Celebrating Ames' First Birthday!

Whoa! That was a fast year... and one of the hardest ones of my life! It's amazing how in the thick of a difficult time, you can't see the other side of it, and it just drags on. But then you get through it and look back, and realize just how fast if flew by. My mom always said time flies once you have babies of your own, and she couldn't have been more right! It's bittersweet.

Ames' technically will be a year tomorrow, although by his adjusted age, he isn't even 11 months yet. But we celebrated this past weekend and it was perfect. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. We have such a large family and it really turned into just a big family celebration. You know it's always a great party when the adults start having water guns fights, sliding down the toddler sized water slide, swinging on the tire swing, and getting coolers full of water dumped on them (the victim of latter was me... yeah, thanks brother!) It really was a blast, and all four of us were exhausted by the time our heads hit the pillow that night.

"Just Keep Swimming" has definitely been our motto with Ames. It's been so hard not to compare his physical development and motor skills with other babies his age. With his being a preemie, not eating well and throwing up for the first 8 months of his life, he is very behind, and all we can do is to just keep swimming and take it one day at a time. He's doing great now and we are so thankful for that! He's my lillte goldfish, so that's where I got the idea for his party. Thanks to my riends Eliza and Joe for lending me their chalkboard for the party.

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My sweet friend Stefanie made this wreath for me when Asher was born, and it's been put in both of the boys nurseries as well as on the front door when I brought them both home from the hospital. Ames' nursery is orange and baby blue now, so we keep it in his room. With the little goldfish added to it, it made for the perfect wreath since it matched.

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These little goldfish lanterns were very easy to make. I will post a tutorial later this week showing you how I did it. But all it required was buying the lanterns, posterboard and googly eyes at Hobby Lobby and assembling them with hot glue.

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We borrowed the tent and card tables from family members. It's always nice when you have family and friends that can help you save money instead of having to rent things like this for a party.

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I made the little food and drinks labels myself and just found the ideas on Pinterest. I thought the goldfish buffet idea was awesome, and that was probably Asher's favorite part of the party... well, besides the pool and water guns.

We just served a bunch of $5 pizzas and a fruit and veggie tray. It was easy outdoor food that didn't cost too much.

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Oh my how much changes in a year!

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These awesome cake pops were made by a super talented friend named Susan Sweeney. She doesn't have a business page, but you can click here if you want to contact her to have some cake pops made. She made them for my baby shower back when I was pregnant with Asher, then again for Asher's first birthday, and now for Ames' birthday. I think the adults ate just as many of these as the kids did! Seriously, how adorable are these? I made the matching gift tags that she tied on the pops.

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The cake was made by a friend of a friend named Sharon Murray. She's made 4 cakes for me and 3 others for family members and they are ALWAYS good and so delicious. Message me if you'd like her phone #!

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I found the palette idea just randomly on google images. I was actually browsing to see how I could use palette wood to repanel a wall, and I ended up stumbling upon this idea. Just so happened that my neighbor was getting rid of some. I loved the way this turned out. The crocheted fish garland was purchase from this shop on Etsy. I plan on using it in Ames' room as I transform it into a big boy room. It will probably be goldfish themed, or fishing themed. I will use a few of the fish lanterns in there too.

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I ordered the cute little fish on the palette above and the highchair and "Happy Birthday Ames" banners from this cute little shop on Etsy as well. I'm hoping to get a Cricut for Christmas this year so I can save money and start making some of these myself... and maybe even start selling them!

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My friend Laura made Ames' cute little birthday outfit. She has a business called The Blooming Loom. You can check out her facebook page here. She has made several little outfits for me over the years and they are adorable. Now... I just need to have a little girl so she can make me some awesome smocked dresses!

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Not only did Ames eat half of his smash cake.. he tore up some sausage and pizza crusts as well. He has certainly become the little eater and is making up for lost time!

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This is my best friend Jennifer and her son Sawyer. He and Ames are a month apart. I wish we lived closer b/c these boys would be playing all the time.

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Thanks to all of my friends and family who came to celebrate with us, to my mom, little sister and brother who helped us clean up, and to friends and family who let us borrow things from outdoor fans to card tables. We had a great time and couldn't have done it without your help!

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