My First Birthday Celebration!

Our sweet L.L. is officially a toddler! We celebrated in fashion this weekend with a little bit of family and A TON of friends. It was so wonderful to see everyone and celebrate being the parents of our extraordinary little girl. She might be petite, but she comes packed with lots of personality and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I have yet to do a photoshoot with her for her 1-year-old pictures, but here are some in her bonnet, which is really my bonnet from when I was a baby. Thanks Mom, you did good saving this gem given to me from my Granny. xx

DSC_0015 DSC_0016 DSC_0021

The celebration started early with the arrival of Gil’s younger sister and her little girl. It was a special treat for all of us. We visited the ocean, where we got married, and the zoo (you all know how much we love the zoo). I didn’t take pictures at the zoo, but here are a few from Sunset Cliffs.

image copy 2
Happy Birthday Girl
Momma and Daughter Overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Brother + Sister with their Kids
“Running” The Trails (LL can’t really run yet)
First Hike!
I’m Lovin’ It

Next, we had a huge party for the special birthday girl. Of course, this was my fabulous idea. At first, Gil wasn’t sure about having a party, but once his sister decided to visit for the big occasion I had him! I have to admit I didn’t have a clue how to throw a one-year-old a party, but in the end, I think that it went over well.

We hosted it at our home so that it wouldn’t matter if we had inclement weather and we could serve adult beverages. Both of which made it less stressful for me. We opted to do everything ourselves, we always think DIY is a great idea (until the implementation comes along). I was on food patrol and Gil had decorations.

The menu consisted of cheese platter (with honeycomb, apricot jam and crackers), spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl, chicken salad croissant sandwiches, bean salad, root mash and cupcakes. I thought I was picking easy things to make – ha! Friday I started baking zucchini bread for L.L.’s smash cake and got to one batch of cupcakes (I was up until 11pm.) Then, I got up on Saturday and started baking the second batch right away, about 8am. Moved onto the root mash and luckily our wonderful friend (you know her as the babysitter extraordinaire), Kat showed up to save the day. All I had to do was bark out orders and she was on it (like white on rice, my Granny used to say). First off, she’s a grade A cook, so I knew we were in good hands, but she’s also a hard worker (even better). I was lucky to have her come two hours early (11am) to help me bust out the rest of the food. When our first guest arrived I was icing cupcakes, dressed and as ready as I could be, for the party. It felt crazy and I think there were 4 rounds of dishes washed that morning, but we did it!

What didn’t happen was to get out all the kid drinks I purchased. Gil says, “I wasn’t instructed to do that.” Which he wasn’t, I just told him I bought them. So we had pretty glass drink dispensers of water and sangria, lots of beer, and a few kids got the organic baby “juice” (water with a splash of juice). So, now we have organic apple juice and organic grape juice all to ourselves for future play dates!

The one item I did photograph after setting everything up.

Meanwhile, Gil was putting up decorations. About two weeks prior he had come up with an idea to print pictures of everyone meeting L.L. so that we could hang them for everyone to peruse. Instantly, I loved the idea and got to work on picking out the photos. Sent them to the printer, picked up ribbon, and we were set (kind of). Friday night Gil and his sister used clothes pins to hook all the pictures to the ribbons while I was baking. And mind you, there were about 150 pictures, so it was an undertaking. The next day they both took care of L.L. and decorated our place for the festivities. I can’t really account much for the process because I was losing my mind in the kitchen. BUT I can attest to how awesome it all looked afterwards. Plus, everyone who attended enjoyed looking for their pictures. Initially we wanted to have cards out so our guests could write notes to L.L. and I could make an album, but that proved to be too much. It was a nice thought and I set out the cards at the beginning, but put them away when I realized it was too much to tell everyone about it.

We didn’t get a chance to take pictures of much of our work, but after the party was over I snapped some of all the photos hung on the walls and the flowers I got at the farmers market. Those were special because they were freesia and ranunculus, some of my wedding flowers (awww…). You will see most of those in another post (to come). For now, here are a few.


DSC_0233 DSC_0237

Now, we move onto the guests! It was so amazing to have such great people show up to celebrate with us. We tried to get pictures of everyone, but didn’t quite make the grade. I’m slowly learning that when you have these big events and you are a picture person, like me, you will have to hire someone to take photos if you want to get all the ones you create in your mind. Since we don’t have that kind of budget I will take what I can get and keep those memories locked up inside my head. They are so very precious.

All the Lovely Ladies
Sweet Couple, Drew and Grace
Daddy’s Baby Girl
A Couple of Potatoe’s with a Princess
Pretty in Pink
Mr. Jonathan You are Fantastic!
L.L.’s Room Turned into a Playroom – Perfect!
More Baby Girls with Lovely Ladies + One Fella
The Zoo Train was a Hit!
A Couch Full of Wonderful
You wouldn’t know it, but that dude on the left can really pick out a one-year-old birthday gift! Get in line now, ladies.
Another Daddy’s Girl, This One’s a Super Sweetheart
Kathie and Stephanie, they must have been excited about the food.
Serious Ladies at Work in the Kitchen
Daddy Taking a Well Deserved Break
Aunt Cori with the Birthday Girl, we miss you!
Did I say you could take my picture?
Baby Girl Enjoying Her Party
Such a Big Girl, Already!
Momma Georgia with Kristi (her daughter and my college roommate)
L.L. learning to step over the threshold
L.L. with the Fabulous Kat
Pretty Momma-to-be, Victoria
I call him Gil’s look-alike, but he’s really Patrick. After this picture Gil says, “Do you know who you married?”

As I said, I did make a smash cake for L.L. – since she loves zucchini so much I thought a zucchini bread cake with frosting would be perfect. She does love the bread and the cake, but when it comes with a room full of people singing Happy Birthday it started to get overwhelming for our sweetheart. She seemed to like the singing, but then leaving Momma’s arms for cake wasn’t such a good idea. We tried and I won’t ever forget all those people actually singing. You know how normally you have to coax everyone to sing and then you still only have about 3 who really do? Well, not this time. Every single person seemed to be singing and it warmed my heart. We have some pretty awesome friends.

My first attempt at a smash cake. Zucchini bread with cream cheese frosting.
Waiting for the birthday girl…see her little foot?
Everyone’s singing to me?
Momma had to help a bit with the candle.
Un oh – what is going on?
Look at all those Smiling Faces
Momma, I’m about to lose it…get ready.
Let’s try this again…
Why is everyone still looking at me?
I’m nervous.
But I do think this is yummy stuff…
Yep, I definitely want more of this!
Patiently waiting for cupcakes!
Momma, I don’t like this anymore.

And that’s pretty much it. We set the party for 1-4pm, in an open house style. Predicted that cake would be around 2:30. I’m delighted to say that we had cake about 2:45ish and our last guest, of 40 people, left about 6pm! I’d say that’s a successful party for our super star. Everyone seemed to have a good time, even the kids. I can’t thank our guests enough for the good time and all the support over the last year. We love you all and can’t wait to make even more memories with each of you. Thank you for helping to make this an extraordinary day for our family. xo

Plus a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Little Love. She’s the best part of Gil and I. Each day gets better and better for us, as a family.

4 thoughts on “My First Birthday Celebration!”

  1. Corine Fuentes-Danchik

    Love all the pictures! Hazel has been talking none stop about you all!

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you are still reading. We got your card, so sweet. Thanks for thinking of L.L. on her big day.

Comments are closed.