Emma’s First Birthday Party: Korean Dol

In Korean culture, first birthday is a big celebration called dol (돌). There are several traditions to follow at the dol party. Both my husband and I are Korean American, and we definitely want our children to embrace their Korean heritage. So for Emma’s first birthday party,  we decided to keep as much of Korean traditions as we could. We wore traditional Korean garments called hanbok (한복); set up dol table to display traditional first birthday items and food such as rice cakes, colorful fruits, dates, and dol towers; and had an activity called doljabi, a fortune telling ritual at first birthday parties. I also wanted to incorporate modern day birthday decor, so Emma’s dol table was combined with sweets, birthday cakes and decorations. To add a personal touch, I arranged her party decor and even made some decorations from scratch. We incorporated one of her favorite books, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, and it ended up working out pretty well – a low key themed party.

We were so fortunate to have almost all of our immediate family members join us for the weekend and even had a few of my close girlfriends fly in from Chicago! The preparation of Emma’s first birthday was stressful, but it was all so worth it seeing all of our loved ones! Emma must have felt the love and care as well because she was so well behaved the entire day – even through multiple outfit changes! 😉

As for the doljabi activity, Emma took 20 minutes to choose an item. She definitely did not act on impulse and ended up choosing pencils then money after deep contemplation. 😉

We also did the ever so popular “cake smash”. She was a bit confused at first on what to do with the cake, but as soon as she tasted it, it was game over. 😀

I really can’t say enough about how grateful I am to have spent a wonderful day with our family and friends. Thank you all so very much for celebrating Emma’s special day with us, and thanks to others who could not make it but sent gifts and lots of love! I know, I say this all the time, but Emma truly is so blessed!

-m

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Halloween Fun

I’m not gonna lie, having a toddler (yes, she’s a toddler now!) makes Halloween so much more fun! Because we were away from home for a good chunk of October, we didn’t get to prepare for Halloween. I’m sad to report, even though Steve and I like to dress up, we just didn’t get around to it this year like we did last year. But we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to dress Em up and partake in the neighborhood’s festivity! Her costume was a no brainer. We had to go with a puppy. I mean, it’s her favorite animal. She just goes crazy over dogs!

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We were especially excited about celebrating Halloween in our new neighborhood. Our neighborhood is huge with tons of families with kids/babies, so I knew Halloween night was going to be big! And as predicted, it did not disappoint. The streets were filled with trick or treaters! The club house had a kids’ Halloween party, so we stopped by for a bit and it was jammed packed! I can’t wait until next year when Em can actually go door to door trick or treating. It’s going to be so much fun!

Since moving into the neighborhood, I befriended a couple of neighborhood moms, so I thought it would be a great idea to take some pictures of our babes in their costumes. And I’m so glad we did, because look how darling they are! We decided to make this a tradition each year for Halloween, and we cannot wait to show these pictures to them when they are older!

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Thank you so much, Morgan, a fellow mama blogger and a photographer for snapping these shots of our babes!

-m