Time flies when you’re having fun and somehow the summer ended, September rolled in, and it was time to celebrate Micah’s first birthday. It seems one universal experience of parenting is the sensation that some hours can be stretched into what feels like months, while a year seems to pass in the blink of an eye. Hard as it is to believe, the calendar doesn’t lie. Our baby is a year old.
(There wasn’t much time to writing just after he was born, but here’s the post about his birth from last fall!)
We planned to be in Pennsylvania for Micah’s birthday so that some of our family could celebrate with us. The festivities took place during our eventful stay at Gettysburg Farm campground, and it’s hard to imagine a better place to celebrate a first birthday! He was surrounded by animals and nature and family, on a sunny, beautiful Saturday.
The day of firsts started out with Micah’s first hay ride around the farm. This was a regularly scheduled campground event on a fall weekend, but for us it was a festive way to start the day. While I’ve been on many hay rides through corn fields, this was my first that also included a loop past families enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning around the campfire.
After lunch, Mommom and Poppop, Aunt Rachel and Aunt Megan came and it was party time! There were balloons strung from our awning and party hats all around. Micah’s first taste of cake was devil’s food cake with whipped cream cream cheese frosting. I gave him a pretty big piece, expecting a lot of it to end up on the ground. But he ate every crumb and tried to lick the plate. It was the typical sticky, messy, happy first birthday cake scene and we all loved every minute of it, especially the birthday boy.
Then it was time for presents. While Micah is only too happy to rip open packages of groceries as I’m putting them away or the occasional book that Emelie forgets and leaves laying around, wrapping paper confused him. Am I allowed to rip that? Do they actually want me to? Let’s just say he needed a bit of help opening his presents. But he was really excited that there were actually fun things inside all that paper!
After all the excitement, the birthday boy took a much needed nap and when he woke up there were hamburgers on the grill and it was time to eat yummy food again! We also lit a fire in the fire ring and after dinner we sat around the fire together grilling marshmallows and eating s’mores. Make that graham crackers for the guest of honor – that cake was enough of a shock to his system for one day. We’ll save marshmallows a little longer.
Though small, this was the first party that we hosted at a campsite. The size of our home creates limitations, and we are very thankful that the weather allowed us to be so comfortable outside. But we also remembered the lessons that we learned at Easter about keeping it simple and focusing on a few priorities to make a day special, instead of drowning in stress and pressure to make a day perfect. Those lessons have served us well.
One priority was the cake. I always bake the kids birthday cakes and decorate them myself according to how old they are or a favorite theme or character. Despite our unreliable oven (and a burned section on the bottom that needed to be cut away) I was able to bake the cake. Baking it from scratch is what I’m used to, but under the circumstances wasn’t a priority so I bought a boxed mix and was content to make the frosting. We cut it into the shape of a “1” and I was pleased with how my first camper birthday cake turned out.
Other than that, the priority was to enjoy time together and celebrate this milestone in our family. The best way I know to do that is to keep it simple. For example, eating dinner together meant that everyone could stay longer, but the focus was to share a meal, not to impress with our entertaining skills. Once again, we found that by giving up on our notions of a “perfect day” we were able to relax and enjoy a special day that was, ironically, pretty nearly perfect.
So happy birthday, our beautiful boy! What a gift to watch your personality develop and see you learn new things every day! You bring us such joy and help us delight in the small details all around us. You are so loved and we can’t wait to see what your second year brings. The only thing I know for sure is that it will fly by!
Posted in Simplify and tagged camper birthday, first birthday, Gettysburg Farm, PA campground by Christine with 2 comments.