Maxwell’s first birthday party (at the park).

Zack’s brought some really amazing traditions to our family, but one of my favorites is how he prefers to celebrate a birthday for the entire week (or month, ahem). And really, why not? :) Having a baby is no easy task, so I’m totally on board for the extended celebrations. Besides, multiple opportunities to eat birthday cake? Sign. Me. Up.

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We wanted to make his birthday party really special and make every part of the party come straight from the heart. I sat down one afternoon and started making a list. We knew we wanted a late-afternoon party so that helped me right away with what we’d serve: appetizers and cake. I bought fresh vegetables and cut up broccoli, carrots, cucumber and sugar snap peas, then served it in a couple vintage Pyrex dishes gifted from my friend Rhiannon and my mother in law. We set out small bowls of hummus and homemade ranch dip, so yum. Maxwell loves fruit, so I mixed pineapple, strawberries and grapes in a large bowl and put a large scooper in there. And then I baked and frosted three cakes (triple fudge and funfetti) and Zack decorated them with icing and neon shark sprinkles. Oh yes ;) sharks!

We arranged the food on a table covered with a quilt and tied small bundles of orange and blue balloons to three more tables. We set out rad orange forks, blue plates & napkins, and offered our guests soda and water.

olivia balloons birthday party

Maxwell’s first birthday is TODAY and I totally agree that first birthdays are just as much about celebrating 12 months of life with your babe as they are for celebrating (with trumpets) that WE SURVIVED THE FIRST YEAR! :) Suddenly I’m replaying the last year; my heart is so full, my smile is so genuine. I love being a mom.

The rush of holding your baby for the very first time… All of those deliriously long nights trying to communicate with your husband in the dark but can’t fully form a sentence (not that we have any experience)… All of the mid-day outfit changes (wink) and wishing you could magically grow a third arm because, Hello!, the baby is trying to roll over on the changing table and I didn’t move the dirty diaper.

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And of course all of our firsts with Maxwell: first outing together (without another adult to help), first time he rolled over, first time he smiled, first tooth, first time he laughed when he saw Bauer, first time he rode in his stroller without his infant car seat, first time he clapped his hands, first time he imitated a sound I made…

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A few times I’ve been sad about Maxwell’s first year being complete, but then I remind myself that him getting older means he will initiate showing his affection independently, which floods me with happiness. There’s nothing more sweet than my boy coming to me for a hug and then patting my back when we’re done. I love it so much.

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We’re exchanging the newborn stage for a toddling boy who’s emulating the home environment we’ve been so intentional at creating and cultivating.

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And now for a funny story, because I’m really starting to get choked up over this huge, wonderful, precious milestone: We waited until Maxwell was about 5 months old to introduce spoon-feeding and I remember panicking for a moment because he didn’t know how to move his tongue to rearrange the food in his mouth. And for a minute I truly believed we had waited too long, and he’d never learn how to eat with a spoon. Ha! Clearly I panicked for no good reason ;)

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Rhiannon & Michael (and her darling baby bump!)

So back to his first birthday party. We celebrated Maxwell on Sunday at a local park with our dearest of friends. My parents were able to fly out from Michigan the day before Maxwell’s party, and having them here has been so grounding for me.

maxwell and nana

The weather was beautiful on Sunday and the sun was hot; it’s been a great week for celebrating his first birthday.

zack maggie maxwell birthday party

Maxwell’s first birthday party at the park was so special to us.┬áIt was fun and heartfelt day of memory making. When I think of my son, I recall glimpses of a tiny newborn paired with excited anticipation of the little boy he’s about to become.

I can’t wait to watch you grow up, Maxwell. Happy birthday sweetie.

Family walks.

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We had such a lovely weekend fully of relaxing and relaxing and naps and relaxing. It was glorious, and just what I needed after a crazy couple of weeks preparing for Caroline-made to launch. We went on at least two walks both days! The weather was gorgeous, even at 7:30am when we went on our first family walk around the neighborhood. I brought my cup of coffee and we leisurely strolled about. Bauer loved seeing all his pup pals. I loved all the flowers and greenery we saw. Zack loved that we were all outside together. And Maxwell had fun pointing at all the things he saw while squeaking out baby jabber. Buuuuut, somehow on one of our walks Bauer got himself a little irritation on his tail, and then proceeded to scratch it endlessly which is why we ended up at the vet bright and early Monday morning. And also why he is the proud owner of a clear cone around his neck. And also why he whined at me all day long. Oh yes. So, here’s hoping today is a bit quieter than yesterday ;)

Also? Maxwell’s favorite thing is to whisper, “da da da da” at everything he sees. And he’s also very into pointing and scrunching his nose, much like this photo. It’s the cutest.

I really love our family walks… they are where some of our best memories together are being made.

PS. I’m teaching a course this morning at 10am PST on how to turn a hobby into a business. Click here to sign up and make sure you use the code LAUNCHIT at checkout to save $50 on your order! The course videos will be available in the evening if you can’t watch live, so don’t worry about missing out. I’m SUPER excited about this opportunity to chat business and handmade with you!

Hello from Michigan!

…how are you doing? It’s been a few days since I’ve written on here and the little break has been refreshing :)

On Christmas Eve we packed our bags and flew from Los Angeles to Detroit. It was such an easy day of travel, and I’m sooooo thankful. We had a direct flight, and on the plane Maxwell napped and confettied a magazine. And you know what? I was even able to watch Home Alone (yes!).

We landed on time and then drove a couple hours north west to Zack’s grandma’s house. We had a very merry Christmas with his extended family before driving even further north to Petoskey. Michigan has blessed us with some gorgeous snowy weather… very cold, but gorgeous.

We then met my parents in Cadillac so we could continue downstate to Grand Rapids. My brother and nephews have been with us and my heart is so full. It’s a totally new experience being here now that Maxwell is here. Every time I think about my childhood home I now think about last summer when I told my family I was pregnant. Its a very sweet memory :)

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We were even able to sneek away for a Zack & Maggie coffee date… complete with pie. It was glorious! We talked about our family goals for 2014 including some business goals. Very exciting stuff! I’m really looking forward to sharing more about my new handmade shop, too :) After our coffee date it became clear that my focus for 2014 is to be more brave…

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…I don’t want to beome too placid, ya know? I have a lot I want to try and accomplish this year.

Can you believe it’s the start of a new year? My goodness.

Well, I better get back to playing with my nephews and son. Happy New Year to you, and hello from Michigan. XO