Guilty! Hayden’s 1st birthday might have been a little bit for me. Who am I kidding? It was a lot a bit for me! But the way I see it…I DESERVED IT! I love any excuse to throw a party or a get together with friends and family. My daughter’s birthday was not going to be the exception. Quite the contrary, I wanted to really celebrate. Let’s be honest, I truly only get 18 birthdays to go all out for my little one and if we are being real, by the time she hits her teenage years I might not be lucky enough to get an invite. (LOL!)
On top of that ironclad rational, I did it! I got through the first year. A year of juggling a high-pressure career, being a new mom, 8 LONG months of breast feeding while working, counting ounces, and the list goes on and on. Heck,…let’s not stop with a party, I want a freaking parade! I did it all and if I do say so myself, I killed it!
Knowing that this party would be filled with mostly adults and some very tiny babies, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I needed to plan an appropriate and fun one-year-old birthday; but it also had to be engaging for adults to enjoy. When you think about a one-year-old party, I need to be honest, it doesn’t sound exactly fun, especially if you don’t have kids which most of our friends and family don’t. So, I got to planning and started getting creative.
It was extremely important to me that I picked a theme that I knew Hayden would love. Yes, there are a million adorable little girl themes out there that can be found with a quick pinterest search, but I wanted something she actually was into. This left me with a whopping two options: Moana or Trolls! These are literally the only two things Hayden will watch on television from beginning to end. (Yes..Hayden watches TV…I’ll own it!) Trolls didn’t seem too exciting for adults…BUT a luau on the other hand was something that I could sink my teeth into! I didn’t want a full fledge Moana party because once again I was worried it would be too cheesy so I found a happy medium. I decided to sprinkle in subtle nods to the movie which made it fun for guests to discover while enjoying the party.
Now, with the theme locked and loaded it was time to start planning. Since I work full time and didn’t want to take any additional time away from Hayden, I only allowed myself to work on the party after she went to bed. I knew I had to start early to get everything I wanted accomplished. Every detail was planned out from the entertainment, to the time capsule, to her grand entrance on her Moana boat (which I made myself) and much more. I wanted Hayden to be able to look at the photos when she was older and know how much effort I put into making her day amazing and incredible.
I even sourced some help from friends and family. Her G-pa made her a sugar free smash cake in the shape of a pineapple. Her Gammy made an amazing photo prop with Maui and two hula girls so all the guest could take photos. Her Auntie Bridget (Bridget Kenny Photography) flew in all the way from New York to take photos of her special day. Her daddy built a custom tiki bar from scratch along with many other things. Her Auntie Jo-jo made authentic Hawaiian dishes for everyone to enjoy. Her Nana and Abuelo even bought her a piñata on their cruise to Mexico and brought it to the party. Everyone wanted to help and make it special.
When the big day arrived, it was better than I could ever have imagined. 50 of our closest friends and family came from all over to celebrate dressed in their best Hawaiian themed outfits. We had Polynesian/hula dancers along with a fire dancer, authentic shaved ice, a candy bar featuring Hawaiian Host candy, her milestone wall, time capsule station, a ball pit for the babies to play in and much more. Hayden even sported the cutest little hula outfit. Everything was perfect!
The best part of the entire day was watching Hayden’s face light up constantly throughout the entire festivities. She screamed in excitement watching the hula dancers and smiling from ear to ear while dancing along with them. It made it worth every penny! The joy I was able to bring to her was so unexpected, but so incredible.
She laughed hitting her piñata (with mommy’s help), smiled as we put her face in the photo cut out and loved playing in her huge ball pit. She also made out with some serious loot in the gift department. (I don’t remember getting this many presents as a kid. There is something to be said about being the first grandchild…You definitely get spoiled!)
We had so much fun as a family. The memories and laughs that we had from this fun party were more than I could have ever hoped for. I am so happy that I decided to go all out and look forward to besting my best next year! Birthdays are meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. I know Hayden won’t remember this day, but I hope she loves looking at the special photos and sees how much fun we all had celebrating her.