Birthday Party Recap

I spent the entire day reminiscing about what I was doing exactly one year ago. 

At 6:40am, I told Joel, last year we had just loaded into the Uber en route to the hospital. At 6:49am, last year, our uber driver started to cry "You're bringing life into this world toady, and I'm so touched I get to be your driver". 

At 8:00am, I was in the bed in triage getting stabbed multiple times to try and get the silly IV in - inwardly freaking out as the couple next to us wheeled our of our little waiting room as a family of 2, and back in as a family of 3. 

At 10:20am, I was taken into the OR to get a spinal, and before I knew it Joel was in the room with me and the surgery had begun. At 10:51am my baby boy Leo John was born and my life was forever changed. 

And then, 10:51am 2016 hit, and my baby boy was officially ONE! 

checking into the hospital ::: leaving the hospital ::: celebrating 1 year 
The best, happiest, craziest, fastest, wildest, most joyful year of my life. 

And to celebrate all that means, we threw a big birthday party for our shining star.

We started the day with a few presents from us and his grandparents, and then went on to watch a VERY fun Vols.


The party was held a neighborhood pizza place, and they were so amazing to work with. My sister-in-law Corie and I got there about an hour early, set up a few fun decorations, and by 4:50pm, our guests started to file in.

The decorations that I brought (his darling bib, the "ONE" banner, and hit cute party hat)  were c/o of my favorite Etsy shop Dainty Couture.

I DIYed the "1" sign, and the chalkboard, and then found a few other cheapy decorations at Target and Marshall's.

We set up pitchers of beer and as much pizza as our guests could eat, and then basically let everyone hang and play. 


 Right before 7pm, we decided to sing Happy Birthday to Leo (who was clearly ready for bed!)

Leo loves cake.

A lot of the kids broke into Leo's toys which proved to be hilarious - and great entertainment. 

But by 7:30, everyone was ready for bed, so we loaded the car with tons of new toys and goodies for Leo, and cheersed to the best year of our lives.



::: 11 month recap :::
Weight: We haven't been to the doctor, and we don't go for a few more weeks since we are going to Chicago, but I'm guessing you're over 20lbs.

Nicknames: Leeman, Lee-Lee, Forest Boy, Weeward, Wee-whoa
Clothes: 12 months, size 3 shoes, and size 3 diapers
Sleep:  This month has been funny with sleep. You're a great sleeper at night, but naps are a little more hit and miss. Sometimes you will stand and play in the crib for an entire hour before I finally just have to scrap the nap and move along with the day. For a while I thought maybe you were ready to move to one nap, but I think we are going to try and avoid doing that for another month if we can.

Schedule: Not much changed this month
up at 6:30...with an 8oz bottle
6:30-9am play
8:15am breakfast
9-10:30am - nap
10:30am - 8oz bottle
10:45-2pm play
1:00 pm lunch 
2:15-3:30/4pm nap
4pm snack
6:00pm dinner
6:30 pm bath
7:00 pm 8oz bottle and bed

Health: Very healthy baby!
Crying: You are very attached to me and your daddy and you do not like to be away from us. Clingy is the word that comes to mind. I've also picked up on some timidness this month with places or things you don't know. 
Feeding:  You're a great eater, and this month we've started to transition you away from formula and into whole milk. We have a little more formula, so we're going to give that to you until its gone, but I don't think you will notice much of a difference to be honest.

Likes:  You love pointing, birds, Roscoe, being outside, your hip-hip, standing up on everything you can, cups, cherrios, facetiming Coco and Papa, and our light up pumpkin.
Dislikes: Strangers, when we walk out of a room, not being paid attention to.
Milestones:  Big month! You stand like a pro - and get up on anything you can get your hands on. You stand unassisted for minutes, wave, high five, lift your hands when we say "How big is Leo!?", and clap all the time. You shake your head yes and no, although, I'm not sure you understand what they mean. You point at everything - including people - but rarely do any of your "tricks" when we ask you to perform or show off.
I think I've seen a few baby steps this week, and everyone who sees you lately tells me you are going to take off walking any day now. 
Places You’ve Gone: We were up in Santa Barbara this month but otherwise we've been in CA. We head to Chicago for 3.5 weeks this Monday.

