Y’all, J and I apparently believe in going big or going home, witness our year 2010: quit my job, move to California, get married, get pregnant.  Not to be outdone, mid-2012 looks a little like this: buy a new house, move all worldly possessions, invite both sets of parents to visit, throw a big party for the one year old.  I don’t really KNOW why we do things this way, it just ends up that way, as if we were really just very poor planners, instead of two Type A personalities who just happen to… do everything at once.   So I have two stories to tell you, the one about the house, and the one about the birthday.  But telling them in the same post would be ridiculous, and besides, I don’t have any pictures of the house taken yet, while I have many of the birthday, so while it pains me GREATLY to tell these two stories in non-chronological order, that’s just how it’s going to have to be, SELF.

Anyhoo.  I sent out email invitations for Olivia’s first birthday party, with the location at the new house, BEFORE WE EVEN OWNED THE DAMN THING, and if that doesn’t make me either the stupidest or luckiest human on the planet, I don’t know what does.  We’d also hired movers with a tentative date, BEFORE WE EVEN OWNED THE HOUSE, and all our shit was in boxes, BEFORE (you get the idea), so there were a whole lot of fingers and toes crossed at our house that things would go smoothly.  And they did- we paid extra to have the movers come on the 4th of July, and our parents did an incredible amount of unpacking, and Olivia was a charming and easy baby, and thus there was not a single box in the relatively clean house on the morning of the party.

The party was perfect- we hired someone to come and grill us up tacos (locals: Lety’s Catering), and I bought four dozen cupcakes from Rossmoor Pastries (locals: try the Lemon Explosion. Really).  J’s sister hooked us up with her margarita machine, and I dropped a bundle at Costco for booze, juice, water, and watermelons.  We added in two canopies for shade, and then let people mingle and eat tacos and fend for themselves, and it was a very nice way to spend a couple blazing hot hours in the middle of a Saturday.  Olivia cleaned up in the gift department- while I really, really, really wanted to say “no gifts,” there is apparently no polite way to do this.  Besides, I like shopping for babies, so I figured perhaps some other people also like shopping for babies, and promptly got over myself.

Welcome to the numbered years, my baby girl.

Waving to her minions


We did a smash cake, because apparently that is what you do, and while it’s sort of silly, I’m glad we did it, because look at these ridiculous pictures.  Look at them:




Not 100% sure about the whole thing



She’s so DAINTY






As usual, we tried with limited success to get a family shot taken.  This one is my favorite, even though we are all looking at different cameras.