Ellie is all about "the party".
Always has been.
I hope she always will be.
It was only fitting then, that her birthday weekend was one big enormous party from start to finish.
Imagine turning eight in a different city than "home" and having one of your most special friends and her mom fly in for a whirlwind weekend of giggling and playing and celebrating.
That's how Ellie celebrated her eighth birthday just over a week ago.
(Stay tuned for a separate blog-post about all of our adventures that weekend...)
Ellie and Grace woke up bright and early on Ellie's "real" birthday. We sent Mike off to work and Hannah and Sasha off to school and we began our festivities. After a breakfast of Cinnamon Scones and fruit and some special gifts from Grace, we got ourselves together and headed out the door to spend the day at The Vancouver Aquarium - one of Ellie's "happy places".
Mary and I thought it would be fun to take the girls out to a "fancy restaurant" for Ellie's birthday dinner. We curled hair, put on some make-up, bling and our most special attire for a night out on the town at "The Boathouse" restaurant in Port Moody.
Before leaving for the restaurant, Sasha and I had just enough time to whip up a Layered Chocolate-Skor Birthday Cake for all of us to enjoy after dinner. When Sasha and I were finished, we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. We had baked the cakes from scratch and whipped up chocolate whipped cream for the filling and vanilla whipped cream for the top. We had chopped the Skor bars and assembled it all in record time. Sasha even ran to get her camera and took this picture:
We carefully put the cake into the fridge to keep cool.
Shortly before leaving, I checked on the cake. I use the term "cake" loosely. There had been some slipping and sliding going on in that fridge while us girls were making ourselves beautiful. What was once a thing of beauty, was no more...
Sasha made sure to snap an "after" photograph to remember the destruction. By the time we arrived home that night, much more of the cake had slid to its' demise. SO, we just shoveled it all into a bowl and dug in anyway.
But, let's get back to our dinner at "The Boathouse". The girls were the prettiest things in the joint that night. They sat like perfect ladies and sipped their Shirley Temples with poise and style. We spent the evening chatting about wedding dresses, and what we want to be when we grow up. We were also treated to some entertainment by the couple right in front of us. They appeared to be on a date and were obviously very enamoured with each other. When Mary and I noticed displays of affection, we'd alert the girls and they would casually turn their heads to catch just a glimpse of romance in action.
When dinner was finished and cleared away, our waitress brought Ellie a huge sundae with a sparkler. The Casanova in the picture above couldn't let it go without forcefully "encouraging" the restaurant to sing "Happy Birthday" to Ellie.
Once we arrived home it was time to open some presents!
The first one was from Daddy.
If you know Ellie, you know the girl loves to dance. A lot.
Mike put together a dance mix for Ellie custom made with some of her favorites...
There were presents from Nana and Papa...
A cozy housecoat from Nee Nee and Papa Herb...
And a new stand to keep all of the earrings that Ellie will need to fill the holes that were going to be put in her ears. Her one birthday wish was that she could get her ears pierced.
After a few other gifts including a pin-stripe fedora from her big sister, Ellie was ready to make it official. She was going to blow out the eight candles on her "cake".
And with that, my middle one was eight.
My middle one - with so much light in her eyes and her steps.
The sunshine in our family.
The one who's quirkiness makes us laugh and helps us to see that the world is not always a serious place.
Who lives life with vigour and leaves fingerprints of kindness.
Her middle name is Joy, and that is who she is.
On the weekend after her birthday, it was time for Ellie to get her wish.
The ears would be pierced, much to her dad's dismay.
Some dad's might wish for their little girl's ears to remain un-pierced because it means they are still a "little girl". But not Ellie's dad. Nope. He was sad for purely selfish reasons. If you've ever had the pleasure of hugging and kissing Ellie, you'd know that she has the softest skin and the squishiest body around. We like to say that her body is like play-dough. You can squeeze it and squish it like nothing else. Mike has special affection for Ellie's ear lobes. They too are squishy and soft and are great for the occasional nibble. Pierced ears meant no more nibbles for daddy. He made sure to get some good ones in the morning of the monumental piercing.
Ellie was the calmest recipient of piercing that I've ever seen.
Sat with eyes twinkling, holding my hands in anticipation.
Just a huge smile when she was finished, gazing at the tiny Aquamarine gems in her little ear lobes!