Zoey’s 1st Birthday party

There was a time 15 years ago, pre-kids when I had just started Jam with Jamie and I truly did not understand why parents would throw their kids a big first birthday. “They’re one,” I thought… “One! They barely know how to hold a spoon, why do they need a big party?” 

I remember walking into a first birthday party in Long Island City as the main musical act and it looked like a wedding. There was a balloon arch that went from one side of a MainStage to the other, a huge ice sculpture of the number one, a catered dinner, decadent desserts and about 200 people. And then there was me, one performer without a microphone and I had zero clue how I was going to get through this performance, let alone comprehend why these people went all out like this for a first birthday. I even went so far as adding an essay of said party to one of my colleagues books “Gigs from Hell.” In this essay, I recounted this day and how ridiculous the setting was for a first birthday and also how beyond nervous I was to perform alone without an adequate sound system for this crowd. 

Fifteen years later, here I am with three kids. Two boys and my first girl who is turning one year old. Sure, I could take my ten years ago self advice that I wrote for an online article to get some pizza, balloons, and call it a day to celebrate. But the old me had zero clue. Why on earth would I not celebrate this day as if it weren’t the most important celebration to be had at this point in time for my family. A chance to invite our family from PA and Houston and LA to come together and make a weekend long event out of it. Life is too short not to celebrate as much as you can- that’s always been my motto- but now I’ve added in “…and with a bang!“ Go all out! Or don’t, if that’s not your thing. 

Well for Zoey’s party- it was my thing. Zoeypalooza, at my childhood temple, where my boys are currently at school, on the grounds I had my bat mitzvah, was everything I could have ever dreamed of. Strings of Flowers and balloon garlands lined a white drape backdrop behind a stage that was set for a five piece Jam with Jamie band (I learned my lesson from 15 years ago Jamie all alone in front of 200 people!), a table was set with a whimsical cake fit for a wedding along with desserts that were sourced from Trader Joe’s and Publix- it’s all about the “high – low!” 

Buffet style appetizers from Joanna’s with tea sandwiches- because tea sandwiches are my absolute fav – and other finger bites. A swag table with giveaway gifts, a crawling zone that the big kids unexpectedly- but why am I shocked- took over and turned into a mosh pit. Outside the doors of the main room were large tables for relaxing and eating, a photo booth for dress up and capturing memories, and a modern white bouncy lined with balloons. Balloons everywhere- I gave that 15 year ago party a real run for their money. And I wouldn’t  have changed a thing. It was absolutely perfect and I have the pics to prove it!

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