic bread, and chocolate lava cakes for the grown-ups – after all, we were celebrating, too!

After June was tucked into her crib with lots of extra kisses, John and I sat down and each wrote her a letter. Then, for some unknown reason, we decided to read them to each other (???), which of course resulted in an ugly cry for both of us. We just feel really grateful to be her parents. We hope to add a letter each year, for her to open maybe on her 18th birthday!


The following Saturday, we invited a few family and friends over to celebrate again! Our parents made the trip down from Connecticut, Natalie, Joe, and Maisie came from Virginia, and some loved ones from church, our neighborhood, and just life joined us, too. It was not a particularly “Pinterest-y” party, though not for lack of trying, haha! We went with a loose kitty theme, and my favorite project was the pink party hats (though most of the kid guests refused to wear them!).

My most well-planned party this was not. I wanted to try my hand at a naked cake, but didn’t have a clear plan going in and so ended up making way too many layers in all the wrong sizes, stayed up too late, and generally winged it. But, both the cutting cake and June’s little smash cake turned out okay in the end. June took approximately three adult-size bites over the course of twenty minutes, one crumb at a time :)


My plan for the table was to write and draw with white chalk on a black roll of kraft paper, but I left the paper purchasing until the last minute and so was stuck with shiny wrapping paper that my chalk wouldn’t write on. (One party guest even asked if it was a trash bag, which I just had to laugh about. Generally not good when your decorations are mistaken for trash bags :))

One thing that did go right? All of the photos of June’s first year we strung up throughout our kitchen, dining, and living room. I was inspired by something Sam did for Perry’s first birthday party, and I loved the effect! In fact, we still have a few strands up even now.

Perfect party details or not, we had a lot of fun celebrating our sweet girl! There’s always year two for the smoothly frosted cake and chic details :)

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February 17, 2017 8:58 am

aw so sweet! looks like such a fun day of celebrating your little june bug :)

February 17, 2017 12:01 pm

i love that your party was imperfect, and thank you so much for sharing that fact! who cares?! you got to hang out with your friends and celebrate your daughter. plus, leftover cake that you can eat when everyone leaves is the only important detail of party planning.

February 18, 2017 6:39 pm

Best 9:30 party I’ve ever been to :) And snafus aside, the cake was so yummy!

February 19, 2017 10:57 am

What a wonderful celebration for sweet June! I love the idea of writing her letters on each birthday, too!

February 20, 2017 9:54 am

Not an ugly cry — a very sweet cry! And sweet photos too.

March 3, 2017 10:53 am

Thank you for the reminder of what it’s really all about – celebrating this milestone as a family, not putting on a big show. I really want to channel this spirit with my son’s first birthday party – thinking about what he would like as my guide.

A couple of questions on the details: Did you have activities? And did you do goodie bags? (I can’t decide whether they would be delightful or a waste of money.)
What recipe did you use for the smash cake?


March 6, 2017 11:58 am

Thank you so much Em! It’s just nice to know as I don’t have any predecessors in my friend circle. You are always so kind and helpful!