Maxwell’s first birthday party (at the park).

Zack’s brought some really amazing traditions to our family, but one of my favorites is how he prefers to celebrate a birthday for the entire week (or month, ahem). And really, why not? :) Having a baby is no easy task, so I’m totally on board for the extended celebrations. Besides, multiple opportunities to eat birthday cake? Sign. Me. Up.

maxwell's birthday party

We wanted to make his birthday party really special and make every part of the party come straight from the heart. I sat down one afternoon and started making a list. We knew we wanted a late-afternoon party so that helped me right away with what we’d serve: appetizers and cake. I bought fresh vegetables and cut up broccoli, carrots, cucumber and sugar snap peas, then served it in a couple vintage Pyrex dishes gifted from my friend Rhiannon and my mother in law. We set out small bowls of hummus and homemade ranch dip, so yum. Maxwell loves fruit, so I mixed pineapple, strawberries and grapes in a large bowl and put a large scooper in there. And then I baked and frosted three cakes (triple fudge and funfetti) and Zack decorated them with icing and neon shark sprinkles. Oh yes ;) sharks!

We arranged the food on a table covered with a quilt and tied small bundles of orange and blue balloons to three more tables. We set out rad orange forks, blue plates & napkins, and offered our guests soda and water.

olivia balloons birthday party

Maxwell’s first birthday is TODAY and I totally agree that first birthdays are just as much about celebrating 12 months of life with your babe as they are for celebrating (with trumpets) that WE SURVIVED THE FIRST YEAR! :) Suddenly I’m replaying the last year; my heart is so full, my smile is so genuine. I love being a mom.

The rush of holding your baby for the very first time… All of those deliriously long nights trying to communicate with your husband in the dark but can’t fully form a sentence (not that we have any experience)… All of the mid-day outfit changes (wink) and wishing you could magically grow a third arm because, Hello!, the baby is trying to roll over on the changing table and I didn’t move the dirty diaper.

maxwelll birthday party

And of course all of our firsts with Maxwell: first outing together (without another adult to help), first time he rolled over, first time he smiled, first tooth, first time he laughed when he saw Bauer, first time he rode in his stroller without his infant car seat, first time he clapped his hands, first time he imitated a sound I made…

maxwell birthday cake

A few times I’ve been sad about Maxwell’s first year being complete, but then I remind myself that him getting older means he will initiate showing his affection independently, which floods me with happiness. There’s nothing more sweet than my boy coming to me for a hug and then patting my back when we’re done. I love it so much.

maxwell birthday cake

We’re exchanging the newborn stage for a toddling boy who’s emulating the home environment we’ve been so intentional at creating and cultivating.

DSC_0541 copyA

And now for a funny story, because I’m really starting to get choked up over this huge, wonderful, precious milestone: We waited until Maxwell was about 5 months old to introduce spoon-feeding and I remember panicking for a moment because he didn’t know how to move his tongue to rearrange the food in his mouth. And for a minute I truly believed we had waited too long, and he’d never learn how to eat with a spoon. Ha! Clearly I panicked for no good reason ;)

michael and rhiannon

Rhiannon & Michael (and her darling baby bump!)

So back to his first birthday party. We celebrated Maxwell on Sunday at a local park with our dearest of friends. My parents were able to fly out from Michigan the day before Maxwell’s party, and having them here has been so grounding for me.

maxwell and nana

The weather was beautiful on Sunday and the sun was hot; it’s been a great week for celebrating his first birthday.

zack maggie maxwell birthday party

Maxwell’s first birthday party at the park was so special to us.┬áIt was fun and heartfelt day of memory making. When I think of my son, I recall glimpses of a tiny newborn paired with excited anticipation of the little boy he’s about to become.

I can’t wait to watch you grow up, Maxwell. Happy birthday sweetie.

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  1. 4


    I love reading about Maxwell and following along with his milestones! I had a baby shortly after you had Maxwell, and it is fun to see what is coming our way=). The time has flown by for us, and I am sure it has for you as well! He is such a cutie!! One question for ya: What brand of highchair is Maxwell sitting in, in your last photo? I’m looking to get a travel high chair for restaurants and such, and I was wondering if you liked yours…? Thanks girl!! Soak in these precious days.

  2. 7

    Mara says

    Love it! My sweet babe is 5 months now and we just started spoon feeding her this past weekend. Glad to hear she’ll eventually figure out the tongue thing :) ha. I’m both looking forward to and dreading her first birthday. Oh these babies!

  3. 8


    Hahahah! The 5 month old, no-spoon story is HILARIOUSSS. Also, he pats your back after a hug?! That is waaaaay too cute. <3 Congrats on surviving the first year!!!

  4. 10

    Jolie N. says

    I love hearing all your first stories! I love the month celebration! We always do Birthday weekend EXTRAVAGANZA!!! What a true blessing our children are. Our 7th(and sadly last) child’s 1st Birthday was on February 12th. I never tire of all the wonder and amazement of seeing things through a child’s eyes. Each stage is wonderful and precious. Enjoy it all…it goes by WAY TOO FAST! Hugs!


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