Fabulous Four

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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.

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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.

119 comments

wow. this is all so incredible. you are so very inspiring in so many ways. thank you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

I cannot believe your little girl is 4!! What a beautiful age. Loved reading about your celebrations, loved your decorations, loved the cake but absolutely adored the last little picture, that is the sweetest. Thankyou for sharing. I have read your blog for many years and apologise for not leaving a comment. You are a constant source of inspirarion so thankyou x

While I am late to type and tell you, I too, continue to celebrate Amelia's birth and the gathering of the precious people who are her family. Thanks for sharing the lovely family photos...especially the Alicia, Amelia, Andy one :) May the Lord give you all a fabulous fourth year together! xx

Dear sweet family. I love looking through all of the pictures over and over again. I even went back to her other parties. Even when she was born and you got to bring her home. The photo of the sky on her birth day was spectacular. You all bring such joy to my life!

Happy birthday to Amelia! Wow, she is really growing up!
What a beautiful party the best gift of course being
family and friends!
God bless!

Where do you get those lovely b day cards made?

Started crying as soon as I saw the photo of your dresses hanging together!

Our first grandchild was due to be born about this time 4 years ago. Unfortunately, a miscarriage ended that happy event. I was so happy for you when Amelia was born and have thoroughly enjoyed watching her and your family grow. Many times (including today) your descriptions, pictures and love of Amelia have brought me to tears. Her birth story is one of such love-something we can never have too much of.

Alicia, I have been a fan of your blog since just before you got Miss Amelia, and my first son was born a few weeks before her. I have been so inspiring seeing the type of mom you are- your love and care and creativity shine through in everything you do. I don't really read ANY blogs anymore except for yours, and each post leaves me so refreshed and inspired in my own life as a mother and creator. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely self and your amazing family. Xo

So cute! My boy turned 4 in Aug and has the same Calico Critters red car! It has been a rabbit hole for the family. He also has a bear family and the puppy dog family. And the house. And we have been furnishing it. I enjoy it as much as he does, with the tiny food and furniture. So magical to pretend. I love 4. You will enjoy it as well!

Dianne Murcutt says: October 21, 2016 at 02:15 AM

Best Birthday wishes Amelia.....glad there was cake......xx

What a beautiful celebration with her family. I love how many of those photos have a her little hand coming for that cake. That icing is like a siren song. Even though the interwebs it is calling me too!

yes....years of enjoyment......what a great family. cherish each day, they go by so quickly....but those invitations.....I love those. might I might ask did you do those yourself?

keep up the good work. and do lot's of writing and pictures.....

gloria g. in sunny Florida

Breathtaking, mysterious, wondrous, sweet, loving, kind, beautiful. I remember when you posted about your beautiful girl joining your family. I remember the photo even. Thank you for so sweetly sharing your time together. And yes, I want to be 4 and have a party at your house. Exquisite.

Janine Olson says: October 24, 2016 at 08:14 AM

I'm so late to the party. No pun intended! Happy 4th Birthday sweet Amelia! What a wonderful week you had! Everything was beautiful Alicia and Andy. Blessings to you all! XX, Jan

You have shared so many of the joyful moments with us, this is another beautiful time. Happy 4th Birthday, little one. And many happy more days for you and Andy as well.

I can't believe I hadn't yet realised that Amelia and I share the birthday!
Happy birthday Amelia and congratulations to the parents and all family!

This burst my heart right open. Tears flowing from the beauty of it all.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

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

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Photography

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.