The Tale of Zoée’s First Birthday

Zoée’s First birthday was an exciting event for me and Luc. After almost a decade of miscarriages we finally have our princess, our Rainbow baby and she’s a year old! Zoée is such a delight and I couldn’t wait to put together her party. I started months in advance. I was determined to make many things myself; except for the cupcakes. I have a favorite place in town, Thimble Cakes. Her theme was Whimsical Woodland Animals. I made a Pinterest board and put my projects into high gear. I crafted and embroidered stuffed felt woodland animals. Sewn fabric pinwheels (which was a fun challenge being that I’d never sewn before.). And I had wanted to make woodland animal ear headbands. I didn’t get around to that project, but my 86 year old grandmother and my mother made one for Zoée.

4 of the 20 pinwheels I made. Please excuse the stitching. Total sewing novice here.

4 of the 20 pinwheels I made. Please excuse the stitching. Total sewing novice here.

Some of the cupcakes from Thimble Cakes in Ottawa, and a few of the felt woodland animals I made.

Some of the cupcakes from Thimble Cakes in Ottawa, and a few of the felt woodland animals I made.

And so the day of her birthday party begins. Everyone is meeting at our place before heading off to the park. It’s a nearby park. Quaint with a small grove of pine trees. Just what I was looking for. And the name is Owl Park. It couldn’t be a more perfect place. The weather that morning was beautiful. Cool with a light breeze and not too humid. I’m hoping the day stays nice for her 3 pm party. I have just about everything. All I need is some more plates and her balloons. That’s a quick and easy errand. Hours before her party I have everything together, well, except for the table. Luc’s mother has that and I’m praying she shows up at least a half hour before the party. Zoée has had her nap and lunch. Things seem to be progressing well. The day goes on and 3:00 pm has arrived along with a couple of guests. And still no table. Finally a quarter after 3, Luc’s mom arrives. So a little late, but no big deal. (Really, I should have made better arrangements with Luc’s mom.) I have everything I need to set up. And this is where EVERYTHING goes awry.

Luc’s cousin says he’ll help move things to the park. So Luc loads up Guy’s car and his mother’s suv. More guests arrive. Looks like I’ll have to set up while everyone waits. Not ideal. Still, I’m keeping my cool, until…..   Unbeknownst to me, Luc has told everyone the party is at a different park! One that’s much farther away than the neighborhood park I’d decided on. So while I lead the caravan and proceed left, I see everyone else going right! Wait a minute here. Something isn’t right. Thinking that the procession will correct course and follow, I continue on to the park. No one follows. I soon get a call from my dad who’s riding with Luc’s mom. He wants to know where I’m at. I tell him where and give him instructions on how to get there. I wait and no one shows. He calls again. They don’t know where to go. I head back to the townhouse and see my mother-in-law sitting in a parking lot. I turn and pull over so she knows to follow. I take off after a couple minutes thinking she’ll follow. Once again I make it to the park alone. This goes on for about another 10 minutes. No seriously, but I’m just a little flustered at this point. I’m thinking to myself, “What is going on?”

Luc went to the store with his friend, and I’m at the park alone with Zoée, my mom, nephew and grandmother(everyone who was in the car with me.). Finally Luc’s mother arrives with the table. But I find out Luc has told everyone to go to the wrong park and Gisèle says Guy has all the decorations. So now I have a table, but no decorations. It’s almost 4:00 and now I’m starting to freak out. I tell Luc to find Guy and tell him where to go. A little later, Luc calls and says he can’t find Guy. What am I to do now? My dad puts the table by the copse of pine trees. Then we sit and wait for Luc and Guy. The day has gotten significantly warmer and now there’s 20mph gusts of wind. After a while Luc shows up still not having found his cousin Guy. I tell him Guy has all the decorations. This is when Luc informs me, that no, they’re in his mom’s suv! And sure enough there they are, sitting in the back. So thank god for that. Now I can start setting up the party. It turns out Guy has the balloons and chairs, not all the other decor. I send off Luc to look for his cousin again. At this point I’m starting to feel really bad for Guy and his wife Anita. They’re sitting at this other park waiting on all of us. It is now pushing 5pm. Everyone is hungry. Thank goodness! Luc has found Guy and brought him to the right park. Needless to say, at one point I did have a teensy little breakdown and cried for a minute. Poor Zoée was getting bored. I was happy that I fed her before leaving to the park. This didn’t stop her from getting a wee bit cranky in the ever rising heat.

