Josiah Turns One

April 23, 2019

This past Saturday was a special day in our home, as we celebrated Josiah’s first birthday! As the calendar would have it, his birthday fell at one of our busiest times of the year — Easter weekend. This meant lots of last-minute preparations on my end, and it meant being forced to scale back some of my original ideas (let’s be honest — that’s pretty much what I have to do for every event I plan). But I was determined and excited and so grateful to celebrate our sweet baby boy. 

We hosted a small brunch at our apartment, with our immediate family, Josiah’s Godparents, and his beloved babysitter. The birthday boy napped through the first hour of his own party, and finally woke up to people who were full on French pastries (from our favorite Senegalese bakery), bacon, and eggs and very eager to celebrate him.

After he fueled up on milk, we got things set up for him to try his first birthday cake.

For all the rushing I did to get this party together, I was determined to keep with tradition and make Josiah’s birthday cake from scratch. I decided on a lemon cake (recipe here) with buttercream frosting, and I tried out the whole “naked cake” look. I learned my lesson with Jameson’s first cake that too much frosting and sprinkles could be a little confusing.

The blueberries on top of the cake were familiar and, ultimately, a huge hit.

Here, he’s like, “Guys! It’s my birthday!”

And sometimes, using your hands is just overrated.

In the end, I think he ate two bites of cake and 10 blueberries, and that was enough for him.

He took some photos with some of his favorite people…

And he opened up some presents…

And after all the guests had left, Jordan, Jameson and I took turns sharing affirmations with him — things we each love about him. (This is another tradition we plan to do with both boys every birthday.)

It’s brought me so much joy to watch Josiah grow and learn more about the world around him over this past year. He’s learned to clap and wave when he meets new people. How to hand me books and demand I read them. How to crawl using one knee and one foot. How fun it is to roll around in Mommy and Daddy’s bed. And how to stand on his own, but resist this whole walking thing his parents try to get him to do. How to eat an entire avocado in minutes. And how to make us come back in the room after saying ‘goodnight’ by throwing his pacifier over the crib railing. He’s learned that flirting with strangers will get them to smile and that there’s a reason Sesame Street has been around for 50 years. He’s learned how to scream when he’s happy or proud of himself. And how to be a super chill dude even with three super live family members.

It’s been equally amazing to see how much his presence has caused Jordan, Jameson, and me to grow as well. Having him in our family has challenged us, stretched us, limited us, granted fresh perspective, and fulfilled us.

Happy birthday, Josiah! You are such a gift to your family and this world.

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  • Reply
    Deb Porter
    April 23, 2019 at 11:01 am


  • Reply
    Ma Rice
    April 23, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Jess, you captured the day well in prose and pictures! What a glorious occasion! 🎊🎉🎂👶🏽❤️

  • Reply
    Erinn D
    April 23, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    Great post! Happy first birthday, Josiah!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Awww such a sweet note for the kindest baby in all of Harlem :-). Happy birthday, Josiah and blessings to the parents <3

  • Reply
    April 26, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Loved the story. Josiah and Jameson are two special boys raised by two special parents. Much love to your family. Happy Burthday, Josiah. GOD BLESS.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    I’m extremely late but I’m glad Josiah had an amazing birthday! I love the ideas of sharing affirmations with him. That’s so adorable! (as well as those little feet!)

    Amazing job with the cake!

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