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Birthday Party Weekend!

We were very fortunate that Gramma and Grampa were able to come into town for Ben’s big first birthday!!  Even Ben’s GG and PapaJohn were able to make it!  (That is Pat’s grandmother and step grandfather.)  We were so happy that they were able to come into town for it.  We planned Ben’s birthday party so we could all enjoy it together.  Sadly, our visitors could only stay for a short time.  But we were able to spend plenty of time just hanging out and talking.  They spent as much time with Ben as possible too.

Ben’s birthday party was wonderful.  While of course I had all sorts of Pinterest dreams of a glamorous party, we decided to keep it simple.  Family, good friends, and tasty food.  We just had a simple barbecue at our place.  It worked out great!  People were able to relax and chat, plus Ben was relaxed since it was at home.  We had asked for donations to give to the local food pantry in Ben’s name, and people really came through!  We were able to give a big haul to the food pantry.  Pat and I are trying to start a of giving back on birthdays and holidays, so this was a great start!!
As I said, Ben did a great job with all the people.  He is at a stage where strangers can sometimes make him nervous.  I was super excited that Uncle Jared was going to be able to come into town for the party, but Ben kind of freaked out when he saw him.  We don’t know why!  But poor Jared had to work for Ben to be at ease with him.  He came around though.  Uncle Jared is a lot of fun.  So was everyone else at the party!  For me, it was so nice to have so many people who love Ben all together.  It meant so much to me to have everyone there for my son.
While we kept things pretty low key, we made sure to have a smash cake for Ben.  I really wanted to bake Ben’s first birthday cake, so I made him a banana cake with cream cheese frosting.  I decorated it with strawberries, as that is one of his favorite foods right now.  I was hoping Ben would dive into the cake and get really messy.  That didn’t happen.  He picked the strawberries off and seemed put off by the frosting.  That was the first real sugary treat he had ever tried, so we wonder if it was just too sweet for him.  He also doesn’t like any sort of sauce or dip or creamy substance on other foods, so I think he didn’t like the texture.  So he was a pretty clean baby, but it was fun to watch him with his cake.  And I am not at all complaining if he doesn’t like overly sugary stuff.  I’m going to try to keep that going!  (We did get a video of him trying it, but I still need to load that up and edit it.)
Overall, it was a great party and a great visit with family.  Well, the visit with family was too short.  I wish I had more exciting stories to share, but the calmness of it was part of what made it a great time.  I am grateful for the time we all got to spend together though.  I think it was the perfect first birthday party for Ben and our little family.  I’m looking forward to more parties with my sweet boy.

Gramma reads great stories
Sitting with Grampa
Big boy in his own chair!
Oh, to be this bendy
Why, Mommy, why.
With GG and PapaJohn
I had to make a sign
12 months of Ben!!
Birthday Boy’s Chair!
Four generations!!
Look, no hands! (With Auntie Laura and Meo) 
Cake for the adults
The first of many birthday cakes I get to make Ben!
Dagger liked the birthday balloons
I had a great birthday weekend.


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