Miss November (Olivia’s first birthday party)

She’s one, you guys. I blinked and she’s one. And we celebrated her first birthday and she did so GREAT.

(Sorry about the photo dump. Just kidding. I regret nothing.)

If you haven’t seen it, here is my letter I wrote to her via mom.me that I am keeping for her: To My Daughter, On The Eve Of Her First Birthday

I have to preface this with the evening before when my friend Meagan came over with her two girls to drop off her birthday present. Since I like to be all gushy with her “firsts” I had to include her very first birthday card and present.

It was a Little Peoples tractor, which she loved. I wasn’t sure how interested she would be in opening presents, but she totally understood the concept. It’s so amazing to see her now old enough to be excited about opening gifts.

Chris took her birthday off and the plan was to get out and do something fun, the three of us. But the weather had other plans in that we had a raging blizzard all that day so we hung out at home.

I bought cinnamon rolls for breakfast, but Birthday Girl had to make do with some peanut butter toast. 😉

Perfecting her stink eye

She perked up a bit when she got her first piece of mail that wasn’t insurance related. 🙂 A birthday card from her great grandparents.

After her morning nap, she opened her presents from us. I can’t get enough of her enthusiasm for gift-opening.

She got her very first baby doll from her Daddy. She loves playing with the dolls in ECFE, so we knew she’d love her own. It’s been one of her favorite presents.

She tried her first crock pot roast for dinner, and then her grandparents came over briefly Saturday night to give her their gift: A rocking giraffe.

After playing with all her toys (frantically) all day Saturday, she passed out for the night. Chris and I continued our mad prepping for her birthday party the next day.

We were all up at 7:30 a.m. Sunday (someone decided she wanted to spend the early morning hours in bed with us) and then chopped lettuce and mixed fruit and packed up the car while she got in an hour nap. I didn’t even have time for some pictures at home of her since we dashed out of the house to get to the party room by noon, since we were only allowed to get in the building a half hour before the party started.

Olivia waited around with her auntie for her party guests to arrive while the rest of us (Chris’s parents and siblings, my parents and best friend) raced around setting up.

Mass chaos. Will. Never. Do. This. Again.

On the drive over, I prayed not to let my anxiety get in the way of being present for her party. To celebrate her. Because that is the most important thing. But… it was still crazy. I felt like I was running around with my head cut off directing people on set up and trying to get everything good to go before the guests arrived.

Once people started arriving, I calmed down some.  Some. 🙂 I’m not a natural host and even though it was 90% family, hosting a party for 65 people is.. a lot for me.

We served tacos in a bag, a pasta salad and fruit. It was definitely the way to go and every one liked it. 🙂

My friend Amanda decorated her cakes, which turned out fabulous.

Her little outfit was made by non other than her Texas auntie Celina.

We sang “Happy Birthday” to her after everyone was served cake. I had gotten her a little vanilla cupcake with pink whipped icing from this little local shop the night before and it was just perfect for her.

We lit up her little candle and everyone started singing and I looked at her looking around in confusion at them all and I just had to hold back tears.

Oh the feels! I say this all the time, but I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to experience that day after so much loss and heartache. So very thankful to be standing in that room next to my daughter, with my husband holding the candle, singing a song that I never thought I would sing to my baby.

She loved her cupcake. She was so dainty eating it, delicately licking the frosting off her fingers.

After that we had a photo shoot with her family and friends.

Finally… it was present time. She was overly tired. She was over-stimulated. But dang it if that baby didn’t suck it up to open her gifts.

She got kind of snarly toward the end so I took her into an empty room to nurse and she seemed to do better after that. I was immensely grateful to our families and my friend Mel for staying after and cleaning everything up. We hauled everything back to the house and tried to get her to nap, but that didn’t work out so well (read: she screamed in her crib for 40 min before we gave up and brought her back out to play with her toys again). She did actually go down for the night better than we thought, because it was such a stimulating day for her.

And we made it. We pulled it off and we’re eating tacos in a bag as leftovers for awhile. She loves her toys. She got two more baby dolls, books, clothes, stuffed animals and, well, of course, toys. Lots of toys. 

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Non Sequitur ChicaJenniKami Singh-GocoolStephanieMeredith Breitenbach Recent comment authors
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I love all of this post!!! You did such a great job on her party and oh my 65?? Wow that's a lot of people!! I have to know, what is taco in a bag?? Sounds good! Her birthday outfit is so cute and she looked beautiful in it 🙂 Happy first Birthday sweet Olivia!!


Awww, this made me all happy and teary-eyed. What a special day for a special girl. 🙂


This gives me all the feels. What a wonderful celebration and a great first birthday! I'm glad Miss Olivia had a good time and it looks like you and Chris did too. Welcome to toddlerhood! May this next chapter be an amazing one.

Meredith Breitenbach

Awww she is so cute!! Happy birthday sweet girl!! I love her outfit, especially her headband!!!


Awe!! Happy Birthday little girl! Her outfit is adorable! Cudos to you for doing 65 people!! 15 close family and friends stressed me out!! Lol

Kami Singh-Gocool

Awe, so cute! What a beautiful celebration for your little girl. Happy 1st birthday little Olivia 🙂


Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!! And all the happiness and joy to you and Chris as well. My heart overflows for you Risa.

Non Sequitur Chica

Congrat on surviving Olivia's first birthday party! I still think that you are crazy for having 65 people, but I'm glad that it all worked out. Super cute pictures!