Claire Adalia Kalena turns ONE!

The days before her birthday were like strange deja vu. We ate at the same restaurant for date night that I timed my contractions in, my friend who is due ANY DAY wore the same shirt the day before I went into labor ON the day before I went into labor just one year prior, and several other quirky coincidences. I think I’ll always remember my baby’s birth days. Reliving them like they happened just yesterday…

They are some of the best days of my life, after all.

We took the day off (more like comp time really) and headed to the North Shore for Claire’s birthday. Lunch at Grass Skirt Grill, beaching it at Hale’iwa and coffee at the local shop. The girls slept when they were supposed to and we savored the day. Dinner at our dear friends was tri tip and sweet potato fries and green beans and wine. Claire, you had fun. I promise.

I stole the idea for Claire’s birthday party theme from my friend Stephanie, who had a boy turn one in August. His party theme was everything boy. Snips and snails and the whole bit. I chose the girly version with a “Sugar and Spice” themed party. Literally, SUGAR and spice. We had a small gathering of friends and family in our neighbor’s backyard (nearly shared by ours) and dodged rain every twenty minutes or so. True Hawaiian kine.

The party was a group effort really. Mostly I produced the birthday girl. Friends brought fantastic food: homemade guacamole, salsa and chips, baked macaroni and cheese, fruit salad and sweet tea. JD grilled kabobs. Auntie Jackie made the cupcakes, frosting and all, ready to be decorated by the kiddos. My friend Stephanie was the mind behind the decorations and Jess helped pull the theme together with activities.

The kids were given spice drops and toothpicks with their goody bags with instructions to CREATE something with their supplies. I wish I snagged some photos because there were some seriously awesome creations. Guests guessed (haha) how many peeps were in the jar (44. Jared won with 47 as his guess), and kids colored/stickered wooden picture frames which will soon hold pictures from the party. The final activity was decorating the cupcakes. A win for sure (oh so many Charlie Sheen jokes…)!

Claire’s first cake experience was slow and tentative, but she eventually got after the frosting. We’ll have to give her some more soon, without the crowd!

After events like first birthdays, or second birthdays for that matter, JD and I always look at each other in mutual gratitude for each other, our community, and the little beings being celebrated. Our friends have become our family on this island. They were just as excited to celebrate Claire as we were. The evidence is in the decorations, food, games, attentiveness to each others’ kids, hospitality and sheer delight in watching a one year old taste frosting for the first time.

Claire, know that your entire existence has been celebrated since the day we found out you were inside me. You’ve made your way into more hearts than just your daddy’s and mine. More on YOU, sweet Claire, at twelve months… in a separate post. Stay tuned.

I leave you with a picture of the kids minus Miles (and Liam is hiding in the background):

AWESOME.

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