Corban Hawk, our sweet third boy, turned one today! This past weekend we celebrated with family and friends in a fashion totally suiting of his arrival just one year ago. With the bathtub theme celebrating that “rub a dub dub Corb was born in a tub.” Considering the story of his incredible arrival, which you can read here, celebrating with bubbles, rubber ducky’s, and the bathtub theme was absolutely perfect.
Food, a great theme and surrounded by people who love our boy – and in our incredible new home. Our hearts were so full and it truly was a celebration of life and our family.
The 3D Duck cake is one I’ve been wanting to create for years. I was thrilled when it fit our theme so well. Made with a very easy to use Wilton cake pan and frosted in a simple manner it turned out just darling. It’s served 30+ guest a perfect slice of cake that also got rave reviews! It truly is our complete delight to bake fun and outrageous cakes for our kiddos.
This little boy has brought so much joy and laughter, his bubbly personality and incredible spirit shines through his eyes. Using scrapbook paper, circle punches and a sewing machine the bubble clothesline added such a festive touch and backdrop for the party table.
I had the joy of opening my home up for the first time since our family had a scary house fire this past September, and celebrating with his first birthday seemed so appropriate. When I first began planning this party I knew the theme and had a few ideas in my back pocket. But… my attention went immediately to the food. I wanted people to feel warm, invited in, and that their bodies and spirits would be filled.
I kept the decor quite simple, using a lot of things I had on hand or doing a lot of mail order shopping since our life has been so crazy; but I did add little personal touches like prints from his one-year-old birthday photo shoot taken by my talented sister of Tonie Christine Photography. I also included his monthly photographs, which in the end documented our house turmoil well as the flooring behind him changed in the past few months of his first year of life, little did I know when I started taking them on the floor last year at this time! The photos hung from a sweet clothesline hanging from a window, and guests could take prints home with them.
While honoring who Corban has become in the past year I also wanted to honor the village that has been a part of helping to raise him. We ate to our hearts content from a beautiful soup bar including three awesome soups. I cooked two favorites – this black bean soup for the soul, and our version of the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana that we cook as a staple in our house. Then I added a new recipe to the mix that people just flocked to and got rave reviews. It was this delicious Tomato Orzo soup by the Barefoot Contessa, complete with grilled cheese croutons. Can you say Gruyere cheese! I chose soups, a salad and rolls because, not only were they warm and cozy on a very cold winter day; but doing a soup bar gave people the chance to try multiple soups or to have seconds of a favorite. The soup bar also enabled me to do all the cooking the day before because soups are always better the second day after the flavors can blend more. This was a huge help amidst finishing up our remodel that week, prepping for the party and having an enjoyable day the day-of the party.
This awesome golden ducky balloon was a total hit. With rave reviews online I was still a bit nervous, but, it has held up beautifully and Corban has taken to chasing it around the house this week. Definitely a fun and easy way to enhance the theme and be playful too. It’s very large and could’ve served as a centerpiece, but for us just became the supervisor of the drink tub.
As a wee favor and thank you to our guests I made these awesome bath fizz bombs. The recipe was super simple and the only thing I had to correct was that I added too much water. This just meant that after forming them up once I came back to check on them and they were flat as a pancake… But after letting them dry out some I was able to reform them and they turned out beautifully! I highly recommend this recipe as it includes ingredients that make them truly fizz, just go super light on the water. Everyone was tickled to take one home and it was a nice change from a more typical edible favor.
It was just darling when my eldest woke up in the morning and announced “Momma no party is complete without a pin ata!” He immediately set to work creating a special “pin ata” shaped like a “duck” and filled with all the leftover Halloween candy we had on hand. Complete with some party time dedicated to the bigger kids hitting it with some leftover remodel Dowling. I love that as parents we allow this kind of creativity and encourage it by making room for their ideas. Watching my husband hold the piñata up for the kids to hit because it wasn’t the original plan just melted my heart. Check out Cashel’s 4th birthday party and you’ll see why he may have felt like a piñata was a must have. What I loved was that people knew we appreciated them and had thought of them. They watched my eldest think intentionally about his little brother’s birthday and also the guests who would be in attendance, down to every detail, insisting that the kids get special bags to put their treats from the piñata in. My Momma’s heart was so proud.
I found some adorable duck cupcake toppers that were candles and used simple frosting and sprinkles to create a variety that guests could choose from. I also did our traditional birthday chalkboard that has become so special to us in seeing the progress of our boys over the years.
Another tradition we have held with each of our little ones is to create some kind of “guest book” for their first birthday. Something that guests can contribute to like a guestbook. This year it was a little boy sitting in a bathtub full of bubbles in the guest’s finger prints created bubbles floating in the air. This year I chose a really small canvas and I’m totally pleased with the way it turned out. I think it’s a keepsake we can keep for a lifetime. You can see the canvas from Cashel’s patriotic “Cashel for President” first birthday (a flag) and or the book guests signed at Camper’s Dr. Seuss themed first birthday here.
Very true to who he is, as soon as the cupcake hit the tray he was all business and stuffing his face. He did try to share some with Papa and was completely absorbed with the task at hand.
I got to create a fun piece of chalkboard art and we’ve left it up all week long. One of the things that I’ve been wondering about is how to make a holiday birthday still extra special for the kiddo so that it feels like they are equally celebrated. Do you have any suggestions? Especially if you have a birthday or a loved one with the birthday during the holiday season… I’d love your tips!
I’ll close with a few thoughts to our sweet boy.
Corbs, your joy is contagious, your smile lights up a room, you are the easiest baby I’ve encountered and as you are creating milestones like standing up on your own for the first time today I am in constant amazement of your ability and your desire to be with your brothers and learn from them. Watching you develop a special relationships with them will forever be a gift to us.
My prayer for you is that you will passionately pursue the great things God has for your life. That you will submit your desires in your heart to hi. That you will love people and Him with your whole heart and the exuberance you show us every day. I cannot wait to see you grow in independence, in stature, in faith, and in love. It is our greatest honor to be your parents and we love you dearly.