This past week, my littlest sweet girl turned one. I can’t even believe that I am no longer the mommy of a baby and a toddler, but TWO TODDLERS. Where on earth does the time go?

For my oldest daughters 1st birthday, I thought it had to be a huge deal with a big party and lots of planning and preparation, favors, guests, invitations, the whole sh-bang.

I quickly learned that although I have lasting memories from that birthday party and pictures that I can show her later on down the road, she really didn’t care about the size of her party.  Plus, her 1-year-old friends could really care less that their friend was having a birthday. Let’s be honest, they were there for the cake and the toys.

Plus, I was so stressed out trying to plan everything and make sure everything was perfect, that I forgot to have fun and celebrate the fact that my baby had reached a milestone.

Baby Girl’s First Birthday

When my youngest daughter’s birthday came around this year, I tried to do it differently. I wanted to keep it small , easy, and make sure that the family friends whose faces she recognized and loves were there. I figured this was the most important part about a birthday for a little one anyways, surrounding them with their loved ones.

babys first birthday

Most of my family doesn’t live in AZ with us, but my husband’s family does which is so nice:) We had a separate small dinner with cake the weekend before so that her Papa could be there. Then on her actually birthday, we all went out to dinner at Dave and Busters, which my little one was IN LOVE WITH because of all the lights from the games.

dave and busters birthday

We just let her run around and one of us followed her as she “played” the games:)

Dave and Busters birthday

Our closest family friends in Arizona were there as well. Her Auntie is the owner of Cakes Take Shape and an AMAZING cake decorator who has made all of the birthday cakes for my family (not to mention my wedding cake)  in the past few years. An October baby calls for a pumpkin themed birthday right?

fall themed first birthday cake

She was wearing an orange tutu to match her fall-themed pumpkin patch birthday, but we had some issues of car sickness as we were driving to her birthday dinner. Talk about mom problems… we had to run to CVS because we had used all the wipes to try to clean her and her sister up after they vomited all over themselves and the car as we are driving on the freeway. Then I had to run and find them new outfits at a store across from D & B so that we didn’t take them into the dinner covered in puke.

Let’s be honest, what’s a good birthday without an outfit change, cake, and vomit? 😉

I know that in some cultures and family traditions, first birthdays are the big one and it calls for a larger-than-life celebration!I think it’s awesome and I love attending/seeing pictures of those fantastic parties. But for us, especially since not all of our family lives in the same place, I think keeping it small and making sure that those who she will look back on and appreciate that they were there, join us in celebrating such a huge milestone!

Whether you choose to throw a gigantic party or keep it small, my advice would be to do what you think is the best for your little one and what is the greatest way you can celebrate them. As moms, we sometimes get too caught up in throwing the biggest and best get-together and/or birthdays, or we are always in some silent competition with another mom to see who can be the better parent.

I hate to burst that bubble, but no mom is better than another because they throw the largest and most expensive birthday party. I am absolutely not opposed to throwing larger birthdays as kids get older and they will remember and enjoy their party. No matter what, it’s all about doing it out of love for your child and the celebration of their life.

Happy First Birthday To My Sweet Girl!

Are you a “large party thrower”, or do you like to keep it small and family-style?

*Cheers to celebrating the birthdays of our kiddos*

joanna at motherhood and merlot