April 8, 2012

A Clara-Bug Party

First, a warning: I had a lot of pictures to choose from and it was hard to pick, so this post is a little overboard.  Sorry.  It's not every day your kid turns one.  

So, let's set the scene for party-day.  A rainy, yucky morning that made my blood pressure rise, followed by a cooler, sunny, gorgeous window of afternoon just for the party before the heavens opened up once again right after the last tablecloth was swept away.  We were able to be outside (the party was at our church), near the playground for the kiddos, but with plenty of room for grown ups, too. 

And a little shout out to Pinterest for being my inspiration for all the cuteness you see here:

thanks to my friend Kelly, for making this awesome banner for Clara-Bug!


A big thank you to my Aunt Trina for keeping all the food going... I'd never try to throw a party without her.

 We're so thankful for the many friends and family who came from near and far to celebrate with us (and the others who we know were with us in spirit!)

Clara's cousins...


Her surgeon, Dr. Petty....

One of her PICU nurses, "Aunt" Holli:

My OB, Dr. Scherer (the first person to lay hands on this sweet baby as she was delivered!)

Our friends from South Carolina, The Lindseys.... they were the first CDH family we connected with in this journey (their daughter, Madeline - now five - was born with a diaphragmatic hernia too!) and have been an incredible source of support, encouragement, love and hope for us.  We finally got to meet in real life!

Her great grandparents, Mema and Papa....

Grandparents, of course:

And many, many more....

Clara never stopped moving.  She had so much fun seeing all the folks we've told her about, but many of whom she'd never met.  She had a blast showing off her new walking skills (with just one wipeout on the asphalt) and waving to everyone in sight.

She especially loved all the other children....

Who had plenty to do when Clara wasn't tackling them...

With a craft:


The playground...

And a beanbag toss:


There was cake, of course.... Which Clara was an old pro at, since she'd practiced the day before

No good unless you rub a little in your hair....


Thanks for all the memories!  It was a special day that we'll hold dear in our hearts forever.  What a privilege and joy to watch our baby girl grow up.  Here's to many more!!

(A extra special shout out to these two ladies to whom all these photo credits belong! Liz Green (l) and Wendi Galinski (r) took over the cameras so I could just enjoy the day without seeing it all through my lens.  I'm so thankful for that gift and for these awesome photos to remember the day by!  I'm glad you two snapped this "self-portrait" so you weren't totally forgotten!)


  1. What a day! What a party! What great friends! What a wonderful family! What super weather! What a miracle! WOW! That's just about all I can say about that...WOW! And...you posted this on Clara's first Easter ~ how appropriate:) Love from Elberton, Mary Ann

  2. Oh, the "Special Moments" ahead for ALL of you! You've only just begun to experience the JOY a child brings into your life. May Clara Mae always be as happy as she looks on her FIRST birthday! Much love to this special Hardy family!

  3. Such sweetness, sorry I was not able to come (storms, didn't want to drive). Looks like everyone had a great time, most of all, Clara. You've made it. You're as normal as can be and one of these days, you can put most all this behind you !

  4. What a wonderful day for that precious girl and all who love her so much. I have followed your story since before Clara was born (my sister is Beth Stilwell) and it is just terrific and heartwarming to see these pictures and know that you celebrated this milestone in a big way!
    Logan Bagley


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