Jax’s 1st Birthday Party

This past Saturday, we were joined by our friends and family to celebrate the big kahuna’s 1st birthday.

Traditionally, Hawaiian babies have a huge 1st birthday luau celebration. This tradition dates back to the days when missionaries came to Hawai’i, infected the islanders with diseases and sadly many children did not make it to their 1st birthday. So in turn, when a child did reach the age of one, a huge luau took place. Hawaiian families have carried this tradition on for over 100 years.

We had many of the traditional luau foods—kalua pig, teriyaki beef, huli huli chicken, mac salad, rice, lomi lomi salmon, ahi poke, sushi, and fruit. Sadly, I did not snap a single picture of any of it. This is probably because the food was so delicious that is was almost all gone by the end of the party.

While Reg’s family was in charge of the main course, I focused on my favorite part of any party, the desserts and the decor. I went with a retro beach theme to tie into the luau and I think it turned out pretty great. My husband did almost all of the graphic design, other than the invitation. I tried to make as many things as possible other than the desserts, because let’s face it, that would not have been pretty to look at. I went to my favorite bakery, Sweet & Saucy, for the cakes, key lime pie tarts (!!!), mini strawberry shortcakes, and cake pops. Everything was so delicious and beautiful.


I also set up a wall with pictures of Mr. J from every month. It is amazing to see how much our little man has grown in just one year. In the middle, there is a copy of a print Reggie made for his nursery with the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s Forever Young.

I tried to tie the beach and luau themes together by adding gummy pigs and sharks, making the drink area “The Sand Bar,” and placing sand filled jars and goldfish cracker filled buckets on each table. I added little toy VW vans and Jax’s ukelele to the display. Plus, each kid took home a sand pail filled with candy, sunscreen, sunglasses, bubbles, and a beach ball. I had way too much fun putting those together.



All together, I am thrilled with how the party turned out. Jax was in the best mood. He loved being the center of attention, the cake, spending time with everyone and swimming in the pool. But mostly, he loved the cake. I loved taking a step back and realizing how far I have come as a mother and how proud I am of both Jax and myself for who we are today. 

I will be back with more party photos, including adorable shots of Jax devouring his entire cake. Oh and in case you are wondering if he slept that night, he didn’t. I think that was his little present to me. Such a sweet little guy.


2 thoughts on “Jax’s 1st Birthday Party

  1. Danielle says:

    Wow! That list of food had my mouth watering. I love traditions like that (even though the cause isn’t very happy). It’s nice to see that you’re keeping them alive! I know with Jeff’s family, there’s so much to learn. He’s from Ghana, so there’s a whole different set of traditions to celebrate.

    And you did an awesome job of decorating for his birthday! It turned out so beautifully. I may have insta-stalked a little bit, so I saw the Jax-eating-cake pics. They’re classic. Definitely frame worthy.

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