Nolans First Birthday!
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Nolans First

“Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up.”

Boy do they…

Like many, I dreamed of my husband. I dreamed of our wedding. I dreamed of our first house. I also dreamed of our family. The family that would grow from our love and grow in our home. On September 15, one year ago, (and a day…since we were too busy birthdaying!! ha) Nolan Christopher Phillips made that dream a breathtaking reality.

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With him, my dreams changed. I no longer dreamed of what could be, but of what He would be. From his personality, to his looks, how he would laugh…would he think we’re funny and mimic our nutty humor? Or would he be timid.

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This past year Nolan has exceeded all expectations and is more than we could have Ever imagined. His humor is just like ours. (he makes his mommy’s strange faces) Personality is at 200% and he never meets a stranger. Plus he couldn’t be any cuter, lol. 😉 He surpassed our dreams and has made this parenting thing a breeze! Until i realized we were quickly approaching his one year birthday…..





Everyone knows I’m a sucker for babies and all things cute, plus I love creating and crafting. I was Beyond ready to plan this kids first birthday party, (as bitter sweet as it was). Ryan and I had so many ideas and we knew we didn’t just want this to be a character themed party. Adventure is a running theme with us and Nolan, from his room and outfits, to books we read. And all little boys love the wilderness. This was what we wanted for him. Once we had an idea in mind I ran with it! Sweets, arrows, tree trunks, antlers, foxes and moss. What little boys are made of…ha!

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First- the cake. We saw this cake once on pinterest that was supposed to be a roasted marshmellow…while that was cute, we Really thought it looked like tree bark, ha! How cool would a Birchwood bark cake be for nolans first cake? Very. But we had No idea who could do that. I was terrified that a “bark” cake would look like a mistake. Then I found Melissa Hill, of Twelve Five Cakery, who wowed me with a Harry Potter cake. (GO LOOK!) When I told her my idea, she was So on board and I felt totally optimistic about it. She was so willing to work with me and make it just what we wanted; realistic, but beautiful. We couldn’t have been Any happier. She is now our go to!!

Whenever we plan, we always think Really big, haha, but thankfully we’ve learned to reel it in and conserve funds. My favorite way to do so is anything DIY. The banners were painted, cut and threaded together, his t-shirt was designed and printed by us, (it says Wild One, but the adorable bib-dana covers it mostly, ha, then there was a smash cake. What an adorable mess!) As party favors we (me and my lovely, patient sister) dipped, dripped and baked cute mason jars for beverages! Loved them. And after a lot of trial and error, we designed, printed and put together invitations. Yeah…we started reeeeall early with the party planning, lol. Thank God!



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Meanwhile, a wonderful friend of ours and true artist, Adam Trest, was working away on a portrait we had asked for. Of course, we couldn’t do same ole, same ole, so we threw him the idea of an art nouveau inspired illustration of our boy. He was in love with the idea which made us even More excited, if possible. After weeks of teasing, we finally saw the whole portrait and the tears wouldn’t stop. Speechless. Not only did he capture Nolan so perfectly and incorporate our personality into the piece, but he also added a little something extra I requested. As many of you know, Ryan lost his dad in 2010. Since Nolan didn’t get a chance to meet his grandfather, I wanted him to have something that would stay with him and honor Mr. Russell’s memory. Russell means red-haired or fox like, which is part of the reason foxes play a part in our family and were featured on the portrait. So next to a fox are the initials HRP, Harlon Russell Phillips. It was so hard to keep this little surprise from Ryan, but so worth it. His reaction was priceless and now we have this one of a kind memory to keep forever. (Art will never be dead, shut up media!) We’re a broken record by this point, but Thank you again Adam! 😊





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And what party is complete without the perfect outfit. His t-shirt paired with mustard and white arrow harem pants from Born Savage, topped with an aztec print bib-dana from a favorite Etsy shop, made this guy perfection. Not to mention the adorable geometric fox leggings for his smash cake photos, also from Born Savage. We’re gonna wear these clothes ragged!

In the midst of planning, we also had to make our house “guest friendly”. Its insane the amount of work you get done when you have company coming over, haha. Big shout out to Lauren from Lovegood who provided us with the perfect dining chairs and extra seating. Would have been a lot of sore booties without them!

I knew this party would be a big milestone, and I cant say I didn’t cry several times, but it really did hit us the day of his party. The second we brought in Nolan’s cake, candle lit, everyone singing “Happy Birthday”, we just knew. That was it. Thats why we planned, stressed, didn’t sleep. It was all for that moment. The moment he looked at us with wonder in his eyes at all that was before him. Granted it may have been a cake on fire….but he knew it was for him. He knew he was loved. And I’d like to think that moment is where he would start to dream just as I did. One day he’ll put the same painstaking effort into his own child’s birthday party.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in his first year, its this: Look forward. Yes, its unbelievably sad to know this tiny human will one day be a foot taller than me. I hate that I now have 2 massive containers full of clothes he will never wear again. He no longer fits in my arms like he used to. BUT. He now has the confidence to take on the world. He loves life and all things in it. Thats a gift you cant buy. Remember that you are laying the brickwork for their life ahead. That is an incredible feeling.

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When you started to read this, you probably didn’t realize you’d be reading a mother’s gushy sentiment. You probably just wanted to see the photos of this awesome kid, so I wont keep you. Because in all honesty, once you eat cake and open presents, life is good. Especially for Nolan who, as I write this, is being pushed around our house in a big truck by his daddy, eating crackers and making a mess. Its ok though, he usually finds the crumbs and eats them, I mean cleans them…up for me. 😉

Happy Birthday to the boy that brightens the worst days with a crooked, toothy smile. We love you to the moon and back….and then some! Not that I want you to grow up too fast, but we are going to have So much fun, Nolan! Can’t wait!

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