Happy First Birthday, Vancey!
Today, I wanted to recap Vance's Birthday Party. First off, I cannot believe this little guy is one. Looking back, we started this blog when I found out that I was pregnant with him. Fast forward to his first birthday, and it has been nine months and one year since the conception of this blog - and the conception of Vance! Kind of a funny way of thinking about it, but also very special.
Anyways, V's big day was something that we couldn't believe came so quickly. I have a theory that life goes faster with the more kids you have, and this was certainly true with baby boy number two. As a second child, sorry bud, the birthday game is slightly different than it was with our first. For Lincoln's first birthday, I began planning months in advance. I chose a super creative theme, spent hours making custom signs, conceptualized a cake concept with a specialty baker, spent way too much money on the cake, compiled over-the-top party favors. You get the point.
When it came to V's first birthday, I had similar anticipation, but wasn't as organized or creative this time around. I wanted it to be special, but also had two kids to care for with much less time to plan. While his birthday was a little more low key than Lincoln's, I still managed to hit it out of the park without investing as much time and energy. To do this, I focused on a few big ticket items rather than micromanaging every little detail. The three items I focused on were:
Theme + Decor
I'll start with the theme. In the Raybould household, every child's birthday must have a theme because I'm OCD like that. Themes, as fun and necessary as they are, help to create organization and cohesiveness to party planning! Our tradition in selecting themes for the two boys' birthday parties started naturally with Lincoln's first birthday. We simply thought about the one thing that embodied him around the time of his birthday, and for Lincoln, that happed to be airplanes. At the time, we lived in Georgetown, DC, where the planes constantly flew over head. Lincoln soon became obsessed with planes and would perch up at our windowed door to see them every time they flew by. So, what better theme than an airplane theme? I put a little twist on it and decided to go with "vintage fighter planes" because it sounded and looked cooler. Carrying on, for Lincoln's second birthday, he was obsessed with sports, so we did a sports theme.
When it came to choosing Vance's first birthday theme, it was clear as day what we were going to choose. Vance loves music and dancing, and has since he could pick up a beat - probably around six months. Therefore, it was easy to choose the theme being music. We also reside in Nashville, which is the country music capital and also the city he was born in. Needless to say, it was the perfect birthday theme.
So perfect, in fact, that it had to be tainted (or enhanced) by the fact that we chose to throw his birthday on Saint Patrick's Day. March 17th. I pondered keeping the music theme and nixing anything that involved green and Saint Patrick's Day, but what kind of birthday witch would do that? Ultimately, we combined the two themes and Vance's big day ended up being St. Patty's Day green mixed in with music and guitars. You can imagine what that does to an OCD party planner like myself... simply not cohesive AT ALL, but whatever, I let it slide. :)
With the theme being self-explanatory, we went simple with decor focusing on the colors: green, gold and black. We ordered some music note balloons and also a "1" balloon in the coordinating colors and purchased matching napkins, plates, etc. At the last minute, I did go all out on his "ONE" birthday sign, which you can see in the background of the photos. Yes, I made it. I was at Walmart and found all of the supplies as I was pursuing (kid-free) through the aisles. It was cheap and easy, which is really the only reason why I did it.
The biggest cash item was V's birthday cake. To say the least, I am a bit of a cake enthusiast. For Lincoln's birthday party we, no joke, spent over $200 on his cake. For me, it isn't about spending the most amount of money possible, but instead, it's about coming up with a cake that fully represents my kids! Not only that, but selfishly, it is beyond satisfactory to partake in conceptualizing the cake concept and to watch it perfectly come to life. Seriously, I think I have an obsession (or problem).
Ryan, my husband, never let me live down the fact that we spent so much on our first son's birthday cake. So much that I vowed I would never overspend on a birthday cake again... that is, until our second son turned one. It was too tempting! I love specialty cakes that perfectly embody the theme, and thus my little boys.
After deciding to (most likely) move forward with a cake, I started reaching out to a few cake companies for bids. The numbers they threw out were over $200, which wasn't in the cards for us. At the last minute, I reached out to my neighbor and asked if she had a recommendation, which she did. It was a bakery called My Sweet Dessert in Franklin, TN.
My Sweet Dessert was within a reasonable price range, which I felt comfortable spending for the kind of cake I knew I was going to get. I had seen her beautiful cakes at my neighbor's kid's birthday parties, which assured me they were totally worth the price.
In addition to the cake, I always recommend asking for or purchasing a smash cake that compliments the larger cake. If you go with a specialty cake decorator, they will almost always have this option. Sometimes they even throw in the smash cake for free. We always go with a vanilla flavor smash cake, which is easier to clean that a darker flavored cake.
If I were to recommend anything to a parent throwing a kid's birthday party, it would be to get something fun for the kids to do! Getting a bounce house is our go-to. It's easy, cost efficient and always hits home with the kids. Our (other) sweet friends and neighbors had lent us their bounce house for Lincoln's second birthday and also offered it for V's first birthday. Of course, we said yes! We love this bounce house so much that we purchased our own days after the party. You can find it here.
In sum, the day was incredibly special. V devoured two pieces of cake and played nonstop with his neighborhood friends. He felt celebrated and we brought together community to do so... which is the most important part.
Anyways, hope y'all enjoyed seeing his birthday come to life! We still cannot believe how fast this year went by and that our sweet baby is ONE.