August 15 2016

Celebrating My Nephew’s First Birthday (Dol)

This past weekend, my side of the family and Sam’s side of the family got together to celebrate my nephew, Koda’s, first birthday or dol. It’s a big deal in Korean tradition, families throw huge parties inviting hundreds of guests. Like we did for Logan, Sam’s brother decided to keep it more intimate by inviting just family. With all the kids running around, it was still a packed house.

The cake was the best, it had a mini Yoda on top with the words, MAY THE 1ST BE WITH YOU, written on the bottom. It was by Eleana Perez, here’s her website and Instagram. Not only was the cake a piece of art, it was delicious, too! (Inside was a chocolate cake with fresh strawberries.)

The highlights of the day included the doljabi (read more about it below) and watching the kids run through the snake water sprinkler. (I wouldn’t recommend it since it popped early on.) All in all, it was a great time had by all.

Koda’s family picture.

My mother-in-law set up the table with fruit and tteok (Korean rice cakes). Here, we were all trying to get Koda to smile.

The grandparents with Koda.



The dol’s main event is a ritual called the doljabi where the child is placed in front of various objects such as string, money, a microphone and a stethoscope. The object symbolizes what the child will grow up to be or have. String means long life, money means wealth, microphone means entertainer and stethoscope means doctor. He chose the microphone! Maybe he’ll be a Korea pop star.


Next, we all gathered to watch Koda eat his mini cake. All the kids helped him by digging right in.

This is Koda with Sam’s dad or his grandfather.


My sister Grace is holding Koda in these pictures. What an adorable face!


We set up a kiddie pool in the backyard so that all the kids could play in it. This is Cedro and Draelyn, Koda’s cousins on his mom’s side.




Sam also set up this snake that sprayed water. The kids got a kick out of it, running through it and screaming.

These are my two sisters, Carol and Grace, and my brother-in-law Burt.

I think my Logan had the most fun. He didn’t want the party to end!


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