Visitors: You met my oldest friend Claire and her boyfriend Albie this month which was really fun. You also got to meet our friend Anne who came to visit from Seattle, you saw Coco and Aunt GiGi since they babysat you while I was in Austin, and you got to spend a lot of time with one of daddy's best friends Chris and his wife Kaci who came into town from Iowa.

Postpartum: I'm finding myself reminiscing about when I was pregnant, the anticipation of meeting you, and the crazy, sweet, and wild first weeks that we brought you home.

Roscoe: You two are best of friends. You think he is just hilarious and he is so sweet and gentle with you. He has made us very proud, and we think its a pretty special thing for you to grow up with him.


Birthday Party Inspiration

When I first started to think about Leo's first birthday party, I had originally planned on doing a picnic at a local park. Our apartment is just too small to have tons of friends and family over, and for the most part, I wanted to keep the party simple. 

After going through the logistics of setting up a party in the park (short version: a pain), we decided to take the party to a cute pizza place a few blocks from our house. 

Leo's birthday (and his party) are on Saturday, so I've spent some time this week putting together a few little crafts to make his party feel special. We're going to keep it low key, but I plan to bring in a few small touches from the inspiration board above to make his party come together. 

I worked with Josie at VivaLaLovely on Etsy (her shop seems to be down currently) to make these custom invites and she totally nailed the exact look and feel I was going for. 

It won't be a Pintrest-Perfect party, but I'm really excited to celebrate with all of our LA people that have made this year the best of our lives.



::: My baby turns one this week......It's so bittersweet. It's been the best year ever and he has brought more joy than I could have ever imagined, so I'm sad to see this year go. I also can't stop thinking about what I was doing last year this week. I remember everything so vividly and going back and reading through my old blog posts has been really fun.

::: Going through the old posts has me not hating the idea of being pregnant again.  We're not ready - but it's nice to finally not be dreading going through that process again.

::: Life has been all sorts of crazy. We've had tons of guests (friends are here now from Iowa, actually), tons of trips, and have felt like we've just been in a hamster wheel. I leave Monday for 3.5 weeks in Chicago and I have A LOT to do in order to get ready for it.

::: Leo has been on quite a few airplanes, but each age scares me more than the last time he flew. I have a feeling this flight is going to be pretty exhausting. I'm planning to save a few of his birthday toys to pull out on the flight for some novelty, keep him eating and drinking bottles whenever he will take them, and crossing my fingers he will nap in the ergo. I'll be earning my keep around here I have a feeling.

::: I am so excited to be in Chicago during early October! The weather for next week looks like absolute perfection and I'm giddy at the chance to put Leo in some darling sweaters and pants! 

::: I have my first ever Maid of Honor speech coming up in a few weeks and its starting to give me some anxiety. Any tips for how to write a sweet, cute, easy, and touching speech (besides not drinking too many glasses of champagne?

::: Can we go back to the part where Leo is turning one this week? Like, what the hell!!!!!!!!!

::: I still have no idea what he is wearing to his birthday party. We're having a causal party on Saturday, but I just haven't found the right thing for him. I don't want to invest too much money in a "I'm One" outfit since he won't wear it too often, but I may just end up going that route since I'm waiting for the last minute.

::: I'm so glad that fall TV is back! Joel and I don't have tons of shows that we watch, but we both love Modern Family, Black-ish, and a few other light comedies that we're ready to see again. And I'm still very much so obsessed with Kim and Kroy and think they're adorable (although she needs to stop ruining her face).

::: My workouts and eating are so off lately. I'm blaming my hectic schedule, but it has me feeling like shit lately. I need to be better about not letting off routine weeks throw off my health, but they have been and I need to fix that before I do some serious damage.

::: I really want to grab a wifi SIM card and start using my DSLR a little more often. Obviously the iPhone is so handy, but my nice camera is collecting dust and it would be nice to have a few really quality pictures of Leo.

