The Curated Planner: Jack’s First Birthday

When Matthew and I first got married, we were given the book “Five Love Languages.” There are these love languages and you have to learn how to speak your partner’s. At the time, my top love language was words of affirmation and Matthew’s was acts of service. That ended up being my lowest one, which probably explained Matthew’s frustration when I wouldn’t thank him profusely for any of the little things he did around the house. I didn’t know he was trying to show his love for me!

We’ve taken the quiz maybe two or three more times in our marriage and his result is always the same and mine has slowly been favoring “receiving gifts.” It sounds shallow, I know, but really I just love giving gifts and that’s how I show my love for people. But I think my true love language, one that isn’t listed in the book, is planning parties.

The big day isn’t until tomorrow but we had a birthday party for Jack on Saturday. It’s funny how things work out because before Ella’s first birthday party, I was really, almost ridiculously, stressed out. But none of my fears were realized; everything went perfectly and smoothly. This time around, I didn’t feel all that stressed so, of course, a lot of things didn’t go exactly as planned. Jack woke up earlier than normal and then wouldn’t take his morning nap. Ella had been waking up throughout the night, asking for water and popcorn and more bedtime stories. All of that was beyond my control but everything that could be planned looked almost exactly as I wanted it to.

Jack of All Trades Party (this is what I called it- really the theme was just Jack)

The Jack Wall


This was definitely the focal point of the party, besides the birthday boy himself. I am not the craftiest person but I am great with photos and tape. It took a couple of tries to get it perfect but I’m really pleased with how it came out. I don’t know if I’ll have the heart to take it down any time soon.



I wanted the table to be simpler than Ella’s birthday party- that’s sort of how I’ve decided you do boy things. They’re just simpler versions of girl things.

Jack of All Trades


I struggled with how to display these pictures. This was one of my weirder ideas that was mostly just for me, haha. But I actually like how it turned out! It was sort of fun and whimsical. And people liked it more than I thought they would; it wasn’t just inside jokes between me and my mind.

12 Month Pictures


This was literally 12 months in the making, so technically I had been planning Jack’s party for an entire year. I’m glad I pulled it off (even though Jack’s looks have barely changed and you could interchange a lot of these pictures).



I’ll let everyone see if they can guess which one I bought and which one I made.

The party wasn’t perfect but it was a lot of fun. It was difficult dealing with two sleep deprived children while welcoming our family and friends but it was fun watching all the kids use the little chalkboard tables I made and sing Happy Birthday to a baby who had no idea what was going on. I didn’t stress but I did work really hard to make this a fun and special day, just as fun and special as Ella’s parties.


I normally get a little sad and wistful at the end of these parties because I know my kid won’t remember it or know the love behind it. In Jack’s case, however, that’s probably a good thing because I don’t think he enjoyed it all that much, haha. Loud noises and lots of people have always kind of scared him, and Ella opened all of his presents.  He clung pretty close to me the entire time, so I couldn’t be the best hostess. I couldn’t be taking as many pictures as I wanted or talk to as many as people as I should have and I definitely didn’t get my fair share of the cookie brownie cake Matthew made. But I felt everyone’s love for our family and for Jack on his special day. At the beginning of the party, my father-in-law said he was grateful we could all be together to recognize Jack and that’s all I wanted to do. Recognize Jack and his first year. Our first year together.





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