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Cullen’s First Birthday Party! (With Photos!)

See pictures from the big day!

Last weekend we celebrated Cullen’s first birthday. Like any big event, it has taken me a week to come down from the high and excitement of party planning, out of town visitors, and a house decorated with streamers. There is actually still one balloon afloat, as if we’re not quite ready to admit that the party is over.

When I first started thinking about his birthday, I found the planning stage to be a little daunting. But a few weeks prior, I jumped in with two feet and never looked back. It was a really simple party, inexpensive and easy to execute. But it was exactly what I had envisioned; bright colors, delicious cake, and a room full of people who love Cullen.

I love seeing pictures of other people’s parties and celebrations, so I thought I’d share a bit from our day.  Here’s a look at Cullen’s first birthday party, in photos…nggallery id=’113472′

  • Look who came to party! 1 of 16
    Look who came to party!
    Grandma! She arrived the Thursday before the party, and I never could have pulled it all together without her.
  • Prepping and decorating 2 of 16
    Prepping and decorating
    My mom planned a mean birthday party back in the day, so she totally jumped right into party prep mode with me. We spent all day Friday cooking, crafting, cleaning, and decorating.
  • Keeping it simple 3 of 16
    Keeping it simple
    When I first started thinking about Cullen's party, I found the idea of it to be sort of overwhelming. A lot of people go really over the top with first birthday parties these days (thank you, Pinterest). Eventually I decided to stop worrying about a complicated theme and my lack of craftiness, and to just focus on my strengths instead. Things I am not good at: sewing, paper flower-making, painting, and drawing. Things I am good at: organizing, cooking, documenting, and visualizing.
  • Something fun for our littlest guests 4 of 16
    Something fun for our littlest guests
    I kept it really simple a "first birthday" theme of colors, that I tried to carry throughout the party. I also added in some festive fall elements, like the party favors for the babies tis the season
  • Family details 5 of 16
    Family details
    One of my favorite things was the photo display behind the cake. My mom and my mother in law both found pictures of Casey and I eating our first birthday cakes.
  • A cake made with love 6 of 16
    A cake made with love
    A few weeks ago, I made several test cakes in preparation for the party. I wanted to make sure the recipe was just right! I had seen a similar idea on Pinterest, and after finding his first birthday t-shirt, I was inspired to bring it to life. Don't let the bright colors scare you it tasted fabulous. It was a pumpkin spice cake with vegan cream cheese frosting.
  • Birthday banner 7 of 16
    Birthday banner
    I made a banner of photos from each month - a progression of Cullen's smiles and growth. Everyone loved seeing how much he has changed over this past year!
  • A birthday message 8 of 16
    A birthday message
    With the party set up and ready to go, we got the birthday boy dressed and ready for his big celebration!
  • A happy birthday boy 9 of 16
    A happy birthday boy
    For the past few weeks his morning nap has been a bit rocky he's working toward dropping down to one nap, but he isn't doing it consistently yet. Of course, the morning of his party, he decided he wanted nothing to do with sleep. I was really worried that he was going to be a huge grump, but luckily he was in a great mood.
  • Surrounded by friends 10 of 16
    Surrounded by friends
    In the days leading up to his party, I started to feel really sentimental and emotional about reaching the one year milestone. I missed our families, and was reminded of how challenging it has been to raise Cullen so far away from our loved ones. It felt strange to be planning a big celebration knowing that family (other than my awesome mom!) wouldn't be there. But I looked around the party during the room, and realized that we ended up having family there after all. I am so lucky to have such an amazing network of friends here in Seattle, and they really have become a second family to me. I can't imagine what this year would have been like without them.
  • A house full of babies 11 of 16
    A house full of babies
    With seven babies in the house ranging from 8 to 19 months, it was total chaos. Despite the toys I had set out, all attention was on balloons, plastic cups, and paper straws.
  • Singing happy birthday… 12 of 16
    Singing happy birthday...
    After the babies had partied and the parents had eaten, it was time for cake! Everyone expected that Cullen would be the one to dive face first into the cake, but I wasn't so sure. He's been a lot pickier about his food lately! We lit a candle and all sang Happy Birthday…
  • What a sweet birthday boy 13 of 16
    What a sweet birthday boy
    He loved having everyone singing and smiling at him what a goof!
  • Not so sure about this cake business 14 of 16
    Not so sure about this cake business
    He went for the icing, but seemed unsure about the sticky green stuff on his hands. He kept waving his arms trying to shake it off. Eventually, he thought he'd give it a taste.
  • A birthday success! 15 of 16
    A birthday success!
    It was a wonderful celebration of family and friends, and I think Cullen felt incredibly loved. It was really special for me to have my mom there can't thank her enough for coming!
  • A very sleepy one year old 16 of 16
    A very sleepy one year old
    Cullen was so pooped afterward that he passed on out on my lap in the glider. When we moved him to the crib, he snoozed on Casey's shoulder like a newborn. I could have let him sleep like that all day.

Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs.  You can follow along on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest too!

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