Monday, February 7, 2011

A Birthday Celebration!

One thing that was really hard for me in thinking about moving to Korea was not being around friends and family as Caleb grew up.  Being away for his first birthday felt especially hard.  I wish you could have each been here to celebrate with us but we tried hard (and had some help, Thank you Ashley and Betsy!) to capture the day in pictures so you could share in our joy.  And thank you to everyone here who came out to help us celebrate Caleb's life and make it special party for him!

As we reflected back on this first year of Caleb's life and first year of parenting, we just kept coming back to God's Faithfulness.  His faithfulness to bring Caleb safely into this world, his faithfulness to sustain through a hard delivery, his faithfulness to give Caleb life and breath and health this first year, and his faithfulness to us as parents and adjusting to this new role.  In many ways it was a hard year but He was faithful.

We decided to do a mix of both Korean tradition (since we are in Korea for his first birthday) and American tradition.  In Korea, your first birthday is a really, really big deal.  No, I'm serious, it is a big deal!  Typically, they rent out a hall, throw a huge party, invite everyone, make tons of food, the baby and parents dress up in hanboks and they do a traditional thing where the baby is presented with several objects and whatever they pick up first is supposed to represent what they will become (ball=athletic, pencils=artist, book=smart, money=rich, string=long life).  We settled on a blend of both.  We bought Caleb an adorable little hanbok that he wore and we also did the "picking" tradition.  He picked the pencils! I guess we have an artist in the family! We combined that with a time of prayer over Caleb and his life and future.  Then we had cupcakes, light snacks and let Caleb dig in.  Yes, we did let him sample his first taste of white refined sugar and flour (gasp) yesterday. 

I'm posting below a lot some pictures from his day.  Our good friends James and Besty came down the night before to hang out with us (they were on break because of the Lunar New Year) so the night before they helped us decorate and then they also helped us get ready for the party that evening.

Above is Caleb running out of his bedroom when he woke up (have I mentioned that about 3 days after he learned to walk he discovered the elation of running?  He does it all the time, although it often results in falling headlong).  It is his tradition in the mornings after I go pick him up and change his diaper to run to our bedroom and greet daddy.  He runs out of his room going "da da da da", runs into our bedroom and pulls the covers off of Steve, who is usually still sleeping.  Well this morning Steve was up with me (James and Bets were in our room) but when he came running out the living room was all decorated for his birthday and this is the look we got when he saw all the balloons, signs etc:

He stopped dead in his tracks and just grinned.  Then started pointing at everything, excitedly.

We had birthday breakfast with James and Bets (crepes and eggs and bacon)...Caleb tried some crepe and some egg but mostly just ate "puffs."  Then we got started with all our preparations for the day!

Pictured above is his hanbok (traditional Korean outfit for first birthday) and I sewed him a simple "One" onesie to wear underneath and for his cupcake eating.

Caleb enjoyed "helping" decorate!

I love this picture (below), mostly because of Steve and his sweet proud daddy face.

I was really stressed about what to do for a cake but as I was going through pictures for the slideshow that we posted the other day, I decided I wanted to do a picture theme party.  I made cupcakes and we had a cupcake timeline of Caleb's first year in pictures!  I thought it was fun to see the progression and his changes month to month.  We picked several pictures from each month (beginning, middle, end of the month) to display around our apartment.

And here is the celebrated little boy, all handsome in his hanbok!

Caleb "picking" his item (pencils!)

And The Cupcake!  We'll post video later so stay tuned!

He wasn't quite sure what to think of everyone singing to him

He hates getting his fingers messy so at first he didn't want to touch the cake

Licking it proved to be a tasty option

But in the end, the sugary sweetness proved reason enough to get a little dirty.

Pastor Nelson thought Caleb looked like MC Hammer in his pants, dad thought so too and then tried to get Caleb to dance.

After the party!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Boy!

And Happy One Year Parent Anniversary, to my sweet Steve! I could not have done this year without you by my side...Thank you for all your support, encouragement, help, understanding, and wisdom, thank you for your reminders to put my trust in Jesus, thank you for all you put up with, for all you did for me and Caleb, for all the tears, joys, laughter and precious memories.  You are our super hero and I'm so thankful our baby has you for his daddy.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Happy birthday to Caleb and may the Lord continue to sustain and bless you as parents! We love you guys!!

  2. AAaaaaahhhhhhwwwwhhhhh! He is the cutest, what a fun and truly special day for him, for mama and dada, friends and God, Father of it all. We feel very far away and sweetly close as we look in through your camera lens. Maybe the pencil means a WRITER? Art is good too tho, thanks for sharing the day! Proud and happy for/with you, Oma and Opa

  3. Such a beatiful celebration!Love the timeline in cupcakes and photos. Excellent idea! How sweet and precious. I love the "1" shirt and cupcake eating. Hanbok pictures are so adorable. Caleb such a sweet blessing! (My thoughts were "writer" too when Caleb picked the pencil)