Thursday, December 19, 2013

chapels 1st birthday party where we celebrated and gave thanks

Since chapels birthday fell right next to Thanksgiving and her birthday party was the week of Thanksgiving I knew I wanted it to be fall-ish but I didnt want it to be a "Thanksgiving party."

I wanted it to be all about being thankful.. just not about turkey ;) So I tried to go with that. I just used the thanksgiving/fal decorations we already had around the house. I also wanted it to be girly though too... so lets just call this Chapels apple, fall, thankful, pink, gold, glittery, white pumpkin, first birthday party. mmmmkay?

Also, I really really meant it when I said I wanted the party to be about being thankful. I mean obviously a one year old isnt going to remember her birthday party. I still wanted to do it though because we did it for River & Wylder.

But I especially wanted to do it mostly FOR our friends. As a way to say thank you for loving, supporting, encouraging, and praying us through the last year with our 3rd child, during our first year in Cleveland and Freeland's intern year. This last year has been surprisingly full of joy and I know the Lord is to be praised for that. And one of the ways he provided and spurred us on was through the help of our friends.. so I told Freeland a huge part of my heart for doing the party was as a way to do dinner and fellowship and FEAST with our friends to tell them Thank You! And truly to celebrate all the Lord had done!

Can I get an amen?

Moving on, here are some pictures from the party:

(Also, I cant help but mention I wanted to scream because it was a SUPER dark and cloudy day so I didnt get great pictures like I envisioned. The end)


note: I spray painted those leaves gold for something else and didnt use them. But my point is - once I spray painted those (and a picture frame, some mason jars, & some pumpkins) gold ... I basically wanted to spray paint ALL THE THINGS gold! Holy. Its addicting.


we pulled this table up from the basement so the kids all had a space to sit and eat. Its stayed up in our living room since. The boys love having it there.







That sign behind the cake (that we never hung up. oops)  said "Let our lives be full of both Thanks & Giving" I just wrote it out basically exactly like the Lindsay Letters print - because I didnt have time to order anything .. so I cant take credit. If you like the idea of that you can order her print ;)






also, you should know, probably my most favorite thing of the entire party was her candle. Im not kidding. (well, its a tie between the candle and the 'one' sign on her highchair. I guess I love me some glitter all the sudden) I just sparkled the same candle we used for River & Wylder with Martha Stewarts glitter. But that glitter is so stinkin gorgeous that it easily became my favorite part!



Apple Pie from Simply Delicious Pies (per usual!)

PS: Their caramel apple pie is probably my favorite.. since you asked. And River now associates all pie with it being an apple pie. Smart kid.

we put out a Thankful Tree for everyone to write what they are thankful for too. I love it.











note: these caramel apples didnt turn out. So it ended up being the biggest waste of time. But I guess you cant truly mess up a caramel apple. It just became a suuuuper messy gift for people to enjoy. (the caramel didnt harden. My bad. It wasnt until my last batch that they turned out)



I did make these little coloring books (that I printed for free from online) for the kids to take home too.




We did BBQ brisket sandwiches, fall salad with a maple balsamic dressing, rotel cups, toffee apple dip, macaroni and cheese, pizza dip, and my most favorite ever sweet & salty chex mix.. also known as crack.. I wanted to do more. But I resisted the urge and tried to keep it simple. I also tried to not over analyze and critique and change everything. Because thats what I wanted to do. (cough cough.. the pizza dip didnt turn out.. cough)




my mom makes these rotel cups. They go quick. Thats all im sayin.  (want the recipe? let me know)







and the best surprise for the kids was half way through the party Mimi and Bapa showed up! This is the first time any of our kids have been able to have a grandparent at their actual party.

Or I guess a better way to say it would be to say - the first time a grandparent has been able to be there to celebrate at one of the kids birthday parties!!!


Since there were older kiddos at the party we did do one little game. The whole doughnut on a string game. It was hilarious to watch.







all the young kiddos got to cheat and hold the doughnut.. but all the older ones had to eat the doughnut without using their hands. First one to finish wins...




Bapa joined in on the game too.


Mateo finally hopped in there and finished it off:







this was my first time ever doing a game at the kids birthday parties. Now that there are older kids around I feel like we should. Basically, what I am saying is .. we will be doing this doughnut game at every kids party going forward.

and after the kids were all sugared up we did cake & pie. Chapel loved the cake:






at first she was super girly about it.. then she dug in:





and brother came to try to help her out:




after cake Chapel opened up her gifts. Our friends spoiled her rotten. And Im happy to share we finally have some girl toys in the house. The boys LOVED all of them too. Especially the tea set. And Wylder wouldnt let go of her Elmo or her dolls for the rest of the week. That boy and his sweet little heart.



After the gifts Chapel crashed. CRASHED.

