Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Birthday Princess

Happy birthday to the most beautiful princess in the world!

Princess Grace celebrating her birthday at church.
Though it's hard to believe, our Grace Louise turned four on September 7, and just as Grace would want, we celebrated in a big way!\

Some of the volunteers who helped with the church party.
I guess you could say the celebration actually started at A Grace Filled 5K on Saturday.  Thanks to lots of volunteers, we had enough birthday cupcakes for everyone who was part of the race.  And Grace had the chance to share her birthday with others who were celebrating that day too.

Just some of the refreshments from the church party.
The festivities continued on Sunday, the day before her actual birthday.  Although Kyle and I couldn't actually go to church, his sister, Mikaela and her husband, Scott, took Grace in our stead. During the service, those with birthdays get to put their birthday offering in a little brown church, and Uncle Ralph picked out four special pennies for Grace, and his granddaughter, Izzy, helped Grace put them in the church.

Some of the decorations at church.
Then, the celebration continued after church. On the first Sunday of every quarter, the OWN committee hosts refreshments after church to celebrate all those birthdays in that quarter. And they had a special surprise for Grace.

Grace celebrating with family at church.
Church members had decorated the entire fellowship hall in pink and purple with balloons, tiaras, princess cupcakes and even a two-tier princess cake.  Many even wore their favorite Grace shirt to celebrate.  They brought cards, and Grace's preschool teacher, Mrs. Brown, even painted her a special "Grace" painting for her bedroom.  We weren't there, but I heard Grace smiled the whole time they were there.

Grace's family birthday party.
Then, came Grace's birthday party. Thanks to the help of our wonderful mothers and families, the church's fellowship hall was turned into a Hawaiian paradise.  Kyle and Grace had bought party decorations on Friday, and they did an awesome job picking things out for the party.  And our families did a fantastic job of making sure it looked great too.

Daddy helped Grace blow out her candles.
Grace loved sharing cake and ice cream with her dad, and had smiles for everyone who was there to celebrate.  Then she and her daddy opened all her presents, and she just loved watching him while he read all the cards out loud.  Grace got some darling new school clothes, a new book, nail polish, a few new stuffed toys, and of course, her favorite candy, M&Ms.

Hanging out with cousin Quincy. They both matched in their Hawaiian wardrobe!
Then we posed for a few photos.  By now everyone on both sides of our family is used to my obsessive need for photos. Whether they like it or not, they seem to tolerate me.  And we visited with everyone before saying our goodbyes.

Grace liked watching her daddy open up her birthday presents.
But the celebration didn't end there! Monday was Grace's actual birthday.  Since it was Labor Day, it also meant the Hutson family reunion for my mom's side of the family.  However, it had been a really busy weekend, and as much as we hated it, we decided it might be better to stay home this year.

Daddy the princess?
So, we slept in and made Grace birthday cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Then we just played and played with her all morning.  We blew bubbles, built block towers, played ball and even had a tea party.  Somehow, I even think Grace knew it was her special day, because she was so smiley and happy all day long.

PaPa John playing the inflatable ukelele.
Grace's birthday has always been a bit bittersweet for me, as she shared the day with my Grandpa Phil. They only got to share one birthday together, as he passed away before she turned two, but I know he watches out for her, and was so pleased they shared the same birthday.

Hanging with the Galer family.
It was also Grace's first birthday since she was diagnosed with INAD, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that.  It seems hard to celebrate another year of life, when you look back at how far Grace has regressed in her skills over the past year. It's hard knowing what's down the road ahead of us, and wondering just how many birthdays we will have to celebrate with Grace.

Some beautiful Armour girls aunt Aunt Mikaela!
And that makes me kind of sad. But the truth is that none of us know how many birthdays we will have to celebrate with our families. Not a single one of us is promised a tomorrow. The lesson here is to live each day to its very fullest and celebrate each birthday with as much excitement and happiness as you can. Because that's exactly how Grace would want it.

This is how we celebrated Grace on her actual birthday, just the way she would have wanted it.


1 comment:

  1. I love connecting with your family on the blog and all the wonderful pictures you post. When Mom passed away last month we were looking for photos with her and my grandchildren. They spent a lot of time with her due to me watching them and staying with her so much. However we didn't take photos-so take lots of pictures they are priceless. I look forward to the next posting. Give Grace my love and keep that wonderful smile. I have only 1 photo with my grandchildren and that needs to change. Love to you all.