Somehow Cricket's 2nd birthday became the most anticipated event of the year at our house. For the last three months, she told anyone who would listen: "My birthday coming up!" She also insisted we sing Happy Birthday about 12 times a day to her and every member of our immediate and extended family. And she talked endlessly about eating birthday cake. (Okay, so I've been stingy about letting her eat any treats until recently...)
Needless to say, this party had to be special. While her first birthday seemed more about us, her parents, celebrating the fact that we had survived her babyhood—she had no clue what was going on—this birthday was for her and she understood that.
One great thing about a Thanksgiving weekend birthday is that we're usually surrounded by family. This year two of my sisters and their families joined us. (You may remember them from the mountains and the gardens.) What could be more exciting than a house full of cousins to help celebrate?
Below: Fall party table display, including a sheep cake, DIY flower pot cake stands and personalized trick-or-treating buckets.
Below clockwise from left: Sheep cake. I never imagined a time would come in my life when I would stay up late researching methods to fashion a cake into a sheep, but that's motherhood for you. Since the cake was a big deal to Cricket, I didn't want to disappoint. She told me recently that her favorite animal was a sheep, so we needed a sheep cake. Obviously.
Personalized yarn wreath ornament party favors. Fall yarn wreath with felt flowers, embellished for the birthday. Fall blooms.
Our guests made this adorable leaf garland as a surprise, inspired by Design Mom.
Below left: Cricket excitedly awaits the arrival of our guests. Below right: Trick-or-treating around the house for party favors. My sister suggested trick-or-treating for our party activity, since Cricket loved it this year. (Here's the saga of her goat costume, which we were actually able to stuff her into at the last minute.) It was a hit with all the girls.
One order of business was to take a photo of the five cousins. Together. In one frame. We piled them onto the couch, and I snapped this one...
Before we could re-position them out of the spotty sun, things suddenly devolved! Oh, well. The photo below most accurately captures the goings-on when these girls get together anyway.
Below clockwise from left: My sister made this adorable plaque for Cricket. When the cake arrived on the table, things took a serious turn; everyone grew quiet, shoveling as much cake into their mouths as possible. (Thanks to Christo for handling the photography during cake and presents.)
I'd say she had a pretty clean face considering the amount of cake and cookies consumed.
After cake, we moved on to presents. Here's the play kitchen reveal. She hasn't stopped playing with it since that moment. (Warning: Though super cute, this kitchen requires intense assembly. And you should anchor it to the wall; it has already tipped over once.)
I'm calling this much-anticipated party a success. Happy 2nd Birthday, Cricket!
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.