Arlo Redding’s Hot Air Balloon Themed First Birthday

We had Arlo’s birthday party this past Monday, on Memorial day. I started perusing Pinterest a few months ago looking for inspiration for his big day. Brent and I tossed around a lot of ideas before settling on a hot air balloon theme. It just felt appropriate given how quickly his first year seemed to float by. As with Everly’s first birthday party, we really wanted to personalize it and hand make as much of the decor as possible.

Arlo’s invites are from Anders Ruff. Instead of having a custom design made, I found a template I liked on etsy, had them make a few tweaks and then printed them myself. (Note: Brent and I wrapped up a few special gifts for Arlo to open at his party, but asked our guests to donate to the school where he gets his vision therapy instead of bringing a present. Thanks to their generosity, we are going to use the donations to buy a collection of books on raising a child with albinism for new families coming into the program. )

This is the “coffee filter” project I alluded to in my DIY post this week. It was super easy to make and I definitely plan to make one each year for the kid’s birthdays as they grow. Tutorial to come!

I didn’t have a big budget, so I knixed the professionally made cake for homemade cupcakes. I made the little hot air balloons out of scrapbook paper glued to wooden skewers and added a reese cup for the basket. The felt flags are just felt¬† & ribbon secured together with my trusty glue gun!

SADDEST PICTURE EVER! Arlo was a little overwhelmed by all of the attention as our guests started to arrive and the 90* F weather wasn’t helping things. As much as I loved putting together this super cute little outfit for him to wear, I decided pretty quickly that a wardrobe change was in order to keep him comfortable.

I made the clouds out of foam board wrapped in cotton batting and the hot air balloons are paper lanterns, ribbon, and construction paper boxes. To keep the party prep stress to a minimum, we ordered roasted chickens, black beans, fried plaintains and salad from a local Peruvian restaurant that has amazing food. (Everyone raved about how good it was!)

These little party hats are actually leftovers from Everly’s party last year! I fancied them up a bit by making yarn pompoms and hot gluing them on top!

There were 8 kiddos at his party! We managed to snap a great shot of all the one and under babies but the four toddlers were too busy running around to get them in a group shot together.

Tah dah! A much more hot weather appropriate birthday ensemble! Arlo boy was all smiles once we got him in a tank top. These pants crack me up - he’s still got some growing to do before he fits comfortable into a 12 months size. In the meantime, I’m eating up his “Urkel” look!

Arlo’s birthday hat was made by Stell & Livi. Teresa also made Everly’s first birthday hat and I absolutely love having these sweet, custom hats to keep as a momento from their first birthdays. It’s the perfect thing to put in their baby boxes to remember the day.

Brent, Everly and I got into the party spirit by wearing hot air balloon themed outfits for the day! I found this awesome vintage skirt on ebay. Everly’s dress came from and Brent’s shirt was a score.

Brent made a really gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge for Everly’s party so he wanted to do something custom for Arlo’s big day too. His hot air balloon photo prop was more gorgeous than I could have imagined! His art school background came in handy as he crafted this out of cardboard boxes and newspaper. We had a blast taking photos of our friends and family inside.

After we all sang happy birthday, Everly took it upon herself to sing her own version to her baby brother. Sweetest moment of the day!  It took Arlo a little while to figure out what to do with his first cupcake, but once he realized how delicious it was, he was totally stoked to cover himself in cake and frosting!

It was such a wonderful day. Brent and I sat on the couch after everyone was gone and the children were in bed and just kept marveling at how much fun we had. Arlo may never remember all of the special things we did to commemorate his first year of life, but it’s a day that Brent and I will tuck away and treasure forever. What a year it has been for all of us. So often it felt like we were just along for the ride as we rode out the ups and downs of his first year. His party was the perfect way to finish out the journey. I can’t wait to see where the road to two will take us next

Up up and away!