Kira's Fall Zoo Themed 1st Birthday Party

A first birthday is such an incredible milestone. I've celebrated with clients for years when their little guys and ladies turned 1, but now I really get it. It's like a right of passage for parents. A whole year--the scariest, most exhilarating, confusing, amazing, sentimental, life-changing year -- has past and that precious child is still alive. That deserves a party. 

For us, we simply wanted to enjoy a fall afternoon with friends and family who have supported and loved on us through this whole journey so far. We wanted to celebrate the joy she's brought to our lives, her vibrant personality, and give her a special day full of fun. We also wanted to keep it relatively simple. In an incredibly busy season of life, as much as I desire to make things "perfect," I have to keep reminding myself that "happy" is a better goal -- and that usually means simplify simplify simplify. 

I truly enjoy hosting and feel incredibly blessed that we were able to find a home that allows us to do so. I chose just a few little crafty touches like the cake topper, bunting, and hand lettered signs, that allowed me to put a little heart into the party without going overboard. The theme was based off of her favorite book, "Dear Zoo" which is a classic flip book featuring primary colors and fun animals. 

Both sets of her grandparents were able to come celebrate with us, and truth be told, I never could have gotten everything ready without their help. It was a serious team effort, but in a way, I'm so glad everyone ended up pitching in to put it together because it made the whole process way more fun and special than me just doing it all myself. 

For food, we made a chili bar with beef or chicken chili and all the fixings kept hot in the crockpots, fresh veggies and dip, zebra tails, bags of popcorn, pumpkin dip with fruit, and the most adorable monkey cupcakes in the world. 

I tried my darndest to make a homemade cake -- I did actually do it, too and it was delicious. Except that it stuck to the bottom of my pans and crumbled into pieces when I tried to remove the layers. At 8:00pm the night before, I kindof wanted to cry a little at my #momfail, but instead, hubby stepped in with box cake mix and said, essentially--  use your icing, make the box cake, simplify. She's 1. We all still love you. 

The final result was much prettier, she loved her first cake, and the world kept turning. 

Our ladybug was lucky enough to receive some super sweet gifts from her friends and family. Kiddos played outside in her pop-up mushroom tent, blowing bubbles and letting imagination run wild with stuffed animals, masks, and outdoor toys. It was a beautiful fall day, full of laughter and love and not nearly enough pictures because I was perfectly busy soaking up all the moments in my mental camera. What more could we ask for!? 

Kira's shirt: Joellery's  on Etsy, by Joelle Pugh

Animal masks: KSFelt Faces on Etsy

Monkey Cupcakes: homemade with design by Skip to my Lou

Cake Topper - DIY

Kira's Bib: Petit Bebe