Thursday, October 25, 2012

duke's 1st birthday

Before I spill a bunch of pictures and tell you how wonderful Duke's party was, let's get something straight.

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.


  1. So fun!! I'm sure he LOVED it!! And he will love every single party you thrown him! And those pics with all the kiddos?! PRECIOUS!!! I love his smiley face opening the presents and the last pic of you 3 - a beautiful family! Wish we could have been there. Duke is a party animal, so we'll make sure to be there when he turns 18. Oh wait, by that time he'll probably be like: mom, dad, don't have your friends over for MY party... c'mon!!! :) Love you guys.

    1. Haha love you guys too. Someday maybe we'll get to celebrate Norah and Duke's birthday together. :)

  2. Love your perspective on the crazy Pinterest/blog/FB party phenomenon. I had major mom guilt about not throwing Riggins a 2nd birthday party, but we had such a special day just the four of us and he could have cared less! (Donuts, a stop at the fire station, his favorite meal for dinner, presents and a cake). At the end of the day I think that if there are some pics of your kid with a cake on his birthday you are good to go!

    And I definitely had a teary breakdown at R's first bday party when I went inside to light the candles on his cake. It is such a bittersweet day! Happy birthday, Duke!

    1. That sounds like a perfect 2nd birthday to me!

      Glad to know the teary breakdown is normal. :)

  3. I seriously can't believe Duke is 1! You are an absolutely fantastic mom, Claire - for so many reasons!

    And good job on the party - it looked cute! And I think you made it really cute - let's be honest, Duke is not going to remember the party so why go nuts?! (To me, nuts means spending a lot of money :))

    Anyways, Happy Birthday to Duke!

    1. Ohh, well thanks. :) And yes, he's totally not going to remember it or even care. haha We need to plan a dinner sometime soon!


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