Thanks to social media and Pinterest, everyone in the universe feels the need to go all out for their kid's first birthday. I felt this pressure creep in on me as I was planning.
I need to cut triangles and make a bunting to hang.
I need to have cutesy labels on all my food.
I need to have a very evident theme throughout the whole party.
I need a banner.
I need an awesome cake.
But then I asked myself, "Why do I feel the need to do all of this?" And guess what? It wasn't even for me! It was other people. It was for pictures. It was so I could look like mom of the year. I mean, here's the deal, if my normal life already looked like a Pinterest board, then great. But it doesn't. So, who am I kidding? I'm not throwing a Pinterest-esque party for my child who, while he is incredibly special, has only been alive 1 year. It doesn't mean I'm a bad mom or I don't care enough or I'm rebelling. It means that what works best for me is to do something simple.
(And hey, if simple is not your cup of tea and you prefer the totally awesome parties, that's great. We can still be friends.)
I made the cake (a recipe I copied from Sara) and it actually turned out normal. That's all I was asking for. Normal. But watching me bake the cake was anything but normal. Colt found it very entertaining as I poured ingredients into bowls that were way to small to fit everything, spilled cake mix on the floor, and talked to myself constantly. Keep in mind, these were box cake mixes. So, really, nothing crazy was going on. But this is just an example of why I'd much rather cook than bake.
You know, it's weird having a party for your kid. "Hey, everybody, come to my house, celebrate my kid, and give him presents!" I know it's what I'll be doing for the rest of my life, but it's a weird feeling. To counteract this weird guilt I was feeling, I almost considered doing party favors. But they would've been from the Dollar Tree and who really needs kazoos and other random crap strewn all over their home with kids running around. Nobody.
All I'm saying is that I kept it nice and chill. If Duke could talk, I'm pretty sure that's what he would have suggested as well.
So that's that.
Now, for pictures!
Time to open presents!
Duke's first experience with cake was definitely a good one.
We counted to 3, threw our kids on the couch, and took a billion pictures.
Happy birthday, Duke!
After it was all over, this was left.
I stood there, looking at the floor. A pile of trash over here, new clothes over there, big boy toys everywhere. It was all done. Bam.
The party had been thrown. The cake was eaten. The presents were opened. A year had gone by. I was a mother. I was a different person. I was changed. It was overwhelming how much had happened in a year and the range of emotions I experienced in that year. I'm not sure how all of that fit into 365 days, but it did.
Did I do what I was supposed to do? Did I do things right? Did I do enough? Did I catch all of it? (It's crazy, this mom job. You can do everything you're "supposed" to do and still feel like you could've or should've done more.)
And then I cried. But Colt hugged me and reminded me that yes, I did. I did my best and I was a good mom.
I was completely thrown off by my tearful response to Duke's birthday. But my tears weren't from being sad or wishing I could go back in time and redo Duke's first year. It's just the fact that a year really does go by that fast.
So here I am - a proud mom of a precious one year old. I'm so thankful and blessed that I get to be Duke's mommy.