Isla turned four on the last day of March. She reminds me daily of this fact and believes wholeheartedly that this magical number makes her a "big girl." I appease her, of course, because being proud of growing up is something I wish for her, but I silently cling to the toddler traits that linger; the dimply hands, the perfectly round tush, her sing-song bell of a voice, her chubby (but thinning) cheeks...so while she fancies herself something of a "big girl", I still look at her beautiful, brown, soulful eyes and see my little baby.
What can I say about our Isla? She is strong, smart, loving, kind, cautious, wise and brave. Her sense of humor is awesome and she lives to make people laugh. Her smile lights up a room. Her mind is a veritable sponge of wonder, curiosity and intrigue. She is absolutely brilliant, a total goof ball and full of personality. She shines bright with her giggles and makes friends wherever she goes. She is an amazing big sister to the twins (well, most of the time!) and makes our lives better in every conceivable way. She is full of joy and so. much. fun. Of course she can be stubborn, willful and possesses the persistence of a hungry used car salesman...after all, she is four. But these things go with the territory of raising a fiercely independent, strong female so I will take it. There are no words that can adequately relay the adoration we have for this little ray of sunshine, but we love her to the moon and back (a million times) and watching her grow is nothing short of a pleasure. Every single day I learn from this child, she has been my greatest teacher.
I put slightly more effort into her birthday party than I did for the twins. She is now at an age where a birthday matters, at least a little. And I wanted her to feel very special on her day. Of course a beach party was in order...while I did start 'planning' earlier, I stuck with my method of keeping it simple. We invited all her "neighborhood" friends, pre-ordered a couple extra-large trays of pizza, Scott arranged for a special "Elsa" princess cake and we staked out a picnic table on the beach. Of course the beach bar was slinging beers for the adults. What's a party without beverages for the adults, right?
Our very good friends from s/v Necesse made the trip over from St. Thomas to spend four days with us which was definitely a birthday highlight for both Isla and I. Not only is Genevieve one of my very best friends, but her youngest, Ellia, and Isla are only a week apart in age and shared their first birthday's together in the Bahamas. We've been crossing paths with them ever since and every time it is a pleasure to get our kids together (more so now because they fight so much less!) and continue making memories. We adore the Stolz's, and it was very special that they made the effort to come in to spend time with us. Thank you guys!
As it turns out, her birthday also coincided with the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival which is a week of partying and racing that happens each year here at Nanny Cay. I wasn't so sure how it was going to work out with our party merging on the beach with the after party, but as luck would have it - Isla's birthday celebration happened just before the race festivities started, and as we began to wrap up our party, the racer's bash commenced. This conveniently into our "after-party" as well. The "big kids" of the group lingered with the mamas, dancing wildly to the live band and enjoying the festive atmosphere into the night. It was an amazing day for an amazing little girl who is loved fiercely and completely.
But enough of that, I will let our party pictures tell the story...
Thank you to everyone who came out to make Isla's day special, you all know who you are and we are SO grateful. Here's to being FOUR!
|The neighborhood kids gathered to decorate for her. Note: Horns and balloons will never cease to please kids, apparently.|
|One of her favorite "big boys"|
|Working our the finer points of birthday horn blowing.|
|So simple, yet so entertaining.|
|Our awesome friend Keanna brought markers and coloring books for Isla, which - in turn - became the hit of the party!!|
|Isla and two of her best pals. She refers to them as "her buddies" it's pretty adorable!|
|Keanna, coloring. Because adults coloring is all the rage these days!|
|Don't let the presence of beer in every single photo frighten you. It was for the adults, I swear.|
|Daddy arriving with her balloons (one of her birthday present wishes) and cake!|
|Isla opening a very special gift from her buddy, Stormer. Her very own jewelry box. She LOVES it.|
|2 x 4 beach jenga blocks also double as construction blocks for beach kids!|
|No beach party is complete without sand toys. Darcy and sweet baby Rio playing with Haven.|
|Follow the yellow brick road, Haven!|
|V and A, two of our very awesome boat neighbor kids! Love them.|
|Haven enjoying her pizza. Side note: this is also usually the only time you don't hear her!|
|These three dancing was absolutely adorable!|
|Isla and the beautiful hand-made wind chime made for her by her pal, Nico. She loves it and it hangs right by her bed.|
|The Elsa cake was a HUGE hit!|
|The party in full swing with all her pals around.|
|Isla and Ellia looking adorable, eating cake. "Shut your mouth, dear" ;)|
|Give this little sweet pea some balloons and she is good to go. Take them away and LOOK OUT!|
|Beautiful, goofy Arias!! I think she liked the cake!|
|Haven, yelling as usual (she has almost no volume control!), and holding up FOUR for her sister.|
|This was the OTHER gift Isla asked mommy and daddy for, an Ariel dress. She was, obviously, pleased.|
|"Mommy, don't I look beautiful!" You ALWAYS look beautiful honey, because your heart is beautiful!|
|This picture, though not the best in quality, sums up this wonderful, joyful child. Happy birthday Isla.|