A Golden, Harry Potter Birthday Party (and a secret revealed)!

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atlas doesn’t actually turn one until this friday, september 1, when i’m contemplating waking her up with a kazoo and donut in hand. however, we celebrated this past weekend because my sister, brother-in-law and niece were already going to be in town! then, even more amazing family members flew in but more on that later.

this happens to be atlas’ golden birthday! what is a golden birthday you may ask? no idea where it hails from but it’s when you turn the age of the date of your birth (mine was when i turned 25 since i’m born 1/25, get it?) soooo since our sweet and smart girl was born on september 1 and she’s turning one, we obviously had to have a gold theme!

when i contemplated this, the first ‘golden’ thing that popped into my head was obviously a golden snitch from harry potter! i mean, duh.

harry potter birthday

in case you forgot, i happen to be sliiiightly interested in the wizarding world of harry potter. remember when i spent double the ‘average’ time someone spends at harry potter studio in england? i think about it almost weekly.

anyway, since i couldn’t get my husband on board with the name ‘hermione’ for our kid, he agreed that we should definitely have a harry potter-golden-themed first birthday for our daughter atlas! i love him more every time he agrees to something harry potter-esque or says ‘hey babe – want to watch harry potter with me?” he’s good.

here was my attitude towards the party:

“yes, we are celebrating our daughter’s birthday but she’s not going to remember. therefore, we are really celebrating our success with keeping a human alive for a whole year and me, especially, surviving it all. we also wanted it to be special for the village around us that is essential to our family’s well being!”

so, we went a little bit bigger than we plan to for most birthdays.

harry potter birthday

yes, that is a golden snitch cake and it’s pretty epic.

my sister and i get full credit for baking it and securing it in place. my husband got home super late friday night so he decorated it saturday morning before the party started (along with the assistance of our neighbor. armed with an airbrushing system).

harry potter birthday

did you notice that plate of cookies up there? here’s a better shot of them and i absolutely love them! 

a woman i went to high school with (hi faith!) has a serious talent for cookie decorating. how awesome did these turn out!?! if you are in the denver metro area, check out leap of faith cookies and place your order with her! she is worth every cent and not only are they super detailed and pretty, the taste of them is phenomenal. SO GOOD. they were a huge hit!

harry potter birthday

oh and anytime you are anywhere near my mother-in-law’s cooking or she offers to bring something to your party – you say YAAAS. also thanks to my dad for bringing us dry ice so we could keep our ‘potions’ (aka red wine) appropriate chilled. professor snape would be proud.

harry potter birthday

after reading through my post so far, i realize it appears as though we quite literally had this party for ourselves and no one else was invited. ha! i assure you, atlas had more people at her birthday party than i had my 30th earlier this year!

so special that her favorite cousin elizabeth got to be there as well (and of course my sister and brother-in-law)! atlas has successfully taught elizabeth how to demand ‘puffs’ (the little cereal thing babies eat) and elizabeth has taught her more dance moves!

my dad with his favorite granddaughters and second funnest daughter (sorry kendal). although, direct quote from my husband, “kendal is totally the nicer sister!” that is true. love you sister!

ryan’s sister ashley flew in as well as his aunt cheryl and *new aunt* penny! yes, you read that right. we welcomed a new family member to the crowd. that is penny in the fun patterned shirt next to ravery. it’s a long story how we all came together and perhaps i’ll share it another time but we are so glad you were there penny!

i am also adding “mad detective skills like nancy drew” to my resume.

my grandparents also flew in from KCMO, even though we were just with them the week before during the total eclipse (more on that later). how amazing are they?!

come to find out, there was a secret reason as to why they came out…

remember that one married life chats conversation where ravery was tearing up over his OWN thoughtfulness for a surprise he was doing for me?

well. it was unveiled at the party!

when i woke up that morning, i was banished to the bedroom so ravery could ‘get something ready.’ when i walked out – i saw presents for allll of the women at the party.

here were my guesses:

  • he figured out a way to pay us all the gender wage gap difference
  • all the ladies got our own personal box of cookies
  • he had prints of uteruses for all of us

harry potter birthday



i am still shocked.

for almost a year, the two of the them have been keeping a massive secret! my nana is a fantastic artist so he wrote the book and she did all of the illustrations! all of the ladies at the party received a copy!

i literally had no idea. like, who even comes up with things like this?! my amazing and big-dreaming husband. THAT’S WHO.

how amazing is that?! you can pre-order it now and all proceeds go to organizations that empower girls and women! yes, i am crying writing that. what a gift. it comes out on atlas’ birthday.

i was so shocked i didn’t even cry when i read it to everyone (it could also be that i ended up getting hit with a nasty bug so i was trying to stay upright during this part of the party).

thank you nana and ravery for such a priceless gift for all of us.

after the epic surprise was revealed, atlas needed her first bite of chocolate.

chelsea ryan avery

because of the fondant covering, she needed a little assist. that’s what moms are for.harry potter birthday

she eventually figured it out just fine for herself.

harry potter birthday

harry potter birthday

harry potter birthday

it was a fantastic 1st birthday celebration for us her!

i feel a soul-bearing, weepy, mushy post coming up later on motherhood at the beginning compared to now.

i can certainly say we are so grateful to be your parents, ms. atlas turner avery! you make our lives much more interesting and full of a new kind of love. both ravery and i are immensely grateful to be surrounded by the family and friends who help shape our little family.

harry potter birthday

ps. if you want your own copy of ‘yes oh yes she will!’ you can order it here (and watch me read it here!)


