Thursday, July 25, 2013

Twins 1st Birthday: Raggedy Ann and Andy

Staying in the theme of birthday's this month, seeing as we are still in party planning mode for Lyla's as well as trying to catch up on past year's post....I am going to reminisce about the twins 1st birthday!

They turned 1 on May 10th 2012.  I started mentally planning July of 2011. Yes, when they were 2 months old. I started for real planning in December 2011. I was very excited to be throwing another 1st birthday. Lyla's 1st birthday was soooo much fun.
I believe 1st birthday parties are way more than just a birthday party to celebrate a kid turning 1. It's to celebrate the parents. As in, made it through the first year!!
In this case, I felt it was a celebration of our family that not only did we make it through the first year but we also wanted to celebrate the lives we were blessed with.  We had many struggles.  Trying to get pregnant with Lyla wasn't easy, as we had IVF to conceive. But we conceived! On the first try (6 other infertility methods before hand). And we had a very healthy pregnancy and delivery. We were very fortunate! When it came time to try again for a second child, it wasn't easy. Two miscarriages, loss of four babies total. We were thrilled to conceive twins! And then there was a high risk pregnancy, premature birth, NICU stay. You can read all about the twins birth story here.
So you see, this was a huge celebration for us.
And in typical 1st birthday party celebration, we invited everyone!!!

I had originally planned on doing a Mickey and Minnie themed birthday, but then I decided I wanted something a little more unique.  We came up with Raggedy Ann and Andy! I thought it was perfect.

Similar to Lyla's 1st party, we had a pool party at daddy's nana's house.  Complete with pony rides, face painting, balloon man, and more.
I worked on decorations and details for 5 months. The first thing as always, the invitation! Designed by my dear friend and co-worker Laura.

As the RSVP's came in, I of course was filled with disappointment. The worst part of throwing a party.  Of course you expect people to not be able to come. But one by one, our inner circle of friends were sending me texts and emails with some legit and some bs reasons. I was really sad, but so thankful for all the other people in our lives that came out of their way to celebrate with us.

(if you are a visitor from Pinterest, welcome! I am not linking any shops or sites I used because there are just simply so many! Comment on this blog if you have a specific question on where I got something and I will be happy to respond to you)

I started shopping for party supplies. Raggedy Ann and Andy are not items easily found! I had to get creative, not my specialty.
I first got their shirts, and found a shop on Etsy that had a RA&A design. Once I ordered those I scoured the internet for party supplies. All discontinued. Though, I found one vintage site that had a huge RA&A mylar balloon of each doll. I splurged and spend the $45 to get them.
 Everything else I had designed and printed. There are definitely some advantages to working for a marketing company. I still have all the files if anyone wants to order any!  Diversified Companies.

This is the year I started my "birthday photo shoot" tradition. I am not a photographer, not even an aspiring photographer, but it is always so fun to dress them up in their birthday outfits and take pictures.
I had received their shirts, but they were the wrong colors so I ended up doing it two times. They both turned out so cute!!!

Headband by Yarn Therapy!

Sean and Andy - doll from Etsy

Liv and Ann - doll from Etsy

I had decided to do everything else in a red white & blue theme so RA&A themed stuff was very limited.  It was around March by this point, and by then Hobby Lobby has 4th of July stuff out. I shopped those aisles almost weekly. I was always on the lookout for something I could turn into a party supply!

I took scrapbook paper and notesheets to make an area for people to write in well wishes for the twins to read later in life. On the same table, I had all their items and preemie clothes from the NICU.  I wanted to remind everyone how far they have come!

Even Blade was decorated in red white and blue

We decided to take the easy route on food since this was a larger party. I love doing party food, but I simply didn't have the time or money to do much other than pizza and bagged chips. I of course made my peanut butter pretzel buttons, everyone's favorite!

I was stumped about the cake. I found some adorable ones on line,but I just didn't know where to get the RA&A figurines that most of them had on the top. A friend of mine's daughter makes cakes, so  I contacted her with a picture to see if she could do something similar.

At the same time an Etsy shop was making me big RA&A dolls. They were going to be photo props, but also gifts for the twins. I asked her if she could make a miniature set as well to use for cake toppers. She was so great to work with and very reasonably priced!
We supplemented the cake with cupcakes. The same site I got the vintage mylar balloons from had a RA&A garland. I bought it, and my friend Jenny cut it up and turned them into cupcake toppers!!!

For the goody bags, I put necklaces, candy (clearance Easter candy from Dollar General, woo hoo!), stickers in the bottom of a clear cellophane bag. I stuck a pinwheels out the top and tied various patriotic ribbons to seal them up.  I had a sticker designed and printed to label the bag. In addition, I had some coloring books created using various digital files found on the internet. Had them customized to Sean and Olivia, and handed those out to all the little guests.

coloring book cover and inside of 1st page

goody bag stickers

My favorite decorations remains today in our playroom.  Scrapbook paper, yarn and clothes line clips with pictures taken monthly from 1 month to 12 months makes a great long banner!

Everyone had so much fun. The balloon swords were the hit of the party. The next home party I have, I will be definitely hiring him again. The face paint went over well too, and it was so cute seeing all these little faces run around having fun.

Our friends and family had a great time celebrating. Here are the rest of the fun pictures from the day!
Lyla's bows, ribbon was one licensed item I could find

hugging the birthday boy

me and my sweet babies

sweet face (she had an accident and had to get her forehead glued instead of stitches the week before)

my great niece Alonie

she is such a natural on the horse

cutie pie Kayden

she liked it for about 15 seconds

sweet face Ellie having a gallop

my sister Rachel really enjoying the ride


I command you to get in my belly, cake! my family

face paint!

Mike, Tiff and Savannah

Casey and Alonie

identical twin girls having fun!

Maggie and Will's family


my dad, brother and I

my sister and her daughter 
friends from church, Steph, Brayden and David

My sister 

our best friends with their little angel

My dear friend Debi from loooong ago and her husband made the trip down from Nashville. Sooo sweet :)

daddy's nana and the kids

pretty flower for pretty Lorien

Jesse was riding like it was a race car!

Sean didn't quite go for it

dear friends Stacy and Murphy

Lyla was very excited to see her favorite friend, Libby

Ian happy as can be!

party people

Will today be the day Sean takes her first step? Nah...try three months later....

Liv showing off her birthday bloomers (from Etsy)

Mommy's Nana and Sean

Jenny and the birthday twins

 more Identical twin girls,  Marvel and Eloise with their buddy Livvi
Opening presents inside after everyone had already left

This party was rough on me! Hosting, parenting to three kids, being the photographer....phew! But sooo much fun! Sad that it was my last first birthday party ever, but I have such great memories of it all.

Thanks to everyone that helped us celebrate and enjoyed reading this blog :)

More birthday party posts!

Lyla's 1st birthday - cupcake (no link yet)
Lyla's 2nd birthday - barnyard animals (no link yet)
Lyla's 3rd birthday - Dora (no link yet)
Lyla's 4th birthday - Little Mermaid 

Sean and Olivia's 1st birthday - Raggedy Ann and Andy