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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ella's Birthday Party (and lots of other goodies)

Oh what a fun, whirlwind weekend we had!! Ella's party was all I hoped it would be. It was so amazing to have all of these wonderful families together in one place. And what fun it was to stand back and see people meet for the first time who have only known each other online. There is an instant connection that can't be explained between us all. I mean, how often do you see people flying hundreds of miles to visit someone they have never met....and even stay in their house!! Stephanie and Faith and Jennifer and Abby (no blog) took a gamble on us and came for a visit. And what fun it was!! That was the original impetus for planning Ella's party and then it just grew from there. Next Cammie and Addy made plans to come out for Spring break and to stay with Heather and Zoey. Then Lacey and her family decided to make the trip from Utah. As chance would have it, Bethany and her friend Linda were out here at the same time for a conference and then so many of our Southern California friends who are friends with all of these out-of-staters were able to join us. It was awesome!!! But I do have a few regrets. I feel like I hardly got to spend any quality time talking with anyone. Just a few chats here and there, but I guess that is to be expected when you are the host. I hope no one takes it personally. My other regret is that I didn't get any pictures of all of us Moms or of the Moms holding their cuties. Oh well....can't change that now. In lieu of gifts (although some of you didn't listen :) we raised some money for Lera instead. I am happy to report that we got over $250 in cash the day of the party and I know that in addition, a few people donated directly to Lera's website so hopefully we made a little difference. Although, rumor has it that Lera is going to be getting a large donation and therefore may be fully funded. Once that is confirmed, we will choose another family to donate our money to if Lera's family no longer needs it. How awesome would that be.

The day after Ella's party, Stephanie, Jen and I took our 3 girls on an adventure to Los Angeles. I say adventure because it was literally raining cats and dogs the whole way there and back. But it was worth it because we met up with Heather, Cammie, Addy and Zoey at the Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios. It was wonderful to sit at a table with our 5 special girls and be so proud of each of them. After lunch, we did some typical tourist stuff like driving around the big homes of Beverly Hills and driving down Hollywood Blvd looking at the stars in the sidewalk. It was raining so hard and the little ones were either sleeping or crying so I just drove along and every once in a while Stephanie and Jen would jump out to take some photos. It was an exhausting day but definitely worth it. We had hoped to meet up with some other Ds moms for dinner that night but the kids weren't on board with that at all.

Ella wasn't really herself at her party, just not as social as usual. And then the next day when we drove to LA, she was a grumpy mess!! I think she cried almost the whole way home while we inched along in the pouring down rain. This is so unlike her and by Monday, we realized that it was because she was in the midst of getting a yucky cold. Bummer but thank goodness she wasn't a snotty mess at her party. (hope everyone wasn't exposed).

All of our guests are gone now :( and I guess we must get back to life. Tomorrow is Ella's IEP meeting for preschool. Hopefully it will go well. I am not going in looking for a fight. My view is that it is only preschool and my main goals are for her to get some regular socializing with her peers and to start learning how to follow rules in the classroom. I know they will be working with her on some of her therapies and that is all I really ask for. Our Spring break is the following 2 weeks and Ella will turn 3 during that break so will most likely start school on April 11th....I can't believe it!!! She seems so small!!

Anyway, now for a ton of pictures from the party and various events afterward. Thanks again to all of you who were able to make it and to those of you who weren't, you were definitely missed!!

The first spot everyone plopped down to get to know each other

Pure Sweetness.....Jax and Addy

My daughter Emma and her friend, Megan

Ella and her new friend, River (he is a couple
months younger than her..I think she is small)

Ella and Sweet Pea

Ella and her favorite person (herself)

Our resident Ds model, Arina

One of many attempts at getting a picture of the kids....ha ha!!

Ella's cake

Ella and me with her cake

Trying to get her to put her fingers in the cake

She finally touched it but didn't know what to do with the
frosting....silly girl, she has so much to learn!!

Jax and Arina and their family came back to our house for a
bit after the party so we had the opportunity for more Arina pics!!

Sweet Tanner loving on Ella like he always does :)

At the Hard Rock....this pic kind of sums up Ella's day in LA!!
I am not sure if Zoey was annoyed by Ella's crying or showing signs
of her own oncoming cold.

Cammie, Addy and I....a picture we missed the last time we
got together!!

My favorite picture!!! All of us moms and our beautiful daughters!!

Ella, Faith and Abby wearing their matching Old Navy sweatshirts
from Stephanie...love it!!

Girls in pink!!!

Stephanie had these shirts made for us with a wonderful
Ds quote and a picture of daughter on it.

She also had these Tshirts made for our girls since they
were turning 1, 2 and 3 respectively...all within a 2 week period.
This one had better smiles but you can't see the numbers
on the shirts as well!!

So thankful to get to spend so much time with these
beautiful little angels!!

