A mom in Fort Lauderdale, Florida planned on throwing her son a circus-themed party for his first birthday, then the global pandemic forced her to rethink her plans. Abbey Furlong had invited 80 people to attend her son, Devin Furlong’s birthday. The plans were dashed by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a stroke of genius, Furlong decided to switch gears and grab a cold one. She transformed the celebration into a hilarious Corona-themed birthday party complete with a Corona cake.
Abbey Furlong loves planning parties and was thrilled to throw a bash for her son.
Furlong spoke with CafeMom about the party, “The original plan was not beer-themed for a 1-year-old.”
The mom loves throwing elaborate parties and had planned on throwing her son a vintage circus theme party. When social distancing guidelines were put in place, she knew the 80-person party she had planned needed to be canceled.
“I put A LOT of time and effort into making events perfect,” Furlong explained. “It killed me to cancel it.”
The new reality forced her to change plans and the idea for a new party came to her while sipping wine.
A week before her adorable son’s birthday, Furlong was sitting by herself enjoying a glass of wine. “Because that’s what this mom does after a long day quarantined with two children,” she joked.
“I thought I still had to do something for his birthday, even if it was just us.”
She knew she couldn’t throw a big party, but that didn’t mean the family couldn’t celebrate. Many families, like the Furlongs, are coming up with unique ways to celebrate while practicing social distancing. For instance, drive-by mini parades have become popular.
“Corona theme it is! When life hands you limes, stick them in your beer!” she explained of her inspiration.
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Because Furlong is an experienced party planner she had most of the items she’d need for the Corona party.
The resourceful and crafty party planner went to work to make the Corona-themed party a reality. She already had the Ferris wheel cupcake holder and borrowed some decorations from the circus-themed party as well. She did need to pick up a few things for the event and wore gloves and a mask to get supplies.
“My Cricut machine helped with the high chair banner,” she explained.
Luckily, she had friends help her print the shirts for the party and make the “beer cake.”
“The best part about the beer cake is I’ve actually enjoyed it after the party. Unlike most party decor that gets wasted,” she said of the cake.
Devin’s grandma arrived on the day of the party with a homemade sign to wish him a happy birthday.
Grandma arrived and, from a safe distance, wished her grandson a happy birthday with a homemade sign. Furlong captured the tender moment which is bittersweet.
COVID-19 is especially hard on older people and those with underlying health conditions, out of an abundance of caution, the birthday party was only attended by very immediate family.
Furlong says the party will definitely be the most memorable one she’s thrown.
“This may be the smallest party I’ve ever thrown, but it’ll definitely be the most memorable!” she wrote on Facebook. “Ain’t no quarantine gonna stop us from celebrating!”
The mom says she usually doesn’t share such personal content of her family online but knew the many people who could not attend would appreciate her efforts. “Everyone loved this idea and wanted to share so I made it public,” she said.
Furlong did the right thing! The social media post from the party has been shared over 30,000 times.
At first, Furlong was surprised at how fast the post took off. She did say there were some “haters” who left negative comments, but the majority of the overwhelming response has been positive.
“The smallest party ever turned into the largest!” she said.
She understands that we’re living through unprecedented times but she’s, “Glad we could bring smiles to strangers especially under these circumstances.”
The experience has helped put things into perspective for Furlong.
The Corona party was pulled off with a modest budget of $100 and Furlong says that parties don’t “have to be over the top and expensive” to be special.
“Family is what’s important,” Furlong admits. “We are home, we are safe, and we have each other. That’s all that really matters right now. Who knows what the future holds, but we need to step back and appreciate the now.”
“The best part was I didn’t even have to clean my house for guests!”
Can we get this relatable queen a six-pack? What a wonderful story of creativity and resilience. It’s true that we all must cherish what we have right now and do the best with what we’ve got. This mother definitely turned lemons into lemonade.
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