What a day to remember! A few weeks ago Thomas turned one and we decided to celebrate over two of his favorite things - pizza and popsicles. We designed the party to be simple and intimate so we could keep all the focus on the birthday boy. After all, he's had one hell of year and deserved a party all about him.
The evening before the party a horrible storm rolled through Charlotte knocking out power in thousands of homes. We were one of them. Our power goes out pretty easily because our old neighborhood is covered in trees (which we love! except when it storms). As our home began to heat up we tossed and turned and called our energy company over and over to check on the status of our power being restored. Usually we get power back fairly quickly so by the next morning I was a little nervous that we still hadn't seen any power trucks cruising the neighborhood. Again, this normally would not have phased us because Matt and I were busy bees hanging decorations, poop scooping the yard, hosing down outdoor toys, running last minute errands (cake, ice, pizza, etc.), cleaning the house, hiding our belongings in closets and bedroom corners, etc. However, trying to get ready for a party without electricity also meant no air conditioning, no oven or microwave use, no fridge to keep the popsicles frozen and worst of all, no television or charged iPads to keep the kids entertained so we could do all of those aforementioned party chores. That may sound ridiculous (and it IS) but have you ever tried to hang 345354534 streamers with the slooooowest help of a toddler? Or fill coolers with popsicles with your sweaty shirt being tugged on for one every 3 minutes? Or slice a watermelon next to two kids screaming of boredom? Or try and put minis down for a nap in a sauna? Fun times.
Thankfully Matt's parents arrived early for the party and took the kids to Chick-fil-A for lunch. Meanwhile I ran next door to my friend Abby's house to borrow her electricity to cool down and straighten my sweaty hair so I could look halfway presentable for the party. As the party time got closer and closer our house became stickier and hotter. At one point Matt spotted an energy truck rolling through the neighborhood and I threw both babies and a handful of popsicle cookies at him and told him to chase them down and beg to move our street up the priority list (ha!). The nice power guys informed Matt (along with the crowd of hot neighbors that gathered in hopes of good news) that due to the storm damage we shouldn't expect our power to be returned by the time of our party, by bedtime or even by the end of the weekend. And so we had a party in 98 degree heat outside and 86 degree heat inside. Oh, and we served melted popsicles. But we made the most of it and still had a hell of a time! So this party goes down in the books as one we'll laugh at down the road, right?
Taylor arrived early to the party to take some family pictures before the kiddos were covered in popsicle juice, pizza sauce and icing. These are some of my favorite pictures from the day.
While the kiddos were cheesing it up for Taylor, Matt was off being daddy-of-the-year at Home Depot, renting a generator (as seen in the background below) for the bounce house...
For the decorations I was able to recycle almost everything we used from my controversial party bins (which Matt hates and swears are a waste of attic space)!
We (I mean Matt) hung lots of colorful fans from the bistro lights. A huge shout out to the hubby for being so patient with me as I changed my mind a million times over exact placement and annoyingly supervised him from under the ladder.
I also printed some of our favorite pictures of Tom Tom to hang outside.
Farmers market flowers!
For the kiddos we served all sorts of colorful snacks -- cheese balls, watermelon slices, fruit loops and goldfish.
Caroline and I were super happy with how pretty our streamer backdrop turned out. She took her tape dispenser role very seriously.
Just before our power outtage Matt and I filled a bunch of water balloons up and stuck them in the freezer to use as ice cubes for the drink buckets. I am happy to report they were still halfway frozen for the party and were perfect for keeping the prosecco and wine chilled! By the end of the party they had completely thawed so we let the kiddos pop them!
For the adults we served wine, beer and my personal favorite - prosecco pops!
Prosecco pops: fill your glass up with prosecco and add a yummy popsicle. Or in our case, add a very melted popsicle. Still refreshing and delicious!
The minis also didn't seem to mind that their popsicles were really just juice pops by party time.
Caroline had a juice pop in her hand the entire time. I am pretty sure I caught her with at least 6 flavors throughout the party.
We served pizza from one of our favorite local pizza places for an early dinner.
And of course we had CAKE!
I wanted the cake to be as fun and happy as possible so I opted for a confetti sprinkle cake! It was delicious and all the party guests agreed! Our grocery store, Harris Teeter, offers a free smashcake for first birthdays and I was thrilled that they agreed to match Thomas's smashcake with the large cake.
Another one of Caroline's favorite party prep activities was creating the popscile banners. She loved picking out a stack of colorful paint samples at Home Depot and helping me tape popsicle sticks to the cut outs.
Thomas CRUSHED his cake.
Like, TOTALLY crushed it. Just when guests thought he was all done he would slap another handful of cake into his mouth and laugh.
Caroline also ran her fingers all through the side of the cake to help out.
Facetiming Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Lindsey, Uncle Ryan and baby Jackson!
The kiddos had a blast bouncing around in the bounce house and splashing around in the water table.
My best gal pals! And some of our littlest friends...
I loved how cute the Popsicle cookie favors turned out!
After the guests left we packed our bags and continued the celebration over an airconditioned slumber party at our friend's house. And that was a wrap on Thomas' first birthday party!
Photography: Taylor Stading Photography
My pink dress: Old Navy (lots of prints)
Pizza pans: Amazon
Cakes: Harris Teeter
Popsicle banners: DIY from Home Depot paint samples
Bounce House from Mimi & Grandad: Amazon
Water Table: Amazon