Fabulous Four

comments: 119










































Oh. My. Goodness. What a weekend it was. Amelia's fourth birthday party was a blast! I always love her birthday parties so much. We spent Friday getting ready, and I really love those party preparations. Saturday afternoon, when the doorbell started to ring, she got shy, but quickly rallied. She was serious about her cake and her presents. I literally could not get her to stop stabbing her cake with appetizer skewers and eating frosting off of them. (I had the food catered by Artemis Foods, and a better decision I doubt I have ever made, but I did make the cake myself.) She wanted a piece of that cake so bad. Once the cake was eaten she opened her presents (such lovely, lovely presents) and honestly, I have never seen her so focused. She's never really been particularly into stuff in general, so I'm guessing this age is when the fascination with specific toys really starts. It was pretty cute and quite fascinating to watch. Certain things she tossed over her shoulder before quickly moving on to the next present; certain things she was so captivated by that the world stopped, as far as she was concerned, and she sat off to the side and started playing while the party went on around her. (Musical birthday cards were, quite possibly, the sleeper hit of the day.) Grandma and Pops Paulson (Andy's parents) are in town from Chicago and their presence here, especially after getting to spend so much time together in Chicago and Wisconsin this summer, has always made Amelia's party weekend extra special. This time there are six whole days between her party and her actual birthday so it's gonna be one looooong celebration. I almost planned a friend birthday party in addition to her usual family party but it just didn't come together. With Halloween so close, and a neighborhood party scheduled, and a school thing, and a pumpkin-patch plan, and another pumpkin-patch plan, I think the partying will continue through the month, so it's cool with her.

Her birthday. Her birth day. I remember the evening she was born like it was yesterday. I remember the days in the hospital afterward, when it was just Amelia's birthparents and Amelia and Andy and me. Those were some of the most intense and incredible days of all of our lives, I expect. There were tears and laughter and courage and strength and honesty and beauty and intensity and just . . . total love. It was like we five were on our own mysterious, unnameable planet together, and it brings tears to my eyes to remember those days even now. How blessed we were to have them! How blessed we are, all of us, in all of this! I love the family that our open adoption has created. When everyone — birthparents, grandparents, birthgrandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings — is together, it is the best day of the year. And every year gets better and better. I find it almost impossible to talk about because I just cannot find the words to explain. Amelia is loved so thoroughly and by so many. She's only just beginning to understand exactly what that means. But when we are all together, the house is filled with joy and rings with laughter, and that she absolutely understands.


After everyone left, and I was so tired that I laid down on the living room floor. She came over and we made a picnic with the Buckley deer family and some party napkins. Clover trip-trapped over to see what we were doing and Andy (superstar) worked on the kitchen. We talked in quiet voices for ourselves and for the deer. We talked about the picnic, the party, the cake, and the people, and all the very sweet things we love.


The smiles say it all. Many happy returns to your girlie.

How lovely it must be to be 4 and totally surrounded with love! She must be creating the most wonderful memories inside her head. Happy birthday Amelia, the lucky girl!

Kristen from MA says: October 11, 2016 at 02:17 AM

Happy Birthday Amelia! I can hardly believe that she's 4. Where does the time go?

Wonderful - all of it!! Happy Birthday Mimi! Love the cake and the family picture of the 3 of you.

Happy birthday to Amelia! Thank you so much for sharing her birthday with us--and your lives. I love everything about what you share of your lives. (Yours was the first blog I ever followed!).

Four is a whole new phase. Years ago in my teaching career I was a teacher of 4 year olds. An experienced colleague was fond of saying that four your olds wake up to themselves and say "What a fool I've been for doing everything the adults say, and believing everything they say!" I think you got a bit of that with the birthday cake!

Much love to all of you.

How lovely! We celebrated my grandsons 4th birthday over the weekend. It is such a fun age as they mostly understand it all now--the whole party thing and what it means. It doesn't seem possible that a year has passed since you designed the cute hats from birthday number 3. The table, decorations and cake are beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing it with us. Love the last pic of your beautiful family.

