Happy 2nd Birthday, Toby!

Today is Toby‘s second birthday!!! Hurray!!! (I cannot believe this happened two years ago, it feels like yesterday.) To celebrate, we threw a birthday picnic for him last Sunday. Here are some photos, below, if you’d like to see….

We had the picnic on a big meadow facing the Hudson River. We spread out blankets, ordered pizzas and stacked strawberries on popsicle sticks (my mom’s idea!). It was low-key and really fun.

My mom was visiting from Michigan and my sister and her husband were in town from San Francisco. It was awesome to have them there. (Note my sister’s cute newly dyed red hair!)

My mom always had a rule of thumb that the number of guests at a child’s birthday party should be the same as the child’s age. So, for example, you’d invite one friend to your child’s first birthday, and two friends to your child’s second birthday, and three friends to your child’s third birthday. It’s a handy formula, don’t you think? However, we totally ignored it and invited like fifty people. :)

Doesn’t Alex look like he’s standing in front of that Seurat painting?

My brother was an instant hero with the little dudes when he figured out how to fill up water balloons.

Lesson learned: You’d can’t take a posed family photo with a 2-year-old.

It was such a sweet, relaxed afternoon.

Toby partied hard! At the very end, he was still going strong, and my brother scooped him up and ran with him on his shoulders. Toby insisted on doing it a million times, and you can see how exhausted my brother was getting, but he kept going. What a champ, Uncle Nick! It basically made Toby’s life.

Oh, Toby. “Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” xoxo

P.S. Toby’s first birthday party, and photos from the day he was born (he was so tiny).

(Thanks to my brother-in-law Paul for these photos, as well as Ashley and Aron. My sister is wearing this dolman-sleeved tee, which was so pretty.)

  1. Haha, aww – the photos of your brother running with Toby made me giggle. My boyfriend did the exact same thing when my nephew was younger and I remember him getting so, so tired, but my nephew had never laughed harder in his life, so he kept going. Adorable.

  2. My son also turned two on May 25th!

  3. Holy Cow, Its hard to believe Toby is two! That means I’ve been reading Cup of Jo for over two years. Babies are the best markers of time!

  4. LC Taylor says...

    Happy birthday Toby! :)

  5. Aww- our babies are about the same age, so it’s fun to follow Toby-we are on the same timeline. I’m totally with you that it feels like yesterday they were born, but at the same time, I almost can’t remember my life without him, you know? It’s going so fast, but he’s been with me forever type of thing

    Happy Birthday little man….

  6. He looks to be enjoying very much!
    Happy birthday, Toby!

  7. happy second birthday dear Toby :) and wish you a long lucky life.. good time you all ;)

  8. Love ur picnic at the park birthday party! It’s so beautiful.
    I will be having a backyard party for my 2 year ol this weekend! U have inspired me… :)

  9. Two is such a cool age. Toby looks like he had an absolute blast and you obviously have a wonderful family to help him celebrate! Soak in these toddler years, even the rough times (temper tantrums anyone??), because they fly by way too quickly!

  10. Lala says...

    Happy Birthday, Toby!!
    P.S. Joanna, may I know where his TWO shirt is from? Love it!

  11. Aww Happy Birthday Toby! Uncle Nick looks like lots of fun! xxx

  12. Happy birthday Toby! You had a sweet party!

  13. Kat says...

    GORGEOUS lipstick, jo! you look fantastic! love the fam photos :)

  14. what a mighty handsome and AH-dorable little dude! Happy Two Years Old Birthday, Toby!

  15. So cute!! Happy Birthday Toby! xox

  16. Toby´s 2nd and my 30th birthday. May 25 rocks :)

  17. wow, two years old!! i bet the last two years just flew by :) he is so precious and he looks so much like you!! happy birthday toby!

  18. What a lovely day! Happy Birthday to Toby and I’m glad you had a great time.

  19. Happy birthday Toby! What a handsome little dude you’re becoming!

  20. I agree with Kate K. I know of that kids party rule, but it’s hard to follow when your child comes home with half his class already invited by word of mouth. Yet, Toby is still tiny, at least compared to our 2yo who people mistake for a 3/4yo! Looked a lovely day too.

  21. Kate K says...

    This is so random but I always like how you introduce your pictures from trips or parties, saying “if you’d like to look at them.” It’s so gracious and sweet and un-bloggy.

  22. happy birthday Toby!! And happy birthday to you and Alex, you guys are parents for two years today too! Very special day.

  23. The expression on Toby’s face when he’s on your brother’s shoulders is so wonderful. Pure joy!

    Happy birthday, little guy!

