Celebrating Eli

We celebrated Eli’s 1st birthday – twice. First, on his actual birthday, we opened a few gifts and went out to eat where he was sung to and given his first ice cream sundae.



While the servers gathered around singing “Happy Birthday” I teared up. By the time they were done, I was crying. Our poor waitress must’ve thought I was insane. I resisted the urge to tell her I was crying because I once didn’t think we’d ever get to his first birthday. I didn’t tell her he was a survivor of open heart surgery. Or that he had recently undergone skull surgery. I didn’t even blurt out that he has Down syndrome. I just sat there, swelling with pride, and quite possibly confusing the hell out of the poor girl. Eli loved his sundae and I loved celebrating our little fighter with my husband and oldest son.

On Sunday we had Eli’s 1st birthday party. I decided to play “crafty mom”. I was determined to throw a party like the ones I see on Pinterest. It couldn’t be that hard, right?! Well let’s just say crafting has never been my forte, BUT, I pulled it off! There were many Pinterest inspired decorations that, in my opinion, are definitely “pin” worthy.


These Super E lollipops were inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. I came up with the “lollipop tree” all on my own. I found the Superman piggy bank at Walmart. I asked party guests to write down a wish for Eli and put it in the piggy bank. When he’s 18 we’ll smash the pig and read the wishes. I did the same thing for Cody’s 1st birthday. For 2 1/2 years I’ve resisted the temptation to open up his piggy and read them. I look forward to reading each greeting with my grown sons on their 18th birthdays, God willing.


I also made this Super Eli #1 birthday candle. I may have pointed it out to every guest who admired the cakes (which I did not make) because I was so proud of how it turned out. Definitely my finest crafting moment ever.

A couple of things I learned about our superhero yesterday – He likes birthday cake… 20131028-230915.jpg

…and tissue paper.20131028-231716.jpg

He was a trooper the entire time. He didn’t crash until the very end. And then he crashed hard. My best friend put it best when she said, “The life of a superhero is quite exhausting”!


We had a fabulous time rejoicing in all that we have to celebrate. Eli is happy and healthy. His strength is awe inspiring and his resilience is something to be admired. He has friends and family who sincerely love him. It was truly a wonderful day!