Happy Birthday, Dash! An Airplane Birthday Party

There once was a boy who was born on Valentine’s Day. He took his first breaths in a quiet room and was handed to his mama who stared at him deep into the hours of the night. He purred like a kitten when she kissed his cheeks, and when she traced his hand, his tiny fingers curled around hers. “Forever my Valentine,” the mama thought, and she went to bed with a magic smile.

Soon the boy grew into his first smile, a crooked little grin that made the hearts of his mama and daddy flutter. Frog-leg kicks turned into knees on tile, and away the boy went, crawling toward adventure. He wanted to see beyond the view he was given, so he climbed above the chairs and shelves to see the world afar. He liked what he saw, so higher he climbed. “Forever my curious Valentine,” the mama thought.

Silky baby hair thickened into a fuzzy tuft of curls. And up, up, up went the boy, stretching taller while away, away, away his curiosity grew. He ran toward adventure–things that move, things that make noise, things that boom and roar and soar. “Airplane!” he shouted at tiny specks in the sky, their distant rumble catching his attention before anyone else heard them. “Forever my curious, adventurous Valentine,” the mama thought.

And that’s how an airplane birthday party came to be.
Two years of adventures and enough love to fuel a flight to eternity.

Happy Birthday to our curious little pilot.

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This was such a fun party to plan and celebrate.

Some photos from our day (party details and source info at the end of the post):

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Lainey dug through her closet and found a white shirt and blue jumper that made a great flight attendant outfit. The exits are here, here and here.

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The outfit he wore home from the hospital. His head would take up that entire sweater now.

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I put chocolate pudding between the two cake layers, and while it made for a delicious cake, it was a nightmare to decorate. Pudding kept sliding out, frosting wouldn’t stick and the sides caved in all over. I almost threw out the entire thing and started over, but thankfully my mother was here. Her specialty in life is finding humor in struggle and patching things up with a laugh. “It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine,” she says. “Don’t add more work for yourself. Make do where you can.”

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Easy peasy party decorations: homemade paper airplanes strung on fishing line with big fluffs of cotton filling (thread a big needle and string it through everything–wrap it around the cotton fluffs several times to keep them from slipping down).

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Airplane tatts.

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We decorated cardboard suitcases with vintage travel stickers, an activity even the littlest kids enjoyed.

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Detroit sticker–Michigan kids representin’.

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The kids flew glider planes down a paper runway in the driveway, and we chalked off where they landed to see whose plane flew the greatest distance. Dash had more fun chasing them all.

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I’m happy to report no one was hurt when Dash took the pinata stick.

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We lit up the whole runway of candles on his cake because adventurous boys like blowing out lots of candles.

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I love this moment my father-in-law captured. Lainey’s celebratory expression. And also my finger is not on fire–it’s a sun spot.

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We recounted all the details from the day he was born this weekend–looked at pictures, retold the story, held him close and thanked our lucky stars that he came to be, that he is ours. And then off he ran to find more adventure. “Forever my Valentine,” the mama thought, and she went to bed with a magic smile.

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Party Details and Sources:

*kid’s pilot hat
*pilot plastic wings pin set
*airplane cookie cutter and cloud cookie cutter
*runway for plane launch: black bulletin board paper and yellow duct tape; foam glider planes from Target
*cardboard suitcases (I hot glued some brown grosgrain ribbon on for “straps”)
*vintage luggage labels: this book of stickers, this pack of large stickers and my favorite, this tin of several different sizes of airline and travel stickers
*cake decorations: Southwest toy plane set
*mylar airplane balloon and latex cloud balloons
*kids aviator sunglasses: Children’s Place


Leave a Comment
  1. You throw some amazing parties. Happy Monday.

  2. Why aren’t you a party planner? You kill it every time! Every.little.detail.

  3. So cute!! I can’t believe how big he is… man, time flies (get it? LOL)

  4. SUCH a great theme! I love that you went all out for this. 😀

  5. Wow!! Such a fun party, your ideas are so creative! My daughter is also a Valentine baby, she turned 4 this year :) Savannah Georgia has it’s coldest weather of the year in February, so outside parties are always out of the question. Thanks for sharing the cuteness!

    P.S. You could most definitely write children’s books.

    P.S.S. You look fantastic!

  6. He’s destined to become a pilot! Fabulous, original birthday theme. Love Lainey as the cute flight attendant! As a former travel agent I really loved this birthday post.

  7. So beautifully written. Love his party details!!

  8. I love your parties! Happy Birthday to little Dash!! :)

  9. You tell an amazing story

  10. What a great party! Sounds like we have similar Moms…I once threw out a queen size Ralph Lauren comforter when the baby threw up on it. There she was, dragging it out of the trash can, had it cleaned up and fresh as new in no time. Love Moms.

