Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our Birthday Celebration for Eli

Yesterday we celebrated Eli's 1st birthday.  I couldn't help but think all day that we should be getting him ready to play in his smash cake.  As I had my camera out most of the day documenting our day, I had an intense longing to take pictures of a little boy toddling around and having a great first birthday.  Those are normal things, aren't they? Yesterday was difficult and gentle all rolled into one. 

Jamie and I wanted to make the kids a big part of the day.  We didn't want them to feel like they did not have a part in the day.  Jamie and I decided that instead of having Eli a cake made, we would let the kids help make him one.  Honestly, we had a pretty good time making his cake.  We decided to make him a chocolate cake because we just thought chocolate would be Eli's favorite.  My mother owns a tea room and we went up there to bake and decorate the cake as she had all of the pans and such that we would need. Here are a few pictures from our cake making adventure.

We had to let LR in on the action and she enjoyed every last lick. 

Jay enjoyed a few licks of his own. Don't fret Cooper got a few also!

As you can see LR is wearing more chocolate than the cake! The boys were wearing quite a bit also.
Once our cake making adventure was over we went home and met Jamie who had picked up balloons for us to release at the cemetary.  My mother, father, sister, and brother-in-law met us at the cemetary to release balloons.  My mom bought a precious statue for Eli's birthday and my sister put a sweet balloon out there that said Happy Birthday.  Here are a few pictures from our balloon release. 

After we release our balloons and spent a few minutes around Eli's resting place, we left and came back home to celebrate just a litte more.  Honestly, I think this was the point where things got really tough for me.  We came home to sing happy birthday to Eli, blow out his first birthday candle and eat his cake...only without him.  We all sang happy birthday to an empty seat and the boys blew out his candle. It just plain hurt. We has his teddy bear in the pictures because that is how we choose to fill his empty spot.  Here are just a couple of pictures from our last part of Eli's birthday celebration.

I really think the kiddos had fun doing something in Eli's memory. I am so glad we chose to make them a part of this day. The anxiety leading up to his birthday was pretty intense. It is almost as if some old wounds were reopened. Wounds that had begun to heal. I just felt raw yesterday and really the last few days. I want to thank so many of you for your kind words, prayers, and love you sent yesterday.  It helped in more ways than I can express.

Much love to you all,


  1. Oh, Jennifer. Hugs & tears. Your celebration of Eli's birthday seemed just right. Except for the ache left by his absence. I'm glad you could all spend a special day together. Oh, I both dread and look forward to our Karinne's birthday. It's hard to believe how fast time has gone by in so many ways. I hope that your heart can begin to heal again - such a hard, hard day.

  2. This sounds like a beautiful celebration. Of course, nothing would be more beautiful than to have him with you, but you did a wonderful job celebrating his life. Thinking of you and wishing you peace as you know that Eli is always in your hearts and will never be forgotten. Hugs!!

  3. What a beautiful way to celebrate your angel <3 Thinking of you...

  4. Eli and you all were on our hearts and in our thoughts for days leading up to his birthday and all day on his birthday. Thank you for sharing pictures. Love you all!

  5. Thinking of you all always! Thanks for putting up these precious pics! Are those hearts across the top...one for each sibling maybe? What a special celebration for a very special boy. I can't help but think of the celebration we are all awaiting when we are finally together again! I really like that little statue. It looks just right at the top of Eli's stone.
    Hugs and Peace to you!

  6. It looks like your day was just as perfect as ours. It was sad to not have her their to celebrate, but the excitement about her birthday from my other children was contagious..I was celebrating the beautiful day we had together. I hear you on it being emotional, but I am at peace in some ways. I hope you are feeling better today because the anxiety was awful! Much love and many prayers to you and your family!

  7. Love that the kids helped make his cake. Very special!! What are the 3 things on top of the cake?

    The days leading up really can be tough. So many emotions!

    Im sure Eli felt your love and birthday wishes from Heaven