  24. Happy birthday! How fun — we share the same birthday! I think May birthdays are truly swell.

  25. Happy Birthday Toby!!

  26. He is such a beautiful little boy! I love how prominently you can see both parents in him :) Your family is so sweet!

  27. Happy Birthday to your adorable little Toby. If you have the time you can go to my blog to see a picture of my two children when my daughter was 5 & my son was 2. baby boy is graduating from high school in two weeks.. Winnie the Pooh is so wise.

  28. Happy birthday to Toby! He looks so much like you!

  29. Happy Birthday, Toby!!!

  30. Happy birthday, Toby! And to you, too, Joanna (we always say happy birthday to my mom on our birthdays)!

  31. Heheh he did party hard! So cute

  32. 2 is awesome. You made it past 1 and now they are throwing wobbles and mega tantrums and you realize you love them even more then ever!

    Love your party idea, so simple and fresh and no fuss. I’m going to get me some strawberries on Popsicle sticks!

  33. thank you so much for these really sweet notes:) they’re making me teary!

  34. ali, i know, isn’t it amazing/crazy how much they grow — and how quickly?!

  35. sage, that is the best tip!!!! thank you!!

  36. Thanks a lot, I am a crying mess right now! That quote at the end by Pooh Bear is the most perfect description of motherhood that I have ever heard. Alongside that adorable picture of Toby, I just lost it! I just love my little Tess so much, and I just found out I am pregnant again, so I don’t know if it’s my hormones or what, but excuse me if I just want to scream how much I love being a mom right now!! Thanks for sharing xo

  37. Such happiness! And, boy, did I get a kick out of the Uncle Nick + Toby shots… awesome.

  38. What a sweet post & pictures! I have tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing your life w/ us Joanna!

  39. Nesa says...

    Aw! What a great party! Toby looks so handsome! :)

    Oh, and you look epically cool in your sunglasses, Joanna. :)

  40. What a beautiful happy kid ;) Love your shades, Joanna! Who makes those?

  41. Happy Birthday Toby! What a fun birthday party! And I am totally going to try the strawberries on sticks idea. Pretty sure it will be a hit! Have a lovely weekend.

  42. C. says...

    Happy birthday Toby, and congratulations on another gorgeous, joyful, fulfilling year. You’re all so lucky to have each other. :)

    It looks like a fabulous party – low-key get togethers in the park are the best.

  43. Your sis looks like Sienna Miller in one of those pics! Happy Birthday to T. x

  44. Sandra DK says...

    Happy birthday, Toby! (also to your parents!) ;)

  45. Happy Birthday, Toby!! Ahhh, Joanna, you look like a gorgeous model in the first photo. That hair! Those sunglasses! Those lips! Just perfect.

  46. Happy Birthday, Toby!!

    Strawberries stacked on Popsicle sticks?? I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what this would mean — pictures please!

  47. Aww happy birthday toby!! I read your birth story just now, and i am tearing up because i remember holding my baby for the first time too… I had a c section so i dont know the ‘slithering’ feeling but i also weeped and laughed at the same time… I would also give birth a million times just for that feeling… What a miracle! Hope you enjoy his 2nd bday!!

  48. Happy Birthday to Toby! I don’t know you other than through your blog but thank you for sharing these personal and beautiful moments of your family with us. I clicked over to your pics of when Toby was first born and it’s amazing to see that he used to be such a tiny little thing. Brought tears to my eyes since I’m still in disbelief looking at my 18-month old every day that he ever fit in my belly.

    Looks like you had such a fun day – great pics!

  49. Anonymous says...

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Joanna! And I echo others who particularly respond to your personal notes.
    It looks like you all had a great time celebrating Toby’s twosomeness: he’s a great little tyke!

  50. Yay! Happy Birthday Toby – three cheers for you!

  51. What a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Anonymous says...

    Happy Birthday, Toby! It looks like it was a great party!

  53. Aw, happy birthday, Toby! That last picture is just so sweet. :)

  54. Awh what a lovely birthday party! I remember when you posted about him being born, I can’t believe he is two already! He looks so happy bless him! x

  55. These photos are fantastic! What a beautiful celebration for a beautiful boy! Enjoy the holiday weekend! xo.

    p.s. My birthday is tomorrow. ;)

  56. I love Toby! Happy birthday! And your quote at the end made me tear up thinking about my beautiful 8 month old rambunctious boy.

  57. Monica says...

    So sweet… thanks for sharing!
    Happy Birthday Toby :)

  58. Anonymous says...

    What a wonderful post!

  59. Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate your sweet Toby!
    Congrats, mama. Two is a magical age, I can’t wait to hear the funny stories.

