what’s that you ask? Well, sweet little Addie (who’s been featured on this little blog a few times) had her first birthday over the weekend (still in shock she’s already one!), and because her mom Grace is Korean, they held a Dol or Doljanchi celebration. It was my first Dol celebration, so I loved taking it all in.

Of course, there were some other traditions in there you may recognize, because after all, it’s important she have a cake all to herself. 🙂 You only turn one once!

Addie First Bday 3

^^It’s photos like this one that remind me why I just love taking pictures. That expression is just the best.^^

Addie First Bday 20

^^Addie is wearing a traditional Hanbok, which was sent to her from a relative in Korea.^^

Let me tell you, Grace (who recently started a blog of her own) did such a fabulous job making Addie’s birthday special. As I’ve learned via Grace (and the internet), Dol celebrations came about because the infant mortality rate in Korea used to be very high, and as a result if the child made it to their first birthday it was considered a huge milestone for the baby and their family. The Dol celebration serves as a way to bless the child with a prosperous future.

This party was a DIY’ers dream (lord knows, I’ve been slacking in that department lately), because of course the super-talented Grace (who made all our decorations the night of our engagement) made all the traditional Korean decor with a little added touch of Addie’s sweet personality.

Here’s a look at some Dol traditions Grace incorporated into the party (I’ll try my best to make sure I accurately explain them, but don’t worry I’ve consulted Grace too!):

Addie First Bday 18

Addie First Bday 7^^As part of tradition, a child is presented with objects – the number and type of objects vary – in this instance Addie had a stethoscope, yarn, baseball, money, microphone and paint brushes. It’s said that what object the child chooses will predict their path in life. Everyone had a chance to vote on which object they thought she would choose, and one winner from the correct bucket got a prize. In Addie’s case, it was all about the paint brushes (had it been me, I might have gone for the money 🙂 ). Looks like there might be a future artist in their family!^^

Addie First Bday 14^^On Addie’s birthday table, Grace made Dol Towers, which from left to right have on them, “chook dol” which means first birthday, a snake because she was born in the year of the snake, and Addie’s name in Korean. Talk about DIY!^^

Addie First Bday 19

^^This was not homemade, but still very cool. A multi-colored Korean rice cake which read “Happy First Dol” in Korean.^^

Oh and despite all of those traditions, which I love that we got to witness, there was just all-around cuteness from the birthday girl.

Addie First Bday 16

Addie First Bday 17

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Addie First Bday 22

^^Contrary to most of the photos, she wasn’t overly enthused about the cake. I’m guessing that will change in a few years. 🙂 ^^

What a fun celebration for such a cute gal. Thanks Ben and Grace for letting us share in these traditions!

P.S. I’ve already enlisted Grace’s crafty-ness for our little wedding later this year, she just doesn’t know how much work is in store for her when she arrives in Missouri. 😉

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