I can’t believe my little baby is ONE! This past year has been filled with all sorts of baby firsts – breastfeeding, bottles, solids, crawling, new words – and it has absolutely flown by. I tend to be a realist so I went into motherhood with fairly modest expectations around the challenges that babies also present – sleepless nights, teething, blow outs, spit up, crying – and sure we experienced that all too but we definitely lucked out in the baby lottery with Palmer. She’s fearless, independent, happy-go-lucky, stubborn, beautiful, curious and loving. She’s the best thing that ever happened to us and I can’t imagine our life without her.
Leading up to Palmer’s birthday, I had no idea if we would be able to properly celebrate due to COVID-19. Of course I was bummed but in the grand scheme of things, I considered us lucky that this was our biggest compromise during a time when others were cancelling weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, graduations and even funerals. Illinois was making good progress and moving through the reopening stages fairly quick by June so we remained hopeful.
On Palmer’s actual birthday, Wednesday, June 17, Kevin took off work so we could spend the day as a family. A fun tradition that I hope we can carry forward in some shape or form. That morning we surprised Palmer with a shower of balloons in her crib, followed by pancakes for breakfast and a morning walk. Then we packed a picnic lunch, loaded up all of our beach gear and headed out to Gillson Beach on Lake Michigan. Palmer eventually came around to the sand and we all spent the day relaxing, playing and enjoying each other’s company. That evening, we cooked her favorite dinner, baby bolognese, and invited our family down to join us. We ended the day with a homemade “healthy smash cake” and a hearty rendition of ‘Happy Birthday.’ It was the MOST PERFECT day.
That weekend, we decided to do a small celebration with close friends and family out in the suburbs at my parent’s house. We planned to host it in my parent’s backyard [which actually turned into my parent’s garage because of the rain forecast] which gave us enough space to maintain a safe social distance from others. The theme started out as palm trees [a play off of her name] which morphed into a loose SoCal vibe with these plates as inspiration for our color scheme. Additional party details below!
- Decor: DIY-ed Balloon Garland and Trader Joe’s Peonies
- Food: Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches and Nuggets, Fruit Cups, Chips/Gold Fish, String Cheese, Applesauce Pouches [tried to keep all food single serve]
- Dessert: Smash Cake and Cake Pops from Bittersweet Bakery, Cupcakes from Mariano’s Grocery Store
- Favors: Flower Seeds [in these small jars]
- Palmer’s Outfit: Annabelle Infant Dress in Prosecco Pink
As for gifts, I’m working on a gift guide for one year olds that should be out soon and it will include everything we purchased for Palmer. Other traditions we started include a hand written card from each of us that we plan to bundle and give to her when she turns 18 and a wine collection for each year of her life that we plan to give her when she turns 21.
I’m so glad we were able to celebrate our girl despite everything going on in the world and I can’t wait to see what this next year brings!