Alden’s Red, ONE and Blue Birthday

I still cannot believe that our little firecracker is ONE (and has been for over a month now)! I keep thinking about how just a year ago, Alden was such a tiny, helpless little potato, and- in the blink of an eye- he’s grown into our speedy, curious, opinionated, giggly little boy. He’s the cutest, quirkiest little weirdo- and our very best friend.

I’ve always thought of the first birthday as such a huge milestone for us as a family. I had been thinking about Alden’s first birthday celebrations before he was even born. By the time he was 4 months old, I had a Pinterest board filled with all kinds of cute theme ideas, birthday boy outfits, and over-the-top balloon installations.

Of course, when COVID-19 hit back in the spring, we came to the realization that the big blowout party we had envisioned was just not going to happen. I was definitely a little disappointed at first, but in a way it was a blessing. By keeping the celebration small and simple, I was able to eliminate so much of the pressure to make things elaborate and “perfect”. Instead was able to sit back, reflect, and celebrate how far we’ve come over the past year. (Which also means I didn’t stress over taking pictures! Every photo you see here was either taken by John or another friend or family member. Thank you all!)

With cases on the rise, a small backyard bash seemed like the safest way to celebrate. And since Alden was born so close to the Fourth of July, a Red ONE and Blue party felt like a fun and easy theme. (Thanks to my friend, Jayme, for the idea!)


We found this cute downloadable card online from DulceGracePrintables on Etsy and sent it to our close family and friends via Paperless Post. We invited John’s immediate family (who lives in the area) and a just a few close friends to join us on picnic blankets in their red, white, and blues. My family (who mostly live in CT) and friends who felt safer at home joined us on Zoom for the big cake smash.

The Outfit

I purchased Alden’s birthday outfit from Sweet Shiloh Baby on Etsy. I loved her simple embroidered designs and those little gingham shorts. She didn’t have this exact design available in her shop, but she was able to customize it for Alden’s birthday.

The Decorations

Most of our decorations were fun DIY projects! Of course, I always love getting the chance to practice my Cricut skills. This was my first time actually designing my own projects in Cricut Design Space, so there was a lot of trial and error, but I came out with some cute projects! I don’t have a ton of close-ups because I was having too much fun to obsess over photos!

Here’s everything I was able to make with my Cricut:

  • “ONE” High Chair Banner
  • Matching cake topper
  • Star banners
  • Star confetti
  • Smores boxes for party favors

The day before the party, I swung by to see my pal, Trader Joe, and picked up some pretty flowers to make some red, white, and blue bouquets. A pop of yellow sunflowers also seemed fitting for a summer picnic party. I can never resist a sunflower.

The Cake

My lovely sister-in-law and baker extraordinaire made Alden’s cake and a little smash cake to match! They turned out so pretty!

Did Alden love his cake? Well… he DEVOURED the berries, which I admit made me feel good about myself for a minute (*winks). I must feed him such a healthy diet that he didn’t even WANT cake! Jokes aside, I honestly think he didn’t really know what to do with it and was very confused by all the onlookers. Still by the end, he was covered in frosting from head to toe. (WARNING: There are a lot of cake-eating pics. They’re just too cute not to share.)

You know who did love the cake? Every adult. And Lucy. Lucy LOVED the cake. And Alden loved feeding Lucy the cake.

Alden also loved feeding Daddy cake.

And pretending to feed Mommy cake but then taking it away. Rude!

More Fun

After cake, our little guy continued his fun with water table play and endless watermelon. I think I can speak for him when I say he had a great first birthday!

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