Officially, it was a way for Khloe Kardashian to celebrate her 36th birthday during quarantimes.
Her sprawling Calabasas spread was transformed into a pink-hued wonderland with oversized balloon displays, flowers aplenty, a sweets station and even a giant inflatable slide bearing her likeness, all for her close-knit family to enjoy before watching her blow out the candles on a floral-themed cake. So, yes, the June 27 bash was ostensibly for the birthday girl.
But the fete certainly felt like Rob Kardashian's coming out party. The most private member of the famed clan, attending alongside sisters Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner as well as the many Kar-Jenner grandkids, offered a glimpse inside the celebration, posting a series of three photos (as in more than he shared all of 2019) of himself enjoying the fun, including one snap with Tristan Thompson and the basketball pro's friend Savas Oguz, he captioned, "Woo back baby."
Which, he is. Back online (the candid shot our first real glimpse at Rob in roughly a year and a half, save for a few photos on Halloween and a post from January showing little more than his eyebrows), back on track with his health- and life-related goals and back to a place that, at times, has felt somewhat elusive for the single father of 3-year-old Dream Kardashian.
"Rob has been thriving during quarantine," a source raves to E! News of the 33-year-old. Long an avowed homebody, the Arthur George sock designer had a relatively easy adjustment to the stay-at-home lifestyle. But in between reading bedtime stories to Dream, his daughter with onetime fiancée Blac Chyna, and hanging out at mom Kris Jenner's Hidden Hills manse, he's fit in sessions with a trainer, gaining a new shape and heaps of confidence. "He's doing great and is in a good headspace," says the source. "He seems happier than ever and is enjoying being around in social settings more."
Khloe's birthday likely would have been inked onto his schedule, regardless, the middle children each other's partner in their tight fam. Often over at her place for playdates—Dream just 17 months older than cousin True Thompson, 2—"He is especially close with Khloe," a source told People. "He would never miss her birthday celebration."
Though, he's RSVP'd yes to many occasions of late. Kourtney raved that his thoughtful gift (a record collection that once belonged to their late father, Robert Kardashian) was the best present she received on her April birthday and his appearance at Kendall's bash last October were the first indication that he was ready to resume a more public lifestyle.
Amazing what a few endorphin-boosting sweat sessions can do.
It was back in October that Rob, diagnosed with diabetes in 2015, committed himself to time with a trainer. "He gets together with friends to play basketball at his home court and has fun with that too," an insider told E! News at the time of his workouts. "He is very focused on making changes and sticking with it."
For the University of Southern California alum, who at one point toyed with attending a weight loss retreat, that's meant cutting down on fast food runs and alcohol and "completely" changing his diet," said the insider. "He is feeling a lot better and seeing results."
More than nine months in, his 1.5 million Instagram followers are getting a glimpse as well. "Rob's been continuously putting effort into his health and wellness," the source tells E! News. "He still works out with a trainer here and there, but has really been working on his healthy eating habits. This has been a game changer for him."
Should he feel his motivation begin to dip, he need only glance at his pint-sized sidekick. "His biggest motivator is Dream," an insider told E! News last year.
Really, the preschooler is his driver in all things. An ongoing legal battle with ex Blac Chyna has certainly gotten ugly with back-and-forth accusations. He said she drew a gun on him during a 2016 fight, a claim her lawyer denied. She filed a complaint with the DCFS after Dream suffered two different burns, accidents his attorney said happened while she was with a nanny and Rob treated "appropriately". But through it all, Rob remains keyed in on giving Dream a happy childhood. He's "doing everything he can to create a positive environment," a source told E! News earlier this year.
That means, uh, dreaming up creative play ideas, scheduling time with her to run around with her cousins and documenting her never-ending cuteness for the 'gram. "He is loving spending time with Dream and entertaining her with activities," the source tells E! News. "He is always sharing her milestones with his sisters and loves teaching her new things. Dream is his number one priority."
Though he's got some ideas about what might nab the second, third or fourth slots. "Rob is single, but would like to date," a confidante told E! News last November. "He wants to find someone to spend time with and share his life with."
Knowing how important it is that any partner fit in with his notoriously close family, he's even asked momager Kris for her input, continued the confidante: "He doesn't want to get swept up and fall hard for the wrong person." But he's definitely ready to dive back into the pool. Healthier and more confident than he's felt in ages, "He's starting to feel better about himself," said the source, "and is feeling more hopeful."
Which is what happens when you've crossed off your annual resolutions just six months in.
While most of us are just hoping to make it through the gauntlet that is 2020, Rob set his intentions back in January for it to be his best year yet. And he intends on following through. "Rob has set several goals this year and is on a really good track," an insider said at the time. "He is in a really good mindset and is doing everything he can to create a positive environment for Dream."
Things aren't looking too shabby from his end, either. Awash with self-assurance, making time for both business (hello, punishing gym sessions) and pleasure (keeping up with the Kardashian social schedule and playing horsey with Dream), "Rob is in a very good place in his life right now," said the insider.
Yup, he's back, baby.