Happy First Birthday, Sweet Hannah

It’s been such a whirlwind celebrating Hannah’s first birthday. So much fun, so much work, but most importantly, so many memories. I loved a post I saw on the blog, The Cottage Home, which was a sort of tribute to her daughter on her daughter’s birthday. She wrote 20 things that she wanted to remember about her little girl on her special day. So here is my tribute to my sweet Hannah…a few days late (her birthday was Sunday, July 22nd).

1. You love baby dolls. You hug them and kiss them and offer them to mommy and daddy to hug and kiss also.

2. You always have a serious expression and analyze everything you see whenever we are out and about.

3. You love to walk or run everywhere and anywhere all day long!

4. You love to wave. The other day on the way home from the library, you waved to all of the cars passing by and many people smiled and waved back at you. At one point, you even waved enthusiastically with both hands.

5. You like to come up to mommy and daddy and give a hug just because.

6. Some of your favorite foods are chicken, spaghetti, avocado, and raspberries.

7. You love to play on the playground, especially with the metal steering wheel.

8. Books are one of your very favorite activities.  All day long you peruse the books in your bookcase, dumping most of them onto the floor in the process. You will sit quietly and flip through books or you’ll eagerly run up to me with a book you want me to read to you. We read your Bible and at least 3 stories every night before bed.

9. You run to the computer every time you hear the skype ringtone. And you also come running anytime mommy’s phone rings. You cry if mommy doesn’t hold you and let you listen to and/or participate in the conversation.

10. You understand basic commands like wave, clap, high 5, kiss, and come to mommy.

11. You are starting to test your boundaries. When you sit in the little rocking chair that used to be mommy’s, sometimes you like to stand up just to see what mommy will do.

12. You like to look at pictures of babies. Every time mommy shows you pictures of yourself you smile, and now sometimes you wave.

13. You like to watch mommy blow soap bubbles.

14. You’ve figured out how to use your walker wagon like a scooter and you love to scoot around the living room.

15. You usually enjoy picking out fabric with mommy. You like to feel the different textures and study the different colors and prints.

16. You like to peruse the sale racks at Target. Recently a woman saw you looking through clothes on a bottom rack and exclaimed, “She’s shopping!”

17. You like to cuddle your little lamb lovie when you go to sleep at night.

18. You love to get into the cupboards and empty them competely, especially the bread cupboard. Mommy and daddy are always finding a loaf of bread or a bag of hamburger buns in random places.

19. Baths are one of your most favorite things to do. You especially love your bath toys–a rubber ducky, a fish cup, and an Ernie bath book.

20. When you are done eating, you love to swipe your hands across your high chair tray so that all of the food goes flying off in every direction. And if mommy forgets to take the sippy cup, you love to shake it all around and sprinkle the whole area with water and then hold it upside down and empty the rest of the water all over your tray.

This is my sweet little Hannah at one year old. I can’t believe how different and yet how the same she is from the day she was born. What a blessing this little girl has been to my life. Happy first birthday, Hannah.


First Birthday Party Fun

This past Sunday we celebrated Hannah’s first birthday. Her actual birthday is this Sunday, but I thought it would be fun to coordinate Hannah’s birthday party with our July potluck at church. It was a day of good friends, good food, and a refreshing swim in the church pool.

I can’t believe I planned my first birthday party and lived to tell the tale! It was so much more work than I thought it would be, and what I did was incredibly simple compared to the so many talented mommies out there in the blogosphere. I’m proud of what I put together, though, since party planning is really not my thing.

Although I had grand plans to make the cake and cupcakes from scratch, I ended up using cake mix. Thank goodness too, because even that took forever. For the cupcakes I used a yellow cake mix—I’m not a big fan of vanilla—and a chocolate fudge cake mix. And for the cake I used chocolate fudge mix also. The trouble I ran into with the cake mix was that it’s so light that I had a heck of a time moving the cake layers from the pans, to the cooling racks, and then onto the cake plate in one piece. Oh well, nothing that a little frosting couldn’t hide.

And speaking of frosting, I did actually make my own. It was delicious! Not sickeningly sweet like so many recipes out there but definitely sweet enough to satisfy the sweet tooths in this house. I used this recipe and this tutorial with my 1M frosting tip to get the rose effect. It was my first time ever piping frosting and I never had a mess up. Super easy and quick! My only complaint was that I put too much red dye in my batch of pink frosting for the cupcakes and it turned out more coral than pink. At least I got the cake frosting right.

For the table layout, I used two desert towers from Joann’s to display the cupcakes. I didn’t really love the way the yellow and chocolate cupcakes looked side by side but this dilemma was unavoidable since I wanted people to be able to choose from two kinds of cupcakes. The cake was was just a simple two layer cake with frosting, sprinkles, and a target candle. The pictures were Hannah’s birth announcement and her 1 year announcement/invitation. How I love those Costco photo cards! And lastly, one of the table centerpieces, a tissue pom flower, so that the centerpieces on the tables would match the birthday table.

Hanging above the birthday table was a collage of Hannah’s first year month by month. I mounted 5×7 prints on scrapbook paper with double sided tape and then glued them onto posterboard. To make the garland, I traced and cut letters from my scrapbook paper scraps and glued them to a long piece of ribbon.

For the tables I made really simple but somewhat time consuming tissue poms. There are a bazillion tutorials out there, but I came across this video on youtube, which was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. The vases were 79 cents at Ikea!

I didn’t really have a super cohesive theme, but I was sort of going for pink and yellow floral to match Hannah’s dress. Overall I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out. There were a few bumps in the road along the way but I’m just glad that I got everything done and that we had a lot of fun celebrating Hannah’s first year!


Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

We took Hannah to the local 4th of July celebration. She participated in the Diaper Derby for 11-24 month walkers. Although she got last place, she seemed to enjoy it. She took one or two steps and then stood at the starting line looking around at the onlookers while the much older babies tottled to the finish line. Oh well, better luck next time. She got a ribbon for participating, though, and she was really proud of that!

After the Diaper Derby, we took Hannah to the playground area where she got to swing for the very first time. She LOVED it!

She also had fun on the slide.

Overall, it was a really fun day. Hannah seemed to enjoy her first 4th of July. She will obviously be in bed during fireworks tonight but maybe she’ll be able to stay up next year.

What a wonderful day! And let us not forget those who make days like this possible. Thank you to all of the men and women who serve this country, including my brother, Jeremy, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. How truly blessed our country is to have such brave people defend our freedom each and every day.

And, yes, I did make her dress. More details on that soon!