Year 1: The Baseball Birthday

Birthdays are always exciting, but first birthdays are stressful. I remember Baby J’s like it was just yesterday, coming up with a new theme every year has become one of the most daunting tasks I have experienced. Each year it becomes more and more difficult and each year I dread it more and more.

For Baby J’s first birthday party we went with a baseball theme. From baseball themed invitations to baseball themed cakes, and decorations – we went all out. I made the cards and decorations myself but it was a planning disaster. I had forgotten that naptime coincided with the birthday and so when it came time for people to show up and the smash cake I was waking a one year old up from nap time. I’ll let you imagine how that went.


1st Birthday Invite
1st Birthday Invitation

For the invites I found a picture of a baseball and used powerpoint to add a picture of my little man. I saved the slide as a picture and sent them off to be printed, making sure to buy some 4 x 6 envelopes (like these) to mail them off in. One thing I noticed I always forget to do is add an RSVP by date, and I always find myself scrambling to get a headcount the night before.


I love making things myself, so for my baby’s first birthday there were many arts and crafts that took place. I did however buy the standard Happy Birthday banner from the store along with the plates, cups, and party hats. I made sure they were sports themed so that I didn’t have to spend too much time minding them.

Rookie of the Year Banner
Rookie of the Year Banner

Rookie of the Year Banner: I went all out on this one decoration.

1) I bought 12 hollow baseballs (similar to these) and hand painted the lines onto them, I started out using paint and quickly switched over to a red permanent marker. I then wrote “rookie of the year” on the balls (I gave each letter of “rookie” and “year” its own ball while giving “of” and “the” just a single ball).

2) I bought some furniture needles (similar to these), I needed these to push the twine I was using to link the balls together through each individual ball, this was the most tedious part seeing that I had to make sure that each ball was centered with the letter, I made sure that there would be enough room to hang a 4 x 6 picture between the baseballs.

3) I got 12 pictures of my little angel (one from each month he had been alive) and glued them on some poster paper, I made sure to get the last picture the day of the party, printing it right then and there and adding it to the banner. On each of the pictures I marked the month and added “It started out a little rough (month 1) but (month 2) we (month 3) seem (month 4) to (month 5) be (month 6) getting (month 7) the (month 8) hang (month 9) of (month 10) it (month 11)” around the pictures.

4) I hung this up on the wall and made sure the spacing was pretty decent, I cheated and used some tape to keep the letters facing the right way – good news is I recycled this decoration into a piece for his room.

Balloon Keeper
Balloon Keeper

Balloons: I bought some extra hollow baseballs and used these to keep the helium balloons on the ground. I marked them “Jason’s 1st Birthday” but did not bother to draw the lines on them. I again used the furniture needles to thread the balloon strings through them. I gave many of these away at the end of the party to kids who had come because I did not want to deal with the 30 balloons my Ballon Time Tank had blown up.

Memory Baseball
Memory Baseball

Memory Baseball: I bought a single baseball and asked all my guests to sign it with a permanent marker before they left. This was an awesome way to remember who had come and now serves as a memento from his first birthday.


I made sure to get him a little bow tie for his cake smash, I wanted him to look cute but didn’t want him to ruin the “1” onesie I had gotten him for the actual party – this worked out perfect, because just as expected he got cake all over himself. I stuck with the red, white, and blue of baseball to make the day flow a little better.


Baby J's Smash Cake
Baby J’s Smash Cake for 1st Birthday

We kept it pretty simple. We grilled some burgers and hot dogs, these were served with chips and soft drinks. The majority of the people who attended were really close friends and family so we kept to the basics. We did get a cake and a smash cake – these were both baseball themed and relatively simple. I went to Kroger because they were close and I liked their cake – everyone there is always so willing to help. We did the smash cake at the beginning of the party so that it would be out of the way, I forgot to buy tablecloths to lay out so we improvised with black trash bags.

Baby J's 1st Birthday Cake
Baby J’s 1st Birthday Cake

Thank You Cards:

Thank You Card
Thank You Card

I think it’s important to thank people. I again used powerpoint to create a simple thank you and saved it as a picture so I could print 4 x 6 photos. I used the baseball theme we had and just added some pictures from the party. Again, I sent these off to get printed and used the 4 x 6 envelopes I had to mail them off.


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