Mom Forced To Cancel Baby's 1st Birthday Bash Plans 'Ultimate Corona' Party Instead

Abbey Furlong

Abbey Furlong
Abbey Furlong

Abbey Furlong is a planner, but little could she know how much the global pandemic would change everything. Within days, the mom from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, realized that the big, 80-person circus party she had been planning for her son's first birthday wasn't going to happen. But the mom wanted to persevere. So, using a little creativity, Furlong planned a "Corona"-themed party on April 3 for little Devin. The results are proof of how some people are making the sweetest lemonade out of lemons.

  • Furlong tells CafeMom that party planning is her favorite hobby.

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    "The original plan was not beer-themed for a 1-year-old," the mom of two jokes. In fact, her son's party was supposed to have a vintage circus theme.

    "I put A LOT of time and effort into making events perfect," she says. "It killed me to cancel it."

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  • But the coronavirus pandemic gave her no choice.

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    A week before Devin was due to turn 1, Furlong says she was sitting on her couch drinking wine by herself "because that’s what this mom does after a long day quarantined with two children."

    "I thought I still had to do something for his birthday, even if it was just us," she recalls.

  • Then the idea came to her.

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    Coronavirus and its need for social distancing canceled her son's birthday, but it wasn't going to stop them from celebrating.

    "Corona theme it is! When life hands you limes, stick them in your beer!" she jokes.

  • The mom already had some supplies at home. 

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    As a super-planner, she already had a ferris wheel cupcake holder in the house. But she admits she did make a quick break -- wearing gloves and a mask, of course -- from the house to pick up supplies. 

    "My Cricut machine helped with the high chair banner," she says. She called on one friend to make Devins' adorable Corona shirts and a second one handled the 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 says.

  • On the day of Devin's party, Furlong's mom drove by with a special birthday sign.

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    Because of social distancing protocols, Grandma wasn't allowed to attend. Furlong's father just happened to be staying with them at the time, so some extended family was able to participate in the party.

  • Furlong posted pictures of the party after the fact on social media.

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    "This may be the smallest party I've ever thrown, but it’ll definitely be the most memorable!" she wrote on Facebook on April 3. "Ain’t no quarantine gonna stop us from celebrating!"

    The mom tells us that normally she wouldn't share something so personal online, "but everyone loved this idea and wanted to share so I made it public."

  • Over 27,000 shares later, and Furlong had a virtual hit on her hands.

    She says that it's been "exciting" to see her hard work get shared online.

    "The smallest party ever turned into the largest!" she explains.

    Of course, there were some "haters," but Furlong says that overwhelmingly 99% of people loved her hilarious birthday goof.

    "Glad we could bring smiles to strangers especially under these circumstances,"
     she says.

  • In the end, Furlong says this was the best party she's ever thrown.

    Abbey Furlong
    Abbey Furlong

    The whole thing has been a teachable moment for Furlong, who says she know realizes that parties don't "have to be over the top and expensive" to be memorable. She planned the whole thing for less than $100.

    "Family is what’s important," she explains. "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."

    Plus, there is at least one major silver lining, according to Furlong: "The best part was I didn’t even have to clean my house for guests!"

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