Monthly Archives: March 2015

Ara and Natalie’s Superhero 1st Birthday


Our little baby Ara turned ONE on March 25! I was so excited to cohost her 1st Birthday party in California with my cousin, Angela and her little girl, Natalie.¬† Angela and I were born four months apart and were inseparable growing up together. We loved the Babysitter’s Club books and hated piano lessons. We would spend the night at each others houses and stay up late playing, eating Oreos, whispering, giggling, and sharing secrets and dreams. She was and is my first best friend.

Angela was the first to become a mom and I watched her take on motherhood with her trademark humor and sweetness. A couple years later, we found out we were both expecting at the same time. Natalie and Ara were born one week apart. It was set! Our daughters were destined to be super cousins, just like their moms.

Living here in SLC, I had a hard time deciding whether to have a party for Ara in California (where a lot of friends and family are), or Utah. In the end, Nick and I decided to do both because it is such a special milestone. Angela suggested we cohost a party and the ideas came together pretty quickly once a theme was decided. Our husbands, bless them, just went with the flow. Enter the superhero/supergirl party theme for the girls’ 1st birthday! It was a play off of being super cousins, but we loved the idea of having an empowering theme for our daughters at an early age. The grandmothers (our moms) were eager to help and went to Party City to pick up supplies and favors. They kept calling Angela to ask what exactly a superhero was (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Big Hero 6?) and had a hard time finding things that didn’t scream “boy.” Next time, they asked, can’t we pick a more feminine party theme? Like princess or Minnie Mouse? Or at least something pink and pastel? ūüėČ

I’m so thankful to be living in this age. Pinterest, online shopping, and texting makes long distance planning so much easier!! The party was a blast. Angela and Lee generously hosted everyone at their house and we were able to take advantage of their big backyard. Favorite details were the bounce house (always a hit!), the girls’ personalized capes and cape station, the cityline backdrop my mom made, the yummy desserts, and the fun signage that played up the overall retro superhero theme. WHAM! POW! Who run the world? GIRLS!!

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Immense thanks to Angela’s dad, my Uncle Cung Tran for taking a lot of the photos!

Burlingame Love

There’s no hiding the fact that we miss our last home in Burlingame. ¬†Nola was born there and that was her first home. ¬†We will always call her our CA girl. ¬†We figured out how to be parents there, basically on our own and by the grace of God, and explored our little butts off whenever we could. ¬†It was a good chapter in our lives.

Here are some of our favorite photos from our last family photo session in Burlingame. ¬†Clearly these are super old and I’m following Krystal’s lead on sharing these 8 months old! ¬†Of course since then we added another sweet addition to the family, but these are too good not to post and it’s always fun to look back at the good memories.

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Trust me I had to refrain myself from posting more because we got a LOT of good ones. ¬†I just love looking at them and reminiscing. ¬†Each photo really represents our life so well back then. ¬†From us dancing in our living room, coloring at the table, playing at our local park, pushing that red car EVERYDAY up and down Burlingame Ave to us standing in front of apartment (and can I mention in that last photo I feel like I don’t look short, kind of obsessed with it bc of that :))….we love you Burlingame!!

I can’t do this post without mentioning our photographer Carissa Graham. ¬†You ever meet someone and have that connection? ¬†Lets just put it this way, if we hadn’t moved¬†I probably would¬†have called her to hang or beg her to be my friend. ¬†I just loved her instantly as a person and could tell she was good people. ¬†I would recommend her to all my Bay area friends, but she recently moved to the Charlotte area per her Instagram. ¬†So if anyone lives in the Charlotte area and needs a good photographer hit her up!! ¬†Thanks Carissa for documenting this special chapter in our lives!!

Family Session in Gasworks Park

Ah, so much has happened in the past few months! We were thrilled for Missy and CJ and the arrival of their beautiful son, Jonas. We can’t wait to meet him. I think a trip to Wisconsin is in order, Missy.

We’ve been staying busy in our quiet corner of the country. Over the last few months, we’ve visited several gorgeous national parks in Southern Utah, traveled to California and Omaha, and have been getting our skiing fix in at Park City (Nick’s been taking lessons and is a skiing ace now!) When home, Ara and I have established a weekly routine of Kindermusik classes, library sessions, playdates and swim classes. Winter has been mild thankfully, so we’ve been taking advantage of going outside as much as possible! Ara will be a YEAR old next week (March 25)!! She is crawling, standing, babbling, teething, laughing, a whirlwind of energy. Party-lover that I am, I’ve been occupied planning two birthday parties, one in California and one in Utah, to celebrate. Our first child only turns one once! That is how I justify it anyway.

One of my goals is to always keep moving forward and to try not to look back too often. Yet as we approach this special milestone in Ara’s life, I can’t help but reminisce about the year gone by. It has been the longest, shortest, sweetest year as we navigated parenthood and got to know our little one. She has enriched our lives and has brought us so much joy. I asked Nick the other night if he could ever imagine what our lives would be like with a kid and he said that while it is more exhausting and demanding than ever, he wouldn’t change it for the world. My thoughts exactly. I don’t think we ever anticipated how challenging and rewarding parenting would be. Or how big this love would feel.

Speaking of looking back, this is EIGHT months overdue! Here is a family session we did last June in Seattle when Ara was¬†3 months old. It was the week before we moved to Salt Lake City and Nick and I both wanted to work with our talented and wonderful friend, Doroth√©e at Belath√©e Photography, one more time before leaving Seattle. The sun was out that day, Nick was taking a break from studying for his boards, and we were at one of our favorite spots in the city, Gasworks Park. Going through these photos, I’m struck by how small Ara was then and how these moments already reflected her fun, sweet personality. We are so thankful to have lived in this beautiful city. To us, it will always be Ara’s first home.

All images by Belathée Photography