I forgot to mention the entire day she basically screamed and cried.. which made getting ready for her party super easy or enjoyable. (or not) I later realized she was super sick and I had no idea until we took Wyder to the doctor later the next week. Poor thing. I felt awful. (for her and our poor guests that we prayed didnt get sick)  So after all the partying and non-stop fussing (except for when she had cake) she was done. We spent the rest of the night with friends and then the boys got to enjoy my mom & mark being here.

It was a blast and a special day. Im thankful to have a little girl to throw parties for. I originally wanted to do a breakfast party --> and Im determined that I will do one .. (because CHELLO .. easiest party ever) but it didnt work out this time. One day though. One day. I loved celebrating sweet little Chapel and celebrating and remembering all the Lord did this last year! It was an incredibly special celebration for sure. The boys still talk about it too.

Also - Im really thankful for all the bloggers who create free printables. Thats basically what everything from her party was from. What a blessing. I will go back and list the sources because they definitely deserve credit.

PS: anyone curious.. here is Wylders 1st birthday party and here is Rivers 1st birthday party  (also here and here)


  1. You always create and have such beautiful (and fun!) parties.

    And your cardigan that you're wearing - LOVE! Are those glittered elbow pads I see???

    1. Thanks Corinne! Annnnnnd yes, glittered elbow pads ---> old navy! ;) Miss you guys already!!!!!! Wish we still lived close enough to pop in for birthdays and parties and holidays ALL THE TIME!!!! boooooooo ;)

  2. Brooke - AMAZING!!! I want you to come help me throw all my parties. They are so beautiful, creative, well thought-out, and perfectly executed...all with THREE babies. Holy moly - you have a gift (:

    1. you are tooo kind friend. And Im pretty sure you are one experienced party thrower for sure! I can handle the 1st birthday party and then I give up after that. So feel free to come do any of my kids other birthday parties! ha ha! Wish we were throwin parties together all the time! one day! ;)

  3. Love! I am doing my daughters 2nd bday party light pink & gold. The candle and gold that spray paint or actual glitter you used? Thanks!!! Btw you have the cutest family!!!

    1. HEY!!! How fun! I cant wait to see pictures! So the candle was just the regular ol candle from the grocery store and I put modge podge on it and then covered it with glitter. I used Martha Stewarts brand from Michaels ($5 normally .. and cheaper with a coupon! ;) They have her glitter at hobby lobby and a few other places too.. those are just the 2 places I checked. It will last you a long time because its super fine and goes a long way. Its gorgeous!

      (this was the glitter I used:

      I wanted to glitter everything and put it on all the pumpkins too but ran out of time.

      The 'one' sign is just glittered cardstock/craft paper from Hobby Lobby. I checked both Hobby Lobby and Michaels. They both have them but Hobby Lobby's was the winner in my book. It had the finer and more sparkly glitter so I liked it. But im sure any would be fine! I only needed one sheet to cut the 3 letters out of so it was just $2 I believe.

      Let me know if you have other questions!!! Blessings!

  4. So the next time we move, I'm going to move to wherever y'all are living, b/c y'all throw the best parties and seem to serve the best foods (despite your parenthetical claims that it didn't turn out well).

    1. hahahaha! Well.. normally the pizza dip is amazing so I was so sad. Im glad you caught that. I do love me some party food... basically appetizers though! ha. Wouldnt that be fun if we lived next to each other!!!!

  5. The party was beautiful! Love the little details that you put into it. Random, but where do you get all your pretty cake stands? Basically I love your style :)

    1. Jess! That is so sweet of you. Thank you. The cake stands are all from random places.. thrift stores, antique stores, and I think I ordered one online. I used to have 2 from pottery barn that were probably my favorite but they crashed and broke. But they were probably the ones I used the most and they were the most sturdy.

      Ebay has a few of the same ones that I have and I think sometimes they are a decent price. ($25?)

      The metal looking one was the one I ordered online. I'll have to ask Freeland if he remembers where it was from. ;)

  6. Ok, long time blog reader/lurker, but first time commenting :) I love, love, love how you style all your parties and gatherings! I've been trying to take note because you obviously love pulling these crafty details together but also are focusing on the true meaning of hospitality and really loving your people well.

    Random question- is that your natural handwriting style on all the chalkboard details or is it something you've practiced over the years? It's always one of the first things I notice!

    1. Oh fun! I loved looking through your blog! Its adorable. And I loved the porch party you did.. makes me super wish we had a huge porch!!!!! It is my handwriting - not my natural handwriting probably.. thats normally messy. I do love handwriting though and in college I used to practice different styles which is so strange I think! ha

      But I usually just find something online and try to copy it. It takes a few times.. I write those, erase them, write them again 800x's ha. But I see people print them out on paper and trace them on to chalkboards all the time. Ive thought about doing that before. Thanks for the sweet comment!! Fun to connect with you.

  7. You are such a great hostess and, most importantly, so hospitable and welcoming! I wish we had been there, stupid Texas. Also, you look really beautiful. Also, I miss you guys.

  8. EE! Loved seeing Chapel's party! Wonderfully done momma!