JB and Pape – ready to par-tay!

When Pape’s first birthday started approaching, I knew two things. First, I did not have the energy to throw a big party. Second, I could totally identify with my friend who said she cried at her first’s birthday, simply out of joy and relief that she had survived the first year. So it was kind of, sort of decided that Pape’s first birthday would be a minimalist’s dream. In short, notta wholatta.

Opening presents

But then JB’s mom (aka, Julie) starting talking birthday talk. Cake. Friends. Monkey-shaped cake on monkey plates. Cook-out. It was a slippery slope and before I knew it, I was loving planning this party for our boys. Their birthdays are just weeks apart and they see each other nearly every day for play dates and while the moms hang out. Relative-to-Pinterestly-speaking, it was still a minimal affair. Which made it perfect.

Getting ready for the festivities (food!)

We invited Shawn & Jenn, the newest members of our crew, the Russells and their boys and sweet baby Breeze (future sweetheart of JB and/or Pape), and Marv and Edith, the honorary grandparents. There were burgers, cake on faces and clothes, lots of pictures and laughing, and even a live video stream for the grandparents across the globe who wanted to join in.

Burgers. Toubabs-in-Dakar-Style.

There was one moment when I was holding Pape as he licked frosting off his fingers that it hit me how much he’s grown and changed and that he’s not my little baby anymore. I’m sure in years to come, I’ll ache for those days again. But today, my little frosting-faced wonder, I am so happy to be the mom of your one-year-old self. You amaze me every day, and every day I love you more.

Happy birthday, sweet boy.
Finishing touches on the cake
Meanwhile, in the other room…
The Hopkins fam
The monkey cake of all monkey cakes. Chocolate cake with espresso buttercream and shaved chocolate… with York Peppermint Patty eyes. The balloons were yogurt-frosted banana muffins. Shh… Don’t tell the boys. They think it was cake.
I think perhaps the moms were more excited than the boys.
Jenn was partying like it was their first birthday.
Which was appropriate, seeing as it was in fact their first birthday.
Probably tweeting about the party.