Happy 1st Birthday Max!!!

Well this seems like as good a time as ever, to revive the blog I let die a long time ago. Whoops, turns out, when you have kids they suck your time dry! But then they also bring joy and fun birthday parties which inspire you to bring it all back. Wish me luck on that one.

It has been over a year since I blogged. I left you high and dry on a heavy noted post about my second pregnancy trials. Well that little monster came into this world and changed it forever. I’ll have to do a recap of his amazing first year, it flew by in a blink. And suddenly I was planning his first birthday party which has come and gone. Max was named in memory for my Grandpa, Marinus. A good Danish name I didnt want to burden a child with but still wanted to honor the memory. Max was his nickname when they immigrated to Canada and no one could pronounce his name properly. Which made it the perfect name to give this hilarious little boy. It’s also the name of a the character in a favorite book of mine, Max – King of all the wild things, ever fitting. So we celebrated him with a Wild Things theme. I hope you enjoy all the little details as much as I did.

Our little cake display area was my pride & joy of the party. I may have only gotten 2 hours of sleep because of this party falling on the same weekend as my annual scrapbooking weekend. We got home at 7pm and I baked all night and set up so that it was all ready to go by 11:30 the next morning. Might have been the reason this is one of my less elaborate cakes! haha

Where The Wild Things Are Party

Where The Wild Things Are Party

The wooden cake stands are from Indigo in Canada, I found them this summer, fell in love and ran with the whole theme based on them. I found moss at Michaels along with some light up tree’s that will circulate into my thanksgiving decor later this year. The pine cones are from our Mt. Charleston one year Birthday shoot with Max the week before. The steel lanterns are from target, and I get asked about them from every guest.

Where The Wild Things Are Party

I made a monthly banner and if you are counting, yes I did end on month 10, always a month behind but consistently, so that counts for something right? And that beautiful blue highchair that has had color identity issues is going to stay this mint color for the rest of its life because it caused major heartache while trying to cover the last shadows of pink. For some reason the paint kept spraying out a different color when I went to cover the last spots. Driving me INSANE. But I finally did it and its beautiful and so worth all the cursing.

Where The Wild Things Are Party

My mantle is one of my favorite places in this new house. We had the tv outlets removed and moved, and a mantle custom made so I could decorate it every month. I have loved watching it change this last year. So September was all about this Baby’s 1st Birthday. Some throwback photos from my pregnancy, and his first days. And his brand new photos from his one year shoot. The big canvas is from his nursery and one of my favorite quotes. The letters are Heidi Swapp Marquee letters from Michaels. I obviously didnt add the marquee lights for the party but I will for his room! I ordered a book just to destroy for this party. Sorry book gods! Top it off with a banner & it makes it hard to pull it down for Halloween decor next!

Where The Wild Things Are Party

Where The Wild Things Are Party

If you know me, my decor is usually centered around photos. They are my love and life. We took these a week before his birthday and they sing to my soul. They are everything my heart dreamed of with his shoot. I will share the actual images in another post! I added a custom banner, I got the letters from target in a banner kit. Way too cute and easy!

Where The Wild Things Are Party

Wild Things Birthday Party

My cake took a backseat this time. And that still is bothering me. But when its 3am and you know your baby is going to be awake in 3 hours, you just slap some frosting on that thing, add some sprinkles and call it a day! And besides, it tasted good and that’s all that really matters! I made 50 mini cupcakes too! Because you can never have too many cupcakes. And they made their way home with a lot of guests too!

Where The Wild Things Are Party

Here’s where procrastination will never teach me a lesson. I had these elaborate favors in my head. I let it go until the last minute, and instead whipped these babies up. Thank goodness for my hubby and putting up with my endless, “Can you make me this in photoshop?”

Where The Wild Things Are Party

The food was awesome and incredibly easy!! And you know what, it was the most recipe requests I’ve ever gotten! So here they are in all their easy peasy glory, but with no pics because I just wasn’t that on top of it!