  1. Brittany

    August 30, 2017 at 7:01 am

    That book is so precious. I don’t have any babies yet but I’m tempted to buy it anyway–love that the proceeds are going to charitable funds!!!! So proud of how y’all are raising this little girl ❤️❤️❤️

    • chelsea

      August 31, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      you totally should buy it and give it as gifts! i’m going to buy like 10 more and give them to everyone i know! i am so grateful for such a smart husband who believes feminism is needed and necessary!

  2. Sara | Mrs. Imperfect

    August 30, 2017 at 9:35 am

    What a fun birthday party and such an incredible gift from ravery!

    • chelsea

      August 31, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      it really was a fantastic birthday and seriously well done nana and ravery! thanks sara

  3. Amanda

    August 30, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I’m crying a little bit just reading about that gesture. What an amazing, wonderful, thoughtful thing to do. Good on you, Ravery.

    • chelsea

      August 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      he’s seriously amazing. like – it’s sometimes overwhelming how is mind works! it’s such a gift to my nana and her painting friends too – she had a published book now!

  4. Paula Howley

    August 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Ok, that was a pretty epic present but the gender wage gap thingy would have been pretty cool too. lol
    These are my favourite posts of yours Ms. Turner Avery. I love your real life stuff so much. You make me laugh,cry and think. I hope you write a book.
    That picture of Atlas’ face stuffed in the cake was SUPERB. It should be shown at her wedding of course.
    I LOVE how Ravery said “Mr. or Mrs. Right” in the book too. Well done Ryan.
    So, you are right. The first couple of birthdays really are for the parents. We had a ridiculously big first birthday in our back yard with about 50 people, a big banner etc. But it IS. It is a celebration of a really really REALLY amazing and sometimes really fucking hard accomplishment! Yes! You not only kept another human alive for a year but have shaped her with love and laughter!
    Funny, my daughter and I have the same golden birthdays as you and Atlas but we are reversed so I missed my shot 48 years ago. At least I’ll know to make Meaghan’s 25th epic.
    Super proud of you and your amazing family who, in my opinion, are some of the finest people I’ve ever known. Y’all inspire me, for real.

    • chelsea

      August 31, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      it was such an epic present! it’s so special for my nana too to have a published book! so may good things all around.

      confession: in the video, i added “mrs. right” (it’s not actually in there but totally should be)! so if you get a copy, please edit it to include it because that’s what i’m doing to ours!

      thanks for appreciating these real life posts, paula 🙂 you give me inspiration to do more and i need to freaking get on my book already. (if only so ravery can’t keep saying ‘i have 3 books and you have…’) gotta love that positive pressure. ha!

      parenthood is such a fucking hard accomplishment – for the reals! that is so awesome that you and meg have the same golden birthdays as us!!!! love that.

      my mom wrapped 25 little gifts all in gold and sent them to me when we lived in portland for my 25th. it was amazing and super memorable.

      you inspire me too paula – i am glad we know each other

  5. Jennifer Haston

    August 31, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Love this!!! Vivienne’s party is totally
    a celebration of “We birthed a child and kept her alive” Yay us!!

    • chelsea

      September 12, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      yay!!! glad you are having a similar birthday party theme of ‘we birthed a child and kept her alive!’ haha!

  6. Audrey

    September 1, 2017 at 7:08 am

    I CAN’T GET OVER THIS BIRTHDAY PARTY. You and Mr. WS need to fly to Ohio and throw me a Harry Potter 27th birthday party. Sadly, golden birthday is gone (the 17th), but it was the party where K asked me to be his girlfriend. So that’s cool…? Lol
    Atlas with her face in the cake is amazing. #1 picture ever.
    I vote that you just keep throwing her HP birthdays until she starts to remember. You’re probably good for at least 2 or 3 more years 😉
    You guys are the BEST most creative parents!! And such a wonderful support system! I love that they wrote a book for Atlas!!! LOVE THAT!

    • chelsea

      September 12, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      done and dooooone 😉 um your golden birthday still totally rocks because #relationshipstatus! i think that’s a really brilliant idea to keep it up with the HP themed birthdays until she has a say. you are SO SMART!