We felt very fortunate that Scott was home from Iraq for Ella's birthday, but because he was going to be here I didn't make any real plans for a party in the days leading up to his arrival.
Instead we had an impromptu celebration of Ella and the glorious weather on her actual birthday with the family members who were able to make it for dinner and cake on a couple hours notice on a weeknight evening. We had burgers off the grill out in the cabana, and all the girls had a great time. Since it was such a last minute thing, Mimi ended up decorating the cake with smarties... Ella didn't mind.
Then the following weekend, once Gamma was here to help us celebrate, we invited a few other family members and friends over for cake and ice cream cake. Ella and I had a date morning out together on Friday, and she picked out her cake from the DQ. I really didn't want to drive back over on Saturday before the party, and Ella was too eager to wait for it anyway, so I let her choose from the cakes that were available. It was ugly as all get out, but it had the kinds of ice cream she wanted and no red dye... we were sold!
I think part of my lack of party planning was due to the fact that this will likely be the last year I can get away with it, but the primary dilemma to party planning stems from Ella's idea of a party. Having three sisters who share a summertime birthday means that their parties have always been at Mimi and Pop's pool, kids play on the big blow up water slide and run in the grass eating melting ice cream.... it is just dreamy, especially if you are 2, 3, or 4. However, having a March birthday often means cold or at best unpredictable birthday weather.
So in addition to the two wonderful parties we've already had to celebrate Ella's turning 4, we'll be having a water slide party at Mimi and Pop's once the weather warms up enough that the kids won't freeze. We'll just call it an un-birthday party and invite her school friends. She is definitely one lucky little gal.
But her daddy, myself, and the rest of our family and friends are blessed by her sweet little spirit daily. She is one of the most patient, kind, loving little gals you could ever hope to meet. She takes great care of her sisters when they are in need, and often when they don't even know they are. Her personality is large, her questions these days are deep, and her life is shaping into one of the most beautiful blessings we could have ever imagined.
Happy almost one month late birthday to our sweet Ella B!