Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Willa's Birthday and Baptism

Greetings faithful blog readers,

As of today, we are parents of a one year old, and we can hardly believe it. Our first year with Willa was magical. This morning, she slept on my chest for over an hour, which was a perfect way to start the day because it reminded me of when they put her on my chest after she was born. Feeling her warm little body close to mine, existing in that not asleep but not awake state, was the perfect way to reflect this morning on how grateful I am for this little being that we desperately longed for. She is our dream come true, and we adore her.

This weekend, we were so lucky to have our family gather to celebrate Willa's first birthday and baptism. It was an incredible weekend.

We did Willa's party on Saturday. Her theme was Chica Chica Boom Boom (her favorite book), and we had so much fun decorating:

I was so proud of myself for thinking of this idea: we bought a palm tree shaped cooler on Amazon and some alphabet magnet letters. I taped them to the palm tree, and we had a cute "on theme" way to give guests fast access to all their drinks. As their party favor, we had the kiddos find the letters from their names on the tree and take them home for their fridge.

My other favorite part was Willa's cake! I had dreams of baking it myself, but wanted time to enjoy visiting with family. I ordered a cake with plain white icing and Buddy drew the amazing palm tree. Gigi thought of using peanut M&Ms as "coconuts," and I bought the alphabet letters and stuck them all on the side of the cake. It came out fantastic!

Decor and balloons from Party City transformed the dining room. Excited about potential reuse possibilities, I told my dad the theme for his 70th birthday this year is luau.

Speaking of pops, he provided us all with BBQ from Up in Smoke. We learned that BBQ for 20 can actually feed more like 40! Lesson learned! Brendan made the salad and the tomato, basil, mozzarella skewers.

The birthday girl herself had a fantastic time. Her sweet party outfit is from RuffleButts and was a gift from her Gigi. Buddy, Gigi, and Auntie Annie came all the way from Connecticut to celebrate!

I picked up a smash cake at the store, but Willa didn't care much for it! 

We were grateful to have my aunt Elaine and uncle John in from Georgetown and Elda (Willa's Godmother) in from Austin too (Lelie in this pic too!) 

Pops and Buddy:

Gigi and aunt Elaine:

We ended up with four of our friends and three kiddos between the ages of 1-4 at the party, and it worked out perfectly. The kids played so well together and seemed to have fun with Willa's toys (big surprise to me, since I'd assumed her baby toys would be boring, but I guess other kid's toys are fascinating). 

We had a fabulous day! After the party, I put Willa to bed and baked two grapefruit olive oil pound cakes (the same pound cakes I made when I was in labor with Willa) for church, and then we played cards with our families. It was such a fun evening.

We were all up early on Sunday for Willa's baptism. Willa's godmother, Elda, gave her her beautiful handmade silk dress, headband, sweater, and shoes, and a beautiful cross necklace. We are so excited to have Elda be Willa's godmother because she truly has such an inspiring faith. She really is someone that exudes Christian qualities: she is a patient, generous, loving, forgiving, and open person. I have seen how her faith has been a source of healing, comfort, and transformation, and I hope Willa and I both can learn from her. I've known Elda since I was about 8 years old, and she has known Brendan since our relationship began 8.5 years ago.

During the service, all our family members got to gather around the baptismal font. Willa did really well with the whole thing. Brendan and I both felt emotional. Everyone at St. Nick's has been so welcoming to us. It means a lot to have this whole new community and also for them to be able to meet our families.

Today was the grand finale for the first birthday. We went to Willa's school with blue bell ice cream cups for all her teachers and classmates. This was her reaction upon seeing us:

We took her to her favorite park after work, and let's just say she was a bit tired: 

I hope our sweet girl sleeps well tonight. Thank you to everyone that has reached out with love for our girl. My wish for her on this birthday is that she has love and support in abundance. I guess this will be my last post to tag with "baby;" toddler years, here we come! 


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