Links to Amazon are affiliate links.
Tess’s birthday is July 31st but the weekend of her real birthday Zach’s first cousin got married so we bumped her party up a week and had it the Saturday prior to her big day. I’m pretty glad it ended up working out this way honestly because it helped me not to get overly emotional at her party. She wasn’t 1 yet! I still had a week! Haha!
Her party was at 3:30. I kept it really simple. I feel that a 1st birthday is about the adults so I didn’t do any activities for kids. People came, they ate, they mingled, we did presents, we did cake. All the legit “party” stuff was done in about an hour. Then we welcomed anyone who wanted to stay and swim to stay and anyone who didn’t want to didn’t feel like they had to stick around. It was SUPER chill and was really great. I feel like a lot of adults don’t want to be stuck a long time at a party so it was a quick one for those who wanted to head out 🙂 I also have some pretty intense anxiety about large amounts of people swimming in the pool. We are hardcore about survival swim for our kids but most people aren’t and I’ve known of too many situations where children have drowned at large gatherings. I made sure to tell all the parents that it’s a concern of mine so they’d be extra watchful of their kids 😉
Even though we were utilizing the pool I still didn’t feel stressed about it raining. I really liked having all the legit party stuff in the beginning and I liked having it all INSIDE. It took the pressure off the weather and when it did rain I didn’t cry 😉 It did clear up though in time for swimming! But if we’d had a more legit pool party where people arrived in their suits and swam from the start, it would have been raining. It also made me thankful I didn’t do any decorating in the backyard area!
Birthday girl fresh up from her nap and ready to party 🙂
I mentioned in the party decor post but I was pretty proud of myself for not buying Tess a special party dress. I was tempted. And I had a bunch of stuff pinned that I liked. But then I realized I had this dress already in her closet (a $2 kids sale find). It fit and it was cute and it worked! I did end up buying her this bow from Amazon
because it was so cute and I’m glad I did! I also happened to already have a flamingo top for Britt! The only person I bought something for to wear was myself but it was only because I happened to see the flamingo top at Target and couldn’t resist!
For Kye’s first birthday we had a HUGE turn out. Britt’s was very, very small. I wasn’t sure what to expect with Tess’s. I felt like the time of the year was pretty good for people to be able to attend. Yes, it was summer but it was also so close to back to school that I felt like most people would probably be in town. Robyn’s crew was actually out of town (first party she’s ever missed!) but SO many people were able to come that I didn’t think would necessarily be able to make it which was really great! I made sure to get pics of all the party guests so Tess will always know who was there for her 1st birthday!
I was pumped that Lindsay was finally able to come to one of our parties! She’s usually a working woman on Saturdays with her weddings 🙂 Hannah and Eve had so much fun and they were so cute!
We were also pumped that Seth and his crew could make it. Especially because his shirtless game is so strong haha
G-Mama with the serious Birthday Girl
So excited for Keeli, Daryl and cutie pie Eli to come too (not gonna lie…hoping Tess goes for the slightly older guys b/c isn’t he SO CUTE?!?!)
Little Mama (we missed Big Daddy!)
Mema, Jolee, Cheryl and her nephew Caden (who goes to school with Britt)
Ashley, Preston and Kate! (I think she’s been to all of our first bday parties!)
I stole this from Ashley…love that the kids enjoyed the flamingo glasses so much!
Duh, Aunt Katie was there of course 🙂
Big Papa even left his golf game early…man Tess must be special 😉
Aunt Debby, Uncle Steven and Jake
Jordan, Casey and Carter (I LOVE Casey’s shirt and always appreciate how she gets into the themes!)
Courtney had a wedding to attend so Brad brought Colt and Payton solo which was so sweet of him! I’m so glad Tess had all her cousins there to celebrate with her 🙂
Rachel, Mason and Adalyn
Typically I save present opening for the end of the party but I wanted to do it prior to cake eating so I could just strip Tess down after the mess and put on her bathing suit! Such a big turn out meant lost of presents to open and she got SO many thoughtful things. Being the third child and second girl means I wasn’t very helpful when people asked for ideas haha. I really appreciate Katie always grabbing my camera during the present opening for me. She always gets some great shots and I love the candid moments of my little family together 🙂
I think having the birthday slideshow playing throughout the party gives people something to look at and an easy conversation starter if needed. I hate to think how bored people probably get during the gift opening 😉
Of course everyone got very sweet and thoughtful things for Tess but man Casey’s gift blew me away! She made a shutterfly book of Carter’s and Tess’s first year as bffs. I know…I can’t even! It was SO SO sweet of her and totally made me cry. I love that our babies are growing up together 🙂
After presents we jumped right to the cake. I had everyone wait on eating cupcakes until Tess did her cake so people would, again, have something to do while she was eating. I really appreciate Lindsay for taking camera duty during a good bit of the cake experience and Casey for video taping it for me! You can watch it here 🙂
I think it’s safe to say that she was a fan 🙂 She was SUPER serious about it too!
Titus was also a fan of the cupcake 😉
A good bit of the party headed out once she ate her cake which I had expected and it worked out where it was a smaller crew for the actual swimming. Kye and Britt had been SO PUMPED for the swim portion of the party. I think every single pool toy we own was in that pool haha!
Tess was very serious her entire party. I was actually surprised she didn’t cry at all. Her whole life Tess just hasn’t been a big fan of large crowds (welcome to the Parker family child haha) and gets upset easily when there are a lot of people she’s not comfortable with. She stayed pretty serious faced throughout the whole party but never cried and even went to several people without fussing! I was SO thankful though that the rained cleared and the swimming portion happened. Because that’s when she really, really had FUN and I felt like it was HER DAY! She loves the water and it’s so adorable to see her truly just having a blast!
The men handled the swimming so us moms could chill poolside and watch the kids while we talked 🙂 Another non-kid crew hung out up at the porch area as well. I was very happily surprised at how long everyone hung around! It was awesome and the weather was SO perfect! The rain meant it was pretty overcast and wasn’t too hot at all.
We had a ton of leftovers so we enjoyed those for dinner and just relaxed and played with Tess’s presents. She got so much cool stuff that the big kids loved too 😉 The party was truly so fun! Everything came together so well and I think it had a great flow to the event. I loved that so many people were able to be there to celebrate with us and it made my heart happy to see so many who stayed and hung out and visited and just enjoyed each other! We are truly beyond blessed to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family who truly love our children. It’s always tough for me when I look around and realize no one at these parties “shares my blood” but family isn’t always about blood. I’m thankful for friends who have become my family and for Zach’s family for loving me as their own! My kids never ever feel rejected or unloved or unwanted and that’s what matters the most to me! I can’t believe my sweet baby girl is ONE and I’m so glad that she had such an awesome party to celebrate her first year of life 🙂 We are blessed by her each day!