Magnolia's Swan Lake First Birthday Party


On Saturday we celebrated our Sweet Magnolia's first birthday. Doesn't it seem like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital? On the morning of her birthday, the moment she opened her eyes, I started to sing her Happy Birthday. She was quite familiar with the song, as we'd been singing it to her for the past few weeks leading up to her birthday. All of her friends in music class had sang it to her as well, and it was obvious she enjoyed to be in the spotlight, as her smile grew & eyes twinkled when she realized they were singing all for her! One of our local news stations does a first birthday shout-out to all the babies & we submitted her photo to play across our TV on Saturday. As we drank our coffee & prepared for her party, it was quite the treat to see her on the news!

Her party was inspired by the Swan Lake ballet & it was the sweetest mix of swans, tutus, feathers, ballerinas, & pastel colors. All the planning for her big day started well before Christmas. We rented a Vintage House & spent the afternoon celebrating our gift from God with our family in the most charming of venues. The entire party came together even more beautiful than I had planned. After our birthday girl, the dessert table was the highlight of the party!


Her actual birthday was the day of the party. Ryan & I had to keep an eye on the clock in order to stay on schedule & get everything ready for the celebration. Every single time we'd look at the time we'd talk about where we were in labor the year prior. Thankfully what one forgets the other can fill in the blank. For the past few weeks we've been looking at photos of Magnolia when she was only weeks old. Talk about a recipe for emotional tears! Being pregnant, giving birth, and now being her mom has certainly been the most wonderful part of my life. Ryan & I will never forget the fiercest prayers that were said as we waited for her. This celebration was to remember what God has done in our lives & wow it is magnificent!


Every detail of the dessert table was brought to life by the talented Nicole L./owner of Sugar Rush. The cake was the centerpiece & had a golden marbling with delicate pastel flowers with a feathered swan sitting on top. The cookies in the shape of a number one, feather, & swan were not only perfect for Swan Lake but also carry a very special meaning for her birthday. And the sweetest cupcakes with vanilla frosting & golden sparkles were topped with vintage ballerinas & swans.










The first part of the party was spent nibbling on light finger foods & fruit, as the guests took turns visiting with our birthday girl. We decorated with pink & confetti filled balloons, sparkly birthday garlands, swans, & fresh flowers. All the little girls wore pastel colors & tutu skirts. We gave them all swan hair clips as a party favor.








As Ryan, my aunt, and I were setting up the party our photographer Crista Everly was taking photographs of Magnolia. She arrived early and was sweet enough to put Magnolia in her birthday dress & get her all ready as we twirled around putting all the finishing touches on everything. We cannot wait to see all the photographs she snapped of our baby girl on her big day!


I always leave our parties giving credit to my aunt & saying "I could NOT have done that without her!" or she is the one "that does it ALL!" She helped us with all the set-up + decorating & while we were opening gifts & celebrating, she was in the kitchen doing all the dishes and putting everything away. We truly could not have done it without her. Grateful doesn't even say enough. Love her.



My sisters are my best friends. I pray every night about Magnolia's siblings to come. I pray that she'll have live-in best friends growing up like we had. The bond with my sisters is always growing stronger & God knows how thankful I am for them. Their kids are like my kids, and Magnolia is like theirs.



And Jennifer is my best friend and sister from another mother. She's been with me through thick & thin. God knows how thankful I am for her. Magnolia will grow up calling her Aunt Jenny!


Grandma Smith with her baby girls. Magnolia's cousin Claire was born only three months after her. She was the baby swan at the party wearing the most precious feather tutu skirt!


Magnolia had never tasted cake before Saturday! We all sang her Happy Birthday & her daddy & I helped her blow out her first candle. She was a little hesitant about digging into her cupcake & she had some help with a dab of frosting on her nose 😉 . I shared my chocolate cake with her & I do believe it was her favorite. The sugar rush was worth the wait! 













