10.28.2013

PENGUIN PARTY FOR HENRY HOLBROOK


on saturday morning my baby turned three. 

we had a little party for him and his friends on friday afternoon. i did all the set up the night before, once huck was asleep. we'd been talking about birthdays, and birthday parties, and who should be invited, and what it would feel like to be three, every night before bed. we'd crouch under the covers with our flashlights and books and talk out the specifics of the thing in our quietest whispers. huck wanted penguins. every night i'd ask him what kinds of things one would have at a penguin party, and every night he'd say cupcakes, penguins, and black and white cookies. of course. only he calls them "brown and white cooties," because really the chocolate is more brown than black, he's got a point there.

once he was conked out i stayed up late to put the finishing touches on things. i have an inner party planner that comes out every now and then, i forget she's there. she's sort of insane. (i even pulled off a pretty spectacular bit of penguin nail polish art at, uhhh, 3AM. i don't know what i was thinking.) when the last penguin cupcake had been frosted and put in its place, the last paper lanterns had been hung, the plates and napkins were ready for action, and all that was left to do in the morning was cut little sandwiches into fish shapes and put out the string cheese and carrot sticks, i sat myself down on the couch and just . . . thought. about everything. babies mostly, and all my hopes and dreams for this boy. all of the wonderful moments we get to have together every single day, and all of the exciting things that lay ahead for us.

earlier that night, while putting huck to bed--our flashlights beaming under mountains of blankets--i tickled huck's back as his whispered account of all the things he'd done that day got drowsier and drowsier. it reminded me of our first night together in that hospital room almost three years ago to the day. the pads covering the mattress, and the funky pink pitcher of water, and all those ankle bracelets and hospital blankets with the blue stripe down one side, and pink and blue striped cotton beanies and that squished little face, and the way he stuck his lower lip out at me and squeezed his eyes shut. easily the world's most perfect, most indignant little pout. i loved that pout so so much. that night was the first night i got to tickle his back as he fell asleep and i remember so clearly how soft that skin felt. it was unbelievable;  brand new, fresh, just barely finished, completely perfect skin. i remember exactly the way that brand new skin felt under my fingers, and the shape of his little ribs underneath and the curve of his little spine and the weight of his tiny baby bum in my hand, his pouty little face on my chest. and while i sat on the couch that night i thought of that newborn baby skin and this almost-three big boy skin and gosh. it about broke me in half. it felt like every single feeling ever felt all at once. 

before i finally crept off to bed i stopped to snap a few photos of the party-in-waiting. huck and penguins, man. it is such a pleasure to be this boy's mom. 


it was a hit.


so there we are. holbrook birthday season twenty thirteen / over and out.


p.s. some sources
the banner i freehanded and taped to white string with scotch tape
the star bunting is c/o nahbi
(my glasses are from west elm but i couldn't find them online!)
our crowns every year come from a local party store 
(huck refused to wear it this year!)
our cake plate was a gift from darlybird many moons ago
(but how great are these? 1 2 3 4 5)
and also pinterest. 
thank your, pinterest.

p.p.s. every year we try to record huck's lullaby, moon river, as a family. this year we weren't able to get all of us together, so over the weekend when everyone was asleep and i had a few minutes to myself, i recorded it quickly so we wouldn't miss a year/ (HERE is last year's... we didn't post his first year's lullaby, maybe i should find it? also i'm still pretty rusty.) 

anyway, here it is. huck, this is for you bubb.


p.p.s penguin nails


55 comments :

  1. I LOVE that you kept everything quite simple yet all of it is soooo sweet. I often think "How does anybody have the time to personally hand-craft all that ridiculous and most of the times completely unnecessary party stuff?" when I'm on Pinterest... Ain't nobody got time for that. What a beautiful set up, Natalie! And happy birthday, Huck!

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  2. So darling! What a fun little party! I'll bet he loved every second of it! Cheers to more birthdays and nostalgic mom moments. Life is marvelous and crazy. :)

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

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  3. I just love your blog. And thank your, pinterest was a nice touch. :)

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  4. I love penguins. b-e-s-t party ever!

