Eleanor’s first birthday was such a fun day! When Zoey turned one, we were homeless. We had just sold our house a week before, and couldn’t move in to our new rental for another week. We spent those two weeks living with our former next-door neighbors (such great friends!) and Zoey’s birthday was celebrated at my parents’ house. No big planning, just some cupcakes, my parents, and some family friends we’ve known since I was about six years old.
This time around, we still didn’t plan a big party. We invited my parents and couple friends over for a backyard barbecue. I made strawberry cupcakes and frosting completely from scratch – with real strawberries! I found the recipe here and tweaked it a bit based on suggestions in the reviews. The cupcakes were rather muffin-like in texture, and not super sweet. The frosting, though, was really sweet (I ended up adding a block of cream cheese to my double batch of frosting to tone it down a bit) and really brought out the strawberry flavor in the cake.
I took the girls on a walk to the grocery store to buy some balloons, which turned out to be one of their favorite things about the whole day. I’m sure I was quite a sight, pushing a bright red double-wide stroller down the street while trying to keep a huge bouquet of balloons out of my face so I could see where I was walking.
Eleanor loves cars, so I bought her some Hotwheels and a play mat with roads to drive them on. She immediately started having fun motoring them around and make car noises.
Zach got her one of those toys with four different ways to make things pop open (push a button, turn a wheel, flip a switch, etc). Both girls were pretty excited about that one. My mom, true to form, made sure to give the noisiest toys possible, right down to the birthday card that opens to reveal a giant frog croaking the “Happy Birthday” song. Needless to say, both my kids love the presents my parents give. (Thanks Grandma!) By the end of the day, Eleanor had gotten really good at the whole “tearing open presents” thing. Quick learner.
One of my favorite parts of the whole day, though, was the cake smash. After a brief moment of hesitation while she inspected the foreign object in front of her, Eleanor dove right in and demolished her cupcake. Success!
It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it immensely.