  11. So clever and perfect! Happy birthday to your baby boy!

  12. Kelle ~ you always have the cutest themed parties and everything was absolutely adorable. Dash’s outfit… Laney’s ~ too cute!!

    Happy Birthday Dash!!

  13. This was such an adorable theme! I adore that last picture of Dash. He’s such a cutie!

  14. I love your parties. Every detail is spectacular. Dash is a handsome pilot.

  15. OMG you’re the reason I feel inadequate as a parent. Just kidding. But holy cow how do you have the time to throw these amazing parties? Your kids are so lucky.

  16. You do the best parties!!

  17. I love your parties. Every detail is spectacular. Dash is a handsome pilot.

  18. what a party! Wish my grandson was younger but have passed your blog on to my niece for her son. I would love to know how Dash ate that cake with green frosting in a “white shirt” and the next photo he still had on the shirt and no frosting- except I’m assuming photo may have been took before. Love your mom with the “we will fix the cake”. Kellie, thank you for always sharing your ideas and your children with us. I find it hard to believe Dash is two. Becky in NC

  19. Happy Birthday to your adorable baby boy!! I love all the candles because, “adventurous boys like blowing out lots of candles.” How perfect and how true!!

  20. Wow Kelle what an amazing job putting all the stuff together for Dash’s party.You amaze me with what you come up with.Your kids are NEVER going to forget your awesome birthday party’s you threw for them.They going to talking about them in their adult hood.

  21. How cute is that!!

  22. Awesome party! Happy birthday Dash! I love seeing him grow through your blog. My youngest is just 3 months younger than him and I feel like you articulate so much of what I feel and can’t put into words. Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. Your parties never cease to amaze me. Great job!

  24. Happy birthday, Dash! You look so handsome in your pilot outfit. Kelle, once again you outdid yourself. I’m always in awe at your talent for having the best parties!

  25. Kelle, I LOVE THIS! What an awesome idea! My aunt used to be a flight attendant for TWA so the little wings brought back memories for me. Happy 2nd Birthday, Dash, and many, many more! <3

  26. I think you should write a children’s book with this as a theme. Love it.

  27. Happy Birthday, Dash! What a handsome little pilot you are! And your big sis, Lainey is a sweet flight attendant!
    Kelle, your parties are obviously legendary! I agree, you might want to consider a career as a party planner–in your “spare” time–haha!
    Seriously, I wish I had been your neighbor when I was a kiddo, lol. Great job!

  28. So beautiful. So wonderful. So you. Well done, mama!

  29. Dude.

    I bow to your party planning genius.

    My fav. were the airplane ticket invitations…did you do those yourself? Every detail was amazeballs.

  30. Oh my goodness…Lainey is not a little kid anymore! I know this is a post about Dash’s birthday, but wow..the first picture of her in this post–she looks so grown up! Anyways, great party…sure it was tons of fun :-)

  31. Well, if that isn’t the cutest party! Happy birthday, Dash!

  32. Dash’s party looked so fun and so special! But the best part is how eloquently you write. You could turn your post into a children’s book, Kelle. As a 5th grade language arts teacher and mommy of 2 littles, I would love to be able to share your talents with words with all of my kids. Just a thought 😉

  33. Where did the invitations and tickets come from or did you make them?

  34. Too cute. :) What fun memories!!

  35. Gosh, I can’t believe he’s two!

    What an amazing party. :)

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

  36. What a great party! It looks like he (and everyone else) had so much fun!

  37. Oh my ovaries – absolute perfection!!! xx

  38. You really should be a party planner. Really, you should consider it!

  39. A good tip for icing or decorating cakes with fillings like this is to freeze them first then decorate… this has saved me many many tears believe me…lol It works great, the cake defrost at room temperature and tastes great and your one less stressful job down! Great photos, glad you all had a fab day!

  40. This post made my heart smile. SO much fun inspiration here.

  41. Also, if your finger were on fire…coolest party trick ever!

  42. On just about every picture I kept thinking to myself and saying out loud (to no one in particular) “that’s so cool!” Such a creative birthday party!

  43. This is too precious! I wonder if this might be a good idea for my little guy’s second birthday in a few months! =]

  44. Love your zest for life and the joy you find in taking note and celebrating your beautiful children. This party is amazing but the way you captured your son really took my breath away….thanks for sharing!

  45. Hey Kelle…Love the party. Wondering where you got your polka dot pants? They are pretty great and since I’m pretty much never out shopping I’d love to know. Thanks!!

  46. Where did you get the invitation and where did you get the paper stuff for the party, the in flight service snack bag things and drink covers with your son’s name and logo on them?

  47. LOVE THIS! Q: How did you do the buckles on the carrying cases?

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