  60. Beautiful photos of a beautiful day! Baguette turned two last month, and I share your amazement.

  61. Happy birthday, Toby! Lovely pictures, looks like the best afternoon! xo.

  62. awwww! these pictures make my happy! haps on the birth, toby! i especially like the pictures of your poor, exhausted brother! that’s what aunties and uncles are for! i’m sure toby’s giggles were just the gas he needed to keep going!

  63. Anonymous says...

    Really cute party! You have the cutest family.

    Just a little tip about your blog. Sometimes you don’t post “read more” buttons for the content after the jump, so readers have to scroll back up to the top to click on the post.

  64. Happy Birthday Toby! That birthday picnic looked like so much fun! xx

  65. happy birthday! he is growing so fast!

    photo tip for 2 year olds – ask them if they see a fish, or a bird, or in my case cause i live in the caribbean a lizard on my camera??? it’s so funny but it works every time the little one will look right at my camera to see where is that lizard ;)


  66. looks like he had a blast! happy birthday to the lil man. :)

  67. Waaaaaah!

    Toby looks exactly like the lil boy in that Julia Roberts movie – Stepmom – who incidentally always reminds me of my little (Big) brother when he was small – always getting up to mischief, hiding out and falling asleep when everyone was freaking out looking for him, thinking he was a magician etc…..

    I could steal Toby he’s so sweet with his wispy hair and handsome little face…

    ** I actually wouldnt steal him though obviously – he seems like a very happy little chappy!

  68. Happy birthday, Toby!! What lovely pictures :) Looks like a great party!!

  69. Jo says...

    Happy birthday, Toby! The little guy looked like he had a blast!

  70. Happy Birthday, Toby! Your smile is contagious :)

    You totally right about that painting! That’s so cool.

  71. looks like so much fun! last weekend was so nice outside (ugh, compared to NOW, all rainy and gross)

    i’m going to have to check out that park! it overlooks my neighborhood in jersey city it looks like!!

  72. Ashley says...

    Happy birthday, Toby!

    Joanna, what lipstick where you wearing that day? It’s beautiful!

  73. That pooh quote just made me get weepy! Happy birthday Toby!!

  74. looks like it was a beautiful day! I love that Pooh quote :)

  75. Happy Birthday, lil dude!

  76. Toby is such a handsome little man! Sounds like it was a great day! And I LOVE that lipstick on you – what is it? I’ve been searching for the perfect red :)

  77. Happy Birthday Toby! I can’t believe he’s two already! Thank you for sharing your life with us Joanna, I love following along with your family as y’all grow and change.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  78. great photo-and isn’t Winnie the Pooh the best for quotes! Happy Birthday Toby!

  79. I love family birthday parties… it looked so fun (for the adults and the children :) happy birthday to Toby

  80. Ahhh, so cute! Toby rocked the party!!

  81. looks beautiful. happy birthday toby!

  82. Happy Birthday Toby!

  83. Happy birthday Toby!
    I always do a double take when you write about him, my little brother is a Toby and i rarely hear about others.

  84. I agree, I love these personal posts, the little peeks into your daily life. Happiest of happy birthdays to Toby! He’s so lucky to be surrounded by so many people who love him so immensely.

    (Also, Joanna, LOVE your lipstick!) xo

  85. He is too gorgeous! Looks fab x

  86. Happy Birthday Toby!!

    It seems so true, what everyone keeps telling us… that time starts to fly by after the little one is here! My gal is 3 months and already growing too fast! Love your blog Joanna!

    Love love,
    waiting for kittenheart

  87. happy birthday, toby! it must be so cool to turn 2 and have a birthday in the park…on the nicest weekend of the year!! those pics of your brother & toby are hilarious!

  88. So flippin’ sweet. He’s adorable. My best friend has a 1 1/2-year-old and the time DOES fly by, it’s crazy.

  89. Sabra says...

    I like that you and your sister both have on dotted shirts! Cute!

  90. Happy birthday little dude!!!! Looks like so much fun.

  91. I’m following u for a while now, and I admire your writing so much…But if you ask me, my ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE POSTS are the ones about your life, when u get personal, like this one. THANK U so much for sharing those pics with us. XOXO

  92. those pictures of Toby flying around on your brothers shoulders are way too cute! Frame worthy for sure… happy Birthday to Toby! xox

  93. what a beautiful celebration!

    happy birthday toby!

  94. awh! what beautiful photos and it looked like it was such a great time.

    and mostly, congratulations to him and to you! you succeeded in another year of teaching him, growing with him, supporting him. happy birthday toby!

    great photos, great post!

    alissa b