Baby’s First Birthday: Throwing An Epic I Am A Bunny Party

Nicholas the Bunny
In my experience, one year olds don’t have a lot of “favorite things” yet, but the book I Am A Bunny is definitely at the top of the list for Benjamin. Following in the footsteps of his older sister, Benjamin loves to find Nicholas on each page of this classic children’s book. So as his first birthday crept up (much more quickly than I would have liked) and after search on Pinterest, I knew there was no other party to throw him but an I Am A Bunny Birthday!

Invitations:
I had our themed invitations printed by Erin at LEX Designs Co. They were precious and set the tone for the entire party.
I Am A Bunny Birthday Invitation

Decorations:
I wanted it to feel like you’d stepped into the forest, so, with the help of my brother-in-law, I hung a dome of green crepe paper — the tree — along with leaves, birds and butterflies from the ceiling. There were a bunch of green balloons to kick around on the forest floor. And a “Happy Birthday Benjamin!” banner (also by LEX Designs) of leaves and acorns was strung up with twine.Woodland Party DecorationsI had my daughter and niece put butterfly stickers onto craft paper, creating a mural –a nod to the “I chase the butterflies and the butterflies chase me” page of the book– which ended up being the perfect backdrop for Benjamin’s cupcake smash.
"I chase the butterflies" mural

Food:
I Am A Bunny Food PlaqueIn my opinion a party is only as good as it’s food. Since I planned the bash for 3:30PM, after nap but before dinnertime, I served up heavy snacks (making sure to include some of Benjamin’s favorites) and drinks on thrifted serving dishes.

I Am A Bunny Food Display

The snack buffet, in all its glory.

Woodland Party Snacks

Twigs and Cheddar Bunnies

Toadstool Woodland Party Snacks

Toadstools – string cheese and grape tomatoes, speared with a toothpick rested in a bog of pesto.

Woodland Party Snack Ideas

Rabbit Food – carrots and celery sticks with hummus.

Squirrel Nibbles

Acorns – Nutter Butters and a Hershey’s Kiss topped with a peanut butter chip.

Wild Berries

Fresh “wild” strawberries.

Woodland Party Snack Display

An owl watched over the snacks, ready to swoop!

Mason Jar Drinks

Birthday tags (by LEX Design Co) made our drinking glasses much more festive!

Cake:
Benjamin is a lover of all the foods, so I knew he’d be totally into his first bite of cake. He didn’t just smash his first “toadstool” cupcake –a nod to the “When it rains I keep dry under a toadstool” page of the book– he devoured it!

Toadstool Cupcakes on Wooden Cake Stand

Toadstool cupcakes on a wooden cake stand, hand crafted by my husband!

Toadstool Cupcakes

White cupcakes, red frosting and white MnM’s made the perfect toadstool cupcakes!

I Am A Bunny Birthday

Benjamin, dressed as Nicholas the Bunny (all eBay finds), with his very first birthday candle!

Nicholas The Bunny

Benjamin’s first bite of cake!

Activities:
Benjamin’s buddies ranged from age one to five, so we kept the party activities fairly simple — a scavenger hunt outside to collect woodsy items for a collage and a painting project. The kids had a blast!

Woodland Party Craft - Collage Making!

The craft table, set up with supplemental woodsy collage supplies and a Nicholas the Bunny cut-out for each child.

I Am A Bunny Birthday Collage

Crafting their collages!

Painting Wood Stepping Stones at Woodland Birthday Party

My husband cut thin stepping stones from a log that I procured from a tree being cut down near our house (SO THRIFTY). The kids painted their hearts out — even Benjamin!

Favors:
Each child took home a bundle of kindling aka twig colored pencils.I Am A Bunny Woodland Party Favors

The party went off without a hitch. Benjamin had about as much fun as any one year old could have! Really everyone had such a good time that we ended up ordering pizza, laying a sheet down on the floor and setting up an impromptu “movie night” for the kids to keep the festivities going. We made wonderful memories with our family and closest friends celebrating the birth of our beautiful baby boy, Benjamin Andrew. Happy Birthday, Grizzy! We love you so much!

#1 Parents In The Pumpkin Patch

Mommy Daddy and Maddie at Gross Farms Last weekend, we ventured out into the pumpkin patch on a rather fall-like Sunday. We were on the hunt for some pumpkin pies (as Madeline calls them — better known to the rest of the world as pumpkins). We decided that at 36 weeks pregnant, it wouldn’t be that fun for us to drive the two hours up to Hillridge Farms for a repeat of last year’s festivities (wonderful though they were), so we stayed local and headed to Gross Farms. Along with the rest of central North Carolina. The farm was packed full of families clinging onto what little we have in the way of autumn weather and festivities down here in the South.

We waited for about 15 minutes in line for some pumpkin flavored ice cream and then snagged a wagon and headed into the patch.

Let me tell you, pumpkin patching with a two year old is much different than pumpkin patching with a one year old. Gone are the days of adorably posed shots and sweet smiles. This year Madeline was all about pulling the wagon herself — “MY do it!” She even yelled at a few passers by who apparently threatened her — “NO tata, girl! Dis is MY wagon!” Girl’s dad looked at Andrew and me and said, “Really!?!” At that point I looked over at Andy wide-eyed and then proceeded to “discipline” my child. “Madeline that little girl doesn’t want your wagon and there is no reason to yell at her. Please be respectful and kind.” Madeline responded with a look of incredulity (how could I not understand all the unspoken fighting words girl had spit at her and that she was just defending what was rightfully hers!), turned on her heel and pulled her wagon away while muttering “no” under her breath. Super fun. #1 parents in the pumpkin patch.

As our time at the farm wore on, the South began to rear it’s ugly head and everyone started sweating at the suddenly sky-high temperatures. Not to be dissuaded, I forced my sweet family into taking some obligatory photos — “These will probably be our last photos as a family of three!!!” And though there was tons of push back and even more sweating, I’m glad I insisted.

This year, we brought home one huge orange pumpkin for carving, a weird squat pumpkin, a white small pumpkin and some gourds. We also brought home some of my most favorite memories of our final days as parents of just one little punkin. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us at the pumpkin patch next year!

Pumpkin Pie

Wagon Full of Pumpkins

Night Night Sleepy

Two Little Pumpkins

36 Weeks Pregnant

M+M

Daddy and Maddie in the pumpkin patch

Mommy and Madeline in the pumpkin patch

The Wilhelms at Gross Farms

I Recommend Falling In Love In The Fall.

Madeline is in childcare, and I’m sitting in Starbucks writing. The lunchtime bustle is pulling me away from my screen like a moth to a flame. The last person to catch my eye was a younger gal in an oversized hoodie walking out with a soldier. She joked, “Gotta put your hat on before we can go outside,” with a flirty smile on her face, as she pushed against him.

Maybe it’s the brisk weather or the hot chai I’m sipping or the fact that I haven’t seen my husband in a week and a half, but I’m having such sweet flashbacks of walking with my boyfriend down the winding sidewalks of West Point to the Hudson River. I was that flirty girl in the oversized hoodie. “Why can’t you just hold my hand while we walk?” I’d tease, anxious to get down to the water so I could feel his arms around me again. He was always so serious when he’d remind me he needed his hand to salute when outdoors. “Well then what’s your excuse in Home Depot?” I’d press. It was a place we’d only visited once together, when his roommate (who ended up leaving the academy) wanted to pick up supplies for a homemade beer bong. “Guys don’t hold hands in Home Depot, Allie.”

I miss the beginning of our autumn romance, when crunchy leaves and lattes went hand in hand with love.

my favorite picture in the whole world