With all that went on following Elvie’s big surgery, we weren’t quite ready to host her first birthday party on the weekend of her actual birthday. However, we very much wanted to celebrate our amazing baby and to see so many of our friends who have been such a help to us as we brought Elvie home and got her through her first year. Getting Elvie here and healthy has truly been a group effort, and we wanted to honor both her and the many people who have made our family what it is. Because we think Elvie is pretty special, we wanted a party that reflected that. Elvie has developed a close relationship with our elderly cat, and so it only seemed natural that our theme would be “the cat’s pajamas.”
I wanted to keep it fairly simple and give a wide time frame for plenty of people to come by and say hi, so we decided to have an open house as opposed to a traditional party. We didn’t have any sequence of important events; we just had a series of people popping in for cupcakes and other snacks. We also decided that because we have been given so much for Elvie already that we wanted to share the love with people who are in need, so instead of gifts, we requested that guests bring wrapped items to donate to a local family shelter. Elvie could unwrap things and play with the paper, which is her favorite part, and we could give some much needed items to families who truly need them.The party was a huge success, with lots of friends popping by, children playing happily, and grown-ups enjoying talking to one another. Below are some photos and details from Elvie’s big day.
The Theme: Cat's Pajamas
Because Elvie is the cat’s pajamas. She’s also the bees knees, but I decided a cat theme was more appropriate and fun.
The Focus: Food and Decor
We had plenty of cupcakes for everyone, plus a variety of other finger foods that would last through the open house. We kept the decorations simple and gave guests a part in decorating.
Cards to Keep for Elvie's Memory Box
We asked each of our guests to color a picture of a cat wearing pajamas, write a message for Elvie on the back, then hang it below our other banner. She won’t remember the party, but she’ll be able to read everyone’s wishes for years to come.
The Cat Cards, Hung Together
Each cat was colored differently, and we ended up with a nice collection. We’ll leave them up for awhile to enjoy the love represented by each card.
The Big Banner
I printed and cut out cards to spell out, “Elvie you’re the cat’s pajamas.” It was hung first, so when everyone hung their cat cards, they were right underneath. It came out just the way I hoped it would.
Every Party Needs Balloons!
Elvie loves mylar balloons, and they’re not as much of a choking hazard as latex balloons. Jarod bought two, and we put them outside during the party so guests could easily find our house.
Homemade Cupcakes with Handmade Cupcake Toppers
A good friend baked the cupcakes for me, and I frosted them and added a little purple sugar sparkle. Saturday night I stayed up entirely too late making cat cupcake toppers out of stickers, cardstock, and toothpicks. It was a detail I didn’t want to leave out.
The Birthday Girl
Elvie mostly spent the time crawling around or on Jarod’s lap or mine. She wore a birthday dress and her best tights, and enjoyed nabbing a few crackers to smoosh up on the floor.
Mostly Ignoring Her Cupcake
Because she was so distracted while everyone was in our house for the party, I decided to wait to give Elvie her cupcake. It turned out she was much more interested in having a banana and more crackers to nibble than the cupcake.
We also waited until everyone was gone to have Elvie unwrap gifts; it was a full house, and it just made more sense to wait. She was better able to focus on unwrapping that way, too.
Playing in the Paper is the Best Part!
By the time everything was unwrapped, we had a giant pile of donations for the shelter and a giant pile of paper for Elvie. She loved flapping around in all the brightly colored gift wrap.
Wiped Out from All the Excitement
We got Elvie ready for bed a little bit early, and she fell asleep faster than she ever has before. It only took about ten seconds of rocking before she was out. I’d say the party was a success.