“What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are –underneath the year that makes you eleven.” – Sandra Cisneros
With Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and well, social media in general, I convinced myself that Gracie needed to have the perfect woodland first birthday party. I started a board to pin my ideas when she was about 6 months old, and I had quite the vision.
I swear, Pinterest is my best friend and my worst nightmare. I could spend hours (my husband would argue that I have wasted days) pinning ideas for my home, style, cooking, you name it. But seriously, at least it’s not too terrible of an addiction.
So in September, when I started to think about Gracie’s first birthday party (6 months prior) I knew I wanted to do a woodland theme, with a beautiful aspen cake, party favors, a fun photo booth, you know – everything a one-year-old needs.
I pinned ideas, had a vision in my head, and didn’t really worry about it. Before I knew it, it was the middle of January and I hadn’t even sent out invitations.
Reality set in.
January always sucks. The holidays are over, the weather is frigid, I’m freakin behind on schoolwork, and we’re broke from the holidays.
There was no way I could afford $200 in invitations from Shutterfly and to top it off, there was no way I could wait even a week to send them out. So, I quickly designed a cute invitation on Canva and ordered 50 4×7 prints from freeprints. They were on my doorstep 3 days later, I sent them out, and felt a sense of relief for saving money and actually having potential guests.
Bridger and Grandpa Mike both had to coach at the Gillette Invitational the day of her party, so I figured we would just have it in Buffalo, WY. It was going to be perfect – family from Billings and Gillette could come, and it wasn’t that far for our Casper friends and family to travel too.
Expectations are not always reality and my Pinterest board would have to be saved for another year. My terrible habit of procrastinating actually worked out for the best because I completely failed at making the decorations, ordering a cake, wrapping presents, you know – everything you should have done for a birthday party.
I found myself walking the aisles of Hobby Lobby with a cart full of birthday prep, and I had that moment when I thought, “this is ridiculous” – “I’m going to spend $150+ on things that seriously don’t mean shit.”
I left with a cake pan and a few things I really wanted to make for Gracie’s outfit. Then, I called my mom and told her that we were just going to keep it as simple as possible and enjoy each other at the party.
Things don’t matter. People do.
Gracie had the very best time with her family.
She laughed at her Grandpa and played with her cousin and the dogs. We made her a cupcake out of a boxed mix and she was the happiest one-year-old on the planet.
I didn’t have trendy decorations. Most of our friends couldn’t make it. We didn’t have party favors or a photo booth.
Instead, we had each other. And it was the best day.