Stella’s birthday hit me like a ton of bricks. I am usually planning the party from 6 months in advance, but Stella’s.. I just couldn’t even think about it without it throwing me in a whirlwind of depression. I am such a baby about my babies growing up! Oh my goodness, I feel like I have enjoyed every single second of Stella’s first year that I just can’t believe it’s already coming to an end. What a special time it is to have a baby in your house living her first year of life. In the Balinese culture, they believe a baby in it’s first year of life to be a little God and bring lots of good luck. That idea always makes me smile.

Try as I might to make time slow down, her party came and went. It came together beautifully, thank you to the help of my girl’s amazing auntie who drove in from Southern California for the event.. and she baked over 90% of the deserts for her “let them eat cake” cake bar.

And because I am a sucker for cheesey rhymes and names, we named all of the deserts after Stella and her nicknames. 🙂 Then we just kept it easy and summery with a little hot dog bar.

Way last minute, I thought I should try to incorporate her “monthly” pictures I do every month… I just figured the easiest way to do it and went with that, and it was so fun to see it all together like that. And it was a hit at the party! Everyone thought it was so neat and a lot of people don’t read my blog so they had never seen them before. I’m so glad I did those monthly pictures of hers!

We had such an amazing turn-out. Stella’s party was sort of symbolic this year as we’ve gone through a lot of changes and had a lot of great experiences and have grown a lot. We’ve made the best of friends this last year and really, it’s kind of like we created our own extended family. It’s always so nice to see how many people take the time to show my girls some love on their birthday. I’m always surprisingly touched by it.

(notice Harlo’s face has some ketchup on it, some chilli, some red velvet, some chocolate frosting… I think it’s safe to assume she had a good time)

Stella was so fun to watch at her party. She was everything your hopes and dreams of how a one year old should act a party would act. The cake pictures have to be my favorite. She was just so sweet and so excited about her cake. I tear up every time I think about it. She watched the candle so intently as we sang, and as soon as we blew it out, she leaned in and gave her cake a big sniff to just take it all in. Then she looked right up at Brakken with crazy excitement. Oh, so sweet.

Then she “dug right in” by sticking her pointer finger into the frosting and licking it off. That’s as far as she would go. Haha

It didn’t take Harlo long to jump in and show her how it’s done.

Our favorite tradition of writing birthday wishes onto balloons and letting them off into the sky did not disappoint this year! We had all sorts of friends and family that were able to do it this year. Everyone had fun with it. Harlo asked to “let the balloons off in the sky” every day for a week after.

So all in all, it was a great first birthday party. It was such a special day for us all to celebrate our tiny girl. We’re extremely blessed to have her in our lives.