::: When I got back from Austin, I was so excited to see Leo and after the first minute, he wanted nothing to do with me! It broke my heart! Every time Joel would walk out of a room, Leo would burst into tears and only wanted to be held by daddy! He really made me pay for leaving him for 3 days!!



Bachelorette Party in Austin

My best friend, who just happens to be my cousin, is getting married in October and gave me the title of Maid of Honor. It's actually my first time filling that role, so this also made for the first bachelorette party that I've hosted.

Thankfully Amanda, the bride, had an amazing bridal party that helped me pull it all together, but it was a little intimidating planning a weekend for 13 people in a city I had never been.

Thankfully Austin, Texas is absolutely fantastic and made it easy for me to turn out a fabulous weekend! 

The bridal party arrived early which gave us a chance to kick off the weekend with cocktails at the Four Seasons Pool. 

After we finished up with happy hour, we organized Welcome Bags for all of the guests arriving the following day and stopped at a market near the hotel to stock up on snacks and booze. 

  We had a 7pm dinner reservation at Second Bar and Grill which is just a few blocks away from the hotel.

Our food and on draft rose was really good, but I didn't love the ambience (or location). After dinner we bar hopped along Rainey street which was a blast. Lots of awesome bars with tons of live music and a really low key, easy crowd. 


We turned in pretty early Thursday night, but that meant we were able to fit in a gym session come the morning. 

After the gym, we met for coffees and then walked to South Congress which is a must see section of the city. We had a blast popping into the really cute and cool shops along the way, and then snapping photos at the infamous blogger wall.

We took a "fasten" (they don't have uber in Austin, and this worked well for us while we were there) back to the hotel and freshened up for lunch at Bangers back on Rainey Street. 

Bangers was the perfect spot to spend the afternoon. We had the rest of the group meet us there, had tons of awesome local texas beers, and a delicious lunch. We sat outside at giant picnic benches and caught up with all of the girls.

After a few beers we sort of broke into this cool new hotel Van Zandt for a drink on their rooftop bar.


We got back to the hotel around 5pm, which gave everyone a little time to chill and get ready for the night. We met back in the lobby at 7:45 so that we could fit in a group picture before heading to dinner.

It was kind of a pain to get three cabs to stop for 5 minutes, but they complied and we got a super adorable picture, so  I think it was worth it.

For dinner we decided to do Guero's Taco Bar (the outside section) for dinner. We had $2 tacos from their little stand, cheap beers, and listened to an awesome local band. It was really good and perfect and easy for a big group. 

Our big activity for the night was a private karaoke room at The Highball - and thankfully we don't have too many pictures or videos to show for it! It was actually a blast, and we didn't want to leave our private room at 11:30 after our two hours of singing were up. We stayed and danced at their bar with yet another live band, and then made it back to the hotel a little after midnight. 

Saturday was our big activity day and our plan was to rent a pontoon boat for the day (with a driver) and hang on Lake Austin. We used Float On as our rental company and had an amazingly easy and fun experience (with a really cool driver).  

Lake Austin is beautiful and I loved checking out the real estate along the way. After the first hour of exploring we dockd up  hung around the lily pad for the entire afternoon.


We had Jimmy Johns bring party platters to the hotel in the morning before we left so we had lunch on the boat, listened to music, danced and had a blast. 

It was an absolutely awesome way to spend the day.

 We got back to the hotel around 4pm, and everyone needed to take a cool shower and a nap. Hanging in the sun all day caught up with everyone, but I was really impressed with everyone's ability to rally for the lingerie party that night. 

We upgraded one of the rooms to a suite so that we could have a space to hang and the bridesmaids came together to have a few fun games, cute decorations and groom video.


Amanda walked away with great gifts and we ended up having pizza delivered to the room before we went out on 6th street for our final hurrah.


Sixth street was awesome to see - but wild to be in! There was a UT game so everyone was out in full force, but we popped into a few bars, danced like college girls and then took pedal cabs back home! 

 My 9am flight showed up reallly early the next day, but it was nice to get home to my boys and have a day to chill before we start another wild week!