I know one of the current trends in kid's birthday parties is to skip the gifts. I honestly considered putting "please no gifts" on the invitations because she has more than enough stuff. And not to get into all of that debate, I just want to say, I'm really happy we did gifts. She loved it & her cousins loved it. And although it was a whirlwind of a time, with paper & tissue & cards & ribbons & cash floating through the air, I know gifts are the best part of a party in the eyes of a child. Someday, on her very own, she may want to do a charitable party & of course that will melt my momma heart! Until then we will stick with tradition & do gifts. Right now as I write this, she's playing with one of her new dolls in the cutest of Valentine jammies that she got on Saturday. 












Words cannot express how grateful we are for all the love she was showered with on her first birthday. Our family means the world to us & we are blessed to call them ours. 




After the party, once all the guests had left, it was just the three of us in the charming Vintage House. The sun had gone down & the warm glow of lamps illuminated all the rooms. Outside the twinkle lights were on under the black sky. Magnolia was in her ballerina jammies. Ryan & I had a moment to just sit back & breathe in all the excitement with our baby girl. And again we were talking about the year before in the hospital as we waited for Magnolia Caroline to come into this world. We knew at that moment in time I had began pushing for what took three hours & was the most intense pain I'd ever felt in my life.




Magnolia Caroline came from the arms of angel to fill our lives with more joy than we ever knew was possible. Her smile & laugh lights up our world. She is our sunshine. She talks all the time & we cannot help but try to figure out what exactly she's saying. We know soon enough her stories will be full of so much love, excitement, & humor. She has an art for storytelling already! Her bright blue eyes twinkle like the night sky. On the drive home she was up way past her bedtime & had sugar running through her veins. She was jibber jabbering in the back seat for a good fifteen minutes & then all of sudden she was conked out. We were home at 8:14 pm, the exact moment she entered this world, she was freshly out of the bathtub in her daddy's arms gazing at the chandelier that hangs in our bedroom. They have the sweetest bedtime routine, after he brushes her hair & before he hands her off to me to nurse, he raises her up to the glow of the crystal chandelier. When he handed her to me before bed, we both looked at the clock & it was one minute after she had been born. 365 days later, in that exact moment, she was back on my chest. God's work in our lives is miraculous!


I hope she always knows how much she means to us, how special she is, and that she is a gift from God. I hope she always knows our love for her is endless.

Product Sources
Cake & Desserts from Sugar Rush Bakery
The Vintage House
Feather & Sequins Tutu Dress
Birthday ONE Crown by Penny & Gigi
Swan Wrapping Paper
Birthday Garland
Swan Wall Mount
Stella The Swan
Cupcake Chair sold out similar here
Swan Cake Topper
One Balloon
Vintage Ballerina Cupcake Toppers
Tissue Paper Garland Made by Yours Truly, How To here   

Her birth announcement photos here
Her birth story here

All of the photos were taken by us & our family. Thank you to our loved ones for clicking the camera all night. There will be a Part Two once we get the professional photos back & I cannot wait to see them & share them with you. It was such a special day & getting to relive the joy in the photos is something to be cherished.

Lastly, I want to share a Podcast with you called Birthday Parties: Celebrating God's Good Work by the lovely ladies over at Risen Motherhood. One of my favorite takeaways from this Podcast is that God is the author of birth & God values parties. Dancing, singing, celebrating, all of these things are found in the Bible. And Lord willing that is what we will do in Heaven someday. Magnolia's conception, as with all life, was a miracle & we always want to give all the glory to God. Her first birthday celebration was a reminder as to what God has done in our lives & it sure was a beautiful one! Whether you like big extravagant parties or simple sprinkled donuts around the kitchen table, it is the heart of the party that matters the most.

Signing off with thoughts of my baby's icing covered fingers. Thank you for following along on our journey & being a part of our story!

Love, The Smiths

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Wendy Correen Smith
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