What a bittersweet moment it was to celebrate our baby’s very first birthday. It was an emotional week for me as I knew I was saying goodbye to the baby phase and wondered, “How are we here already?” This milestone meant a little bit more to me knowing that this day almost didn’t happen. The thought of being in that hospital room being told we only had a 50/50 chance that this baby was going to make it made me go big on his birthday.
I wasn’t only celebrating my baby beating the odds, I was dedicating a life that I was praying so hard for. When the doctors told me that the odds were against me, I prayed as hard as I could. I even called on the strongest prayer warrior I know to help me — my mom and Steven’s mom… I don’t think Steven and I have prayed as hard as we did for all of those months. So as a man and woman of God, it was extremely important to dedicate our baby to show gratitude for having our prayers answered and blessing us with our miracle baby.
My pastor, whom I also consider as one of my dads, gave a beautiful baby dedication and prayer. I felt like crying a few times but held it together. I just felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness in my heart.
I felt like once again, God has favored me. He came through for me and for us as a family. He blessed us with such a beautiful little human being so I had to dedicate his life right back to him.
I have peace in my heart knowing that his life is in God’s hands and that no matter what he does or where he goes, he has someone watching out for him and protecting him.
Getting this event together was not easy. I swear I had anxiety for two weeks straight wondering if I had everything done. Honestly, I don’t know if I could have pulled this off without my husband. Between working, trying to learn new things from the new promotion I got at my job, and being with my kiddos 24/7 made it extremely hard to find the time to book everything.
The teddy bear party theme has been trending on Instagram and I just think it’s the cutest thing ever. So automatically it was easy to come up with “Jaylen’s Beary Blessed Birthday Year”.
Because I wanted my pastor to come down and dedicate Jaylen, I wanted to incorporate the color white since it’s the color of purity and when you think of a baby you think of something so pure and so innocent.
Soft blue has been tied to baby boys for as long as anyone can remember, so it was a must-have color. Then we added some neutral tones such as light grays and light tans to give it a cloud-like feel for our little gift from heaven. Balloon Loft has been a part of our celebrations since I hosted a Mother’s Day brunch and they are the sweetest women to work with and they do such beautiful work.
Marquee letters are a must at any big event. They really tie everything in and give it that personalized touch. We placed it facing the door so as soon as you walked through the door you knew who you were there for. I’ve been working with Alphalit since our gender reveal for Jaylen so I wanted to use them again for his big day.
Let’s get into the bumper cars! They were such a hit with the toddlers. I was low-key hatin’ a little bit. I wished I could have gotten in one myself. This really wowed the kids and even the adults were raving about it. House Party Collective provided the bumper cars, the bounce castle, the backdrops, and the treats cart filled with candy that matched the theme colors.
The ball pit was another hit for the “teeny tinys” as I call them. Obviously Jaylen was too young to bounce or drive a bumper car so I made sure to get a small ball pit that he could enjoy with his cousins and friends his age. They were also able to coordinate colors with the party theme. I added some extra teddy bears I had left over and it was such a cute touch!
The teddy bear centerpieces were tricky because I needed to find a pole and base that would hold the weight of the balloons and hanging bear. I found these balloon stands with water bases that worked great. The pvc pipes are stackable so you can adjust the heights.
My bestie and I stayed up making the floral centerpieces (over a few glasses of wine of course). We used these floral foam rings and used a mix of artificial and real flowers. We wet the rings to keep the hydrangeas and baby’s breath alive for the next day.
Since a cake is always the focal point of any party, I only trusted Kate with this project. She made Cayden’s Space Jam cake for his birthday and totally executed it to perfection. The reason I love her cakes is because she uses buttercream. My husband and Cayden both hate frosting and whipped cream but go crazy over buttercream. I also love that she stays away from fondant because I personally don’t like it. She made one big one for the guests and a little smash cake for Jaylen. She also made banana pudding cupcakes and cookie dough cupcakes.
We did not put a candle on it because of Covid, I didn’t want our spit or breath anywhere near the cake that we were planning to serve our guests.
And of course, what’s a party without a bar? My husband was giving me a hard time about having liquor at a kid’s birthday party but it was definitely getting used and everyone drank responsibly. We stocked it with a few favorites like red and white wine, a bourbon, and tequila for margaritas because if you know me, you know that’s my signature drink.
Lastly, the food. I don’t have a picture of it unfortunately, but my husband deserves all of the credit for finding the chef that made it. Our chef is originally from Saint Louis so he knew exactly how to season everything. He made chicken fingers, mac n’ cheese, sliders, truffle-parmesan fries, and an arugula salad that was to die for! I told Steven we gotta get him to do our dinners at home.
Thank you to all of our friends and family that came, especially those that flew in from out of town. It means the world to Steven and I that we mean something to y’all and hope that we make you all feel so loved for it.
Thank you for all of the gifts, my babies are so spoiled!
Thank you to our beautiful photographer, Lolo O. for capturing the entire thing. I wish I could post them all because they are just so gorgeous!
Most importantly, thank you to the world’s best husband for rocking with me through all of my crazy ideas. For rolling up his sleeves and getting to work to help make it all happen for me and our kids. I love you daddy!
We’re off to plan Cayden’s birthday next. Stay tuned!