We enjoyed Eric’s first birthday party this past Sunday, and had a second (smaller) go at a celebration tonight on his actual birthday. Thank you to all of our family and friends for celebrating with us and helping to create magic, lasting memories for us and for Eric. Even though he is little, he was taking it all in, and I know you all contributed greatly to his joy and sense of a loving world. We are thankful that we got to share time with you during this special weekend in our life as a family.

I have, oh, a BAZILLION pictures, the first trillion of which are on Facebook. Since this is a blog post, I actually tried to whittle. I know. And I still ended up with a million. Thanks for browsing them!

My little family. I am a lucky girl, for sure.

Setting up on Sunday morning.

Part of the guest table: this box is “Eric’s Box of Happiness.” Guests were asked to offer advice on a 3 X 5 card: in their opinion, what is the best way for Eric to live a life full of purpose and happiness? Katie has a similar box, and we go through it periodically. It is a fun and meaningful way remember and honor those who came to Eric’s first birthday party. I had the chance to read all of the card to the kiddos this morning at the breakfast table, and I am thankful for how thoughtful everyone was in responding. What a treasure box Eric has, a gift in itself. Thank you!

We served Great-Great-Grandma Sadie’s punch. She was the original Sarah Matics in our line, of course (she is pictured on the punch sign). Also a teacher… She was my dad’s dad’s mom. 😉 I love using old family recipes at parties as a way of connecting the present spirit of our family to the legacy and people that came before us.

Katie before the party gets rolling

Cousin Jed playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Eric loves his drum

Thanks, Costco! You are GREAT for big parties. The cake was yummers and well-made. We tried to give as much away as we could and froze a bit, because I knew I was making Eric a cake from scratch tonight (butter cake with fudgey frosting—a family tradition in the maternal line for first birthdays). We have cake coming out our ears!

Playing the “drop the clothespin in the bottle” game. I love good old-fashioned fun. And I love my family and friends for playing!

Uncle Chet and Katie. Delight!

Mr. E eats some watermelon with his parents—watermelon is one of his FAVORITE foods right now.

Laughing during presents with Daddy

The guest table: Eric’s Box of Happiness, whimsical lollipops, some of the drinks, our annual scrapbook, and Eric’s “Every Week on Sunday” montage. Bill took a picture of Eric every Sunday for a year (he was born on a Sunday last year).

My brother, Uncle David, playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Eric loving the fountain Boppa made for us and loving his family all around him

Games and family and friends-like-family and fun

Coke in glass bottles! I don’t ever have soda around the house except for parties, but these little Cokes in retro bottles are soooooooo adorable that I am in danger of having them become my new obsession. Maybe just for the rest of the summer, yes? We also served apple juice, vanilla creams, root beer, and orange creams, and water.

Make a wish!

Cakeman!

The kiddos took such joy in the balloon Daddy picked out for Eric on the morning of the party. Great job, Daddy!

What a beautiful day it was! And my parents? My dad grilled those burgers and dogs like a pro, and I was thankful to have him doing that since my barbecue skills are still in development. My mom was a workhorse in the kitchen. And then, somewhere between lunch and presents while we were pinning on the donkey’s tail (and then again at some other juncture), the two of them were like a whirlwind and seemed to whoosh up all the trash in mere seconds. I remember looking around, and all of the sudden noticing that all the trash was totally gone already. Not to mention blasting through dishes and helping to pick up toys. What would we do without parents, eh?

Happy Birthday to our baby boy! We love you!

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