My baby girl is a year old! I decided on a simple first birthday celebration for Ellena because she’ll be baptized this summer and we’ll have family and her daddy here to really celebrate in a much bigger way. Pope Francis says we should celebrate the day we’re baptized like our birthdays and I love this idea and have begun to mark the days we were baptized in my own family. Though this celebration was a small and sweet much like our little girl; the simplicity of this first birthday celebration in no way mirrors the vast amount of joy and blessings we’ve felt since she’s joined our lives.
In many ways I feel like I’ve blinked. With her father overseas this last year it’s also felt very long. It’s funny how time can feel that way isn’t it? She’s brought so much happiness into our lives, my only wish is that he would’ve been able to share in the many wonderful moment’s we’ve had with her in person. As hard as this year has been for all of us, I know it’s been doubly hard for him to have been away. Thankfully, with God’s grace, he’ll be home soon making many wonderful memories.
Yesterday Ellena and I spent a few hours visiting local bakeries in search of the perfect birthday cupcake. We brought home several for her brothers to sample and vote on the best. I placed them all on a pink cake stand to create her birthday “cake”.
Ellena’s cupcake was a strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream. It was delicious! I’m glad I bought two in that flavor (just in case!).
Though she didn’t gobble it up as I expected her to. She sampled the frosting and kept making a few (oh so cute) faces. I think it was actually too sweet for her little taste buds. She hasn’t had many overly sugary foods yet besides a taste of some ice cream and chocolate.
I kept the decorations minimal for this simple first birthday celebration. The happy birthday banner, gifts, “one” cake sign, and her homemade party hat were it. So easy. Keeping the focus on how blessed we feel to have her here with us.
Isn’t this picture sweet. Ellena has some amazing big brothers. She’s one lucky girl! They shower her with so much attention and affection, and often remark, how having a baby sister is so great. This really fills my heart with joy to know they love her so much.
We all made wishes for her when we blew out her birthday candle. My biggest wish is that she grows up to be brave and kind. Brave because I hope she’s unafraid to go after her dreams and the challenges that life will throw at her. Kind to always remember to treat everyone she encounters with respect, and dignity. To have humility and compassion for all.
I still pinch myself sometimes. I never really felt like I was through having children, but we’d waited so long (nearly 9 years) before she came along, that I honestly thought this season of our lives was over. I’d already been blessed with two amazing and beautiful boys. To think that I now have a teenager, and pre-teen and a toddler still blows my mind, but it really is rather splendid. I’d have another if I could.
You can see how I made Ellena’s cute First Birthday Party Hat here.
Nicole Olea’s love language is communication. She does this best using her keyboard as a freelance copywriter and editor. Creative and resilient with high-level experience in social media management, content creation, and eCommerce marketing, Nicole Olea was a professional volunteer, sharing her skills with various non-profit organizations who paid her in hugs. For the last 20 years, she’s lived a quasi-nomadic life, moving across the country and the Atlantic with her active-duty husband and their three kids. She’s awkwardly stumbling toward her goal of becoming a saint. She’s got God-sized dreams and wants you to have them too!