It’s already been a few weeks since Oden’s birthday, but I couldn’t resist sharing more about his big day. A baby’s first birthday is momentous, and obviously, I looked forward to seeing what he would do with a piece of cake. My parents planned on visiting from Colorado to celebrate with us. It’s been quite a year of learning and growing as parents, and as the big day approached, we realized we wanted to clink a glass with friends who’ve supported us. So, we threw a party…a fiesta, to be exact!

Oden’s whole birthday week turned out to be very special. He received birthday gifts from our beloved nanny, friends, and family who couldn’t join us for his party. He still hasn’t mastered the opening of gifts, but he gets excited when he sees everyone else’s reactions, and loves whatever is inside (as well as the wrapping paper). We spent his actual birthday (Thursday) with my parents, just hanging out together, occasionally opening another gift, and lots of story time. He loves Grandma and Grandpa!

My folks helped me bake cupcakes for Saturday’s party and, of course, Oden got to dive into one. Let’s just say he enjoyed it! With my family there to share the moment, the memory is everything I hoped it would be. My folks also brought along old photo albums and there just happened to be a picture of me on my first birthday with a piece of cake. (I was more, ahem, dainty about it.)

Before they had to leave on Saturday morning, my parents also helped me prep and decorate for the big fiesta! A few hours later, our dear friends, Spencer, Nancy, and Sydney, arrived from Texas and jumped right in to help with prep. I’d seen a couple of celebrities who did a fiesta theme for first birthdays, and one search on Amazon provided countless décor options. I made an electronic invitation that included a photo of Oden in a sombrero and our nanny, Tere, handmade gorgeous paper flowers that we hung everywhere. We hung Mexican paper flags and a banner with Oden’s name across the fireplace. The house was super colorful with fresh flowers, mini maracas and piñatas, a fiesta table runner, and festive napkins and plates. I took a note from our baby shower and hung photos of Oden I’d taken throughout his first year over the bar and set a couple out on the table with the food. I had so much fun looking through photos of him as a tiny baby! Oh, TIME, slow down.

For the party food, instead of making everything, I kept it simple (and easy on myself). I set out big bowls of chips, fresh salsa and guacamole, and taquitos. A sweet friend made a spectacular 7-layer dip and I made my favorite charred corn and black bean salad. I had a basket of kid-friendly snacks and tucked some juice pouches in the ice bucket with the white wine and champagne. We had plenty of yummy margarita fixings and Mexican beer on hand. I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with cute sombrero and mustache decorations, with a special birthday topper for Oden’s cupcake. Super fun!

We decided it made the most sense to host happy hour (around 4pm-7pm) between Oden’s nap and his bedtime. We haven’t hosted a house full of people in a couple of years, and despite the short party window, it felt like mayhem! There were probably 50 adults and kids here, filling the house with laughter. Cholula meandered through the crowd, looking for dropped snacks. Older kids “watched a movie” downstairs (translation: took all of the cushions off of the couch and played Superman onto them) and younger kids took over Oden’s upstairs play area. Thankfully, our main level is pretty open with different areas to hang out.

It didn’t take long for the kiddos to start asking about cupcakes, and the big “kids” enjoyed strong margaritas a la John. I was totally unprepared for the pile of gifts our generous friends brought for Oden (rookie mom!). At one point, I saw that John didn’t have Oden with him and neither did I. I wondered which of our friends had snatched him up for a snuggle and I searched for him, wondering if he was safe! There he was, smack dab in the middle of the chaos, laughing his sweet little head off. The boy loves a crowd, that’s for sure! It warmed my heart to see him having so much fun!

The best part of the party was that by 7pm, everyone left! Oden went to up to his bath and to bed (and would sleep extra late the next morning). A few friends stayed back and, after a quick cleaning session, sipped wine in the living room and ate pizza we had delivered. As with any event you plan for and look forward to, it feels a little sad when it’s over, but Oden’s First Fiesta was a resounding success. How special to have so many friends come celebrate our sweet boy with us! We won’t go nuts with a party every year, but the first one was a doozy. He won’t remember it, but we will. We spent the next week introducing new toys that were given to him at the party and- truth time– his “Oden” banner remains on the fireplace, three weeks later. Maybe I haven’t gotten around to putting it away, or maybe I don’t want Oden’s first year to really be over already! On to the next awesome year!

More about Baby Oden.

One year ago: I shared Oden’s crazy birth story!

How we entertain


  1. Love the cake smush he does right into his face 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing – memories to cherish for a lifetime – love that you have your pictures to add to his too – oh so cool! Happy Day – Enjoy

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