You are so talented with decoration and party planning, it looks like it was lovely.

The family portrait at the end is beautiful!

Happy fourth Birthday, Amelia. Fourth birthdays should go on for a week, with the option of another few weeks, of course. What a lovely party. I feel like I was there too, with your fabulous photos. Can't help smiling at that lovely cake. Each cake photo seems to have a fork or something similar, hovering ready to dip in. Happy days.

Nancy Mosley says: October 11, 2016 at 05:25 AM

Happy 4th Birthday Amelia!! It looks like your mommy did an incredible job again and the cake is beautiful. Oh my little girl, Ellyanna (now 16 years old) loved Calico Critters. Her late grandpa made her a wooden dollhouse for all the families she collected and I will be holding onto those for grandchildren. You are growing so fast and you are so loved! Enjoy your celebrations and thanks for giving us a peak into your special day!

Beautiful. All of it. Just beautiful.

I would love to be a little girl for a brief moment and be your little girl:)
Love the invites..the printed tape..the flowers..the cake..that pic ofher nana smiling..lovely! You and Andy and sweetie♥
I have to say that I love all yur posts too and it's so nice watching her grow.
Happy birthday.

The pictures are great, can send us the bright and festive atmosphere in the house and the cake looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing with us. Happy birthday sweet Amelia!

Happy belated birthday to Amelia! Gorgeous photos♥

Happiest of birthdays to that sweet Amelia! I have loved watching her grow over the years. And I just am in awe with the way you capture the magic of each milestone... with your words and with your photography! You had me in tears by the end of this post! I'm so happy for your beautiful and sweet family. What a happy celebration! Sending lots and lots of love to each of you from Texas! 💛💛💛

LOVE the cake - oh my goodness! I just want a little girl so that I can attempt to duplicate it - gorgeous! I do wonder where you found all of the Liberty paper goods? The whole of the party seemed so sweet and joyful and loving. Lucky child - and lucky family!!!

Oh what a wonderful party! I'm preparing for my boys birthday party (1 and 2!) at the end of the month and this is so inspiring. I hope their day will be as full of love as your has been. I remember reading your journey through motherhood and how it often brought tars to my eyes, you are so blessed with her and your enlarged family.
And that cake! Where does the recipe come from? i understand Amelia couldnt resist!

Ah, the tears. Happy Birthday, precious beautiful girl, and her mama, too. Thank you for sharing your love with us.

Happy birthday Amelia. I recognize all your Liberty decorations. Would you share where you purchased them from. Thanks.

I have such admiration for the way you are raising Amelia. Celebrating love is a lifelong gift to her. Thank you for sharing her birthday with us! Happy 4th little girl!♡♡♡

I love watching her grow up and being part of the celebration via your blog. Thanks for sharing...and she is very, very loved. (and so are you and Andy) Love the decorations and festivities...so dang fun.

Four already! Hard to believe that time flies by that fast. What a lucky little girl Mimi is to have all that love around her all the time. Here's to great days ahead with all the celebrating still to come.

Auntie Allyn says: October 11, 2016 at 08:35 AM

W-w-w-wait a minute!!! When did your sweet daughter grow up from being a toddler into a little girl?! It seems like she's grown up overnight! So beautiful, and her family sounds so warm and loving. The cake looks awesome, by the way . . . nice job!

So many lovely memories in the making! The cake looks fabulous..

Bethany Hissong says: October 11, 2016 at 09:17 AM

Happy Birthday little Amelia... you were prayed for and I have loved watching you grow, thanks to your mommy! Four is a wonderful year! (but then, I actually think they all are!!!) :)

This one made me tear up with all your talk of love, how beautiful! Happy birthday to your sweet girl. And that pic of the three of you is beyond perfect, that one needs to go on the wall. I know you are behind the lens a lot, but I love when we get little glimpses of you as well!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.