The shinding of the year…or at least it was in my head…

Ah…the party blog. Oh, how I’ve looked forward to writing this blog. Mainly? Because writing it means that the party has already come and gone, and I don’t have a massive to-do list {or more ideas} running through my head. Thank you Jesus. I haven’t thrown a party like this in a really long time. Actually, I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown a party like this. Let’s make that a definite…I’ve never thrown a party like this. I mean, don’t get me wrong…I know how to throw a party. It’s just that I haven’t ever thrown together a completely handmade party {from scratch} before. I’ve been to them. I’ve admired them. But, I’ve never been the captain of that ship. And then I had a baby. And then I started writing a blog, which meant that I started reading blogs. And those blogs that I read are all pretty creative hands-on moms…or at least moms who love Etsy. {I haven’t discovered the wonders of Etsy yet} And then my baby turned one. And then, well, I’m pretty sure you already know where I’m going with this…so, let’s get this party started…shall we?

I knew that I wanted a summer garden party feel to the whole shindig. To be more specific, a shabby chic garden party. Full confession: I have no idea what “shabby chic” is, but I really love how it sounds, so that’s what I call it. I think, if I’m right, shabby chic is really light colors and a lot of paisley. That’s not how I roll…but I still love the name, so I’m stealing the name and adding my style. How’s that for being a rebel? My friend had these super cute table cloths that she let me borrow {score!}, and my color palette was set…light blue, aqua blue {my FAVORITE color}, tangerine, and some hot pink. I was in shabby chic heaven. Or so I thought…turns out, I couldn’t find anything to go with those tablecloths and so I had to make an executive decision and change the whole thing. I found these tablecloths at Marshall’s and suddenly had a new color scheme. Hello pink and purple. Can I just tell you, that in normal life I shy away from fuscia and purple as a color scheme…it’s too…I don’t know, 1999. Anyways, it was what I had to work with…so it was what I was going to make work.


The next major decision that we had was where to have it. We turned over a couple options, but, everything was just too hard logistically…so again, I made the executive decision and said that it was going to be at our house. The guest list was 60 people. Brad gets stressed out when 5 people are at our house. Needless to say, he was thrilled. Obviously. But, it was honestly the only solution to the problem…and it was a terrifying solution. Our house capacity was going to be tested to the max, the parking situation on our street is nonexistent, and sometimes our air conditioning doesn’t like to actually cool off the house. Thankfully, we have a pretty decent backyard. The only downside? Hemmingway has destroyed it. A little bit of elbow grease, some sweat, a few potted plants and mulch-filled holes, and this is what you get…


If 60 people were invited, I think overall we had about 40 show up…which was a great number. There was more than enough food, enough chairs, and enough tables for everybody. So, that means that the party was already a success in my book. But, more importantly, we were surrounded by our family and closest friends as we celebrated the first year of Zoe’s life. I can’t even tell you how different this year would’ve been without the help and support of these people. Every person there has blessed us in some way shape or form this year, whether with their generosity, their advice, their unwavering support, free babysitting, or just loving us through this new season in life…we have been blessed to the depths of our being by our support system here in town. We are immeasurably grateful for their presence in our lives. {I need to stop right here and say that this party wouldn’t have ever happened without help from both sides of our immediate family…Brad and I were both overwhelmed by their generosity, support, and physical presence pulling this party off}

{Left to Right: My sister Jess, my mom, me..melting in the heat, my sister Jamielynn}

I would be amiss if I talked about this party and didn’t tell ya’ll about the heat! My crazy daughter was born in Florida on the last day of July. Holy.Freakin.Cow…it was 97 degrees, felt like 102 {at 6 in the evening…} and the humidity was somewhere up there. We were melting! I felt genuinely sorry for the guests…and for my poor husband who worked his tail off all day long. Speaking of that, I had myself thoroughly convinced that I wasn’t going to have anything to do on Saturday. I was honestly planning on sunbathing at some point in the morning. What the heck was I thinking? Seriously? I think I went a little crazy in the head. I ended up working from 8am to 10pm, and then crashed. We still haven’t fully cleaned up the mess yet. But, I’m getting sidetracked…let’s get to the pictures!

