Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1st B-day Party!

Well, it was the BIG party day for the 1 year old of the fam. last Sunday. Nothing too fancy...just a few of our closest and most wonderful family members gathered at the beautiful home of Nina and Poppy Stegs. It was a lovely, wonderful, beautiful day full of smiles and good food and family. Here's a "few" pics as proof of the fun! And as with most b-days around the Steg house a party is not complete without the cake (or cakes as has been the case with Ash's b-day thus far)....and actually if you know me you know that pretty much the party revolves around the cake! haha So, since I was feeling energized I dived into my first fondant tiered cake! I was so excited about the end result, especially since I've really never taken a cake decorating course (well, I don't much count the one I took as a teenager :))...and for the fact that I don't own hardly any cake decorating supplies. But...all that said...my fondant b-day creation turned out a-ok. And....even better...it was super yummy too made of 4 different cakes and our own buttercream frosting and marshmellow fondant. More about this all later (I posted some pics of the cake-making process below)...but I must give credit where credit is due and say that this cake was a joint effort between my wonderful hubby and myself. Hats off to him...he's the most amazing guy around! I'm quite confident that not too many guys would dive into cake-decarating with their wives.
And I couldn't resist making another rendition of the cupcake cake (since I LOVE my Wilton Giant Cupcake pan sooooo much, thanks again, Mom!!!). I like the bright pink (chocolate) shell. Again, sooooo easy to make!!!
Here's the b-day girl after church....seeing her party cakes for the first time. I think she liked them :)
All ready to leave for the party...and "almost" walking. The sibs (Shelby in particular) said Ash took a half step...they witnessed it. I missed it! Hmm....I guess I'll have to take their word on that :)
Setting up for "The Big 1" party at N&P Stegs.
The big sisters even made a healthy cake for the big party. They put together this fruit cake almost all by themselves. It was super yummy! What great girls I have! (and yes, Shelby has some of the fruit cake in her mouth!)
A close-up of the fruit cake! They did a great job! Thanks to Family Fun magazine for this idea.
A family shot before the rest of the family arrives...
The party/cake table.
We finally got to meet Aubrey....our second cousin. Isn't she sweet?! She was born the day before Shelby's b-day. I love her name...I wanted to name Ashley that, but Kev had his own ideas :) Guess it's best we don't have two Aubreys in the family :)
Shelby loves babies...she had to hold Aubrey right away. I find it amazing how much Aubrey looks like her big sister, Averey. Uncanny really :)
Ash showing off her shopping skills at an early age...and showing of her modeling pose too :) (notice the beads around her neck. Great-grandma Stegs brought these for the older sibs, but Ash LOVES beads and claimed them right away!) :)
Standing on her own, but still not walking! Hopefully she takes a step or two in the next two weeks before we leave on our cruise!!!
Time to light "the big 1" candles on the Ashley cake!
Shelby lead the song and b-day worship....I think we sang to Ashley a total of 3-4 times during the party. Shelby loves singing Happy Birthday!
She also loves blowing out the candles for lil' sis :)
Ash gets her first glimpse of her slice of cake (we opted to not give her the whole cupcake this time around since we wanted to preserve the cleanliness of Nina and Poppy's house/walls/floor :) We also opted for white cake and frosting....we didn't want a repeat of the real b-day choc. mess!
Ash lost no time in digging into the frosting!
Ash decided it was more fun to feed her sisters the cake than eat it herself.
Shelby was happy about this cuz she REALLY wanted some cake!
As is always the case, mama insisted on torturing the baby...with the ever-NOT-so-popular b-day hat. See b-day post below if you don't know about this torture :) Hailey assisted me in this process....
And wonder of wonders...Ash actually let the hat stay on her head for a second AND she smiled! Dare I say she might even LIKE the hat??!!
Again Shelby sneaks a bit of cake!
Notice the hat still on the head! Amazing! I will say she finally won though and covered it in frosting and after 4 years of having this hat in our b-day box (it was Shelby's for her 1st b-day) it is now in the garbage :(
Talking to/stabbing the cake....a favorite past-time of Ashley's :)
pure enjoyment over stabbing the cake :)
Smiles with our wonderful cousins, Alyssa and Danielle :)
Alyssa humored me and wore the hate while smiling :) What a good sport she is.
Not leaving any cake/frosting behind...that's our girl!
I think this is my fav. pic of the day....is she not the sweetest party girl?? :)
Then daddy Kev fires up the grill and the guys get cooking the 'dogs and 'burgers :) Yumm! (fyi...we let Ash eat cake first in case she needed a nap and was too tired/fussy later...it ended up that she was not tired and instead ate cake twice...smart girl!) :)
the spread of food....special thanks to Nina who took care of all the fixin's and made such yummy burgers, baked beans, au gratin potatoes, etc. It was all so delicious and nice for Kev and I not to have to cook/plan it all. It made the day so enjoyable for us.
Time for dinner...Ash eats ANYTHING (even with NO teeth)...she LOVED her hotdog and fixin's...
2nd Cousin Averey tried to hold Ashley....the last time she had done so Ash was just a baby.....what a difference a few months have made....now they are almost the same size.
