Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy First Birthday Laef Owen!

"Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness, To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love." 

It came and it went--Laef's big birthday celebration. I went in to get him the morning of his birthday, his hair all messy with big eyes catching the morning light as I pulled the blinds up. He jumped up and down in his crib and I lifted him up and laid him across my lap to give him his morning bottle. I sang sweetly to him "Happy Birthday to you...," trying not to choke up at the thought of this handsome gorgeous boy turning one--a boy that not too long ago hardly filled up my lap.  His legs dangled beside the chair and his big brown eyes stared up at me full of energy and excitement about the day. Of course, he had no idea that so many of his friends and family were coming to celebrate one complete year of his glorious existence.

The day was filled with crazy. The chances of rain were too high the day before the party and, through a miracle, I was able to find a sweet, cozy little nature center at Anne Springs Close Greenway for a decent price. It made me so excited about decorating this little place with streamers and paper boats for my little boy's birthday. 

I spent months folding, glueing, stringing, stapling, whole punching, shredding, planning, and cutting all the decorations for Laef's party--all while in the middle of wedding season. June gave me three weddings, and I felt like my head might explode at times, thinking of the editing, the emails, the planning, the shooting, the scheduling, meetings, consultations, baby sitters, charging batteries, folding paper boats, uploading, shredding paper, mailing, orders, and, most importantly, raising my baby boy. 

I survived. We did it. Laef's birthday was crazy sweet and I am very proud of how it turned out. Next year, the kid is getting a cupcake and that's all. haha!

I would say this party was more for Brandon and me. We survived the first year, and we loved every day of it...even the really long days. 

I made Laef's invitations out of old children's encyclopedias from the '70s. I tore out all the countries and laid an invite over the top of them. 

Here is the cozy little nature center where Laef's party was. I bought world balloons from Oriantal Trading company. 

I made a zillion paper boats. 

I found these stumps on the side of the road. They have lived in my husbands car trunk for a few months. I knew I wanted to put the cupcakes on them. 

I even handmade all the cupcake liners with maps on them. I made small paper boats as the toppers on 60 made-from-scratch carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

I was running around like a crazy person, so I didn't get a chance to photograph everything as deeply and creatively as I would have liked. But.... here is the best I have. 

I cut out all the party hats and glued their pom pom's on. It was a long process, but I'm glad I did it. 

My mom and aunts made Laef a world piƱata with paper boats on it. We forgot to hit it. 

And our close friend, Josiah, made Laef the most amazing watermelon boat ever!!! omgoodness! Isn't this amazing?

I hung photos from the last 12 months of his little life. 

All the kids received a goody bag with blow-up globes in them as a thank you gift for coming! 

The venue is a nature center, so there were lots of stuffed animals.... ;) haha..

My dad and Laef!

It's a dream singing happy birthday to your first child and having 40 people there singing with you, honoring and loving this sweet boy. 

I want to thank my friend Rebekah Petrino for being willing to snap photos for me. Otherwise, I wouldn't be in the photos. ;)

And here is a video if you are an ULTRA Baby Laef fan! haha http://youtu.be/VWA4ZmggoBQ

My dad and Laef love to sing together..

Singing with dad...

Brandon and I bought Laef his first baby piano. He loved it. 

We had a little travel themed photo booth for those who want to explore.... My sister in law made the amazing backdrop and she even made paper airplane streamers for decoration.

My cousin Christina and her husband drove from Ohio to meet and celebrate Laef. All four of Brandon's parents came from Joplin, MO. And my Grandpa stopped by from GA to give Laef love! 

My best friend, Sharon, who was with me when Laef was born, came from FL to celebrate Laef's big day!  

This is the newest face since turning one. 

Laef has been changing a lot even since turning one. More demanding, discovering boundaries. Last week was really overwhelming for me--having family and friends in town and feeling like I didn't really know how to parent this new change in my son. He's been so much easier since this week has started. 

I've bought books and I'm ready to read and educate myself. More than anything, I need wisdom from the Lord on how to parent. That, more than anything, is going to be the miracle worker and the magic. ;)

Laef has nine teeth, crawling everywhere, pulling himself up on everything and isn't walking yet. He is a little man. 

It's been such a great year growing in love with this little boy. He's my joy. He's changed a lot since day one- http://www.ourpaperboats.com/2012/07/laef-life-and-love.html


  1. Sooo adorable! May I ask where you got the map-print pants?

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