Happy birthday Ariana!

Every year when I write a post about the kids birthdays, it takes me a minute to get my head into the right space to write my thoughts! Not only because I’m usually absolutely exhausted from the celebrations we’ve endured enjoyed but because there’s times when I feel like the days are going so slowly and then it hits me, another year has gone by and my babies aren’t babies anymore.

Ariana turned 7 last weekend and although last year we swore we wouldn’t be throwing any more parties at home because of the huge amount of work and cost involved (I’m sure you know what I mean!) when she said she wanted the water slide again, we figured there’s probably not going to be many more birthdays that she wants to celebrate with a party at home (*sob), so we dug deep for the time, money and motivation!

I felt so blessed the day that Ariana came into our world like an explosion of pink onto a blank canvas making everything about life make sense to us for the very first time. Ariana only had me to herself for two short years before Kian and Kaira came along and my time and energy got divided three ways (often not in her favour during that first year of their birth, I’ve got to be honest) and the mum-guilts got me feeling so bad about her needs not being met in ways they were before we were a family of 5. Luckily Ariana has the most generous and sweet nature that from the moment she became a big sister, she just got it. She just seemed to know we were all meant to be together and looking back I realise while I was busy carrying the twins in many ways, she was carrying me.

Although we would have loved to invite the whole school to enjoy the birthday fun last week, we just didn’t have the space so we told Ariana to invite the kids she played with the most along with their siblings and it was very much a full house! Here’s some pictures if you’d like to see.

Ariana wanted a rainbow theme this year, which made buying a cake a whole lot cheaper as we found this one at The Cheesecake Shop for only $60! Thankfully my friend Kirsty came over early to help with the food preparations while Ste took care of the decorating that needed to be done outside and I ran around collecting the balloons and bits we could only do on the day!

Ariana has made so many gorgeous friends since we moved to Melbourne (exactly two years ago this week!) and they have the best time together, laughing and playing! It really warms my heart to think how far we’ve come not only in terms of physical distance but emotionally too.

The kids enjoyed a game of ‘pin the horn on the unicorn’ (that was completely wet-through!) and a pinata filled with enough sugary treats to make them nocturnal for the next 3 weeks!

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Because we’d laid all of the party food out in full view of the kids, they hung around the table helping themselves to so much food that when the pizzas we’d made came out, no-one ate them! I think there’s a lesson for me to learn in there somewhere!

When Ariana’s friend from school, Elijah, brought out his guitar, she shouted “get my piano daddy!” and the two of them played the cutest music together. I was amazed by their confidence and control in front of so many people. That was the highlight of the whole party for me!

The party carried on as the sun went down and our garden became a haven of music and bubbles for the kids (and bubbles for the parents too!) Thank you so much to everyone that came and made our girl feel special on her big day. We feel so lucky to have such amazing friends in our lives here on the Mornington Peninsula and although we missed our family and friends back in England, we chatted on video calls the whole weekend and it felt like they were sharing the fun with us.

I am so very proud of Ariana and the imaginative, intelligent, curious, caring, brave and beautiful person that she is and I know that she has the strength inside to make any of her dreams come true.

Happy birthday Ariana.

Love from Leyla

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