Six! Happy Birthday, Ava!

On April 17th, we celebrated Ava's sixth birthday. It's hard for us to imagine where six years have gone or rather, how quickly they have gone by. Maybe having a baby in the house again has made us more aware of how quickly time flies! This has been such a fun year with Ava, she is growing and maturing in so many ways. Of course this year brought us Kindergarten and all that goes with that, but it was also a year of watching Ava continue to blossom and become the young girl that she was created to be. She is sweet as sugar, sometimes a little stubborn, silly like her brothers, has a creative mind like her mama and a love for people like her Daddy. We love and adore our Ava and it was another fun year of celebrating her! 
Her birthday fell on a Friday this year so we had to work around school for the first time! I made a birthday breakfast for all of us to share and like usual, this sweet girl was up and at em to check it all out!
I decided the night before that flowers were appropriate for Ava!  She appreciates them almost as much as I do and she loves it when her Daddy brings me flowers so I knew she would think it was special to have her own. 
Thanks to five years of celebrating and my decision to keep the leftover decorations every year, I pulled out all the princess stuff we had and transformed the kitchen into a pink princess themed table. 
I really do try to keep things simple but the kids are enthralled with all things party-related and I love to surprise them when they wake up with decorations just for them!
Before I knew it the troops were all awake and ready to party!
These two are such close buddies and Carter is blessed to have such a great big sister in Ava. She takes great care of him and is so good about including him and looking out for him. 
And of course this Daddy is smitten with his baby girl! And she sure loves him back. I'm thankful her big day fell on a Friday, which is Trav's day off, because it meant that we could all be together for a breakfast before school.
I was up with the birds that morning, because I promised the birthday girl some treats to take to her class! We compromised this year and decided not to do a friend party in exchange for treats at school and a shopping day with Mom! A win/win for all of us. 
We had these cute fairies from a cupcake set that Trav's Mom sent us last year and I've been saving them for the perfect occasion. We made strawberry cupcakes together the night before and I frosted them that morning with some pink icing. 
Miss Ava loved them and so did I!
Pink is still the name of Ava's game!
The birthday girl was showered with presents that had been delivered from all of her grandparents! She picked out this cute outfit to wear to school and we agreed that it fit her sunny personality perfectly. 
She was so happy to be at school on her actual birthday, I wasn't sure what the protocol would be so I tried to speak some gentle reality over her lofty expectations! Ha ha! 
When we picked her up later that afternoon it was clear she had suffered through a day with little to no attention.  Ha! 
That night we were so blessed with a planned Father-Daughter dance through our community ed program in our town. I'd asked Ava weeks earlier if she wanted to go and she did! It was a princess themed dance and most of her friends from school were going to be there. It was such a sweet night,  and almost tailor made as if it were for our princess-loving birthday girl! 
She chose her new Elsa dress to wear (of course) and we curled her hair...
And I gave her a little make-up, which she loved!
I could not love this little face any more, glitter lipgloss and all! 
I made Travis wear a suit for her sake and they were both excited about their date together.

Someday we will blink and she will be in a prom dress, hopefully still taking a picture with her Daddy!
The boys and I were more than happy to stay home and let her have this special night on her birthday.
 Travis texted me some cute pictures during the night! 
 She and her friends ditched their Daddies for a little while to dance together but they also had a fun time dancing with their dates!
Melts my heart to see this  :)  
I'm so thankful Ava has the Daddy she does. He is a gift in her life and he loves her so very much. I know he will be an important piece of who she becomes someday. I hope to always help her see how amazing her Daddy is! 
The next day it was my turn and I was able to take Ava for a morning of shopping at Mall of America! She had some money to spend at the Disney Store and she also needed some things for her wardrobe as she had outgrown much of her spring/summer stuff from last year. 
She and I had a fun time together and I'm so glad we got to have a little girl time. We have to stick together in this boy family! I've got some work to do in training her to be a marathon shopper but we'll work on that in small doses  :) For now I'm thankful she's content with very little and easy to please. I love being Ava's Mom and I praise God for the work He is doing in her heart and her life. She is such a precious soul with a real tenderness for others and a nurturing heart. I love that God gave her those things! She makes us proud to be her parents simply because of who she is and she brings such joy and love to our home, we can't wait to see what God has in store for her in this next year!
That night we enjoyed an ice-cream cake with the birthday girl!
Cake always brings out the best smiles!

It was a sweet and simple family weekend and we loved showering Ava with our love and affection. She chose a cute Cinderella figurine set and a "Sophia the First" Floating Palace play set from the Disney store and we picked out some cute clothes for her together. I'm not sure how many more years she will love those princesses but we are going with that as long as we can! 
We are blessed and thankful to have so many of our extended family in town and quite a few of us have April birthdays, including Travis and I. We met at my cousin's house for dinner and birthday cake one night! Combined we were a total of 312 years this year  :) We sure love our family and we're thankful our kids have been able to experience the blessings of a big family too! It was a special April!

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