Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Subject: It's Time to Plan a Party


So don't ask me where the last year has gone, but it's time to start planning little Suz's first birthday party. Um, what? I am kind of in shock to tell you the truth and I don't know if I have waited so long to start planning because I am in disbelief that it has almost been 365 days since her birth, or because I don't want to recognize the fact that time goes by faster when you are watching someone else grow up and it's a little sad and bittersweet, so by not acknowledging it then maybe I am fooling myself into believing it's not actually happening? Or maybe a little bit of both? Whew, that was heavy! On to lighter things...like party themes, decorations and food.

As a back story (because why be brief?), when Suz was first born and I was living in a strange world of never really knowing what time it was because it didn't really matter and everything just passing by in a slow-motion blur, I started to formulate a theme for her first birthday. So when she was approximately one week old, I took a trip all by myself to Joann's to get some scrapbook paper and begin to implement this theme. (Incidentally, this was my first time driving postpartum and it was very exciting but also a little terrifying because I had not slept in so long and I was giddy to be out of the house. I totally ran a red light, but thankfully no one was hurt!) It involved taking pictures of her each month to document her growth. A sampling:

(How are these even the same baby???)

The theme I came up with for the party was, "It's a Banner Day!" and the bunting for each month echoes that perfectly. Ever since then, I have been thinking through decorations for this theme and putting together a plan for this party. I'm going to do a family-only affair (which is still about 15 people) and have it in the afternoon, so I don't have to serve a full-blown meal. As such, I'm referring to it as a "tea party" which I think is perfect for this little baby, especially with all the tea pots and tea sets referenced in her room.

For food, I was thinking of doing some little cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, Ina's Parmesan & Thyme Crackers (because I've always wanted to make them), and then a few other little snack-y type things. Maybe some Spinach Artichoke Dip to go with the crackers (mostly because I love it) and I also thought about strawberries dipped in chocolate, because I think they would look pretty on a plate and seem special and celebratory.

For the party-goers, I think I will make cupcakes so everyone can help themselves. But how do you make tea party-themed cupcakes? Well, I think I am going to do a yellow batter for the actual cupcake and then do a lemon butter cream frosting and dye it pale pink...tah dah! Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!

I guess I should also have tea at this party too. Hopefully it will be warm and I will just serve iced tea and maybe I can come up with a few options and have a little station where I will have just plain tea and then people can mix in raspberry syrup, mint leaves or sugared lemons and create their own unique drinks. I could have lemonade there too, and people could mix up Arnold Palmers as well. Maybe I'll make punch, too, just because it seems very tea party-esque.

For decorations, I love the idea of making a few of these flag banner sculptures and having them along the driveway. And then having bunting hanging from the door between the living room and kitchen. I think I will put all the food on our dining room table, so maybe make these fringey streamer things (and maybe a hat too while I'm at it) to drape on the chandelier. I think the colors will be pink (duh), orange, yellow and green. And maybe on the table having little pennants made of either paper or fabric in vases. I wish I could have my new dining room table by then (thanks for picking it up!!), but if not then I could just put a table cloth on the existing one. My MIL has a pink one that I have borrowed a few times.

I don't know what you do for entertainment at a first birthday party. Obviously, the Birthday Girl will dig into her own cake at some point, and I even had the idea of having a running loop of video we have taken over her first year playing on the TV. Maybe have it muted and then people can just pop in and watch...although I have a feeling most of the women will just watch it the whole time!

What are your thoughts? My biggest question at this point is how to display the monthly pictures that inspired this whole party? Hang them on a wall? Have them in an album? I love the idea of having them displayed somewhere so people can see her growth each month. But where...and how?

I'm starting to get excited about this party, even though it means I won't have a little baby anymore! Plus, there is nothing to distract you from the bittersweet realities of motherhood like a good party!

I'm sorry the antique show was somewhat of a disappointment. I hate it when I build something up in my head and get my hopes up about all the fabulous things I will find, and then none of it pans out once I get there. It can seriously be depressing. But way to go on Flip Burger! I had the Po Boyger the one time I went there. Amazing!

Can't wait to hear back from you!

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