Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back it up: Meredith's 1st Birthday Party

I didn't have my camera at Meredith's first birthday party in June. I may have posted about how insane that day was--a literal torrential downpour; unbelievable humidity; a trickling creek next to the shelter house that turned into wild rapids. It was unbelievable. But we had fun, even though we all ended up soggier and muddier than when we came. Good thing nature cooperated to make this an authentic "under the sea" party!

My mom, fortunately, brought her camera and shared the pictures with me. (Amanda has some great shots, too.) Why I waited for seven months to post them, I have no idea. But here they are, from Meredith's Mermaid Party:

This is a sandcastle cake whose directions I found online. It wasn't too difficult to make (read through the comments after the recipe), but I wish that I didn't have to transport it. Nerve-wracking!

Kevin is such a great sport--grilling food for lunch in the rain. Fortunately, Billy and Jeff, who are used to this job at their own parties, went out to keep him company.

Most of the kids at the party were the boys' friends, as Meredith hasn't met many kids yet. Even though it was mermaid-themed, the boys found a way to have fun! Uncle Jeff helped the guys capture a crawdad, which was the highlight of the day.

Besides the sandcastle cake, I made blue cupcakes and the toppers that go on them. Each topper said "Meredith's 1st Birthday" and had either a mermaid, sand dollar, palm tree, or sea horse.

I'm trying to remember the food we had for lunch. Doing theme parties is so much easier at my house where the food prep is easier and you don't run the risk of forgetting anything. I had beverage dispensers that held "lagoon punch"; there was an aquarium of blue jello that had gummy fish swimming in it; Carribean sea salad (a fancy name for fruit salad!); "shell" mac 'n cheese; and that might be it.

Elizabeth and Meredith's birthday buddy, Grandpa braved the weather to come out and celebrate, and wore color coordinating outfits with the theme!

As the day went on, the boys lost more clothing. The humidity and the sogginess were too much.

Meredith didn't know what to think of it all, especially the blue cupcake. I think it went everywhere but in her mouth. I found a really cute top at Target that had a heart flanked by two sea horses, and a purple ruffly skirt to go with it.

Meredith with her godfathers, Uncle Jeff and Uncle Joe. Behind them on the wall is photo garland of pictures from Meredith's first year. I've seen this done on a number of blogs and I'm glad I did it. It was neat to see all the different stages of her growing up, the past twelve months. All the pictures were printed in black and white and matted on colored foam rectangles, hole punched and strung up. Pretty easy decoration!

There were other decorations that you probably can't see in these pictures. Uncle Paul and Aunt Cassie lent me their grass table skirts. Some had white lights weaved in it, others had sea shells. They also had plastic sea creatures and glass hurricanes for candles with colored fish net on the outside. Each table had a centerpiece of sand, shells and candles. I found a great deal on a big basket of shells at Hobby Lobby.

Here are the two best buds and cousins, Meredith and Gracie. From Uncle Jim, Meredith got these two adorable camping chairs, a hippo and a tiger. Right away they were put to good use!

Probably my favorite thing we did for her party was a 15-year Time Capsule. At one-year-old, there wasn't a whole lot she needed or wanted. But how neat would it be to open a "treasure chest" of items people gave you at your first birthday when you are sixteen? It was so neat to see the presents that people gave, things to reflect 2010, but also things that a 16-year-old might enjoy. Some of the items included: teen magazines, jewelry, silly bands (will they still be popular in 2025?), a CD of top 2010 songs, hair accessories, nail polish, pictures, letters, and many other thoughtful gifts. I don't plan to tell Meredith about it because I'd like it to be a surprise. I decorated a tub to be the chest and guest slipped the items inside.

It has become the norm for our family parties to be rainy, but the good thing is that it doesn't stop it from being fun :)

(As a side note, I have gotten so many great ideas off of other people's blogs for my kids birthdays that I have decided to go into more detail about what we did and where I got information in hopes of helping other people. I'm sorry if you come here for updates on the kids and you have to read through the details of putting the party together!)

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