1. “This party is a chance to thank our village” – yes! Even if you just wanted to have a swanky party to show off the awesomeness that is HP, I would still be happy for you. But, the fact that you want to do it to thank your tribe is even more awesome. I don’t have children so I cannot possibly imagine how hard it is to raise one. Anyone who helps in that gargantuan effort deserves a little bit of that Italian birthday cake! Don’t forget to celebrate yourself though, Penny – you did birth a human being after all.

    • Oh, I will absolutely be giving myself a hearty pat on the back. We are really lucky to have such a strong and big support network. I don’t know how many people will swing by the open house, but I’m happy to invite as many people as I can. His only great-grandparent has been battling cancer, and she’s flying in to see him (and many of her other relatives who will attend). I tear up every time I think about it. I will gladly spend the money to host all the people who want to see HP…and her!

  2. Over order on the food, and don’t scrimp on the cake. Also, if the crowd is big enough hire, or task, a photographer to wander and take a bunch of pictures. Don’t try to do it yourself, you guys will be busy celebrating. My daughter does not, of course, remember her first birthday, but we trot out the pictures even 14 years later to relive what was a great event. We’d not let her have sugar until that day. Needless to say, frosting was a big hit.

    • That is always my plan. If nothing else, food makes good leftovers to either send home with people or to get out of cooking the next day(s)! I have two aunts that volunteer to be event photographers. They do candids for showers and parties and everything in between. I can’t wait to see his face when he tries frosting!

  3. We love throwing backyard parties! We went all out for our kids adoption party! Two more of my favorite kid games are pinatas (I don’t think we’ve ever done a party without one.) And a game where you break open a bale of hay onto a pile and sprinkle a roll of quarters, dimes and nickels into it plus a few dollar coins. Then the kids get to dig around and find the money (youngest first!) Maybe it’s my love of finding free money or a Montana thing, but I loved that game SO much as a kid and now so do my kids. 🙂

    • Jillian, I would like to be invited to your next party AND play all the kids games. Sadly, we have no trees in our backyard (just lining the property line). But maybe I’m not ready to give up on this pinata idea just yet. Hmmm. Surely, we can figure something out. We also back up to a horse farm. If they don’t have bales of hay, who does?!

      • Oh, and we just ended up buying a bouncy house a few years ago! It’s awesome. We bust it out every time we have friends over. My kids are 2-10 and they all like it. I bought it on Amazon for $250? Totally worth it for years of use. =)

        • They SELL bouncy houses on Amazon?!?!

          I may or may not have just looked one up and sent a screenshot to my husband. That purchase may be in our future… ?

  4. Happy birthday to your son, and congrats to you and your hubby for making it through the first year with what sounds like an expanding village of love and with smiles on your faces.

  5. Awww… yeah, I am a fan of spending money WHERE IT COUNTS. It’s not about doing everything as cheaply as possible. It’s about cutting costs in areas that don’t reflect our values so we can let loose on the things we care about. I go nuts cutting costs on gas and groceries, and all my clothes come from Target clearance… but we’re spending a month in Ireland this summer, and I’ma do every damn side trip we want without looking at the pricetag once 🙂
    Also, happy birthday to your little dude. They’re the best.

  6. I have to think spending freely and joyfully on a celebration of family and friends is probably one of the BEST feelings in the world. Plus bounce houses are amazing for kids AND adults. So happy birthday to HP and congrats to you and your village for making it through the first year 🙂

  7. Lizzy

    Having a wonderful party to thank your tribe is a beautiful thing to do. Enjoy it and happy birthday to your little boy!

  8. I love the way you’re approaching this! I have to admit, before I had kids, I judged large first birthday parties. I didn’t get that it is really about exactly what you’re describing: a celebration of the village!

    Frugality is about being responsible with money so you can spend on what is really important to you and it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing. Have a wonderful time!

  9. Mr. Wow and I were just having a conversation about how sometimes people in the FIRE-sphere need to live a little and not be so wrapped up about money. If you want a bouncy house, then by alls means have a bouncy house. No judgment from us!

  10. For a second I thought you were going to announce that you had a bounce house at your wedding. That would be cool. : )

    Your tendency to want to “love on your guests” is a gift, and one that not everyone has. We have friends that are very much the same way. Every year, they host a massive pig roast for about 50 of their closest friends, and some family as well.

    People bring food and beverages, but our friends definitely bear the brunt of the expense and the time spent organizing , and they absolutely love it.

    They’re kind of like the “glue” amongst their network of friends, and are incredible at bringing people together. Sounds as though you’re the same way.

    Happy Birthday HP!

  11. Thank you. I just had my husband read this and it helped him understand why I do things like this. He has always appeased me and let me throw parties for our family and friends, even if he did complain a little along the way but you explained the why so well. We love these people and these people love us and have helped us and continue to help us thrive in life. We had our daughter’s 1st birthday party in April and had over 60 people there! We rented out the pool/park in our community and it was awesome. Sure, our daughter won’t remember but we will and so will our loved ones. Love and share your mindset!

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