We celebrated Benji’s birthday with close friends and family the Saturday before his 1st birthday. Now that we have a huge backyard, we set up tables and chairs and had ourselves a little backyard birthday party!
When I plan a party, I don’t organize around a theme as much as I plan around a certain vibe and the colors I want to include.
For Benji’s first birthday party, I found a simple invitation that incorporated blues and some green tones. So I went with those colors for decorating.
We kept decorations quite minimal, though I did spend about 5 hours the night before his party making tassel garland! A few years ago, I made tassel garland to decorate for Jesse’s birthday. I worked for hours and hours on that thing. I used fabric and so there were a lot of steps involved.
Since I was limited on time this go around, I used yarn instead which really simplified the process! I made enough tassels to string garland around the perimeter of the yard. Though time-consuming, making tassel garland is one of the easiest and worth-while decorations I’ve ever made. It can be used for all sorts of events on a small and large scale.
Anyway, enough about tassel garland!
Jesse’s main decoration project was the balloon arch. I chose an assortment of blue/green balloons from Party City. Thankfully, two of my sisters were able to come the night before and help us blow up all the balloons!
We used paper clips and fishing line to string the balloons onto the wire. Then we hung the line between two poles. It worked like a charm and made for a festive entry to the party!
Food wise, I chose a taco bar spread!
I planned the menu and bought the groceries then Jesse executed and set it all out on the table. It was a fairly simple meal to make and fed over 20 people!
We had carnitas, refried beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, chips and salsa, and all the toppings!
The taco bar inspired me to offer a Mexican dessert: churros. I’ve made churros before, but wasn’t trying to include that involved process in our party prep. So I searched for a quick and easy option. Trader Joe’s now sells a bag of 40 mini churros in their frozen section. They take less than 10 minutes to bake then you sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them. They were a big hit!
For Benji, I made him a small cake. He’d never eaten cake before so I kept it simple with a three ingredient cake made in ramekins. It consisted of almond flour, honey, and an egg.
I had some raspberries in my cup of raspberry lemonade that he kept reaching for so I sprinkled a few raspberries on his cake for a garnish. He loved the cake! And even ate a second one on his actual birthday.
One of the best parts of parenting is seeing other people be a part of your child’s life. Our families cherish Benji and delight in him. They rejoice at every evidence of growth. And celebrate the uniqueness of who he is. And then to have friends in our lives who do the same is such a gift.
The week before the party some friends told Jesse that this first birthday party is really for us, the parents. It’s a time to gather around and celebrate that we made it. We kept Benji alive for a whole year!
Honestly, celebrating him turning one does feel like a celebration of our own “making it”, so to speak. Not that we barely survived, but that first year of life at times feels overwhelming and like more difficulty than enjoyment.
But at the end of the day, at the end of the year, we look back and see how much growth happened, not only physically in our boy, but also in us, as we continue to learn to be a family and parent Benji to the glory of God.
When I shared Benji’s birth on Instagram last year, I said, “to God be the glory, great things He has done.” And that is as true today as it was then. I say that with true joy. A joy that felt unattainable at times throughout the year but one that springs up from a deep contentment in the home-life we are building.
What an honor and joy to celebrate Benji’s life!