Abby must believe that all holidays and celebrations last for anywhere between 3 days and 2 weeks. If there is one thing that the McGrath family is good at, it's celebrating. We started off Abby's birthday weekend with our family birthday cake and a few presents from us and Grandma/Papa.
I've blogged this birthday cake before, but it's our families tradition to have this amazing chocolate chip sponge cake with custard filling and frosting for birthdays. It's a huge pain the butt to make and has about 10 million calories in it but I knew we'd have enough people around this weekend to help eat it so I spent a few hours on Friday making this (it's SO good!).
Saturday morning Joey and Andy came out with my niece and nephew (Kayden and Lincoln) and we got to spend the day swimming, chatting, hanging out and enjoying the great weather. It was really fun to get to show them around the new house and property.
Since we just moved and we're in a fairly rural area now we decided that maybe we should make some driveway signs to help people find the place. It doesn't help that some GPS's send people into town, so we heard from quite a few people that the signs were a big help. Good thing Grandma was here to help paint them. She has WAY better handwriting and way more patience than I do, and these signs turned out awesome. In hindsight we wish we'd have just written "party" so they'd be more multipurpose, but you'll see these again, I'm sure.
Some of my favorite pictures are of just me with one or both of the girls. Since I'm often the one behind the camera, they seem few and far between, but I'm getting better at it.
One thing I'm terrible at is them parties. I don't know, they are just so much work but this year I knew Abby would enjoy the process of going to pick out decorations and getting to pick a real theme for her party. Before going to pick them out I knew that Dory and Ninja Turtles would be the big decision. I was secretly hoping for Dory. Luckily the Dory decor was located front and center in the store and we didn't even make it down the aisle to look at anything else.
The #1 thing Abby was most excited about was this pinata. Someone, I can't remember who, told her about pinatas a few months back and she's been obsessed. When we found the Dory pinata all thoughts of those Ninja Turtles were gone. Abby did a great job helping me fill it and watching the kids whack at it was a ton of fun.
After about 10 minutes of standing around watching the kids tap at it with the slightly dangerous stick Ryan provided we decided to let Daddy take a whack at it and while he missed on the first one (he's going to kill me for that), the second hit worked like a charm and the kids piled into the candy like it was the best thing that ever happened. It was quite a hit!
Ellyn decided way back when Abby turned 1 that she'd get a little cupcake for the girls on their birthdays. This years cupcake was a Dory fish, to match the theme. Isn't it adorable. I'm sure it tasted amazing. It feels like a waste to let this little frosting only eater have it all to herself, but that's what birthdays are all about.
This smile. Man, I swear as she looked around to see everyone signing to her it's like she knew how lucky she was to have all these people there, for her, on her special day. She's one lucky little girl, and I think she knows it.
Yes, even Hazel got to have some cupcakes (thanks Uncle Mike). Hazel spent a good part of the party sleeping soundly in her room upstairs which was totally fine by me. But, she woke up just in time for the excitement of the frosting.
While the cupcakes and pinata were fun, I think Abby's favorite part of the entire party was having all her little friends over. We were originally going to make her party a kids party (and much smaller scale) but with moving into the new house so close to her birthday we figured we'd do one more huge family bash and combine it with a sort of housewarming/welcome to our new place sort of thing, which worked out perfectly.
So, so many presents. This little lady is one lucky girl. She got a ton of coloring/craft supplies, lots of play-do and some fun games (thanks for those guys! I'm tired of Hungry Hungry Hippos on repeat), and some clothes that will be perfect for her this fall/winter.
In the evening after most everyone cleared out we had a small group left and we decided it was pool time! What better way to end a great weekend than a dip in the pool with friends and family. I'm disappointed the picture came out a little blurry but it just goes to show how much fun we were having.
We're so thankful for each and every one of you that came out to help us celebrate our new home and our little four year old. We are so lucky to have such an amazing support structure and family. We love you all to pieces!