Friday, June 28, 2013

Miss Ella Turns Four

It's been a week of celebrating in our house! We began on Sunday with the Duluth celebration of Pete's residency graduation, which was promptly followed by a backyard picnic to ring in Ella's 4th birthday. Nana & Papa Olsen, Nana & Papa Scott, Auntie Kristin, Becky & the girls, and the Horns were all in attendance.

It was a pretty relaxed party, complete with a "cake" made of stacked donuts. What could be better for a birthday girl who absolutely adores such baked treats? 

Ella, Malena, and Maira enjoyed their picnic in the playhouse.

Nana & Papa Olsen with Sammy

Sammy got a wee crabby, but I love this photo
Becky & Maira

Of course, Ella was most excited about opening presents. They included a lot of princess goodness and pink. 

Mama was most excited about this present. I found this a couple months ago in a 'used stuff for kids' Facebook group. The bike was $15. A couple weeks later I found a matching helmet and bike bell on in the same group for $5. The helmet is a little too big still, but eventually we'll pull it out. Twenty bucks for the whole shebang. This mama scored.

When I look at this picture, the realization hits me that I just bought my little girl a bike for her birthday. She's not old enough for that, right? How is she already four? Whether she lets me say it or not, she'll always be my baby girl. She's the sweet little one who first made me a mama and took me through all the trials and errors of what it means to be a parent for the first time. I fully expect to become an expert on it eventually. (Hey, a mama can dream.)


Tuesday morning, June 25, I snuck into Ella's room to surprise her with a birthday donut. The night before, I decorated her door with pink and white ribbon, which she had to walk through to leave her room. She loved it.

you can't see her pinky, but she's holding up FOUR

Sammy was clearly more interested in the donut than taking a birthday photo...

...until Ella gave him snuggles. He loves Ella snuggles.

In case you didn't know, I have a girlie who loves to be dramatic. No joke. She's been dreaming of being on stage since she was little. If you question, just check out this photo. After spending years on stage, I am thrilled to have a little drama flowing through her long as the drama is more along the lines of cute facial expressions and made-up songs and not sassiness and tears. So far the balance is on the side of the silly songs, thank goodness.

Birthday breakfast leftovers.

Becky and the girls along with Krista and Caleb came over to play in the afternoon. We had planned to go to the zoo, but it was just too hot in the sun. I felt terrible even saying that since we had been waiting for a real summer day. We haven't had many up here by the lake. Alas, the kids would have scorched in the sun. The backyard is pretty shady in the afternoon. We'll hit the zoo another day.

After Pete got home from afternoon clinic, we packed up the stroller and headed to Canal Park. It's always gorgeous in Canal Park, but it's particularly so in the summer. The night could not have been prettier. We wandered down the Lake Walk, stopped at a little place with mini corndogs for Ella, and watched a gigantic ship come in through the canal. I will never grow tired of the ships in Duluth.

After the ship came and went, we strolled to the shore to throw rocks in the water, one of Ella's favorite activities.

We had a great time celebrating Ella's fourth birthday, but the partying is certainly not over! Saturday she's having her very first "friend" birthday party. She has lots of friends from school she wanted to invite, so we decided to have a party in addition to celebrating with family. I think I have everything we need for the ice cream theme Ella picked a couple months ago. (Okay, I may have coerced her a little bit. It's a great way to let the kids make something yummy while 1) not making a big cake, and 2) getting rid of a few of the many bottles of cake sprinkles I have. MOSTLY, it was her own choice. Have I ever mentioned how much I love planning parties? I do. A lot.)

Happy fourth birthday week to our Miss Ella!


* a little glimpse at the week that has passed *

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