Banners, presents and one of the many color glass jars.

Banners, presents and one of the many color glass jars.

My dream of leisurely setting up her party and taking photos was dashed. Now I had to set up as quickly as possible as the afternoon gets warmer with high gusts of wind. It was so windy that the balloons had entangled. So I tied them to a wood crate we had. They were beautiful balloons. My mom, my nephew Brendan, my grandma and myself, along with Guy, quickly set up. It was cute, but lacked the elegant vision in my head. But who cares, we’re all hungry!

The top photo is the table set up during her party. Things were weighed down to keep from blowing away.  Bottom: Is the table reset for some quick shots. Very quick shots.

The top photo is the table set up during her party. Things were weighed down to keep from blowing away. Bottom: Is the table reset for some quick shots. Very quick shots.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

So finally we’re able to settle in and have a party. Yay!!! Zoée was put into her birthday cupcake dress as to not dirty her birthday dress.

Zoée eating her cupcake.

Zoée eating her cupcake.

Such a messy face! :)

Such a messy face! 🙂

After the ritual smash cake into my baby face, my mother and I cleaned her up, putting her birthday dress back on. I held Zoée on my lap as she opened her gifts. The party had moved into a nice serene mood; even if the day was hot and humid. Oh and the bathrooms were locked. LOL

My grandma, Zoée’s great-grandma, held her a lot afterwords, so I could take some photos of Zoée and the decor. My nephew Brendan helped keep Zoée entertained. But the day was late, Zoée was tired and refused to pose for mommy.

Top: My mother trying to get Zoée to blow on a dandelion, while Great-Grandma holds her. Bottom: Brendan hold Zoée's headband while Great-Grandma tries to put her down so I can take lovely birthday photos. Zoée wasn't having it.

Top: My mother trying to get Zoée to blow on a dandelion, while Great-Grandma holds her.
Bottom: Brendan holds Zoée’s headband while Great-Grandma tries to put her down so I can take lovely birthday photos. Zoée wasn’t having it.

The day has wind down and most everyone has left. It’s now time to clean up. I rush to reset the table and take some quick shots. I’m glad I was able to take some photos. Having photos to look back on is a lovely treasure to have.

Top photo: My mom, Cindy, holds Zoée. Bottom photo: Great-Grandma Piercy holds Zoée while she plays with her balloons.

Top photo: My mom, Cindy, holds Zoée. I love that look on Zoée’s face, classic.
Bottom photo: Great-Grandma Piercy holds Zoée while she plays with her balloons.

My mom assured me that the party was lovely and everyone had a good time. I’m glad everyone enjoyed our happy, if not quite the elegant nor timely, party. After all it was a celebration of having Zoée in this world with us. Things may not go as we plan them, but that doesn’t have to stop us from enjoying and celebrating life. Momma loves you Zoée. You’re the best baby girl a mamma could ask for.

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6 thoughts on “The Tale of Zoée’s First Birthday

  1. I loved your story! Get used to it. She’ll be around for many more events, not just birthdays. It’s the fun and memories you have, plus all the photos. How wonderful that your great-grandmother could be there!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I was very excited that my grandma was able to make it up here. Made the celebration even that more special. Plus my parents brought my nephew with them. I cried when I saw him. Love wonderful surprises.

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  2. Awww! How sweet! Despite all the mishaps, it sounds like everyone took it well and you had a wonderful celebration of the birth of your miracle baby. So happy for you all, and happy 1st year to you Zoee. (I didn’t know how to put that hyphen mark above her “e”). BTW: Those decorations were beautiful Katie! Thanks for sharing your story and photos. Love you my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

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