It is amazing how fast they grow up and yet how long it sometimes feels like it takes to get there. When they were babies, I wondered if they would ever grow up. I don’t know if I was wishing away the time/years as much as I was hoping for sleep and a little bit of freedom. Babies are babies and fully dependent on you for their every whim. And you are basically a slave to them when they cry to be fed or changed or held or anything else. You lose sleep and you lose a bit of sanity. At the same time, you look forward to monthly appointments to see how they are developing. You relish first words, smiles, steps, and movements. You watch as they change from day to day. And they, somehow - in the process of ripping apart your life – capture your heart and make all the moments worth it. Am I a bit nostalgic? Perhaps. Am I am longing for another right now? Not really. (I still vividly recall the crying, the sleep deprivation, and the time restrictions.)
But, Ellie, she is our littlest right now. And she is growing up so quickly. The influence of an older sister does that, I think. I feel like she has discovered how to play and color and imagine without any problem. She talks like it is a competition she wants to win. She has facial expressions that any actor would be jealous of. And she definitely has an opinion (usually “no” accompanied by a little screaming and maybe a reason). Sometimes we just watch her because we are stunned by the way she mimics Madison. It has been an experience watching sisters; we’ll see how they continue their journey.
Enough philosophizing and reflecting…. if Ellie were telling this, she would definitely have skipped all that mushy stuff and got right to the important stuff – her party! Our lives are pretty much one party/gathering after another starting with Christmas and ending with Ellie’s birthday. It is quite a rush. Ellie finally got her special day, and she knew exactly what that meant by the time it came.
She put on some party clothes. She donned the Happy Birthday crown. (I figured she would tire of it, but she wore it the entire night!) And she waited for the guests to arrive. And arrive they did! We had 22 people and our house. It felt good to have people fill it to the brim. For the conversation that happened. And for the way people hung around because they were enjoying their time.
For dessert, I tried my hand at cupcake decorating. The idea was not hard – and Elmo cupcake I had seen on pinterest. However, I had no cake decorating supplies and rarely frost things if I can get away with it. Nevertheless, I braved Pat Catan’s cake decorating aisle, bounced ideas off an very nice sales associate, and took one for the team! Making the right red for Elmo was not so easy (thanks, Wilton Red gel … almost an entire jar!). Then, the buttercream frosting I made from scratch started separating a little bit, so I had to try to fix that since Elmo’s fur was turning into a puddle of red. I cut Oreo's in half for the mouth - which, by the way, tend to break wihen you cut them. Then, I affixed an orange M&M, carefully sorted out by Madison, for the nose. Finally, I added googly eyes from the craft department. (I just couldn’t bring myself to conquer the recommended fondant eyes this time around!) And the result was, actually, pretty cute.
Ellie enjoyed them. She keeps talking about the nose. I assume she enjoys peanut M&Ms like me.
She even blew out candles affixed to a supremely gooey rice krispie treat.
She tried so hard to always be looking at the right camera! It was pretty impressive the way she played it up in the spotlight. (Check out Landen’s photobomb in the back!)
Then, it was time for presents. She waited while everyone settled back into their seats.
Then, she unwrapped with a focus that was pretty impressive. She would open one, look at it briefly, and move on. She spent little time dwelling on any one gift. I don’t know if that is the excitement of the pile of gifts awaiting her or her desire to keep the party moving. Afterwards, she thanked as many as she could get to with a little hug.
She spent the time afterwards with one eye on the guests and cleaning up. (A cleaning set was one of her gifts.) There is just something about a princess with an apron on … especially with the sparkle shoes as a part of the outfit!
Happy Birthday, Ellie! We love you with all our hearts. Blessings in your next year.