It was a brilliant October day. The Aoyagi household was still buzzing with the remnants of a weekend celebration. Dinosaur balloons adorned the walls, while green and blue streamers danced from the ceiling. It was the perfect backdrop for the adventure that awaited us. It was time to celebrate the first birthday of a very special little dino, Baby Aoyagi. Which now that I say that, it makes me sad to realize that he's not really a baby anymore. It felt like just yesterday that I witnessed his few-day old self smiling up at his mom during his newborn session. It's hard to believe how quickly time had flown by. Let me just take you down memory lane for a second with their maternity session, their beautiful wedding day, and a just for fun session from early on in their relationship. Okay now I'm getting all sappy thinking about the fact that all of these amazing memories led us to where we were this day. Ready to capture another milestone in their lives. And as always surrounded by the love and laughter that is a staple in the Aoyagi family.

I digress from my sappiness... With Mom's help, I carefully placed Baby Aoyagi's cake in the center of the backdrop. His dino friends were in the background and his favorite song was filling the air with nothing but good vibes. We waited in anticipation. Mom and Dad excitedly told me how stoked little man was for his birthday cake over the weekend. We were hoping for some major face dives and lots of frosting-filled smiles. But what we got may have been even better. Little man, it seemed, had different plans for his birthday cake this time around. With a few hesitant bites and a curious side-eye, he quickly lost interest and decided that his toys were far more enticing. Round and round he went, circling his cake like a tiny explorer in a frosting-covered wonderland. With each playful poke and prod, the frosting spread further, turning the set into a makeshift ice rink of sugary delights. Watching little man skate and scoot around his cake was a hilarious and heartwarming sight to behold. If I remember correctly, he actually fully stepped on his cake, giving his shoe as much of a taste as he had.

In the end, while the cake may have remained mostly untouched, the memories created were priceless. Baby Aoyagi's cake smash adventure served as a gentle reminder that the joy of a one-year-old knows no bounds, and that sometimes, the most unexpected moments are the ones we cherish the most. And if I know anything about the Aoyagi family by now it's that they are so easygoing. They don't stress over the little things and they truly know how to enjoy life to the fullest. Mom and Dad definitely let little man take control of the session and weren't afraid to get messy with him. They giggled and laughed throughout even though the outcome was a surprise for them too! They tossed frosting covered balloons around and embraced his messy self when he needed a hug. I absolutely adore their go-with-the-flow, fun nature and I aspire to be just like them when I have kiddos. The Aoyagis also have such big hearts. I cannot tell you how welcomed and loved I feel whenever I am around them. It may help that I've known them since we were teens, but I don't think that makes a huge difference. They are just genuinely amazing people. So you can only imagine how loved little man must feel each and everyday. They are truly happy people and I admire their kindness. And to say that I am so blessed to share so many beautiful memories with them is such an understatement.

Well Aoyagi fam, we've done it again. Another wonderful celebration of this beautiful life you are creating together. And all I can say is thank you. Thank you endlessly for letting me be a part of your story. Thank you for letting me witness all the emotions and moments. We've happy cried together during your wedding and belly laughed more times than I can count! And I am completely honored to be able to say that. I love your little family and cannot wait to see all the laughter, love, and delightful surprises that are in your future. Especially with little man and his dino-filled adventures. 🎉🦕