Into the Jungle: Prince Cameron's First Birthday

Hey guys. So this past weekend was huge on the scale of hugeness in my life. In fact, few events have come remotely close to how epic this past weekend was for us. Our baby boy, Prince Cameron George, turned 1 year old! (His name is Cameron George. I would have named him Prince Cameron, but my hubs wouldn’t go for it.)

There is this joy-filled overwhelm that comes with having your child turn 1. It’s all the emotions of having remembered every moment it took until you first laid eyes on your little one. It’s recalling what it was like to tell your significant other that he was going to be a dad.  It’s remembering the moment that you found out that you were pregnant in the first place. Then it’s those surreal moments of hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time, imagining endlessly what he or she will look like, seeing the results of if you would welcome a boy or a girl, and, of course, it’s the fun of picking out these tiny little clothes and blankets for the tiny human that you will spend the rest of your life watching grow. Oh, don’t let me forget the designing of a nursery that if your anything like me, your baby uses as a closet and diaper change station for the first year of their life.

This weekend was one huge celebration. The hubs and I originally were going to have something really small for Cam. We were thinking of immediate family only, but that would consist of mostly his family. I also have some friends that are more like family than anything. It didn’t seem right to make them miss celebrating our little miracle. Aside from that, I am beyond grateful that I am even here to see my little prince turn one. Our labor and delivery was very scary and unexpected. 


With a year full of blessings and a gratitude of getting to be parents together, we ended up with more than 30 people in our home for a party we decided to have a month ago. Now before you say, “he is only 1, he won’t remember it”, let me tell you, our little one is the life of the party. He loved his first Christmas. He also never goes to sleep if there is a crowd around. His party was no different! In fact, he was still up and having fun hours after all of his guest left.

Anyway, here are the details. Prince Cameron’s party venue was in our basement. Fancy, I know! We wanted to have a comfortable space for everyone, but we knew getting a venue was not going to work for our coin. The tough part was that our basement is slated for some massive construction in a few weeks to repair some foundation issues. Adding that to the fact that the demolition for the work to be done had already taken place the month prior. In our little hopeful hearts, we were hoping to move up the waitlist and get the repair and remodel work done before Cam’s party. Of course, we couldn’t get that lucky.

When I tell you that we had to get super creative, it’s an understatement. The theme of Cam’s party was “jungle/safari” based off of the theme and illustrations for his book, Prince Cameron’s Long Journey Home, which will be released this year. If you didn’t know, Cam’s mom is a children’s author, so of course he has his own book. To camouflage the knee height drywall missing around the entire perimeter of the basement, we cut artificial grass skirts to hide the exposed studs. Next, we fussed over the placement of seating and tables. Though I was adamant about using the full length of the basement, my husband was right that the large square of missing carpet that had to be removed and the fully exposed damaged wall had to be hidden. So, we used a canvas drop cloth to block off the space. To keep it cute, we taped artificial vines and gold balloons that spelled “one” to it. This worked out nicely as a photo backdrop for pictures and Cameron’s smash cake experience.

For all the fun decorations, we had animal balloons and I made a tree out of brown streamers and two shades of green balloons. We put up themed animal signs for our food table, which had chips, dips and vegetables. We also had an arts and crafts table where kids (and big kids) decorated animal sugar cookies that I baked. The guest also had a blast playing charades, which we also used to introduce Cam’s smash cake time. The illustrations from Cameron’s soon to be released book were framed and put on display. Finally, we had a spectacular sweets table provided by one of my very best friends, founder of confectionary boutique Sweet as Honey Ent.

To finish such an amazing time, Cam got to open some thoughtful gifts including a slide, a basketball hoop, a Leap Frog Activity Table, a farm house, clothing, and some contributions to his college/future savings account. We actually need another house for all the toys he got! Here are some pictures of him playing with his toys long after the party guest went home.

All in all, Evan and I thought that Cameron’s first birthday party was well worth the work that it took to put together the event. Cameron has been nothing, but a pure joy in our lives. Moments like these where we get to celebrate him, as well as our little family, are what makes this life worth living.


Special thank you to our Chesny Family for showing up early to help us finish getting ready for the party (and staying after to help us clean), all of our guest who came to celebrate Cameron, Sweet As Honey Ent. for providing cupcakes and treats, everyone who sent Cam a gift, a birthday wish and love.

With so much love and gratitude,

The Chesny Family


P.S. See Cameron's birthday highlight reel below.

Ashlee Chesny