Category Archives: Birthday Party

{Happy Birthday} Celebrating Shiv, Part Two

I’ve already given you a glimpse into Shiv’s mundan. Now, I’ll show you photos from the other birthday events from that same weekend! The mundan took place Saturday morning, and that evening, there was a casual birthday party for Shiv at a family friend’s home. Dubbed a “Beer, Barbeque, & Birthday Cake” party, to be exact!

Happy birthday, Shiv! A little impromptu chalk art for Shiv’s birthday party, by JasonIt turned out wonderfully, don’t you think? Cute cute cute party decorations!

Shiv’s pretty cool. He had specially designed graphics for his birthday party.

Mama and Gigi help Shiv blow out the candles on his birthday cakes

The adults were mingling and enjoying one another’s company, while the kids took advantage of all the fun things to do! There was a trampoline and playset with a slide, a little deck to play on, and ‘hanging crow’s nest” style swings. The kids had a ball!

I discovered the Shiv naturally struck poses that made him look like a professional toddler model

Do you get the idea that Shiv loved the trampoline? Shiv loved being spun around in the swing by his Gigi! Gigi, Shiv wants to play some more!

The nighttime birthday party came to an end when the guest of honor needed to head off to bed. But that wasn’t the last of his birthday festivities! Sunday morning, there was a small brunch held at Kate’s house. It was a more intimate gathering, but it was really special nonetheless. Here are some fun moments from that brunch!

Beautiful dining room at Kate’s house, with some of the brunch foods laid out That ball is almost as big as you are, Shiv!Some sweet time between Shiv and Gigi Shiv and Mama open some of his presents. He’s so excited to have new books! (baby kisses!)

After witnessing the sense of family that Shiv, Jill and Nishta had with people from various aspects of their lives who came together for Shiv’s mundan and birthday festivities. I think the hopes for that weekend expressed in the mundan invitation were fully realized:

We also hope this occasion will be a way to bring together many different parts of Shiv’s extended family, to celebrate with you and thank each of you for your love, support, and guidance in our lives.”


{Happy Birthday} Celebrating Shiv, Part One

The celebrations for Shiv’s 2nd birthday were so great that I hardly know where to begin!

I do know where to begin, actually: the mundan ceremony.

Don’t know what a mundan ceremony is? That’s okay. Neither did I before I was invited to photograph Shiv’s. Shiv’s parents, Nishta and Jill, were kind of enough to send the invited guests a little card with an explanation of what the ceremony involves and what it signifies. Here’s what it said:

“The mundan is an ancient Hindu sacrament marking a child’s first haircut. During the ceremony, the child’s head is shaved to bestow a long life and a prosperous future. As with all Hindu rites, a sacred fire, or havan, is built to invoke the presence and blessing of the divine.

Our family view Shiv’s mundan ceremony as an opportunity to honor the Indian heritage that constitutes part of his multifaceted identity. We also hope this occasion will be a way to bring together many different parts of Shiv’s extended family, to celebrate with you and thank each of you for your love, support, and guidance in our lives.”

The home where Shiv’s mundan took place was GORGEOUS

Meet Shiv – the man of the hour! With his Nani (Nistha’s mother)

Shiv with his mothers, Jill and Nistha (his Gigi and his Mama)Aunt “Coco” (Courtney) with Shiv, Gigi, and Mama
Shiv, clutching his mama’s sari – the sari Nishta’s mom had worn at Nishta’s mundan as a child!Sweetest face!It is traditional to remove your shoes when entering an Indian home

The priest, preparing for the ceremony
Shiv, having a look at the set-up for this very special ceremonyTime for Uncle Sacha to have the honor of performing the haircut. The priest hands over the scissors.
Snipping locks from Shiv’s hair

Only a little of Shiv’s hair was cut in the room where the ceremony took place, as he was taken into the bathroom to properly finish the haircut  with clippers. Then he was bathed, as another step of the ceremony dictated. Since electric clippers would be a new experience for Shiv, his mothers wisely had his beloved Uncle Sacha come over and buzz his own hair with the clippers a few days before the mundan, so Shiv would hopefully be more at ease with having his hair shaved.

Shiv looks at the tufts of his hair as they fall to the counter. This was his first haircut, after all.Shiv didn’t even flinch when Uncle Sacha began buzzing his hair. He was very well behaved!GiGi and Mama lovingly hold Shiv during this processAll those little curls!Guests were serenadedA little boy  with a fresh haircut and freshly bathed had a change of clothes and returns for the rest of the ceremonyGuests participate in the blessing of ShivA reading by Shiv’s Uncle Dave. He read from R.M. Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet”
Aunt Coco read a poem by Rumi
Kate led those in attendance in call-and-response blessings for Shiv

Some of the items used in the mundanCenterpiece on one of the tables where the guests had lunch after the ceremonythe littlest mundan ceremony guest (and such a cutie!)

Guests, enjoying some good Indian food and wonderful fellowship after the mundanShiv and the other young men, playing around the back yard after lunch

Coming up next: Part Two of Shiv’s birthday weekend festivities!

{First Birthday} Eli!!!

Sweet baby Eli!

Eli is the son of my friends Annie and Jeremy. I did some maternity photos of Annie before Eli first graced this world with his presence, but I had only gotten to see the baby in passing before  the day of his birthday party. Boy, had I been missing out! I immediately cottoned to this little one. I always enjoy a baby who’ll let me tote ’em around 🙂

The house was decked OUT in all things Disney and Mickey Mouse! Including Eli himself!

Eli and his buddy Ethan

Couldn’t resist a couple of extra pictures of  Ethan, too!

There were plenty of friends and family on hand for Eli to visit with during his party

Time for the smash cake!

Eli really wasn’t too on board with this whole “smush cake around with your hands and shove it in your mouth” scenario…

They brought in Ethan to see if he could help pique Eli’s interest in the cake.

Spoiler: It didn’t really work 🙂 So it was time for presents!

It’s little wonder than Eli was so tuckered out that he ended the party asleep in his grandmother’s arms…

{First Birthday} Nathan!!!

This little rascal smiled for this one because he was about to knock the chalk board over!

This is Nathan, and he just turned one!

His parents, Emily and Doug, asked me if I’d be the photographer to document baby’s first birthday party, and I happily obliged. I must say that it was a lot of fun! I spent my time at Nathan’s party snapping photos of him, his sisters, the other little ones who were there to celebrate, and the all important eating of the “smash cake!”

A child on a mission: put him down and he immediately tried to make his escape! 

Nathan and his big sisters, Paisley and Lexie

The kids had such a good time!

Party favors – it was picnic themed


Tearing in to that smash cake!

Nathan with him Daddy and Mommy – believe it or not, this was actually taken AFTER the smash cake was demolished by the baby! They were very wise about letting him get messy and then cleaning him right up! 

(I think I might have to sell this family a season pass for birthday party photos, since their family seems to be ever-growing! They just announced that baby #4 is due later this year!)