You know it’s a party when…

The parents are exhausted the next day? There are beer bottles AND juice boxes in the recycling bin? You find the Flor tile you dropped a cupcake on, icing side down still on the floor in the kitchen where you “meant” to clean it the night before?

Seriously, there are many signs here at the Johnson house that we had a party, and it sure was fun! We had a total of 18 kids (counting two 15-year-olds, do they count?) and about a gazillion bubbles – the bottle didn’t lie!

At around 2:30 Zoe started to fade, so we called “cake time”. Her dad made an owl cake for her, and unlike every other first birthday party I’ve ever been to, she really wasn’t that excited about the cake (and it wasn’t because it wasn’t delicious)! We were ready for her to shove handfuls in her face, or heck, shove her face in it, but even when her dad stuck her hand directly into the icing, she didn’t get it. She had a little bit and then gave the “all done” sign and insisted that dad pick her up, right away. I really think it was more about the 45+ people crowding around the table staring at her… Stage fright? :)

Luckily, my sister caught much of it on video:

As you can tell, we had a great time. We didn’t get around to gift opening… After the cake event (and given the fact that she was already fading), we didn’t want to risk a meltdown. Though, I can’t say she’s officially HAD a meltdown? Anyway, it was risky, so we opened presents this morning in a flurry of tissue paper and gift wrap. She had a blast!

My sweet sister traveled out from Georgia with my 8-year-old niece for a 2-day whirlwind trip for Zoe’s birthday, then not only helped us prep for the party but cleaned up the entire backyard singlehandedly. Wow. Honestly, we’re the luckiest parents in the whole world. We have a terrific and beautiful daughter, absolutely incredible friends, and an amazing family. What more could you ask for? I sure hope one day Zoe looks back at all the pictures and realized how very much she was loved on her first birthday ever.

Speaking of pictures, if you’d like to see more (including the cake), check them out here on Facebook (you shouldn’t have to login to see them). And here are a few extra special pictures we reserved just for the blog, and a few notes. There was no child labor at our party. Yes, Justice, we have your hat. And Sarah, thanks for the chucks!

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