LIFESTYLE 5 years ago

Chloe’s 1st Birthday Party

I stopped throwing myself birthday parties when I turned 21. The idea of people coming to celebrate “ME” has always been an awkward feeling, so I’ve always spent it with 3-4 of my best friends at a small restaurant or at someone’s house. (Not counting the time my sister and hubby threw me a surprise birthday dinner). But I have to admit… birthday celebrations have developed a new meaning since having Chloe. I never knew that I could have this much fun planning and throwing someone else a birthday party! And you guys know by now that I usually go all out for them (check out Chloe’s 100 day celebration HERE). Perhaps it’s the fact that we so rarely get to see our close friends and family, and your babies’ birthday is the only way to get everyone together. Nonetheless in the Korean culture traditionally, we celebrate both the 100-day mark along with the 1-year milestone. The 1 year celebration is called ‘Dol,” and its a ceremony that blesses the baby with a prosperous future and still takes on a great significance in Korea today. My grandma (aka Chloe’s great-grandma) that lives in Korea sent over the traditional Korean costume (hanbok) for Chloe to wear on this big day. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I also have a photo of myself on my 1-year celebration wearing the same traditional Korean costume, and it takes on such great meaning for us to continue this tradition for our family. Some of you guys might have already seen this on my snapchat, but we also played a traditional Korean fortune telling game. Basically you place items such as a string, money, pencil, etc. And whichever he/she picks will be the destiny of his/her future. The string signifies a long life, money signifies success, pencil signifies that he/she will be scholarly, and I added in a little bracelet of mine for fun, which signified that she would be a fashionista! We had our guests vote in a jar of what they thought she would pick, and it seemed as if majority of people thought that she would pick the bracelet! But low and behold… she ended up picking the pencil! My parents were so excited because to them it signified that she will be smart and a great student! I honestly think that a pencil could also mean that she will be a wonderful & passionate artist. These are obviously just fun little games that are not taken too literally. In all honesty Chloe can be whoever she wants to be, all I can hope for is that she will be kind & compassionate to those around her.

Chloe’s party was inspired by none other than her yummy rolls (see the invite HERE ), so we decided the theme of the party would be French pastries! We had the most delicious pastries laying around everywhere thanks to my friend Jeanie Savage of Details Details. And can you even believe that they made the ‘ONE’ sign out of Madelines (to go with our pastry theme)? I mean! As most of you know I’ve been working with Shawna Yamamoto & Jeannie for YEARS now! They planned my wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, Chloe’s 100th day celebration, and now this! I half jokingly told them that soon enough they will be planning my 60th, 70th birthday, along with my retirement party… oh man, let’s not even go there yet. We decided to go with a pop of red for the party as it added more of a whimsical playful element to the party. Although I wanted the event to be beautiful, it was as important for me to have it casual enough for people to roam around and mingle and make memories. We left the outside courtyard a play area for all the kids to run around and do all the crazy things that they do. We even hired a music teacher to come sing and entertain all the kids/babies! That was probably my favorite part of the party… seeing how happy the kids were… especially Chloe! As most of you know, she LOVES music and LOVES to dance… so when the teacher started to sing her favorite songs for her birthday… #dancingcloclo came out to play (inside joke for my #snapchatfam). We were so nervous that Chloe might get fussy or grumpy after an hour or two, but we’ve never seen her happier. She was in the BEST mood I’ve ever seen her in, and was totally socializing with all the babies/ kids, and was just making everyone smile & laugh with her dance moves. It was honestly the most perfect day I could ask for. It sounds so cliché & cheesy, but seeing Chloe happy makes my world go-round. Having Chloe in our lives for the past year has given us a new purpose & meaning.

Celebrating a baby’s first birthday has far more meaning than just a birthday. Not only is it a celebration of us parents- the fact that we survived our first year of parenthood, but also a celebration of our community. Our friends and family who so willingly helped us along the way… whether it be my parents offering to babysit so Allen & I can get a full nights rest, Allen’s parents who came over almost everyday this past year with dinner, our dear friends sharing their own experiences so we didn’t feel alone, and to even acquaintances that donated their used baby gear. It seriously takes a village & a community to get through the first year. So although this party was to celebrate Chloe, it was equally a day to celebrate our community. And YOU guys are also part of this community as well. Most of you have been with me and Allen from the start (even before we were married), and to have you guys come along this journey with me and my growing family is incredible. I feel so thankful for your loyalty and support for the past years.

Thank you and I have a little surprise video of the day here, enjoy!



Photography by Jana Williams and Karen Rosalie
Event Design- Shawna Yamamoto
Coordinator- Jeannie Savage
Cake & Desserts- Cloud 29
Linens- Luxe Linen
Furniture- Archive Rentals
Calligraphy & Signage- Joy
Venue- The Holding Co.