Celebrating our Baby's First Year of Life

So, I have not written much on this blog for a few years but I thought I should start at it again since A LOT has happened since my last post!

Not only have a couple of years gone by of wedding anniversary celebrations and more traveling, but we also had a BABY! Yes, a beautiful baby girl named Emma and she is already ONE YEAR OLD. So I wanted this latest post to honor her and basically share how we decided to celebrate her first year of life with us.

I knew that I wanted to capture her ONE YEAR celebration with professional photos, so a couple of week's before Emma’s first birthday we booked a cake smash photoshoot with Milena Pineda, who is a local photographer in San Diego specializing in cake smash photo sessions with babies. She was great and created a custom backdrop design that matched the theme of Emma’s first birthday party, which was a French patisserie theme. We loved how patient she was with our baby and of course how the photos turned out! This video is the behind the scenes of the photoshoot and you can see a slideshow of the actual photos at the end.

We did throw her a ONE YEAR birthday party, even though I thought I would not do that before I had her because I always thought traveling would be a better way to spend our money. However, I convinced myself that we just had to celebrate with a party her FIRST year of life and our first year as parents! Here is video recap of our daughter's first birthday party, for which the theme was a French Patisserie because I wanted to incorporate my love for Paris and France since I know the rest of her birthday themes will be decided by her! 

Since her birthday is the last week of October, on her actual birthday, we took her to a Pumpkin Patch! We were so glad her actual birthday landed on a weekday, because it was not as crowded as it would have been on a weekend. Here’s a short video of her first time at a pumpkin patch, the Peltzer Pumpkin Farm in Temecula, and I think she loved it!  

I also wanted to celebrate her birthday by taking a long-awaited family road trip to Yosemite National Park with our parents (both my parents and my husband's parents). I had been wanting to do this trip for many years and fortunately it all worked out for the week of our baby girl's birthday at the end of October. We rented a large van through Turo so we could all fit comfortably in one vehicle and my husband and I took turns driving six hours+ overnight so we could take advantage of a full first day. Here is a video recap of our Yosemite Family Road Trip and our experience on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, a must for families!

All of the above were very fun ways of celebrating our baby girl with our loved ones involved. However, the most significant and special way I also decided to celebrate her first year of life is with a series of videos that I put together as I was documenting special moments and milestones throughout her first year of life.

A week before her birthday I was able to finish the video of our daughter's birth, which my husband documented since I was busy in labor for more than 36 hours. Don't worry, the video is not graphic, it is very sentimental to us and I hope that our baby girl watches it with pride one day.  

That same week, I also put together a compilation of videos we filmed when our closest family members first met our baby girl.

Just in time for her actual BIRTHDAY, I was able to finish the most time-consuming of the videos because I had to go back to organize ALL the video footage and photos of the special milestones and moments that I filmed throughout the entire past year. For an entire year, I took a photo and short video of Emma EVERY single week since she was born, as well as every MONTH to mark her weekly and monthly progress. So, yes, I did a series of these videos and it took many hours to put together but the end result was so worth it because I just know that she will one day look back at them and love them as much as I do - at least I hope so!

  • Baby's First Year: Week by Week in Photos: In honor of our baby girl turning ONE YEAR OLD, I have put together all the weekly photos I took of her throughout the year. It shows her growth week by week, which is amazing to see from ONE WEEK OLD to 52 WEEKS!

  • 52 Weeks of Emma: This by far was the most time-consuming video - a collection of videos I have filmed since I started a ritual of taking a short video every week, from the day she was born up until the 52nd week. I thought it would be a sweet video for her to look back on and see how fast she grew and blossomed during her first year of life. I also included all the milestones she accomplished throughout her first year, as well as some highlights, such as first holidays she celebrated. It ended up being a very long video, but so worth it!
  • Baby's First Year: Month by Month: In this video, I put together all the monthly photos and videos I took of her throughout the year on her monthly milestone blanket. It shows her growth month by month, which is amazing to see from ONE MONTH OLD to 12 MONTHS!

I admit that it was a lot of work and some may think I might have overdone it or that I am a little extra, but I just wanted to save all these special memories we documented throughout her first year of life in a way that could be watched and enjoyed by her and our loved ones (and whoever wants to get ideas on how to create these videos for their babies). I know I LOVE watching these beautiful videos because I already miss those special moments we were able to document and I can only imagine that our baby girl will enjoy and appreciate them too, some day - I know she already does because she smiles when she watches them with us now!

Are you thinking of doing any of these videos for your baby or celebrating your baby's birthday in a similar way? Pin this for later! And let me know if you have any questions.

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