For Theo's first birthday, Jenn and Sanyo threw him a fun birthday party with the best theme (one that brought back so much nostalgia): "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" (by Eric Carle). It was perfect for Theo, because just like the caterpillar in the book, Theo loves to eat food! I loved how Jenn had prepared all the foods from the picture book with matching illustrations printed and displayed next to them. Joanne made so many colorful cookies that also looked exactly like the ones from the book (they looked too good to eat!). Jean painted a photo backdrop for the kids (and adults!) to stick their faces behind so they looked like caterpillars eating various foods (lollipop, slice of cherry pie, sausage, and cupcake). Everything was so creative & fun! After enjoying some tacos, Clay and I had a great time relaxing by the pool as we watched all the kids swim and Jack jump through the floaties (made us feel a little like we were at Sea World lol). Theo was so good during the cake cutting as he took photos with his mommy & daddy and all his grandparents. By the time we finished taking family photos, he was so ready to dig into his homemade blueberry smash cake that Jenn made just for him. "The Very Hungry Theo" sign next to him was way too fitting. Happy 1st birthday, Theo! Can't believe how much you've grown since the last time I photographed you when you were just one day old!
Celebrated Mia turning 1 year old with a Mermaid-themed birthday party! Clay and I helped make some simple seaweed skewers using some green sour belts on the morning of. All of the under-the-sea-themed foods that everyone prepared came together so well: mermaid mac 'n' cheese, octopus hot dogs, crab croissant sandwiches, starfish sandwiches, hermit crab strawberries, dolphin fruit cups (the dolphins were eating gold fish crackers), oyster & pearl madeleine cookies, grape kelp skewers, and colorful coral reef veggie tray. Everything on the table looked so good, especially with Joanne's teal & purple mermaid cake and assorted mermaid sugar cookies. Of course, the birthday girl looked cuter than ever that afternoon in her new mermaid outfit that Jenny found for her. Mia's grandma Jean made the most amazing photo booth backdrop for the occasion. Such clever use of streamers for seaweed and swimming pool noodles for a vibrant coral reef! Mia was the perfect little pearl to be placed on that light blue oyster. Had a lot of fun capturing her waving around her dinglehopper! Happy 1st birthday Mia! In your first year of life, we've hardly ever seen you cry, fuss, or get stranger danger. You are one of the sweetest babies that your Uncle Clay and I love to hold (and party on the dance floor with at weddings).
I truly could not have imagined a more wonderful afternoon with the most dearest girls that God has placed in my life. I have so much gratitude for my amazing bridesmaids and lovely girl friends for throwing me the ultimate alice in wonderland shower! Everything was more than I could ever have dreamed of: all the crazily creative decorations, the extraordinary wonderland-themed table centerpiece, the homemade photo booth props + backdrop, the delightful afternoon tea party, the fun and fitting bites to eat (those purple cupcakes!), the games with just the right amount of silly (Alice Coop!), the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing backyard croquet with flamingos, the generous gifts and cards, the much-needed prayer in the form of a beautiful fabric bunting, and most of all...just being surrounded by so many of my favorite faces. I was so tremendously blessed by the presence of each and every one of my lady friends who have done so well to encourage me in my relationship with Clay the past 3+ years and to share in all my excitement for this next stage of married life with him.
Also, a BIG thank you to my talented photographer friend, Ronnie, for helping me capture my experience in wonderland! You can see more of her wonderful photography work here! :)
One evening, as I was cleaning my room, I stumbled across some old birthday and Christmas cards that I made during junior high/high school. I also found myself having to re-organize all my scrapbook paper, card stock, and other craft supplies the I had amassed over the years. Of course, this made me miss making these handcrafted cards so much that I decided to make one (or three, actually) the very next day!
It just so happened that Valentine's Day was coming up, so I made a card for Clay, my sister, and another girl friend. I bought a handy heart hole punch from Michael's that helped with the green heart-shaped leaves. And I was quite glad to finally be using old scraps that I had kept (leftovers from a wedding photo booth backdrop from last year) to make all the tiny bird houses.
The following week was my dad's birthday, and I decided to make one for him as well. I cut up some balloons (I can never get the shape of them right!) and twine, and was careful to pick colors that were more gender neutral. Somehow I ended up using all the primary colors and stuck in some floral print, but I think it worked out.
I also made my first bridal shower card for my friend, Grace, who is getting married in two months! It felt great to just cut and trim - and to let the different pieces fit together to create its own simple design. Card-making can really be therapeutic! I should really take more advantage of my spare time to keep up with this rediscovered hobby and save myself an extra trip to Hallmark for an overpriced card :)
One of my best friends Jenny threw her daughter Maddie a fairy-themed birthday party to celebrate her first year! Baby Maddie's party had a vibrant pixie photo booth with life-size flowers and little red mushroom stools (all hand-crafted by her grandma Jean and fairy godmother Joanne). Give her a fresh flower crown, some tiny wings, and you get the most adorable one-year-old fairy! One thing I love about this fairy princess: she loves to point at all things with her little pointer finger anytime and anywhere!
Just capturing as I go.