Monday, May 23, 2016
Not much is sweeter than celebrating new life with loved ones. We got to do just that this weekend past in anticipation of baby Segal's arrival this summer with a nautical themed baby shower, inspired by the parents-to-be's love for the sea. The color palette featured primarily white and blues. We stocked the dessert table with a fruit tart from the mama-to-be's favorite bakery, surrounded by a nautical reminiscent candy bar (gummy sharks, marshmallows, goldfish crackers, blue gumballs, blue raspberry sour punch straws, and lifesaver favors). A framed picture of the sea and a handmade kraft garland floated jauntily above it all. We decorated the dining table with vintage blue glass tumblers brimming with seashells, handmade yard dandelions and billy balls; seashells; paper boats; and moss-filled jars. A messages in a bottle station encouraged guests to write advice and words of encouragement for the parents-to-be. The photobooth wall perpendicular to it provided a backdrop for memories, whether sweet or silly, to be captured throughout the shower.
As time passes, more and more loved ones embark on new seasons of life, often in faraway places. We are always encouraged and reminded of God's kindness to us in gifting us with such sweet community all over the place whenever we get to catch up with them when they are in town. It was so sweet spending time with Faye and Marshall and celebrating their blessed new arrival while they were in SoCal. We love them so.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
We're so blessed to have such sweet community in our lives who love our kids well. We had a blast celebrating Valor with them last Saturday. When I started brainstorming for Valor's first birthday party, I leaned towards a knight theme, primarily because Valor's name draws from the phrase "mighty men of valor" in the Bible, which often evokes the image of courageous knights. We pray he'd grow up to be a man of valor who loves and defends the one true King, Jesus Christ. Because Valor was born on Star Wars Day and Alex affectionately calls him Darth Valor, Alex also pined for a Star Wars party.
We ultimately decided on a general knight theme, encouraging guests to dress up as a knight of their choice, whether it's a medieval knight, a jedi knight, or the Dark Knight (Batman). We decorated in black and white, with silver and green accents. The dessert table featured black and white colored desserts accompanied by wooden knight figurines Valor got for Christmas. The sweet treats included stacked Oreo cookies for a makeshift cake that is simple and stress-free, chocolate vanilla and chocolate mint mini cupcakes from a local bakery, and a huge batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. We feasted on Asian-inspired medieval fare: fried dragon (fried chicken), swords (egg rolls), dragon sandwiches (banh mi sandwiches from a nearby shop), dragon brains (homemade chow mein), and rubies (watermelon cubes). All the kids who attended the party became valorous knights who received light saber bubble favors, with which they battled one another.
We held the party at a fondly regarded park Alex and I each frequented during our childhood (we grew up in neighboring cities though we did not meet and become friends until the beginning of college). I went to elementary school nearby, and teachers often took my class on field trips there. It is a concrete playground built in the 1960s that features monstrous creatures for sliding, climbing, and more. The most prominent slide is a dragon upon a hill; all the valorous knights conquered the dragon with their light sabers that afternoon.
We dressed Valor in a Darth Vader shirt and black cape to incorporate medieval and jedi knight garb. He couldn't quite use a light saber yet, but his daddy enthusiastically wielded light sabers and a Kylo Ren mask on his behalf the entire time. Valor had a blast in the company of so many who love him. Thank you, Lord!
P.S. Serene's first birthday party
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
We spent Valor's first birthday last Wednesday as a family at Disneyland, which coincided with Star Wars Day. Valor is still too young to really discern all the Star Wars madness, but Alex had a blast influencing his preferences already and hoping the force is with him. Celebrating our littler love at the happiest place on earth was a joy.