Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Under the Big Top

It has only taken me TWO MONTHS to get around to writing this post. At this point it seems like maybe we should just skip right over it, but even if it was two months ago, I have to document Keaton's 1st birthday party somewhere.

When Collin and I started talking about this party we had a couple of theme ideas floating around in our heads. In the end, we chose a circus theme. Invites went out in the middle of December and on January 2nd we celebrated Keaton's 1st birthday 'Under the Big Top'.

One of the things I love most about my husband is that when I come up with wacky ideas, he always figures out a way to pull them off. I told him early on that I wanted to turn our dining room into a circus tent and we decided together to use plastic table clothes. But that's about where my involvement ends; I have no idea how one would actually construct this. My mom, Amanda, and I went grocery shopping at 8 pm the night before the party and when we left our dining room was just a dining room. I was starting to think the tent might not happen, and I was trying to be okay with that. But when we pulled in the driveway after our trip the dining room light was on and Collin and my Dad were hard at work. They put the tent up Friday night using tape to secure it to the walls. Before bed Collin worried that it was going to fall. When we woke up Saturday morning, sure enough, it had all come down. I was still laying in bed when I heard Collin start the drill. At that point I new they were getting serious. They hung fishing wire around the perimeter of the room and also strung a line between the two chandeliers in our dining room/breakfast nook area. In the end, the tent was exactly what I envisioned.

Looking in from the kitchen

Looking in from the living room

In keeping with the circus theme, the menu included corn dogs, hot dogs, nachos and cheese, peanuts, and, of course, popcorn! We also had some more "adult friendly" food, but even the adults got into it and enjoyed a corn dog with nachos.

Picture taken by (and stolen from) Cas
I believe we had 9 kids at the party and we bought a couple of games to play but didn't end up taking them out because the kids were thoroughly entertained by our professional balloon shapers. Okay, maybe they weren't professional, but they did make some mad shapes! These balloon hat thingys were especially a hit. Thanks Ben and Justin!

While out shopping after Thanksgiving my mom and I also found this circus sign that worked perfect for the party. The kids/siblings all got their picture taken by the sign and I included a copy of the picture in their thank you cards. Keaton thought it was fun.
And Maia got in on the action too!

Of course no birthday party would be complete without a cake. I ordered this from Sweet Nothings and when I placed the order all I told her was that the party was a circus theme. When Amanda and I went to pick it up on Friday afternoon I really had no idea what to expect. But Holy Cow, I could not have been more pleased. The detail of the clown and seal, which were all made of fondant, were just amazing.

Picture taken by (and stolen from) Cas

We used a separate smash cake to sing Happy Birthday and let Keaton dig in.

We tried getting a picture of us and of both sets of grandparents with the birthday boy. But Keaton was more interested in smearing frosting on other people's faces and we found out with all the excitement it's hard to get three people to look at the camera at the same time.

Keaton probably says it best himself. DOH!

We ended the day opening gifts and the Stink got so many awesome things: some much needed age appropriate toys, a couple new books, and some really cute clothes.

It was a perfect day and we are so happy and thankful for all of our family and friends who were here to share it with us!
A very special thank you goes out to Em, who helped me with the invites, my cousin Andrea, who manned my camera and got all these great pictures, and our family members who made food and ran errands for us leading up to the party. And last but not least, to my parents and Amanda who came up two days early to help us get the house cleaned and food prepared. I was 9 weeks pregnant at the time of the party and in the thick of my first trimester hell. At one point I left to go shower and didn't emerge from my room for almost 2 hours because I laid down and could not get back up. To say this party would not have been possible without all of their help is no understatement. We are so grateful and so appreciative!


Andrew Ryne said...

Wel Done! SOOOOO Cute :) First Birthday parties are so fun to plan!

Em said...

Kate, I'm so glad you posted this! The party turned out so great. Everything--the tent, the cake, the balloon shapers, the cut-out sign--was SO adorable. It definitely looked like K enjoyed himself. I love the series of cake pics with Mom and Dad and the grandparents and of him going to town on the cake. So wish we could've been there!

Jill said...

WOW!! You guys throw some serious parties!!! :) What an awesome theme and amazing decorations!! This will be a great memory for you all - thanks for sharing!!

Gail said...

Oh my what a party! Absolutely adorable Kate!

amanda said...

It was one heck of a party! What a great day! Glad I could be a part of it!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay- I think I have the cutest nephew in the WORLD!!!!! I loved his first Birthday party- you did a great job- and if he doesn't remember it- WE ALL WILL!!!! The cake pic serious was priceless!