What do you get when you
gotta a cutie like this,
combined with a super-cool vintage setting,
complete with vintage steampunk,
and beautiful scenery?
A rockin’ little man’s birthday party.  My newest best friend (and incredibly talented photographer), Lauren, put a a cool and budget friendly party…it was such a cute party!! 
 And I know it was budget friendly because she puts me to shame with the cost saving.
When planning my kids’ parties (as I’m sure Lauren did), I work my own things into the decor and theme.  That doesn’t mean we change the party theme, it just means I try to personalize it with things I already own.
Just like Ava’s first birthday party I showed you this year….pink and cupcakes.  I grabbed all my crystal, milk glass, and pewter pieces to serve and decorate with.  Other than balloons, streamers, and candy (which was also the refreshment), I didn’t have to buy anything.  (Oh, if I had only done this when Grayson was younger…instead of buying the rediculously over-priced party kits)
Another tip for awesome decor at your parties….invest in a location that coordinates with your theme.  You would be surprised at how many places offer really affordable parties.  Or you can do like me and hijack your parents’ barn and use all the actual barn stuff as props. 
But….seriously, why not?  It will feel much more authentic and look so well put together, when in reality all we’ll have to do is set a few tables and show up.  Um, I think I’m giving away the secret that I’m not that great at throwing a party.
The other thing to go ahead and buy?  A bunch of balloons….they really amp up the party vibe and are relatively inexpensive compared to lots of other party decor.
Back to Benjamin’s 2nd birthday…
He L.O.V.E.S my Ava….also referred to as E-YAAAA  by Ben.  She has also been known to choke him after one of these sweet hugs.  But he’s just trying to show a little love.
I mean, who can blame him?? 
Another tip for party throwing….beg your friends to use some of their awesome party decor.  Aren’t these little apple baskets so cute??  I might be planning on using them in a couple of weeks at Gray’s sort of vintage cowboy party–that is, if I will get on it and get the invitations out tomorrow.
I loved seeing all the presents tossed under this huge tree.
And apparently the train ride didn’t go so well for Ava.
So her goofball daddy tried to cheer her up…
She was not amused.
All the boys had so much fun picnic-ing and playing together…the food was simple and perfect.  Goldfish, pretzels, animal crackers, fruit and cupcakes.  And Grayson may have had a gallon of punch.
Getting crafty…..I have to say that my little guy notices everything I do around the house.  He’ll walk in from playing upstairs and say, “mommy, look at the picture you just painted.  I’m SO PROUD OF YOU!!”  So sweet.  And I may have seen him snapping some pictures of the couch yesterday.
I think he may have watched me photograph furniture a time or two.
I was so far away when I snapped this, but I had to show you how small my little girl is.  I know she’ll grow up so fast and before I know it, we’ll be celebrating her second birthday, and then her 22nd.
But for now,
it’s trains, cowboys, and Goodnight Moon for all of us.
And I’m so glad it is.

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