{The water table…HUGE SUCCESS, and a total afterthought. A measly attempt for relief from the heat}

{Val, Lola…Zoe’s thursday playdate, and Kyle}

{Some of Brad’s best friends: Laura, Angie, and Ashley}

{Zoe’s Aunt Erin, my best friend since the 7th grade. She flew in from Virginia for the party.}

{GIFTS!!! Zoe totally made out like a bandit. A huge thanks for everybody’s generosity. Again, overwhelming}

{See that? That’s a smash cake. A smash cake. Zoe? Ate it one little bite at a time. I had to resist the urge to smear frosting on her face just for a picture. Who eats their cake one piece at a time???}

{Not this guy!}

{Fun with friends at the water table}

{Me and my sis}

{Zoe loves her rocking horse}

{Another one of my sisters. They’re kinda cool}

{My beautiful. Amazing. Holy cow I love them…centerpieces}

{Hangin’ out}

{The birthday banner}

{My world}

Dear Zoe,
I hope you had a great time. You will never get another party like this again. Well. Maybe when you turn 16. Maybe.

The person who had no idea what she was getting herself into



8 responses to “The shinding of the year…or at least it was in my head…

  1. Looks like a fabulous party! She’s a lucky little girl. I too threw a big shindig when my baby girl turned 1. I managed another one when my second-born turned 1, but I’m afraid that # 3 didn’t get anything of the sort. I’ll make it up to him someday.

  2. My Zoey got her own little cake too and she just picked the frosting off all dainty-like. I wanted to rub frosting all over her face just for the photo–just like you wanted to with your Zoe. I’m telling you, if you’re ever in New York, we need to get these two girls together!

    The party looked wonderful and the decorations were awesome! But I totally understand your relief about it being over. For a couple seconds right before the day of Zoey’s party, I thought, I could pull this off every year with different themes. DIFFERENT THEMES! Yeah, probably not going to happen.

    I love the photo clothesline you did–the numbers look awesome. What are they cut out of? Foam?

    Great post–and that last picture of Zoey is the cutest thing in the entire world. πŸ™‚

  3. good lord have mercy honey. 60 freaking people?? you totally outdid yourself!…next time i better be on the invite list πŸ˜‰ just kidding! my FAVORITE pic is the last one of sweet zoe with a dab of icing on her little lips looking all presh! she is lucky to have you as a mommy and i think you did a FABULOUS job! p.s. thanks to think post, I think I am going to add a rocking horse to AM’s wish list!

  4. Happy birthday, Zoe! Those photos almost make me wish Jacob had been a girl, so he could wear a tutu on his birthday . . . almost. This looks like lots of fun (and your hair looks so cute! How did you manage that in such heat?!)

    • ha! um? I took an ice cold shower 15 minutes before guests arrived, ran a blowdryer threw the parts that got wet, ran a straightener through the top…and then prayed =) Honestly, I’m surprised my cowlicks didn’t go CRAZY, and my wavy, stubborn hair didn’t go absolutely crazy.

  5. The entire event (minus melting heat) was fantastic!! You did such a great job…decorations looked store bought, loved the tablecloths, and the food was tasty! Oh, and those centerpieces…how the heck?! I know you didn’t hire a florist, so I must know your secret (AND they coordinated with everything…brilliant)!! πŸ˜€

    • I did them! I fell in LOVE with them…seriously, in love. I stood in the flower section at Publix for 20 minutes looking at different flowers together, nothing was just quite right. And then, I grabbed the 5 that I made the centerpieces out of and I almost jumped up and down. They literally spoke to me. Anyways, and then I googled how to make a wildflower bouquet, lined up the flowers on the sink, and just went for it! And then jumped up and down screaming when I made my first one. =)

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