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  5. Such a sweet party for a sweet little boy! Love the simplicity (although I guess making those penguin cupcakes didn't feel so simple :) )

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  6. ok ok ok!!! those cupcakes are too cute. and way to throw a pinterest worthy party. for real, pinterest worthy. i think i love the handmade banner the most. round of applause!!!

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  7. wow, everything turned out so perfect! i love how its so simple, yet perfect for how you guys celebrated. good job mama!

    -jenna-
    mama daze blog

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  8. Adorable. Love how you incorporated the penguin theme.

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  9. your creativity is quite inspiring!! happy birthday huck! and happy third anniversary of becoming a mother - to you!

    mylettchronicals

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  10. Aw, you are such a good mama! Look at all the hard work and little details you put into everything (even down to the nails)! Love this :)
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  11. cutest looking party ever! happy birthday to your precious boy!
    xx

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  12. Best. Mom. EVER. Henry Holbrook sure is one lucky little boy. ;)

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  13. that part about it being like every feeling every felt all at once...it just about broke ME in half. this is why i keep coming back to you, natalie holbrook. gems like that one. like the gem that YOU are. don't ever stop. and happiest of birthdays to your sweet, handsome huckleberry.

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  14. Those are the cutest penguin cupcakes I've ever seen! Bravo! And happy birthday, little Huck.

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  15. This is the cutest thing ever! I bet he had a wonderful time.

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  16. The penguin nails are awesome!
    There's nothing like holding that oh so soft newborn skin. Goodness it's one of the best feelings in the world.
    Happy birthday Huck!

    www.seashellsandeggshells.blogspot.com

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  17. As usual a sweet, touching blog post !! The part about how you felt being his mom almost ALMOST made me start crying at work !!! in a good way :-) looks like the best 3rd birthday party ever !!

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  18. As I sit here eating my lunch, I'm trying to hold off tears after reading your post. My baby girl will turn 1 tomorrow and I'm feeling very sentimental. You have such a way to describe that first night feeling at the hospital, and obviously it's different for everybody but you have such a way with words that help me remember all those little details that I thought I has forgotten. Thank you for sharing your lives and your talent with us. I can't wait to read your book!!

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  19. As I sit here eating my lunch, I'm trying to hold off tears after reading your post. My baby girl will turn 1 tomorrow and I'm feeling very sentimental. You have such a way to describe that first night feeling at the hospital, and obviously it's different for everybody but you have such a way with words that help me remember all those little details that I thought I has forgotten. Thank you for sharing your lives and your talent with us. I can't wait to read your book!!

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  20. As I sit here eating my lunch, I'm trying to hold off tears after reading your post. My baby girl will turn 1 tomorrow and I'm feeling very sentimental. You have such a way to describe that first night feeling at the hospital, and obviously it's different for everybody but you have such a way with words that help me remember all those little details that I thought I has forgotten. Thank you for sharing your lives and your talent with us. I can't wait to read your book!!

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  21. Absolutely wonderful, I loved reading this....and I love how you write about your beautiful boy & your family, you have such a way with words.

    And that cake....I want a penguin cake, seriously!! Well done you X

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  22. I, too, am eating my lunch and trying not to cry. What a beautiful post, what a lovely commemoration of Huck's third birthday as well as his birth day (if that makes sense). Don't ever stop writing, Natalie Holbrook, you are something special.

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  23. sometimes i think babies like ours were sent to us more because we needed them, than the other way around. and, oh, the wonders God works. thank heavens is all. happy three, henry holbrook.

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  24. Why am I ever surprised to tear up at your posts? I shouldn't be at this point. Love this one. And the party. So stinking adorable.

