Sunday, October 16

Monkey's 1st Birthday Extravaganza!

What you've all been waiting for... Dylan's 1st Birthday Party! We had a great time! Lots of friends and family came to celebrate the big day with us and we felt very loved. I think since there were so many people over at the house and weird things going on (decorating, etc.) it really threw Dylan off of his schedule and we had many fussy times on our hands. He wasn't getting enough naps, and when he did, he wasn't sleeping long enough. That was probably because one of us ended up making too much noise trying to get everything ready and it woke him up, but for the most part, he did great! He was full of life during his party and loved having all of the familiar faces over at his house! I can say that all of the time, effort, work, and stress put into this party paid off. We were literally working our tails off right up until 4:59 (party started at 5:00). We started planning and getting things prepared for the party the first week of August. Here is the outcome...

I will try to point out all of the details in the pictures, however, there are some things not pictured that I will share, as well. Below, you will see the two cakes that I made. The small cake with the number 1 on it was Dylan special smash cake. Everyone else ate the giant monkey cake that I made. The monkey topper was sculpted from fondant and the rest of the cake is decorated with butter cream icing. The two apothecary jars are filled with blue raspberry gummi bears and cherry red and white gummi rings. The bulk candy and colorful paper straws were ordered from Amazon. One of the party favors and activities for the kids (some big kids, too) was to decorate a plain white sock monkey to take home with them. I made all of the sock monkeys and it was a very stressful fun job. OK, yes, it was stressful and not easy. I think one sock monkey is enough work, but I ended up making 20 of them. There were fabric markers available for them to color their monkeys with and they turned out great!

The chandelier was covered with turquoise, light blue, dark blue, and red paper lanterns and balloons. It looked amazing when you turned the lights on and they were all lit up, however, they only were turned on for a few minutes before they started to heat the balloons up too much and they started popping. Dylan's birthday boy outfit was made by me. I also made his matching party hat. The water bottle labels were printed on sticker paper and attached to the bottles for a nice detail. The second party favor was the Monkeys in a Barrel game that came in various colors for each person to take home with them, as well. Guests were also sent home with small cake boxes filled with extra cake labeled with stickers, "Dylan's 1st Birthday Cake To-Go," but somehow, it was one of the many things I did not take a photo of. Also not pictured were the sno cones from Bahama Bucks, which were a huge hit and did a good job at staining every one's mouth blue and red.

Our gift to Dylan was a swing set. We had planned way back when I was in the hospital after having him that I wanted a swing set built for him and it was up to Mark (and my Dad's help) to build him one. Well, they both kept putting it off and then finally gave-in to the idea only 2-months ago. Mark worked his tail off on this swing set and it was a huge, HUGE, project! He would go to work early in the morning and as soon as he came home that evening, he wouldn't even come inside. He would head straight outback and start working on the swing set until it got too dark to see, or when he thought the tools might wake the neighbors up.

At first, we planned on a simple, plain swing set, but really, this was a Mark and Kari project and nothing is simple and plain about our projects. What is really amazing about this swing set, was that Mark had no plans to follow. He based everything off one one small picture on the front of a catalog and made it happen. I am so proud of him and so happy that Dylan (and other children) have something so amazing to play and make memories on. Take a look for yourself and go ahead, be jealous of my husband. You should be. He is awesome. He is handy. He is mine. :)

Dylan got to go outside 3 times today and loved it! (2 out of the 3, he fell asleep in his sweet baby swing from Aunt Kristen!)

We had such a special day that we will never forget! Thank you to anyone that helped to make this day possible and those that came to share the memories with us! If you would like to know about how or where I got something for the party, ask away! I'll be glad to share! :)


  1. Awesome party! It was the cutest I have ever been to and so much fun!! I know how much work you put into it. And yes, jealous of your back yard play scape!!! What an amazing creation!!

  2. Thank you!! We miss you guys so much and we are so happy that you came!!