First Birthday Party Part I
1st Birthday Part Part I
1st Birthday Party Part II
1st Birthday The End
One of the best decision I made for Alexis’ party was to hire a photographer.
I am a do-it-all myself (except for things I don’t like) kind of person. I always take my own self-portraits, our family photos, Lexi’s photos. I feel that I know our best angles better and that I can take as much time as I need to and do whatever I want to. So clearly, that was the plan for Alexis’ birthday all along.
When I was almost done with all the planning and purchasing, I started rethinking doing it all myself. I just imagined being the only one to really organize the party, keep it going and then to make sure that I take a zillion pictures of everyone, Lexi, the three of us, guests, decor…
I figured Andrew could help out with some photo taking. When in a good mood, he can take a great photograph. But sometimes I look at the photos and just shake my head ( in his defense, I make him use manual mode, after setting everything up, and it can be hard). So then I imagined him not getting the shots I wanted and me stressing out. And then I thought of the reality of things and that most likely with the commotion we wouldn’t have any pictures together as a family if there’s always one of us shooting. Sigh!
For my own sanity, I needed a photographer for the party. My good friend Leeka, who’s also a photographer, told me about Stacey who just moved into the area and after we discussed everything, she said YES!
And I breathed a sigh of relief.
Seriously, the fact that I even considered doing it myself this time should get me into an insane asylum.
It was my first experience hiring a photographer for event pictures. I am SO particular about what I want when it comes to photos that I just never thought that anyone could pull it off the way I wanted to. But I relaxed and let things be.
And you know what? It was a really great experience. Stacey was there before anyone arrived and took the decor shots, snapped a few ones of Lexi running around the balloon strings, and then really just stayed out of the way taking picture after picture. That was absolutely perfect, because as predicted I was a bit, ahem, busy and without touching my camera I got a ton of gorgeous photos! And since photography business is all word of mouth, here I am doing my job and saying thank you, as a happy client, announcing “You, guys, if you live in Florida, check out Stacey Downey! I can vouch for her”
And Lexi actually smiled for her on camera ( she almost never does that for me! Probably because she wants me to be playing with her, not photographing her).
Stacey, sorry if you hate this picture, but I just wanted to post it- it’s adorable!
I will be running this in a few parts because there are a lot of pictures and I want to make sure that I post a lot a few of them, so bare with me.
The morning of the party was as hectic as expected, cooking, getting last minute decorations done, running to stores to pick up forgotten items. We made sure that Lexi napped at the perfect time for her to be up and ready for the party and to our surprised she cooperated. She woke up, we changed her, and put on what will forever be my favorite outfit of all times.
A little intro into what we wore…
As you know, the theme was Tea In France and I racked my brain for appropriate outfits. What IS a french outfit? I had a few dresses picked out and bought for Alexis and a few outfits from my existing wardrobe that worked for me. Andrew was always going to wear black pants and a pink button down to match the colors. (He isn’t in most of the early pictures because he was getting ready last)
And then I discovered Tutu Du Monde! I feel like there should be musicians playing as I say this, drums beating, fireworks going off. You cannot imagine how absolutely ecstatic I was to have found them! Up until that moment, Alexis’s outfits I picked out said CUTE/ADORABLE/SWEET to me. And then through luck of internet browsing I saw IT!
Let me explain! I was at odds with having Alexis wear a dress. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a dress for your birthday. In fact, it’s the cutest outfit a girl can wear! And it’s my favorite type of clothing.
A special birthday dress! How adorable, right? Right!
But inside I just felt like it wasn’t good/special enough. You know how as mothers sometimes we want everything to be super duper special for our super duper special kids. I wanted something unique! But I couldn’t think of anything unique until that fated moment.
“…embellished with hundreds of twinkly beads and overlaid with a fine layer of ruched tulle…”
A romper with so many girly details, so special and for such a special occasion- an outfit fit (pun intended) for a First Birthday, a goodbye to being a baby and hello to being a girl. She will have YEARS to wear dresses and dresses only to her birthday parties, but there is only one birthday that she can still be a baby and wear a onesie, a romper and that is BIRTHDAY NUMBER 1.
I became obsessed with that idea! My baby on the verge of turning into a toddler wearing a girly party onesie c/o Tutu Du Monde! One Last Time! I hope you see what I am saying here… It’s just so special to me. That idea that she’ll never wear a onesie to her birthday, that on her first birthday she was still a baby, with fluffy shorts, and bows and chubby legs. She will not be a baby on her second birthday. I want to cry as I type this!
If we step back from the outfit for a second, I think THAT is the biggest significance of a first birthday! Besides celebrating their birth for the first time, besides honoring the mother for giving birth to such a wonderful creature, it’s that they traveled so far in one year and they will NEVER be this little chubby baby again. A new life is upon them. It’s on par with graduating from high school in my book- first step into independence. Tear!
So that is how I kept my little girl little for one more day! And if I didn’t even fully realize my feelings behind the event and the outfit back then, I do now as I put them down in this post. I am not sentimental but this just hits me in the right place.
My outfit was a big change of plans, too! My friends at Taylor and Stylist emailed me a few days before the party and as we were chatting, we realized that they had the PERFECT french themed dress in stock- Black Peplum dress with striped skirt and a big bow in the back. You’ll see a lot more pictures of it once I write the first birthday photoshoot post, but I thought it was very fitting to the occasion.
A side note: the cute butterfly hair flower that Alexis kept taking off is also from Tutu Du Monde}
As if she was aware that all the commotion and decorations were about her, Alexis was happier than usual! Cheerfully she ran around the family room grasping at the balloons and throwing her hands up in the air. She quickly spied a photo of her in a cute frame and demanded we give it her her. She then proceeded looking at herself and walking around with it in her hands.
That is when Lexi twin had arrived with her mom. Lexitwins, for those who don’t follow me on IG, is the term we coined for two Lexis, born on the same date, with virtually the same name ( Alexa + Alexis= Lexi), but incredibly different personalities. They are best friends. Well, as much as you can be best friends at 1 years of age. They’ve been to Disney together, they go to several music classes together, they run at each other and bump their heads together, they hug while sleeping together.
I am only posting this picture below because it’s one of the few of me actually paying attention to the camera. I spent the whole party in a blur , and all the pictures with me in it look like I like to open my mouth right as the shutter goes off. But I don’t care since this party isn’t about me or my mouth. And yes,I’m aware I look like a major geek in it 🙂 #ownit
I don’t know how we managed to actually get some photoboothing in because most of the guests were not the “photo taking” type, so I had to sort of nudge everyone to take a picture with only a few of them doing it quite willingly!
Check out the total Parisian outfit my friend is wearing below. Talk about being a sport and actually dressing the part! 🙂
This lady below was instrumental in my breastfeeding journey and one of the reasons why I made it through pain and poor latch. Her daughter is only a year and a half older than Alexis and it’s fun to be able to see what’s ahead of me.
Our two boys at the party, the rest were all girls.
GrandmaUSA and her husband Ken.