I just wanted to say...
My husband was deployed for my sons first birthday. I was living with family. They insisted on a party so I said, ok sure, throw one and tell me when to show up.
As for your desire to keep it small... I would say out it on hold for one year then next year be firm about how you want your family to function,
Mom to Isaac born 5-24-11 and Leah 2-19-13