"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
~ Abraham Lincoln
Wyatt's first birthday party was wonderful. The monkey theme was a huge success and the food was great. The kids enjoyed their favors, the moon bounce, and the swing set. Although it went from sunny to cloudy just before the party, the majority of the rain held off until after everyone left. This was amazing since it seems to rain for everything we do for Wyatt. As I have said before, "Angel Tears!"
Because of the cloudy skies, which might I say were not in the forecast, I decided it would be best to decorate inside only. I wanted to ensure that Wyatt's shadow box, the one Brian built, was the center of the party. I quickly came up with the idea to place a small shelf/table under it and made it Wyatt's memorial table.
Since Wyatt couldn't be here with us to open gifts, I decided it would be fitting to buy him a new monkey to match his party theme.
Several weeks back, I saw a cute banner on the Internet and wanted to try to make something like it for Wyatt's party. I spent hours cutting out circles and making the banner perfect. The plan was to hang the banner outside by the pool, however the pool wasn't clear for the party and it looked like it was going to rain. So, we decided to hang the banner above the food table. I think it looked wonderful.
I wanted something to include Wyatt's name, something that everyone would see. I decided to make jars, three of them, to display each of Wyatt's names, Wyatt James McGrory. After thinking of what the jars could be used for, my favorite choice was utensil holders, as everyone would need a fork. I received a lot of positive feedback on these jars at the party. Even my sister said that we should go into the jar making business.
Soon after Wyatt's passing, I decided to make a video for him. I spent a lot of time working on the video while I was on maternity leave, but I never finished it. The pain was still too fresh. Last week, I decided it was time to complete the video, as I had promised myself it would be finished by his first birthday. I added the finishing touches and had it ready to go for the party. It was displayed on the table with the food for all to watch.
A few of the girls all gathered together to watch the video.
Even a monkey was there to take part in viewing the video. I purchased several of these cute inflatable monkeys to display. The kids enjoyed them.
A party's not a party without cake or cupcakes. We decided on cupcakes and I had known since May how I wanted to make them. I found the cutest photo of monkey cupcakes on the Internet. I saved the photo and replicated them. These little guys were a hit with the kids and many of the adults.
And of course.... can't forget the party favors. I wanted something simple but cute. I found a perfect monkey photo with a background that matched the color scheme. I printed several of them, cut them out, glued them to cardboard and then to a lollipop stick. The sticks were then placed into a brown cup and the cup was filled with a water gun, crackers, and candy. Lastly, I made name tags for each child from scrapbook paper and cardstock, and I hang them from each cup.
I wanted to do something special for Wyatt with a party cup made just for him. It felt strange making party cups for all of the kids, but not one for Wyatt. After several hours of thinking, I came up with something unique. I decided to make Wyatt a cup but it would be filled with scrapbook papers and markers instead of snacks. I made a sign asking for family to participate in adding to Wyatt's scrapbook by writing Wyatt a message on a scrapbook square. These squares are going to add so much to Wyatt's scrapbook. I was surprised to see that all of the kids participated also.
The final item created, something that I thought would be really cute, was the Pin the Banana on the Monkey game. I found an adorable monkey, printed it out and glued it to cardstock and scrapbook paper. I typed up the words and created the game myself. Then I printed out several bananas and cut them out for the kids to use to pin on the monkey.
BUT.... the game was never played. I totally forgot about it. The party got away from me and I lost track of time. So, the game will have to wait for another party.
Brian and I decided to put up a moon bounce so the kids would have something to play on during the party. It was a huge hit. They loved it.
The last order of business was the balloon release. Each family member received one blue balloon to send up to Wyatt. I passed out a poem that I read prior to singing Happy Birthday and letting the balloons go. Singing Happy Birthday was something I debating on for several weeks, well months. But it just felt right, so we sang. We did all this surrounding Wyatt's new garden. I explained the meaning behind the garden and the laying of Wyatt's stone. It was wonderful!
Then it was time for the release. This is the hardest part each time. We finally let go....
We made sure that Wyatt's day was something very special. Though he couldn't be here with us, he had a wonderful party. Everyone was there, had fun, and enjoyed the fact that they were all able to celebrate a special angel's short, but sweet little life.
Happy First Birthday, Wyatt James. We love you forever and always.