avery’s first birthday

Our baby is one!


Avery’s birthday was the week before last and we (along with my mom) celebrated by going to Remlinger Farm, blueberry picking and out to dinner that evening (where Avery had her first bites of chocolate cake and ice cream!).



The rest of the week brought the arrival of various family members (including 5 grandparents and 3 of my siblings!). We were thrilled that so many people travelled to share this event with us and it was really special to see the interaction between Avery and our parents (living 2,000 miles away they don’t get to see her nearly as much as they’d like).


Aww, don’t be jealous Bailey.


Avery “opened” gifts from the family later that week (before her party on Saturday) which was definitely a good call and kept her from getting too overwhelmed.


Because y’know, there were gifts like this. Yeah, Kyle’s parents totally got her a Disney Princess car. She loves it.


On Saturday afternoon we had a backyard party with family and friends. We kept it pretty low-key and didn’t go with a particular theme other than a handful of bright and happy colors. The plywood boxes on the table are Avery’s gift from Kyle and me. I plan on doing another post (soon!) that talks about them in more detail (including how they fit in the nursery), but for the party we used them as a display area for gifts.


Another small gift from us were these plastic animals. Avery has some plastic dinosaurs that she loves, so I thought this would be a good addition and something that she can play with for years. The party hat idea was borrowed from Oh Happy Day and kudos to my sister for carefully making each one.


I also made a small “smash cake” for Avery and couldn’t resist these tiny pennants that I found at Target.


We printed each of her monthly photos and displayed them along the top of the fauxdenza…


…but my favorite part was this “installation” that I created from a year’s worth of Instagram photos (printed via Prinstagram).


Although we didn’t get too fancy with the food (small sandwiches, fruit, salads, veggies, beer and sangria) it was a lot of work and I am so, so grateful to all the family that pitched in to make it happen.


Here are few shots during the party. I was rushing around and obviously didn’t have my camera on the right setting so they’re a bit washed out. However, it was a perfectly gorgeous Seattle day and I look forward to all the fun summer birthdays in our future!



Towards the end of the party we brought out the smash cake and sang “Happy Birthday”. Overwhelmed and probably a little unsure why she was only wearing a diaper, Avery burst into tears.


She calmed down a bit when we showed her the cake but wouldn’t go after it till she was safely sitting between her daddy’s legs.


Once she realized that she could actually eat the frosting she became very focused and started using both hands.


Nom! Nom! Nom!

A few minutes later, she looked up to realize everyone was still staring at her and started crying again, this time with an emphatic almost face-plant into her cake. We took this as a cue to move to the bathtub and give her some time to regroup before opening more gifts.

All in all, it was a great party. People say the first birthday is really for the parents and I think that’s true, but it’s also a chance for us to thank everyone for all the help and love we’ve received this past year. (A special thank you to you guys as well, who have offered tons of great ideas and reassurance along the way!)

We made it! Happy birthday Avery – here’s to many, many more!


18 Responses to “avery’s first birthday”

  1. Isabelle says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Avery and all the best for the new starting Toddler phase. πŸ™‚
    I love the shelving boxes and the HABA toys. Haba really rocks; do you know the plush toys from them? The little guys in the boat, aka car. They are interexchangeable with the other figurines from other sets. And once the doll phase starts, I can highly recommend the dolls – esp. Lilly with the flying red hair. They all come with cute belly buttons. πŸ™‚
    Wish I could be a kid again πŸ˜‰

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Isabelle, I don’t think I’ve seen the plush toys but I’ll definitely check them out. She has a few things from Haba now and I love them all!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Happy birthday, Avery!!! Wish we could have been there!

  3. jen says:

    Happy Birthday to Avery! This past year seemed to go by so quickly (I’m sure for you, even more so!). The boxes are gorgeous and perfect, can’t wait to see the post.
    Also – you called it a “smash cake”…was it actually cake or mostly frosting? Maybe that’s a dumb question, but I’ve seen some first birthday cupcakes that are just frosting. Just wondering!

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Jen, it was an actual cake (I got the recipe for it and the frosting on the Wholesome Baby Food site). I don’t think she actually got to the cake part (the frosting was pretty thick on top as the center of my cake sank a bit!), but a few guests actually had a piece after she was done and said it was good! πŸ™‚

  4. Katie says:

    Happy birthday Avery! Looks like you all had a nice party πŸ™‚

    I thought of making some plywood boxes for Wesley’s room but ran out of energy, so I’m curious to see more.

  5. amy h says:

    Happy birthday to Avery! And congrats to you for making it through the first year!

    And I very much want to know more about those boxes! I’ve been wanting to build some like that for table displays at art fairs.

  6. Jeff says:

    I am going to be the one to ask… did you clean and re-seal the deck? I love the ipe!

    • Kyle Zerbey says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Yes, I bought a pressure washer (2700 psi) and also used a wood brightener, then resealed with one coat of penofin. Glad we did it. It was getting pretty slippery with all the Pacific Northwest gunk.

  7. Kristin says:

    I love the party photos, and all the cool gifts. The Disney princess car cracked me up. Trying to figure out how to nicely say this: I feel your pain.

    The deck chairs look great.

  8. Katrina says:

    Happy Birthday to Avery and to you too! I stumbled upon your blog last year and was also pregnant at the time so I have really enjoyed watching your family grow. My daughter is 3 months younger than Avery and also a blue eyed, mostly bald so I feel a connection! Anyway, I just wanted to wish you the best, keep it up, and I love those boxes! XO

  9. Dana says:

    Happy belated birthday lil’ Avery! The party pics are so fun and I can’t wait to hear more about the colorful plywood boxes. Oh, and congrats Mom & Dad. You made it!

  10. Timothy says:

    Happy Birthday to Avery!! I wish we could have made it to the party, looks like she had a lot of fun especially eating cake.

  11. Debi says:

    These are such sweet pictures and great memories made. I actually teared up reading your post. My “baby” is now 25 and 1500 miles away. But, I remember her first birthday so well. I am happy for you that your family could be together for her 1st. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Jodi says:

    oh my goodness. SUCH a cutie pie!

  13. Dianne Edwards says:

    Kyle, I LOVE your photos. Your projects are amazing, but your baby is ADORABLE! I especially love the one of her eating cake with both hands! I also love the one of her with the books. I have a little grandson who will turn one in a couple of weeks, but I don’t let him play with the blocks because he has a tendency to throw things. If my children and grandchildren didn’t love those blocks so much, I would send them to you. Those blocks have been used by a lot of children to create a lot of fun memories. Take care. I hope to peek in every once in a while to see how you and the family are doing.

    • Kyle Zerbey says:

      Hi Dianne, Glad the blocks are getting good use:) I remember them well and that the corners of the blocks were worn (in a good way). so probably okay if they get tossed around a bit:)

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