Happy 1st Birthday/Tol, Baby!

Happy 1st Birthday/Tol, Baby!, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Don’t you love the look on her face?
She’s watching a bird fly overhead.
(She’s wearing the hanbok sent with her from her Korean foster mother.)

We spent this Saturday with family celebrating birthdays. Both Zoe and her cousin, J, were born on May 16 – 12 years apart. We celebrated her first birthday with a Tol Party. We had a few friends and family over for a mid-day barbeque. it was great fun. Even the birthday girl laughed her way through the three hour party until she finally sat still and decided maybe she did, indeed, want to take a nap. (Although it was only a 30 minute one much to my chagrin. *I* was tired and we had not only the clean up but then our nephews party that night too!)

We had a gluten-free affair (minus the cake which we got at the Korean bakery). We served jap chae (Korean sweet potato starch noodles) that I made (thus gluten-free), kal bi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs), Korean chicken wings, kim chi (2 varieties – one spicy radish and the other a cool kelp noodle salad), fresh fruit (strawberries, pears, oranges, mandarins, apples, etc) and plenty of rice cakes (about 12 different varieties).

For Zoe’s toljabee (a ceremony where the child is escorted about a table by their father to select two items that represent their future), she chose a plastic knife which means she will be a warrior (think modern day courageous person) and a good chef. She also chose the money (indicating wealth). My husband was a tad disappointed. He had stacked the odds in hopes that she would select something to indicate that she would be a scholar by placing not only a book (although, I later pointed out that he had used my Moleskin sketchbook which would mean that she would become an artist…LOL) but he also placed a ruler on the table (mathematics/science/architecture, etc) as well. While the ceremony was fun, we both know that we just want her to be happy, healthy and whole.

Some people think that I was sad to not have a bite of her birthday cake, but really, I didn’t want it nor do I need it. I’m happy to report that since starting my mindful eating and joining the gym, I’ve dropped two pant sizes. Not too shabby, but I’m not stopping here. My intent is to live a healthier, fuller, more active life. Weight loss, while fabulous and totally necessary for me, is the secondary objective. Having a long life with Zoe during which we can have a million adventures is my primary goal. Next year, I hope to be able to run a 5K. I don’t quite know how I shall train for it with a baby in tow, but I’ll figure something out. If I can’t run it, then she and I will definitely walk it together. We could probably walk that 5k this year… hmm… maybe I will have to figure out the running part. Any tips, people? All ideas welcome!

We hope you are all having a wonderful mid-May and finding ways to celebrate yourselves and each day as well. Seek out an adventure – cook something new! What are your taste buds craving?

Right now… I think I’ll make some three bean salad and chomp on some mini-cucumbers with homemade garlic hummus. Life is good. Don’t you think?

Happy Gluten-Free Life and Adventures, everyone!

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