Time for presents. Daddy helped his girl with the opening process :)
Ash really loves her new Robeez from Nina and Poppy Stegs! She's a shoe-girl like her Ninas!

Daddy modeling one of the cute outfits from Uncle Brian and Aunt Anne. We love pink and brown and they look good on daddy too apparently!
A glimpse at most of the Steg family...enjoying the party....
My sweet, pretty Shelby girl :)
Finally...time for cake! Always a priority for Dylan and Shelby! And, yes, Shelby is always a ham!
Ashley's second round of cake eating...and this time we added ice cream. She was a BIG fan of the ice cream...kept shoveling it in with both hands!
Shelb showing off her jump-roping skills. Apparently she's been learning this at school.
I always seem to neglect taking pics of great-grandma and grandpa....but here's Dylan jumping on great-grandpa Stegs :)
And Cousin Alyssa with the beaded birthday girl. We're gonna miss Alyssa when she goes off to college next year! :(
Can you tell our girls love babies?! They can't get enough of holding Aubrey :) She's such a sweet baby.
All the girls together....
And across the way was "the boy" sitting all by himself. Yes, he is the only boy on Steg side of the family (in this generation)...same with the Gritz side (hopefully Candy and Jeff can add to the male population sometime soon??!!)
Aunt Anne and the kids playing a rousing game of toss-the-balloon. Aunt Anne is always so great with the kids. They love her!
Great pic of Nina and Ashley. In case you haven't heard...Ashley decided recently that she actually likes her Nina Stegs :) This is good news so now mommy and daddy can go out on dates and leave her with Nina ALL the time! :) YAY!
Because she hadn't had enough cake and hotdog...she dug into the Bailey (the dog's) food :)
And this is also new news...Ash likes dogs now...this was never the case before (she would cry when she saw them)...but now she likes them or at least likes Bailey :)
And just so you know I don't just torture my own kids...I also tortured Nina and Poppy and made them take a half dozen pics with the kids....this was one that was not "mommy approved". Can you see why?
Here is the more tame rendition that mommy ok'd :)
Shelby is our new family photographer and had to take a pic of mommy, daddy and Ash. Golly...seeing this pic reminds me of one we have with us and Hailey as a baby....look how far we've come in 9 years....
Here's Ash at home with all her new goodies from the Steg family. Such wonderful gifts. We love all the pj's and had to even try a pair on for the picture! Thanks, everyone!
All the goodies from Nina and Poppy Stegs....gotta love the adorable Janie and Jack clothes and all the shoes, especially those Robeez! Thanks a ton, Nina and Poppy!
All the cards Ash got for her b-day. My new thing is to take pics of them and not keep them all. I just can't keep on saving everything my kids receive/make. Too much clutter! But, we loved all the sweet cards from everyone! Thank you!
And here's proof of the cake-making process and the dynamic due in action! Daddy Kev was in charge of frosting prep. He did a fantastic job and if I ever go into business he'll be first on my list of hirees :)
Shelby takes a pic of us in action...you can see the first layer of fondant is on the cake! It was a looooooong process. Kev says the whole cake took us 12 hours to make (including baking, etc)....I'm not sure I agree, but I will for the sake that he helped me and I want him to help me again....so, sure, he's right! :)
Gotta love that pink fondant smile! We did have fun making the cake....even though bedtime at 1am could not come soon enough. (my thought on fondant....definitely better to make it...it tastes sooooo much better (even if it's gum-like)....we bought the Wilton fondant and it tasted like chemicals....but it was nice to only make half of our fondant colors...we made the bright pink and purple and white ourselves and bought the premade light green and light pink). It was sorta fun to experiment...but definitely not something I could spend my time doing all the time....especially with 4 kids! Now Cousin Alyssa wants me to make her graduation cake for next June after seeing our fondant creation. Hmmmm.....she might have to offer a lot of babysitting for that to happen! :)
Above is Ash helping me fill out her party invitations :) I don't know what I would have done w/o her assistance :) She especially loved the roll of stamps! She almost looks like she might eat them! I wouldn't put it past her! I don't normally send out invites for only a family party, but since this was my last baby's 1st b-day I just couldn't resist. Plus I got them on clearance last year with all the cute Hobby Lobby party stuff for just a $1. Kev was just happy I didn't make them by hand! Doesn't she look like she saying, "Come to my party!" in that last picture?! :)
And this was taken on Monday...our gang at Cold Stone. It was Ashley's first free b-day ice cream! We couldn't pass that up! Poor Hailey had to miss out due to her ballet commitment :( Poor girl! Can you tell our baby LOVES food....she gobbled up that strawberry ice cream!
So....that's that...lots more b-day fun! Special thanks again to Nina and Poppy Stegs for hosting the big family b-day party. It was honestly so nice to have it at their house and to not have to worry about cleaning ours. After being up til 1am that morning there is no way we would have had time to clean up the mess in the kitchen and get some rest too. We are so grateful they always open their home for parties and get-togethers. It was such fun and we really enjoyed ourselves. And thanks again to all the family for taking time out of their Sunday to spend with us and our b-day girl...and for all the wonderful gifts. Love ya'll!!!