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

  • 12 oz pasta (I used rotini)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 package (1.4 oz) vegetable soup mix
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 can water packed artichokes
  • 4 cups chopped & lightly packed fresh spinach
  1. Cook pasta el dente according to package directions.
  2. In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise and dry soup mix.
  3. Drain artichokes well and cut into quarters.
  4. Toss pasta with sauce. Gently fold in spinach, green onions and artichokes.
  5. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.



  • 3 packages kielbasa, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) jar red pepper jelly
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (or more if you want it extra spicy)
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Cook on low 6 hours, increasing to high for the last 30 minutes of cooking (or on high 3.5 to 4 hours total)
  3. Stir every 30 minutes to make sure the bottom kielbasa isn’t burning.
  4. Enjoy!

I mean seriously two of the easiest things I’ve ever made and SO delicious that we thoroughly enjoyed the left overs! I made the pasta salad the night before so it had lots of time to set. We also had brushetta, chips, carrots & dip too. And gourmet PB & honey sandwiches for the littles.

Where The Wild Things Are Party

And then we sang Happy Birthday and let a little dude go to town on a BIG piece of cake! He was ready for a nap but decided he could spend some extra time destroying this thing. For never having cake before, he sure knew he liked LOVED it!

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And then he went off and slept a solid 3 hours! His best nap yet. So do I just bake him a cake everyday for that perk? #sugarcoma


Where The Wild Things Are PartyWhere The Wild Things Are Party

Max loves his new chair from his GB&PopPop. He was stealing Sawyer’s a lot recently, and with 2 kids you know you need 2 chairs! We were so lucky to celebrate this birthday with both Grandma’s in person. When you live in another country from family, this isn’t a given, its a privilege and these boys are constantly spoiled with visits, their biggest gifts on birthdays! So we had some traditional Birthday video chats with our other long distance families, Auntie Kimmy and Braxton entertained Max right up until bedtime. Making it a chalk full of perfect happiness for this little boy!

Where The Wild Things Are Party

Where The Wild Things Are Party

Thanks to everyone who came and wished this favorite one year old of mine a Happy Birthday! It was a delightfully perfect day spent with friends and family. I’m sure I’ll blink and be posting his 2nd Birthday. Where The Wild Things Are Party

And stick around, I’ve already got a couple blog posts scheduled for this week! Im back, and I hope you are just as excited as I am about that!


When Life is Unfair.

Like most people I can let life get to me. I think about how busy life is getting. Starting a new photography business, traveling, a toddler. Sometimes we take life’s greatest blessing’s for granted. Like this morning when Sawyer woke up and I just wanted to ignore him and go back to sleep. Waking up with him is such a minimal part of my life, something I have taken for granted. And across the country, a friend didn’t get the same blessing.

K and I met over the internet. I am not one for making friends online, but we bonded over our kids and dealing with the PICU & recoveries. Her little girl didn’t have cranio but we were dealing with the same emotions and the same age kids. They were both born in October 2011. Both kids were doing so well. But still so little. 16 months. I noticed on her fb this month that she had been posting about hospital visits and MRI’s again. But I didn’t think anything of it since Sawyer will also have those experiences at his one year mark. This morning I was scanning fb’s meaningless updates and came across her quiet heartbroken message.

This is someone who I’ve never met. I’ve only talked to a handful of times. But I have sat here quietly crying all morning. I am absolutely heartbroken, that I sit here and watch my little boy play in his own blissful world, while her’s was just shattered. Words cannot express those experiences. Losing a child is truly life’s greatest tragedy. I have seen her page flooded with messages of love and support. But unless you have experienced the exact same thing we can never know truly how much her heart has broken today.

I will continue to cry for her loss for many day’s to come. And Sawyer will be a constant reminder. And I will be so grateful every time he doesn’t sleep through the night. Every time he throws a tantrum. Every time he throws a bucket of water on me during bath time. Every time he wakes me up earlier than usual.

And I will remember what a blessing those trying moments are.