ramona’s first birthday was last sunday, july 15, in our backyard. i knew i wanted to throw a pink & gold baby bash of sorts. my dear and creative and meticulous friends, nicole and christie of hey! party collective, were just the people for the job. they took my basic idea and had so much fun with it, while still keeping things simple. in this case, pictures speak a whole lot louder than words so i’ll let this photos take it away…

the party was a blast — certainly due in part that i had other people doing most of the stuff for me, so i could just soak it all in. ramona really seemed to get that it was for her and delighted in toddling around the yard saying hello to friends and family. with a bit of coaxing she dove into the chocolate birthday cake (and even shared with the other children!) and just generally, was happy and cheerful in her birthday best. it was so so nice for jp and me to celebrate this big day with all the loved ones that have been such champions and fans and advocates of ramona this past year. this party was also a thank you to them. we are incredibly blessed with an amazing village.

shout outs to my event sponsors:

  • hey! party collective — event planners who made this party what it was. (if you live in denver, you need to look them up, for reals. they will take care of it all).
  • samm sherman of root down and linger — she used her exec pastry chef expertise to lovingly make those pink & gold macarons (rhubarb buttercream amazingness!).
  • lashley rhodes — dear friend and photographer extraordinaire
  • banners on the cheap who offered me a credit toward their store (with which i ordered the vinyl banner seen in the first photo) in exchange for a link back to their vinyl banner page. they did not ask for a review, favorable or otherwise, so it is my unsolicited opinion that this is a good and affordable company in the event you may need a vinyl banner. their customer service was efficient and courteous, to boot. thank you for seeking me out!
  • my parents — who bought all the food and accouterments after enduring the most obnoxious costco run of their life (their daughter was a combination of sleep-deprived and hungover and, in the scheme of helping them out for a party she was throwing, utterly worthless).
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this past weekend, my parents were staying in our home during their visit for ramona’s birthday. we took advantage of the fact we had in-house babysitters and got away for an early four-year anniversary celebration.

  • we started with drinks and small plates at charcoal restaurant
  • then moseyed over to the clyfford still museum, where we had the galleries all to ourselves
  • afterward we headed to squeaky bean’s new location (go there now!)
  • we planned on ending the night at williams & graham (and should have as it was late and i had had plenty to drink)
  • but after one drink there, we then went on to a  friend’s house warming party

my parents had ramona sleep down with them in the guest room in the basement. technically, it was our first night away from little miss bean! i hurt the next day as going to bed at 1:00 AM and waking up at 6:30 is not my forte. those heavy-drinking, late-nights are not (or should not) be in the cards for this mama. but knowing that ramona can successfully sleep away from us is good news to me! i’m not eager to cart her off every weekend but sometimes, well you know, sometimes parents need a break.

jp and i love to celebrate special occasions by splurging on good dining experiences. here’s where we’ve dined for our previous anniversaries:
1st anniversary: root down (before we worked there!)
2nd anniversary: schwa
3rd anniversary: trattoria stella

from meeting to marriage was a whirlwind. we’ve spent the last four years figuring each other out. i have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be doing that for the rest of our lives. but i like you. i really do. things aren’t always easy but, to anyone who has been married, that’s no surprise. you have blown me away with your loyalty to our little family and your commitment to being the best man you can be, not only to me, but to our daughter, our families, and those around us. i see that every day in the hard and honest work you put forth to make your dreams your livelihood, and to include ramona and i in that. what a partnership we have! what fun we have! i love you, bub. always and forever. happy anniversary.

jp and i married on july 18, 2008 at prairie production in chicago. these beautiful photographs were taken by nancy beale of dwp.


ramona turned one on sunday! we had a great backyard party (all done up by Hey! Party Collective) with lots of family and friends and hot dogs and macarons. thank you to all who celebrated with us and helped make this day amazing (including the people over at banners on the cheap who contributed the vinyl banner). i’m waiting on photos taken by my talented friends, luca and lashley. until then, i’ll leave you with this poem, which my mother used to accompany a photo of me nearly 26 years ago, in that same white smocked dress you see ramona wearing in the second set of photos.

It’s quiet now,
the cyclone passed,
destruction in its wake.
The room is filled with limp balloons
and smeared with chocolate cake.
As I survey the damage,
I feel strangely close to tears.
An era’s….passed.
A door has closed.
I can’t slow down the years.
I watch them now,
my giggling brood,
so earnestly at play.
And stoop to brush
the crumbs aside,
The baby’s one, today!

–author unknown


happy birthday, mama. you are an enthusiastic celebrator of occasions, an excellent nona (and giver of the cutest ramona clothes!), a gracious and generous host and guest, an adventurous traveler, and an example to me of a great and thoughtful mother and wife — these among many other wonderful things, of course. i love you.

(can’t wait to spend time with you next week while we’re celebrating ramona’s first!)