We celebrated little Roo's first birthday with a family dinner in the woods at our campsite up in the White Mountain National Forest. Surrounded by pine trees and squirrels, and with the flickering of our campfire (and more than a few mosquitos), it was a perfectly low key way to mark our girl's first year.
Forget balloons and gifts, when it comes to birthdays I always set my heart on cake. For Little Smith's first birthday, I made a big yellow cake with chocolate frosting. It was a fitting indulgence, but we'd had some friends over to help polish it off, and we also weren't relying on ice packs to keep all that fudgy frosting from melting. This time I decided to play it safe, skipped the frosting, and went with a honey bundt cake dusted with a little powdered sugar. It traveled beautifully and, with the help of some blueberries and a couple sprigs of pine, looked just special enough to pass for a birthday.
I did make the mistake of setting that cake out before dinner, not a good move when you have two eager kids who would prefer to skip right to the dessert course. A few blueberries were stolen, but they did a good job with waiting. We dined on the birthday girl's favorites; eggs, beans, potatoes, and some veggies from the garden. She's got good taste that one (I hope it she stays this easy with food forever, I love that she eats along with us and I never have to worry about preparing her something special, makes life so much easier!).
Generally we like to keep gifts to a minimum, especially for one year olds who have no clue. Little Smith was so excited though, he made it tough to say no. We did end up buying her a few things (and family sent plenty more, so much for trying!). The all time best reaction was to Little Smith's card that he painted himself, she just loved it and went nuts. It had all of us smiling. See, who needs gifts?
After presents, we finished the evening with candles and cake (finally!), gobbled up by all. We relaxed by the fire for a bit, but everyone was so tired that we'd piled into the tent for books and bedtime before the sun had set.
Roo was so adorable in her sweet party clothes that I didn't want to change her into pajamas. My mother gave her the dress and I knit her the little crown, kind of silly since we didn't have a party and it was just our own family, but we wanted her to feel special. She did seem to know the celebration was all about her.
I managed not to cry, despite feeling super emotional the whole day. We have such an incredible little girl, feisty, determined, and also calm and happy. She is really too good to be true, we're just so lucky to call her our own. Happy first birthday to our baby girl, you're as sweet as honey. We could eat you up, we love you so! xxoxo