Ella and Faith also had these matching jammies...of
course another failed attempt at a cute picture...but whatever!!


kecia said...

looks so fun! Wish I could have been there!

Stephanie said...

I had SUCH a wonderful time that I will always cherish! Thank you SO very much for your gracious hospitality, Denise. I appreciate you inviting Faith and I into your beautiful home and family! Miss you guys already :)

Kelli said...

Happy Birthday Ella! Looks like a great party.

Celle said...

Looks like everyone had a great time. The pictures are heartwarming. So sorry we missed it. Happy Birthday, Ella! Muwah!

Chris, Becca, Abby and Jocelyn said...

What a celebration. The mamas,the dads, the friends, the family, the kids, the siblings, the little ones, the food...I could go on and on. It was a WONDERFUL celebration. I am so glad to have met so many of your sweet blog friends:) Thanks again, Denise and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ELLS!

Chris, Becca, Abby and Jocelyn said...

I mean...Happy Birthday to ELLA!

Cammie Heflin said...

We had so much fun,, just wish we had more time!!! Next time I am allowing a longer visit!!!

Adam, Jaci, Grant and Grace said...

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ella!!!! I am super jealous of all the fun you guys had. :-) And Ella looks like a little princess at her party! I cannot believe she is 3!

my family said...

oh how fun! i wish we lived closer (how many times have I said that) anywayhowl ucky youareto have so many great friends. ISnt it so funny to never meet in person and only through internet but be so connected...when you meet its like you have known that person forever. Love the shirts PRECIOUS!!

I sent the beads to day, they should be there in a couple of days

Kelly said...

What a super funtastic 3rd birthday party!!! Look at all those little cutie patooties......oh how I wish Landon & I could have made it:( A day of celebration........love, laughter and friends......it doesn't get any better than that! Those are some memories that you have all made....treasure them!!!

Happy Birthday Ella......big ((hugs)) & kisses from Landon:)

Lori said...

To say I am jealous would be a gross understatement! What a completely fabulous weekend you all had!
All the girls (and Jax) look great - especially together - like long lost friends. LOVE IT!
I am doubly jealous because our trip to AZ this spring was canceled and I have no idea when we are going to make it that direction. But, we will get our beauties together someday...someday =)
Happy Birthday Hugs to Miss Ella!

Zoey's mom said...

What a celebration indeed!

That room was filled with such love,such beauty,such an overwhelming sense of community and friendship,even if it was the first time some of us were meeting ... I swear,I felt like Sara and I were old friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time.

So many mommies and daddies in one place,bursting with pride and joy for all their magical childre.

Thank you for a great day.A fun lunch and most of all,your amazing friendship.A little pesky blood disorder brought us together 2 years ago and although I wished that neither of our girls had to travel the subsequent road that that disorder brought,I am forever grateful that your beautiful family came into our lives!

Fay said...

I wish we could have been there, but we had previous family plans for wedding festivities! It looks like it was wonderful!

Kristin said...

Oh the cuteness. Someday we'll make it down your way!

Pallavi said...

Happy Birthhday Ella..
What a party and what a guest lists :) so many cuties at one place..

Runningmama said...

Oh, I could't be any more jealous if I tried...so many cuties and awesome mamas that I would love to meet in person! Happy birthday to Ella! Em is back in the hospital with fever but the good news is we are hoping to start our final round the first week of April :-)

ABandCsMom said...

Awesome! Wish I could have been with all of you, with my girl :(

I do love those T shirts you gal's have on. Where did those come from? I think I may need one!

Please give Ella a birthday hug, I know it's a bit belated, but...that's the way I roll these days; never on time with anything!

Bethany said...

Thank you so much for having us! Next time we will spend more time chatting in a less chaotic environment. Hmm, I think Spring 2013 is when we will be back. LOL!

Tina said...

I have seen most of these pictures on FB but haven't commented here, sorry have been so busy with my mom being sick. I can see what a magical time all of you had, so wonderful being together with all your kids. What a small world the internet has made it. I really hope Ella is feeling better now with her cold and that she is back to her happy self. Miss that smile. Loved all the pictures and hope this year will be perfect for Miss Ella with all kinds of new things coming up like school, she is going to do so wonderfully I just know it. Hugs to your princess

patsy said...

looks like such a fun time...which we lived closer so miss maggie rae could have been included in all that cuteness :) and love the pink shirts, such a cute idea!

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

happy belated 3rd birthday ella!!! your party looks like so much fun!!! i love what your mom said about the picture of you looking at yourself in the mirror - too funny :) hope this year is WONDERFUL for you and your family!

Melissa said...

I so wish we could have come out for this. A actually looked up plane fare at the last minute, but it was crazy expensive. I love all of the amazing kids together. What an awesome day! Please give Ella a kiss from Claire and I.

Rays-R-Us said...

Love all the pink! What a wonderful day :)

Rays-R-Us said...

Love all the pink! What a wonderful day :)