It was also important to me that we celebrate on her actual birthday which landed on a Tuesday so that was somewhat limiting on family members schedules and availability; another reason to keep it low key.
We invited only our local family which if you've read the 'Our Family' page of this blog you'll know is quite a few. In a family as large as ours this party, consisting of only 34 people, was a "small" gathering.
I knew my duty as host of an event so I took it to heart and planned ahead. We chose to have her party at 5:30 so I knew it needed to include dinner. We went with a salad bar because it is a fairly inexpensive option for the group size we were having and because the prep could be done at my own slow pregnant pace.
On Monday I baked cakes for the party. One 9" stack cake, Jerusha's little cake, and 12 cup cakes. My mother stopped by and we agreed that I was probably going to be short on cake so she made an additional 24 cupcakes that night.
Tuesday I decorated. I went with an elephant theme as Jerusha's toy collection had acquired several stuffed versions over the year and her very first favorite toy was a stuffed Dumbo who we call "Ella The Ellaphant' because I always thought Dumbo to be a really weird creepy kids movie and I'd rather not have her toy associated with it. ;P
I didn't go very far with the theme, I just made two streamers of stenciled elephants cut out of paint chips and used Jerusha's elephants on the food table.
When Wesley got home from work we began preparing the food. As toppings for our salad we had croutons, crackers, feta cheese, shredded cheddar, black olives, green olives, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, avocados, boiled eggs, freshly fried bacon bits, and broiled marinaded chicken. My mother marinaded, broiled, and sliced the chicken for me. Huge thank you, mommy.
We had ranch, french, raspberry vinaigrette, and three cheese vinaigrette as dressing options.
Guests arrived and everything went smoothly. We ate, we presented Jerusha with her cake and like most one year old's she was pretty uninterested and overwhelmed by the audience, we ate cake, visited, and watched her open presents.
I think we managed to pull off a nice little party. :)
|The only picture you can see the streamer of elephants in|
The Chocolate Cake with Mint Chip Filling
Chocolate Cupcakes frosted with Mint Chip Frosting and Purple Chocolate Frosting.
|A picture my mom took of our little family <3|
We tried putting Jerusha in the high chair with her cake but with all the attention and pressure she was overwhelmed. Moving her to her daddy's lap helped a little but she still didn't understand why everyone was watching her.
After everyone had gone home I gave Jerusha her cake again and without the crowd she seemed to enjoy it :)
Jerusha playing with the box from her uncles, aunts, and cousins gift to her :)