...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


ava's 4th birthday

The big day has arrived! Last night I asked Ava how she felt about no longer being 3 - but the real question was daunting for Aaron and I - how do we feel about Ava turning 4! Everyday she seems to be enlightened with new wisdom and character - and it's a hard process to watch as a parent. I know, I know - she's just 4 - but still, she was a baby in my arms not so long ago.

Our morning started quickly - and Ava found her surprise birthday presents in her room from us and my family (who couldn't be here today because of travel). Rather than getting ready, we sat with her and let her open each box at a time. And an extra special gift (Thanks Aunt Wagma and Uncle Masaud) - Noah received a special brother-of-the-birthday-girl present of his own...

Birthday Presents

noah's present

The party kicked off at 11 am, and the guests arrived promptly to get started.

art party 4

art party3

art party 5

ava's painting

Art Party2

art party5

Bobby made some pinwheels while Ava started to make masks. After a few were done, the air-dry sculpting clay came out - and both little and big kids got their hands dirty rolling, shaping, and creating masterpieces of their own...

Art Party


For lunch, we included some of Ava's favorites - tuna fish sandwhichs, fruit bowls using waffle cone cups, and a large lollipop centerpiece display (arranged on foam inserted into a paint bucket). Silverware were wrapped into napkins and tied with strings of colorful twizzlers.


After lunch, we brought out the cake from our favorite bakery shop (same baker I've used since my 16th birthday), and surrounded the birthday girl with her best friends, Noah, Bobby and Taylor to sing Happy Birthday. Ava always enjoys this moment - and I can tell because she always makes the same bashful face - smiling wide, making eye contact with everyone in the room...


Blowing out the candles felt like a ribbon cutting - she was officially 4 and she knew exactly what to do- including covering Noah's mouth so he wouldn't blow out her candles first.



Ava had a lot of fun and enjoyed the morning the way she wanted. And I found myself refraining from redirecting her to finish a project, sit down, or eat her lunch. It was her day - and she did what she wanted to do. Including making all of us wait while she dashed back to her room, and dash back only to trip into the dining room. I looked at her amazed - "Ava what are you doing?" And then realized with such humility, that she wanted to wear her pink feathery birthday hat - a keepsake from her 1st birthday. [smile].

As the day wrapped up, she continued to revel in her new 4 year old suit. And it is within her choices, conversations, laughter, compassion for people, free spirit to be happy - and make others happy - that makes us so blessed to watch her grow so miraculously before us.


Happy Birthday baby girl...


  1. Oh my goodness!! What an awesome party. Everything looked like an art studio for a mini-me. No wonder the children has such a great time. You need to start a party business.

    I can't believe how big Ava has become. I remember holding my little sack of flour with wisps of hair. Have pictures to prove it. My favorite part is her using her birthday hat. To this day, I still wear a princess crown on my birthday. Old traditions die hard. Send me one of her artistic designs. It's worth millions and millions in my eyes. Give them my love. Thanks for giving my little sweethearts such a creative and loving life. You're the best.

    Visit me soon......SaraLee

  2. Sniff...sniff... you're right. She has grown so much, praise be to God. You're so sweet - I'm glad you approve of me as a parent :) Although - I can't help but feel I could do soo much more.

    We'll be heading your way this summer - so you'll probably need to prepare now for our visit [smile]. We love you!

  3. The big 'oh-four'. Zarlacht, as usual, outdid herself in the party planning. It's hard at times to not get in the way of her preparing events like these. (I usually just ask for a list of things to do so I feel useful... and it helps)

    When it was all said and done we looked at each other and said we couldn't believe how well everything went. I'm sure things could have been dialed back a notch or two.... but what fun is that?

    Happy Birthday Ava!

  4. Ha ha! Aaron's comments... I can't get over them.
    This looks like the perfect day to spend in a fourth birthday. She looks so happy!
    (We couldn't believe that Zoe's fourth birthday party also went that well, maybe a thing with the four?)
    Happy birthday, dear Ava!

  5. LOVED IT LOVED IT AND LOVED IT - the party looked magical, colors, red, blue and yellow tossed in with some candy and a birthday cake. We must have a redo when we return home so that hamza and sophia can be a part of the magic and ava and noah can share the magic with them. I miss you tons my beautiful ava -


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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