When they say a first birthday party is for the parents and not so much for the child, it is entirely true. I enjoyed every single bit of planning for this day, maybe my most favorite event yet and even though Liem may not remember, it filled my heart with so much joy to celebrate his first year of life with our family.
There are so many ideas for children's parties, we had a lot of fun brainstorming. But we knew we had to go with The "Little Dumpling" theme since it had some special meaning behind it. Liem is half Vietnamese, so we call him our little dumpling and when I found a graphic with a dumpling sitting in a soup spoon (one of his first favorite toys), we knew that was it.
Liem is obsessed with balloons. He loves to point them out and is just so enamored by them. He saw them for the first time at a life celebration and couldn't forget them, so on his birthday morning, I filled his room with balloons! He woke up so starstruck; that morning was exploding with cuteness! When the balloons lost their helium, I created this fun install on our fireplace. He loved that too! And the banner is made of the monthly photos I took of Liem, which started out so fun styling a flat lay with seasonal greens... but then he became mobile and it became a battle! Twelve month photo is still pending as I type this...
The desserts have to be my favorite part of this whole party. My friend from Layered Bake Shop created this ridiculously adorable cake, complete with no grains or sugar. How is that even a cake, you ask? She used arrowroot flour and maple syrup as substitutes, it was delicious! Then one of my best friends who loves to bake made hands down the coolest panda macarons and cookies. Not only were they super tasty, but seriously, panda macarons- all the heart eye emojis! I took a stab at baking myself and made some cake ball dumplings, let's just say baking is not profession but they are pretty cute right? :)
You can't have a dumpling party without a full spread of food and of course, dumplings!
When it came time to sing Happy Birthday, Liem loved the spotlight. He also loved his own special smash cake (also sugar-free). He had never had "frosting" before so it was quite a treat! After we sang, our sweet pastor gave a beautiful dedication pledging our family and friends to helps us raise Liem in God's everlasting love. It was so special.
We couldn't have raised this guy this far without Liem's village. They have been there with us since his day one loving on him, praying for him, and supporting us when times can get tough. I printed out pictures of each our guests holding Liem when they met him the first time to take home. I loved going back through those photos!
We then played a traditional Vietnamese game for first birthday parties. We bring out a tray filled with items to represent different professions and the guests take guesses on what the child will choose. Liem chose a thermometer so I guess he'll be a doctor :)
Liem is one lucky boy to receive all of the fun and thoughtful gifts he did! That ball tracker, was and still is a hit!
In the first year, there are so many "firsts" so I can see how this celebration can be important to a parent. Time seems to stop and fly by at the same time, it's hard to keep up! I am certain that having children is by far one of the most exhilarating joys I could ever experience. When I reflect back on the year, I can definitely say there are moments I have forgotten just out of pure exhaustion, but so many precious memories that will be etched on my heart forever. I am so thankful God has put me in this little dumpling's life to be his Mommy!
To all of the friends and family that came to celebrate with us, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are grateful everyday that we get to call you all family. A special thank you to my amazing industry friends that contributed, it is such a sweet perk to have you all in our village!