Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little Baby is ONE!

Of course, a party for a one-year-old is primarily for the parents. For Gillian's birthday party, we invited all of our friends and threw a party with a winter theme. With that in mind, everything was rustic and gold. I kept things simple with a boozy hot cocoa bar and s'mores in the back yard. 

I took a poll on about how much people spent on their child's first birthday party. 25% of the 125,000 pollers spent OVER $500!!! I couldn't believe it (especially considering your 1 year old will not remember a thing!). This party was well under $100. All I had to buy was food and drink. I sent invitations through, which has very personalized and creative invitations FOR FREE (and no trees were destroyed in the process!).

I made hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows from recipes I found on and just multiplied the serving size by 6. The homemade marshmallows tasted great but didn't dissolve in the cocoa very easily and were very ugly. 

During my time in Denver, my sister helped me make the minimal decor that I had from pine cones and the cutting out of gold glitter paper.

A sweet friend of ours made Gillian's cake, which was a Triple Caramel cake and was gorgeous and absolutely perfect. I was so grateful! 

Let's get on with the pictures....

 The birthday girl before her party.

Friends around the fire in the back yard. That tree is our Christmas tree that is still alive, stuck in a mound of snow in our back yard. I love it there. These friends are part of our Utah family and were sweet to come out and celebrate with us. They have all been so supportive of us and our family as it grows and changes. Notice some friends in ski gear. There was a lot of snow on the mountain that day and many sacrificed freshies to celebrate with us.

S'more fixins.

Baby and Daddy having so much fun.

The party table. The chalk board was made by my dad and sister and I had a lot of fun composing a birthday sign. The beautiful wooden trees were handmade by my dad - a Christmas present.

The cake. I put together the topper, and Masha made this beautiful layered cake. Isn't it lovely?

The birthday girl while everyone was singing to her.

Devouring her cake. She loved it!

A monthly picture collage to remember her first year. I kept this up in my kitchen for a week so I could reminisce and enjoy this last year over and over.

Landon and I gave Gillian a xylophone for her birthday

I can't believe that my Gillie is a year old. She already is exhibiting toddler tendencies with a little defiance, full-tooth smiles, and toddling around the house. 

She is such a joy and daily amazes me with how hard she tries to learns new things. She likes to cuddle more these days and is taking longer naps and sleeping through the night. Lately she loves to eat pickles, which I think is funny. She can wave, give high-5s, clap, dance, and she understands so much and can do a few signs to communicate. Her giggles and kisses are the highlights to my day. Gillian loves to interact with people. She is always making flirty smiles with strangers everywhere we go. She continues to love songs and books and peek-a-boo. 

I still am at disbelief that God would give Landon and I stewardship over someone so precious. I am so honored to be her mother.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Letting the Light in

I just put The Bean down for her morning nap. I hear her talking to herself, but that's okay. She will fall asleep eventually. Like I usually do during her morning nap, I grab my laptop and sit down in my favorite chair in front of the window to have some me time. Before I get to it, I open the window blinds. The sun hits me square in the face. And warmth runs over me.

When I think of other places that I have lived and the things I treasure about the houses I lived in, what I picture are 2 specific things: the dinner table, and morning sun through the windows. I never realized that these two things hold the greatest importance in the homes I have lived in until just now. But it is the table where community and family happens, and the sunlight where I sit alone and find God and find myself that are most precious to me.

Beneath those open windows, in every home, I found the "light" in its many forms, shining into my life. And so it is with this little place here in my home. I relish the calm and quiet as the sun warms my face and the day feels full of hope and promise.