Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a great opportunity to be creative and let your imagination run wild. I have long looked foward to sharing the day with my own children, hoping that they’ll enjoy playing pretend with me. I’ve been so excited for Maddie’s first Halloween that I’ve been too excited to sleep the last few days. Last year I was in the hospital on Halloween, and I tried to make myself feel better by thinking a year in advance to Maddie’s first time dressing up. When she was born only eleven days after Halloween, I decided that I’d combine Halloween with her first birthday party. I would sit by her bed in the NICU and tell her all about the amazing birthday party we were going to throw her the next year. So when I say I’ve had her birthday party planned for a year, I’m not exaggerating.
As the party hosts, we got into the full spirit of the party. Flintstones! Meet the Flintstones!
Yep, that’s me as Wilma, Mike as Fred, Maddie as Pebbles, and Rigby as Dino!
All of our families and friends got into it as well. We had a hippie, cat burglar, tacky tourist, chefs, pirates, Sarah Palin, pizza delivery man, USC football fan, Presidential ballot, cowboys, baseball player, bumble bee, Dr. Frankenstein, and a Monchhichi, just to name some of the guests. The kids, however, were adorable. Dorothy & the Scarecrow, Ariel the Mermaid, a flower, a lion, Buzz Lightyear & Woody, a UCLA Cheerleader, a prisoner, Superman, and of course, our little Pebbles.
It was a blast to watch the kids play. Some were too little to run around, but it was cool to know that they’ll all be chasing each other next year at Maddie’s second birthday party.
As is the custom at all first birthday parties, Maddie had a special cake that was all for her. She wasn’t sure what to do with it at first.
I was really hoping she’d go nuts and just eat it like crazy, but she was far more interested in grabbing the frosting. She DID eventually she taste the sweet sweet sugar…
…but didn’t seem too into it.
So much for my dreams of her gaining a couple pounds via birthday cake.
As much as Maddie’s party was a celebration of her life, it was a thank you to everyone who took care of me on bed rest, started prayer chains, cooked us dinner, and loves our daughter. Our only regret is that we couldn’t invite every single person that’s touched our lives. That, and we couldn’t fly all of Maddie’s world-wide fans to the party, too!
With the invitations to Maddie’s party, we included the following note: To our dear family and friends – You have given us the greatest gift, your support when Maddie was sick. Maddie is blessed, she has her health and everything else she could need. We ask, in lieu of gifts, that you please donate to the March of Dimes in Madeline’s name. Please help other babies like Madeline. Mike and I wanted to give back to other babies like our Maddie. Babies who would have never made it without the advances the March of Dimes has funded. We asked that the party guests sign a book for Maddie with their wishes for her. When Maddie is 13, 18, 30 years old, she won’t care what toys she received on her first birthday. But she WILL love to read all the special notes written to her. And, if Mike and I do our jobs right, she’ll be so happy to know that when she turned one, she made a difference in the lives of babies that had a rough start like her. Babies who went on to have fabulous first birthday parties just like her.
What a wonderful party. I am glad you chose a reasonable cake. With my second daughter, I unwisely chose a red velvet cake for her first birthday. The photos are startling to be sure. They look like a murder scene.
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Ms. Moon says:
You know, Maddie has grown tremendously in this first year. That’s obvious. She’s such a beautiful, precious child.
But you and Mike have too. Think about it- think how far you’ve come in your knowledge of what’s important, in your increased patience and strength and ability to overcome hardship. And of course- your ability to know joy.
I think that’s awesome.
Ms. Moons last blog post..Desperate BASTARDS! (Thanks, Brother W. B.)
You are an amazing mama. I hope you know this. Thinking of others and giving back on such a special occasion…just heart warming.
(I stumbled across your blog through a comment a few weeks back and I’ve been poring over your posts and Maddie’s story ever since. I’m completely enamoured with her story – she is one gorgeous little miracle! Happy birthday Maddie!)
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You’ve got me all choked up!
You are all awesome in those costumes!! Maddie is adorable! Happy Birthday!!!
