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An Affair to Remember

A festive Fatherhood Friday to all – if you have a moment this holiday weekend, check out some of the other great posts over at Dad Blogs, and of course my latest Armed and Fatherly.

View the birthday photo gallery…

Cake HandsIt’s hard to believe that it was nearly three weeks ago that we held our daughter’s first birthday/Tupperware extravaganza in our backyard.  Our house is still littered with the remnants of the affair, with decorations gathering dust where they were hastily tossed, balloons hanging lazily as their nitrous slowly dissipates, and the pony still occasionally pawing at the garage door in hopes we might feed it after we locked it in there those many weeks ago.  But, I’m happy to report that the fiesta was a huge success, bringing together friends and family alike to share in the celebration of Justine’s happy milestone.

I’ve previously discussed the thought process behind our party planning, especially in light of the fact that our little one will have zero recollection of the day.  Consequently, preparations for the big day weren’t overly hectic or dramatic as we have experienced with other planned affairs. (the wedding, for example, or my annual Arbor Day Bonfire and Kegfest)  Most of the work involved the guillotining of a garden’s worth of veggies, and of course frantically jamming our daily life into closets to give the appearance that we don’t live in a cluttered nightmare of useless junk. But  I have to say that the highlight for me was getting the opportunity to take apart one of those human leg-sized pork loins from Sam’s Club and jamming the pieces into 3 crockpots full of the cheapest barbecue sauce we could find.  Incidentally, the house still reeks like a Louisiana smokehouse.

The day dawned and we were up early getting everything set.  All of our parents came from far and wide to help us with everything, from managing the food, to helping decorate, and above all entertaining the guest of honor who clearly had no conception of the whirlwind going on around her as everything was being situated.  Guests began arriving soon after, and we had a wonderful turnout of friends who dropped by to mooch off our free food, comb through our medicine cabinet, and at least toss a ‘happy birthday’ in Justine’s general direction while dropping off most likely wrapped but empty cardboard boxes.  We had the usual party elements, with a decent spread of food, coolers full of soda, an array of toys available for the kids (including a water table and a kiddie pool full of plastic balls which we had to keep shooing the parents out of) and of course cougar vs. jaguar cage matches.

In the BallpitThe highlight of the entire affair (for me at least) was the cake.  A family friend (Jennifer) , with some “help” from my wife, crafted an amazing “Ace of Cakes-esque” birthday cake that matched our “baby block” theme.  Before everyone could dig into it, we presented to our little Justine (firmly strapped into her decorated high chair) her own tiny block shaped cake.  It took some prodding, but she eventually tore into it, shoving gobs of the sticky cake/fondant into her hair, down her dress, up her nose, and occasionally in her mouth.  This was her first real taste of anything cake-like, and as expected, she was bouncing off the walls for hours afterward.

Thankfully, the shaky weather forecast held, and only as the last guests were leaving, pilfered rolls of toilet paper shoved down their pant legs and expired amoxycillin prescriptions tucked away in purses, did the expected downpour begin.  We were left to drain the crockpots, attempt to stuff the fridge with the leftovers, and perform the ritual ‘gift-assembly’ that always seems to follow the large-scale baby/infant gift-giving bonanzas.

All in all, it was an amazing day and one that we will treasure for years to come.  Except for Justine of course, who will someday look at the pictures and more than likely accuse us of stealing some other kids party pictures and photoshopping her into them.  Actually, that is not a terrible idea…

- MWF -

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  • Daddy Diaries

    Congrats on surviving the big day. Sounds like everything went just as planned, which is always something to be thankful for! Photoshopping pictures instead of parties really isn’t that bad of an idea…

  • PJ Mullen

    That’s awesome. Our little man didn’t care much for his cake, we tried in vain to get him to eat more than the little bit he managed to get on his fingers. We didn’t fuss much either, well, at least as far as things for him. He had plenty of boxes to play with and colorful paper to crinkle. I, on the other hand, spent 7 hours preparing a mediterranean themed feast for our adult guests and homemade pizza for the older kids that came. Next year I’m so ordering pizza.

  • WeaselMomma

    Happy belated Birthday Justine. Not that she can read yet.

  • SurprisedMom

    Glad you survived and your guests got to go home with goodies. (I just survived a hs grad party myself. I think we had the same guests.) Justine sounds like she really enjoyed the cake. I hope you did as well. Happy Belated Birthday Justine. And btw, you really should feed the pony before he starts eating your garage.