Mar 30, 2009

The 1st Annual Celebration of Stella

As an English teacher, I realize that "First Annual" is an oxymoron, but I ask you, is there any more appropriate usage of the phrase than a first birthday party? I think not. You have heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I have a new pearl of wisdom to share: "It takes a small army to throw a one year old's birthday party." Feel free to quote me. Over 60 guests turned out for Stella's First Birthday Bash, and Damon and I responded by putting most of them to work. Here is a shot of Stella's birthday cake space walk. She was not a fan, and we actually tumbled head first out of it together into the mud before the guests arrived. (Photos by staff photographer Buddy Boe)Stella's cake. This cake was for Stella to share with her dairy lovin' guests. She had her own much smaller dairy-free cake to smash that was not as photogenic or as tasty. Her high chair standing ready with her "The Big 1" bib and "I'm One!" party hat, which she also hated. She screamed when I put it on her, so there are no pictures of the birthday girl in her hat. Jamie and Moe were optimistic about the celebration....this is before we told them they were in charge of refereeing the space walk...Grandpa and Chad preparing the pots...little did we know just how long we would be waiting for those crawfish...I love this picture. Mainly because this is a look of confusion that these two exchange all the time. Poof! No eyebrows! Jamie, Courtney, and I. Sweet face I'm making. Thanks, staff photographer. Next time I demand a retake. This photo is a good example of why we use digital cameras.
Tristyn being saved from her dad's "hovering baby" trick by her mommy. Courtney was in charge of entertainment for all party guests, and you can see that she did a fabulous job.
This could be my favorite picture of Matt and Jamie ever. It looks like a photo from an all-American family spread in W magazine. If Stella was smiling I would be very tempted to photoshop Damon and I into this one. Jen, Nathan?
Kids everywhere! New friends Danny and Anna. Danny, you made the blog! Now, if we could only share some frosty mugs of soy milk together, your life would be complete.
John was in charge of grilling. Everything was delicious, as it usually is when John cooks it.
Feeding the birds...
Even Aunt Sarah squeezed in a visit after work and before her hot date.
One of my favorite gifts that Stella received. Miss Chung MADE this out of sugar! She is amazingly creative.
She also made Stella this exquisite Easter egg.
The birthday girl taking a little swing the day after the party.

In conclusion, Stella's first birthday party turned out to be wonderful, just like her. A few friends weren't able to join us, and we really missed them. It is so humbling to stop and try to number the people who have supported us as we set out on this great adventure of parenthood. Five years ago we arrived in LaPlace and knew no one, and now we are surrounded by friends who feel more like family. God has blessed us with each of you. Thanks for all that you do for us; please know that we realize we could not make it without you.

In closing, some specific thanks: Thanks to the Boe's for arriving early and being willing to help out in any way you could, thanks to Lori for sending over Damon's favorite treats and entertaining the kids in the space walk, thanks to Kirk and John for catering the party (it was delicious, guys!), thanks to Brian and Casey for fetching ice when we ran out, thanks to Sheila and Lacie for helping out in the kitchen, thanks to everyone for the sweet and thoughtful gifts, and I am sure that I am leaving so much out! Thanks to all for celebrating the anniversary of the best day of our lives with us and for being the best friends anyone could ask for! We love y'all so much!

Stella's BirthDAY

March 26, 2009, Stella turned 1! We started the day with her very first "Birthday Breakfast." Birthday Breakfast is a tradition that Damon and I started when we first started dating. This year Damon had his 10th Birthday Breakfast. In the early days, when I lived in a dorm and had no kitchen, the breakfast came from McDonalds and was eaten in the lobby of Tudor Hall. These days, I cook birthday breakfast and usually deliver it to the recipient in bed. Since Stella's eating skills don't really make breakfast in bed such a great idea, she had her eggs in her high chair. This was her first taste of scrambled eggs and she loved them. Unfortunately, Stella's birthday fell on a Thursday, so Mommy and Daddy had to spend most of the day at work. I visited Stella for lunch so I could hold her at 12:29, which is her birth minute. Damon picked her up early to take her to....drum roll, please...an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. Yes, Daddy was sweet enough to schedule a doctor's appointment on Stella's birthday. It ended up being a good thing, though. We were only going for a second opinion about whether or not she would need tubes in her ears, but while there, we found out that she had tonsilitis! Ugh!

When Damon and Stella finally made it back from that ordeal, Grandmere and Grandpa were with them and it was time to open presents. Stella was not feeling great, but she did find the energy to unwrap a few things.
Stella was very methodical about unwrapping her presents. She tore the paper very carefully and always handed it to an adult to throw away. We were very concerned that we might be up all night, because this was the size of the pieces of paper she was ripping off...Sometime around midnight, we finally got a present open....just kidding, it was more like 8:30...
Loving her "Baby Stella" doll from Grandmere and Grandpa.

We got a late start opening presents and Stella was not feeling so well, so she did not actually make it through all of her birthday presents that night. One present in particular from Mommy and Daddy really freaked her out and she would not go near it. The next day the fun continued and we finally got everything opened sometime Friday. Some of her favorite gifts were a swing for the backyard and a princess tent.

Next post....Birthday bash!

Mar 26, 2009

Stella's Maternity Photos

While posting Corinne's maternity photos, it came to my attention that I had never posted Stella's, due to the fact that we didn't start the blog until she was about 9 months old.  Without further ado, here they are...


Our maternity photo shoot for Stella was a very sweet and thoughtful gift from our friend Dara Neyland, way back when she was just starting her photography business...








Look how young we are!  Wow! What happened?!










This was my favorite shot...


I like to call this series "The Beached Whale," or, "Help!  I've Fallen and I Can't Roll Over"...

Here I am brushing up on my fairy tales in preparation for the big day...

I had forgotten about these flip flops.  I loved those shoes...
And finally a shot of my hands back in the day when I still wore my engagement ring.  For Corinne's maternity pictures I not only forgot to put on my engagement ring, I forgot my wedding ring, too...