When it rains it pours, you guys. My son’s first birthday was sandwiched between me getting hit by a truck and then getting pneumonia. So, needless to say it was a hectic couple of weeks. Fortunately, one of the the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the past year is being able to ask for help. With the power of delegation and letting things go, we were able to pull off a successful first birthday party for our sweet boy.
It’s hard to believe how fast this year went. I can’t believe the funny little boy who loves to laugh and dance is the same little barely six pound nugget that came out of me a year ago. And yet, I can still recall every moment of his delivery and the crazy days that followed. It’s also hard to believe there wasn’t a time that Jack existed in our lives. As much as I sometimes long to sleep in and not feel completely anchored at home, I wouldn’t trade being his mother for anything.
Motherhood itself has been a wonderful surprise. It came naturally in ways I certainly didn’t expect. I’m not a patient person, and I like routines and schedules— things you have to let go when there’s a tiny person in charge. But, for some reason it is so much easier to be present when I’m with him. Maybe because a baby is present— they don’t have any expectations or goals. But as much as I try to deny it, I’m happiest when I’m with him. I feel more like myself— or at least the version of myself I’ve always wanted to be. Domestic, kind, caring, not in a rush, or worried about my status (or lack thereof). Jack doesn’t care how much money I make, or what my job title is; all he cares about is being with me and that is such a wonderful feeling. It makes you appreciate yourself in a way that is difficult to describe unless you’re actually experiencing it. And it turns out, I’m actually a really great mom. I enjoy the routine of taking care of someone else and meal prepping, and doing his chores, and teaching him things, and watching him grow. More so than I ever thought I would.
It definitely has its’ challenges, and Jack has his moments. But, he’s also such a wonderful little boy. Curious and observant, but also so much fun and actually funny. He makes me laugh every day. He just started a new daycare and I was so worried about the transition, but Jack handled it so well (better than I did, to be honest). Everyone always comments on what a good boy he is, and he truly is. Aside from a peanut allergy and being on the smaller side (sorry on both counts, sweet boy), he’s pretty much perfect. There are some days that I truly can’t believe he’s mine.
A year is a big milestone not only for Jack, but also for us as parents. We made it past the newborn and infancy stage and now we have a little boy who will soon be walking and talking. It’s definitely cause for celebration. I always envisioned having a big birthday party for him, so I started planning it back in November (and maybe even before then). Once I figured out the theme (LumberJACK), things just fell into place. We unfortunately don’t have the space in our house to have a big party, so I knew we’d have to find a venue to accommodate 70(ish) people. And while a park seemed like the perfect place, a park in February can be tricky. Which was why I was so glad I remembered a park near my parents’ house that has a beautiful indoor multi-purpose room complete with a working kitchen and parking. As luck would have it, it did rain the morning of Jack’s party but we were covered (literally).
Turns out a lumberjack first birthday is pretty popular, so we were able to get decorations and paper goods from Party City. From there, we tried to stay on theme with the food (hot cocoa bar, a bear cake, decorated cookies), but also pizza is easy (and who doesn’t like pizza?) Favors were surprisingly the hardest part because it’s tough to find relatively cheap, but fun toys that aren’t choking hazards. We decided on a bath toy, bubbles, and board books for the babies, and sticker books for the bigger babies. For the adults, we had a “make your own trail mix” bar, which sadly I don’t think much people participated in. But, I’m loving snacking on trail mix at home now.
I was so grateful for the amount of help we had setting up on the day of the party. Between my parents (who truly went above and beyond), mother-in-law, besties, and bro and sis-in-law, we were able to setup and decorate the entire space in 30 mins (while also entertaining the birthday boy). The party turned out wonderfully and I think everyone had a great time. I took it as a victory that the only time Jack cried was when I took his pizza away from him. Otherwise, he was happy and taking it all in!
So now I have a 1-year-old. I’m so excited to see what this next year brings.