I have been all over the place emotionally about it, and I really didn't know what on earth we could do that wouldn't feel overwhelmingly sad. I knew I wanted to have a table with his special things set up, a cake I'd made just for him, and a balloon release. I also knew I wanted to do a zoo animal theme, since that is where we probably would have taken him if he were here.
With those things in mind, I've spend the past month making notes about what to do and how to do it. I've been looking everywhere online for the perfect cake idea and found a few I decided to combine. (I took a few cake decorating cakes back in my old life). I decided to make a three-tier cake. Since the party was one week before his actual birthday - April 14th is his birthday - I decided to have the top tier be the "smash cake"and Bryan and I would save it to eat on his actual birthday.
Friday morning, I set to work. I knew the cakes would need to set and cool completely to be ready to finish for Sunday. By Saturday night, I had them all baked, cooled, set with supports and frosted. All I would need to do is stack them and do the finishing details. I wanted to do zoo animals, so I make some from a pinterest idea I saw. Personally, I think they are super cute:
We set up an extra table in our dining room, we decorated it and the windows behind it and we had everything ready to go Saturday night so there wouldn't be a lot of extra stress this morning.
Here is his special table with his animal balloons.
Last week, I went and printed out 200 of his photos and put them in order in a cute album so everyone could easily see them.
I found an adorable zoo toy on Ebay and it came just in time to be a darling table decoration.
I made a sign for him and we found super cute monkey to wear his birthday hat.
I made up a special label for our water bottles and my mom and dad affixed them for us. I love them! She even made a little bottle just for Samuel.
Yesterday morning, we took care of a few last minute details and then, at noon, I got out my cake to finish (the party started at 1pm). I got it all put together and it was so cute! I loved it! I turned around to put some things away and when I turned back I saw that it was falling. The bottom tier just wasn't strong enough (I have no idea what I did wrong - I used wooden supports) and couldn't hold it self up. I watched in horror as it smashed out and fell. I quickly pulled off the top two tiers and did my best to salvage them, but it was too late for the bottom and middle ones. Thankfully, the top tier made it!! I pulled off the animals, washed off the extra icing and set them aside, then I grabbed my keys and flew out the door with 25 minutes to get to the store and find a ready-made cake. I can't believe after all my hard work that it fell. It was very disappointing. But I also am not really surprised. Nothing I do seems to work at all ever, so what else is new. (I'm also SO bummed out that I don't have any pictures of it. Such is my life...)
I called Bryan while I was driving and told him to hide the now ruined cake. It's now an ugly smashed mess in our freezer. I was able to have the baker quickly make me a simple cake and I rushed how to finish it. With the 5 minutes I had before everyone came, I put it together and piped on some hearts. Thankfully, my mom had made some adorable chocolate candies that helped me finish it. It turned out cute.
|This is the top tier of the cake I made, that survived. We're going to have it on his actual birthday.|
It wasn't what I had hoped and planned for, but I was as cute as it could be all things considered.
The party itself was good. We have some very wonderful friends and family who drove from hours away to be with us. It really meant a lot to us to have them there to remember him with us. (Thank you, Jaimi & Jeff and Traci & Dan for coming so far. We love you guys!!) We made burgers (remember, he loved cheeseburgers <3 ) and lots of other good things people brought to share. My dad made a super cute bunny out of a watermelon for the veggie tray and also a heart basket for fruit. I have no clue what's wrong with us, but we forgot to take a picture. I'll remember them.
We talked about him and other things and it was good. We ate his cake and then went to the park to release balloons.We decided to go to the park where Bryan and I used to take walks with Samuel. It's also the place we took our pregnancy photos. It's a place we went as a family. I know we would have spent a lot more time together there if life were different, so it seemed the right place to go. I pictured him in heaven, surrounded by his balloons, knowing how loved he is.
|We got a big assortment of balloons. Happy Birthday ones, smiley ones, Elmo ones and even a truck! Everyone wrote notes to him on them before we sent them up.|
|One balloon got stuck. But it's actually cute. It's a smile. Now, when people are at the park, they'll see it. I like that <3.|
|It's so beautiful! It's opal and I'll be able to put his photos inside. <3|
Yesterday, I got the cutest little bracelet in the mail from Jaimi to wear on his special day. They also brought us a gift to open next week on his birthday. We sure to have some great friends.
Yesterday was a reminder that people care a lot about us and are remembering Samuel right along with us. It was not at all how the day should have been, and I had some very heavy-hearted moments, but all in all, it was good.
After everyone left, we cleaned up a bit and then both took a nap. Grief takes a lot out of you.
I'm sitting here writing this and I'm sad that his cake didn't work. I'm sad that I was not thinking clearly enough to have someone take photos of things I wish I had. I'm sad I didn't take a photo of us with our friends. I'm sad we didn't take a picture of the entire table and the window all decorated. I guess my brain just can't do things well anymore. Oh well, I'll remember. (Thank goodness my siblings thought to take the photos they did!!)
I'm thankful for good friends and supportive family members. I'm really glad we decided to have this party. I'm also really glad we had it prior to his actual day, so I could hold it together.
Mostly, overwhelmingly, I'm heartbroken he's not here. I wish things were different. I really miss my BIG boy <3.
This past weekend is the anniversary of the day I started labor last year. It's the beginning of the longest week of my life. The beginning of the end. It may be a very long week again.
One more week. I can't believe it.
I sure do miss my sweet little guy<3
*Just a reminder, if you'd like to help us celebrate his birthday, you still can! Everyone is welcome. Click HERE for information and to join in!