Perfect Party

FINALLY! Yes, I’m finally going to chat about the Hadman’s first birthday party. It was almost a month away, so you’d think it was about time, right? You’re invited…to the recap! Here we go.

The day was perfect. Seriously. There were no major glitches (and only a couple of minor ones). The rain, all but for a gentle mist, even stayed at bay. Lucky, lucky, lucky. The only thing, after the fact, that saddens me is that I didn’t get pictures of the decor (well, a couple)…or food (nada)…or activities (zilch). I know folks took some pictures of other stuff, but I should have taken a bunch of the decorations (y’know, the ones that took me hours of nap times to craft) and all that before folks arrived. Here’s what we’ve got….


Bad blogger. Horrible blogger, actually. *slaps wrist* I made three different sizes of poufs totaling about 12 altogether, in various sizes…several strings of pendants…a sign for the front yard. Here were a few “before” shots from home…

But, I digress. It wasn’t a day about me. It was totally a day about the Hadman. And it was awesome!

The celebration was at my mother’s house (thanks, Mom! Not that I’m sure you’re reading…?) since she has the most useable space for such a shindig. My sister was sweet enough to come out the night before to help with decorating and setup, and man was there food. Like, at least twice what we actually needed. Yeah, ’twas nuts…and a blast.

We had some awesome family and friends come to celebrate, which made the day so fun and special. To give us some more space (with some shade), we erected a screen house/tent in the lawn for extra people to sit under, in addition to the carport area that my parents use as a nice, private patio.

So, folks arrived around 1pm and we directed them towards the food. (Not sure how many times I said, “There’s food! Please eat, or it’s going home with you!!” It didn’t. It went home with us. Full disclosure: I just found a half-eaten pizza at the bottom of the piles on my dining room table. There was mold, people.) The funny thing was that they lingered quite a bit before finally digging in. I don’t know if it was because of our set-up or what, but we ended up grabbing the snacky stuff and throwing them in bowls, and plating up a variety of the pizza, and putting them at the tables. Somehow, it worked.

That said, a quick shout-out to our buddies. The few pictures we did get make it look like we had, seriously, 8 people there. We didn’t. It was upwards of 25, give or take. Just lots of playing and in-and-out of the house and playing in the yard going on.

I can’t remember the order, but after awhile of eating and bringing the birthday boy around to see folks, we did cake. I think. Yeah, cake then presents. Here’s a little snippet of what it was like. Our often very serious, cautious, (over-thinking) boy was pretty…dainty. Hee hee.

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First. Sugar. Ever. I also shared a cupcake or two with him in the days following. Oh, and I did use a variation of this recipe. I tasted it. ‘Twas good, but not “birthday cake-like” (spongey) as we might hope. But, it got the job done, and he liked it.

While the root beer floats were being served (somehow, I even had time to taste one), we got the gift-opening underway. Holy crap, we lucked out. It is, however, where I got this post (and subsequent “shopping trips” from our ottoman in months to come). Love it!

As far as the nitty gritty, here was our menu:


Except my “H” cookies were as hard as a rock. And seeing “sandwiches” sitting all innocent and tiny like that makes me laugh. For real. I ordered bread. I stocked up, then stocked up again on piles of roast beef, turkey and the makings of an “Italian mixed sub” sort of thing. (Time to vote: What the heck do YOU put on a mixed sub?? The girl behind the counter and I were racking our brains, and a woman nearby who mentioned bologna lost all of our respect. Seriously, bologna??) Yeah. Add on homemade horseradish sauce (in addition to the usual condiments) and a variety of cheeses AND lettuces (arugula, anyone? Spinach?), and I spent hours planning and assembling those puppies. They were epic.

There was a bit of fun to be had, too, like…

We also printed off some facts about July 13th (it’s a holiday now, y’know) for the tables, and put party hats around for folks to wear. (And those that didn’t get worn did double-duty as decor.)

A few interesting facts: Hadley shares his special day with Julius Caesar, Patrick Stewart, Harrison Ford, and Cameron Crowe. Some pretty strong men, oof! Also, it’s the day that JFK was nominated by the Democratic party, the day of the Live Aid rock festival, the day of a big power-outage in NYC (in 1977) that wreaked havoc, and (my favorite) the day the “Hollywoodland” sign was dedicated. So cool!

Anyhoo, after the cake and gifting, we shoved everyone into the living room for a viewing of the sweet, tearjerker video that Dave made. I may or may not be able to persuade him to share it on his blog. 😉 There were laughs. There were tears (many, many tears). There was gratuitous thievery of popular songs (ones that we had sung or heard a lot before he was born, except for “Beautiful Boy”, but since our wedding song was “Real Love”, we had to include it). No harm meant. 🙂

After the movie viewing, folks were free to leave (sounds like jail) or to hang out. The birthday boy got a nap followed by a ton of backyard playing with the cousins, while we got to chat with folks more casually (and clean up…and clean up…and clean up). All in all, it was a very “Hadley” day: fun, yummy, silly, a bit scheduled (it kind of had to be to avoid meltdowns) yet casual and laid-back.

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