Justice’s 18th Birthday

I know I said awhile back I’d post pictures from Justice’s 18th birthday — then came Christmas and all things Christmas-y. I had intended on many occasions to do it, but just never got to it. So as promised…

Some background to the party planning…

Hubby and I enjoy planning parties (even if he doesn’t want to admit it, I KNOW he enjoys it – heehee) as a way to get together with our family and friends, celebrate special milestones and especially to celebrate our children’s birthdays. Correction, as this child specifically just became an adult with this birthday. Sigh.

The challenge was how to come up with a party that appealed to 1) a bunch of football players and 2) teenagers. Of all of our kids, he is the one we never planned a themed party for complete with an invitation, catering, etc. Sure, we had celebrations for him but they were quaint and usually at home or at the grandparents’ or at a restaurant. This was his first real party, since I’ve been in his life anyway.

I went down one path with his invitiation and completely changed my mind when I saw the Bruno Mars video “Just The Way You Are”. I scrapped my original design that was 95% done, grabbed the Canon and opened up Photoshop. The photography took minutes (I can be pretty quick sometimes) and then Hubby had a brilliant idea to include the Dr. Dre headphones in the design so we shot that midway through the redesign. Still…it was minutes for this portion of the development. Surprisingly.

I wanted his invite to have a bit of retro (cassette tape) and a lot of “cool”, plus a place to personalize with shout-outs. I also wanted to include a baby picture and his senior class picture. This is the final invitation:

The invitation

I was intrigued by many party planning blogs and was determined to include a “photo booth” type thing at his party. With the help of our two good friends Myko V. and Ryan A. we were able to make this happen. Again, sticking to the “hip hop” theme, I designed a black and white backdrop with a pattern of boomboxes. I thought it would be fun to have “props” and was worried they wouldn’t be used…but was I wrong! They were a big hit!!!

Our family & friends having fun and getting creative...

The photo booth!

Here are some photos from the day — both sides of Justice’s family, friends and heartfelt speeches. Hubby burned about 75 CDs of a special hip-hop/R&B mix our good friend Rudy put together. Thanks to Tre from Z90, Raekwon from WuTang (thanks to our dear friend Rona) and our 3 girls for personalizing the CD with dedications throughout the mix. This CD was one of the two favors for his guests. The other favor was a bag of candy with personalized labels that matched the photo booth backdrop. We also had the Tabe Taco Truck cater the event and Unique Technique play music throughout the day. The birthday cake was our family’s favorite Tuxedo Cake from the Ralphs bakery near our house. And we lucked out with a sunny day during a series of continuous rainy days. It was a very happy, blessed day for our family.

The details

The most heartfelt part of the party was when it was time to do speeches. His mom, his dad and I said our speeches and then Justice had his turn. Me being Miss Emotional could not keep it together to save my life — but I was able to say everything I wanted to say to him and to our guests. I would have to say that the best part about that day was having a special moment with him after our speeches where he came up to me and told me he really appreciated me and all I do for him, complete with a big hug. That meant so much to me.


Happy 18th birthday, Justice. I love you and am so fortunate to have you in my life as my Son.


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