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  25. adorable! my son's third (eek!) birthday is coming up in december and while most of his friends had parties out at other places i am happy to see another mama tucking in and doing it at home! happy birthday, huck!

    check out my adventures with my boy at www.whimsical-girl.com

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  26. Okay, this was really sweet. You almost had me crying there. I blame the pregnancy hormones ;) The penguins are adorable! And your nails look so great. Love this idea. Now send me a piece of that cake because it looks deliiiiicious.

    xo

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  27. So cute! As I was scrolling I kept thinking..but the nails, the nails! The penguin nails! I guess I would have been really disappointed if there wasn't a picture!

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  28. So, so lovely, and just all sorts of precious.

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  29. Happy Birthday Huck! What a party you had! Penguins and all!

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  30. I'm not a mother yet, but o my. what mother there is in me, she's in a puddle on the ground. what better gift could you ever give this sweet boy than the unshakeable, unchangeable truth that he is loved always and forever, just for being exactly who he is. you were meant to mother and to write, natalie. among other things like party planning! Happy birthday Huck!

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  31. Looks like his dreams were made!! Happy 3rd birthday, Huck!

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  32. I have been reading your blog since Huck was born, and I love how our boys have almost the same birthday (48 hours apart). I love reading about your sweet relationship with him-- it inspires me to be a better mother.

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  34. You capture the feelings of motherhood so beautifully! And what a great party! I love how you involved Huck in the planning--I'm sure that made it all the more fun for him to see his penguin party dreams materialize.

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  35. Magical Natalie. The party, the nail art, the lullaby. Love it all :)

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  36. what a beautiful post. your love for huck is tangible! so sweet! :)

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  37. Cute stuff. Happy party.

    Why was there just one candle on his cake?

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  38. Oh I love the video of you singing Moon River.

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  39. I love that Huck chose penguins for a birthday theme. Great work on the cake btw. My 2 year old is nuts about penguins as well all because of a claymation called Pingu. It's magical and on heavy rotation over here. I highly recommend for any penguin fan.

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  40. U need to do a DIY tutorial on your penguin manicure! I love it, and they're too cute! Happy birthday to your 3 year old son. My son is now 5, and time really flies so fast when you're having a kid. Too fast sometimes. But it's such a fun and joyous journey. ;)

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  41. I love this so very much. Happy day to Huck!

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  42. What an adorable party! Huck is so lucky to have such a talented mama. And your video made me wanna wake up my baby girl and give her a big hug :)

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  43. Happy Birthday to Mr. Huck! What a wonderful momma you are and the penguin theme was amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!! You write so so well, it's always a pleasure! x

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  44. Cudwny glos! Which would mean Amazing voice in Polish;)
    I love your blog and whenever I come here, I feel like it's christmas morning. Or siesta time. Or any other good day;)
    Happy bday Huck!such a cutie you are!

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  45. i just have to say, you really are the best mom. huck is so lucky to have you!

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  46. I am so in love with your lullaby and the fact that you can play the ukal.... I can't spell, but that guitar things. Pretty rad indeed.

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  47. um. this is just too sweet. and i know the "every single feeling ever felt all at once" feeling too. it's a momma thing.

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  48. This is the most darling little party I've ever seen. I love its simplicity & its sweetness. Happy birthday, little one!

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  49. You made me cry Natalie! You are an AWESOME Mum to put so much effort in to everything you do for Henry.
    Happy belated birthday to your lovely little guy!

    Flora
    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

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  50. Nat you have such a GREAT voice!! okay i have to say that takes guts girl to put stuff out there like that for the universe to see! you are an awesome mom with a great voice... and you should totally make more videos of you singing!

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  51. Since Huck loves penguins, make sure he sees this! http://seenive.com/v/1006729691329187840

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  52. Just lovely. What a lucky kid!

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  53. I love everything about this! You are such a lovely, inspirational young mama. And, that is one of my favorite songs from my childhood. I sing it to my Ramona June, now :)

    xo
    Amanda

    http://sovereignsoliloquy.blogspot.com

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  54. That is the sweetest thing ever, especially the video. You make me want to be a mum.
    -Nic

    anythingyouneverheard.blogspot.com

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