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AWESOME! Love the party, the costumes, and the notes to Maddie! She will appreciate them when she gets older
She is lucky to ahve such cool parents (and as a fellow lover of Halloween – she has a kick ass time to have a birthday!)
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Maddie is so expressive. I honestly can’t imagine her growing up to be anything but some sort of wildly famous successful personality.
Those costumes are AMAZING. Team Melee really needs to get our shit together next year to do some sort of awesome family costume.
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Happy Birthday Maddie, may you have many more!!! What an awesome party for her. You guys are wonderful parents and she is as lucky to have you as you are to have her.
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Happy Birthday, Maddie! Not only did that party look fun, what a lovely idea to have contributions made to March of Dimes instead of gifts. You guys are truly a class act.
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Yeah! Happy first year to Maddie and what a great party! It sounds like you guys had a wonderful day and many many more to come…
P.S. Nov 11 – a great day! That’s also my wedding anniversary (if I read your post right on her actual day…:))
Sending a HUGE Happy Birthday wish to Maddie! I don’t comment often, but love reading about her and what a blessed life she has!! I have proudly participated in the March of Dimes’ March for Babies (formerly WalkAmerica) for 18 years and will dedicate my fundraising & walk in April to Maddie this time. She’s an inspiration.
I will not cry that you didnt give me a shout out- the party looked great!! I am so sad I couldnt be there.
I truly wish I would have told people to donate- as my girls have enough stuff. I dont think I’ll be able to do that in 2 years, because they will go nuts if they wont get gifts!
mayas last blog post..You’ll Thank Me.
i wish i couldn’t gain a couple pounds from eating birthday cake. hahah. i kid. i love that you did the in lieu of gifts. you are totally right…it willbe so much more meaningful to her in the future!
happy birthday, Maddie!
alis last blog post..a conversation between me and my spouse
That is the cutest Pebbles I have ever seen. I love your idea to make donation. I always complain about buying presents for kids that won’t even know what they got 2 weeks later. The birthday wishes book will be cherished forever.
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Alex looked equally horrified by his smash cake. Which, I was all, DUDE, IT’S CAKE.
He didn’t listen.
And I love the idea of using MOD donations versus gifts. No kid needs gifts at their birthday parties at age 1.
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Andrea's Sweet Life says:
What a great idea! You guys are so smart. Not only are you helping other sick babies, you’re keeping your house free of elmo and other crazy stuff!
Happy Birthday, Maddie!
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LOVE the costumes! And Maddie’s expressions are priceless!
I love the donations in lieu of gifts idea AND the wish book! What a treasured memory that will be!!!!
Great party and I love that your costumes demand you go around barefoot. I think Alexandra refused cake on her first birthday too.
Those cake pictures may be the best I’ve ever seen. Happy first birthday to your beautiful little girl!
And great costumes. I only wish I could get my act together to pull off something like THAT!
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The last photo is classic! Also, it’s great that you ask for donations to the MoD in lieu of gifts. You guys have great hearts, and I wish you all the best.
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AWESOME costumes! AWESOME gift request! AWESOME all around!
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I have been a lerker for some time and have never left a comment. But I had to leave one this time and tell you that those costumes are flipping cute! Even down to the puppy dog.
Becky Mochaface says:
Such a cute costume idea! I love Rigby as Dino. And Happy Birthday to Maddie!
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maggie, dammit says:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADDIE!
Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good) says:
What great pictures! She looks so happy until she tastes her cake:( I love your idea of having guests make donations – we’ve found that the box the present came in is the biggest hit!
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I love your costumes, so cute! Looks like you had a great birthday party. Great idea to have guests give donations…something to think about for our daughter’s birthday.
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dysfunctional mom says:
Coolest 1st birthday party EVER! I love the Flinstones. I love the celebration of life, too. Happy Birthday to Maddie!
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A Free Man says:
Happy Birthday, Maddie!
that’s great. when your kids have so much material stuff it’s great to do something different like that and it makes a difference for others lives in a meaningful way. maddy is lucky to have such caring parents.
here via Stephanie-Baby on Bored. hihi! how funny, she and i share a birthday, and how adorable she is!
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