Baby’s First Birthday: Celebrating Without Going Overboard

December has been a total blur in the best of all ways. In baby land Haines has battled a cold, the switch to milk (and the inevitable tummy troubles that came along with) and his first bout of hand, foot and mouth disease alongside the wonderful parts with visiting family, his first birthday and Christmas travels.

I really didn’t anticipate how excited I was going to be about Haines’ birthday. Once fall hit all of the sudden I was addicted to looking up first birthday parties on Pinterest. Smash cake or cupcakes? Decorations?  Adorable outfit? Luckily for both my sanity and our wallet, even with all my hours on Pinterest I really didn’t want to throw some big bash. I love a party but the best parties in my life have good food and good company. Nothing else needed! Plus, I tend to take my Pinterest fails very personally so no need to go down that road!


We chose not to give Haines much for his birthday either. Walking through Toys R Us earlier this month it became clear how easy it would be to get wrapped up in buying him everything! But he has kind and generous relatives and friends who have given him gifts and let’s be honest- he’s 12 months old. He prefers gift wrap to gifts. Showering him with gifts isn’t a precedent I’m looking to set.


Tyler bought him a lifetime coastal fishing license (a present he gleefully wrinkled up and tried to eat) which is only $100 when purchased before age 1. This is more than I wanted to spend but we were working within age constraints. I bought him an activity walker to try to discourage him from pushing our chairs all around the house. It’s pretty darn cute!



Birthday Cake:

I want Haines to eat all the best things in life but I struggle with feeding him sugar. I know many of you may be rolling your eyes right now but everything for kids is full of sugar. As a full blown sugar fiend myself I just want him to like things besides candy bars and sodas. I definitely grew up on doughnuts and Coke (probably because I was the world’s pickiest child) and if I can help show him a different direction, then all the better. That meant Haines’ birthday was celebrated with a low sugar banana bread cupcake. Don’t worry though, I did make some cream cheese icing. I’m not cruel.


Haines celebrated his birthday with his uncle- didn’t want him to get left out! 


Every day of Haines’ birthday week I dressed him in my favorite outfits. Puppy dog onesie- check! Denim overalls- check! We would have just kept in this theme for his party but my sister’s family sent this adorable birthday boy outfit!



The best part of any celebration is the food. Keeping in line with Tyler and I’s favorites, I made the best homemade white queso, pumpkin bread, raw oysters on the half shell (essential for any  1 year’s old birthday- right? Tyler just wanted an excuse to eat the oysters he and his family had harvested) and other food that I thought was essential but promptly forgot about. And beer, obvi.


Some grown-ups played cornhole in the backyard while the older kiddos played with Haines’ toys in the  living room. What did Haines do? He took a nap almost the entire time. Babies, am I right?

Luckily he woke up in time to say goodbye to most of his guests and eat his cupcake like a champ. (Or like his mama…)




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