It happened a month ago now, but Charlotte turned four years old! I can hardly believe it; it's almost too good to be true. Our family and friends alike marvel at Charlotte's life. I know that many pray for a "healing miracle" for Charlotte; truly, I marvel at the miracle that she is already. Yes, she has a terrible cancer. But for now, she also has breath in her lungs and joy in heart. Darn it all if I don't love this kid to bits and pieces!
Alright, let me show you the pictures from her party. First, I should explain that our family doesn't really "do" birthday parties. Invite the grandparents, order a pizza and bake a little cake, and that's about all the hubbub our kids usually get. Three months ago, things got a little c-c-crazy when I bought some streamers for Elyse and Marian's joint birthday. ;)
So you'll believe me when I say that we truly felt like a celebration was in order this year when we hosted 25 people in our home! I suppose that six of those twenty five already occupy the home day in, day out, but still... that many people felt like a big deal to me. We had both sets of grandparents come from Virginia, my sister, Shannon, flew in from New York City, and then local friends, too (including nurse-friends from Duke and Charlotte's oncologist with his wife).
Enough rambling. Here are some pictures. First up, we did "Charlotte games." Charlotte's arms have been paralyzed by her tumor, but no worries: she is quite adept with her feet. It was important to my husband and me that the kids play games in the same manner as Charlotte. So the first game we played was coloring with toes.
Next up: stacking blocks with feet. We didn't get a very good picture of Charlotte doing this, but really: she is a pro! I wish I had her abs of steel. She doesn't even support herself with her arms (as you see Henry doing in the picture below), yet I have seen build a tower at least seven blocks high! She amazes me.
My husband named the final game "The Rump Race." When Charlotte is not in her wheelchair, she scoots across the floor on her bottom. So we lined the kids up at one of the room, and they had to scoot on their bottoms all the way to the other end. Here's Charlotte leading the pack:
After the games, we ate a little bit. (But I will spare you pictures of us stuffing our faces. Phew!) Then presents. Charlotte has such thoughtful friends and family members. :) My gift to her was a new quilt (imagine that), but I'm still working on taking some good pictures of it. I'll share that quilt in a later post.
Candles and cake! These next two pictures are just absolutely priceless in my mind.
This next picture of Marian? I die. If she isn't just the cutest little thing I ever did see...
I just love this picture. These are my kids and Tracy's kids. They are like cousins; they just love each other so much.
And here is Charlotte with "her" Dr. G. (She'll say, "When do we go to Duke and see my Dr. G?" Isn't that so cute? Stop being so possessive, Charlotte! He does have other patients, you know...)
One last photo: the birthday girl flying across the floor in the great little scooter her Papa bought for her.
This was truly one of the happiest days of my life. It was so special to me to have these particular people in our home: the ones who love Charlotte most and know all that she has been up against and has been through to get this far. And while Charlotte has quite the spunky personality out of the house, she is even more vivacious in her own home where she is most comfortable and at ease. So I just loved having our friends and family see that side of her, too. I truly felt as though my heart might burst for joy all throughout the party. It was so much fun and so very special to me.
If you're still reading this far... thanks! :) And a million thanks, as always, to my sweet friend, Kellie, who acted like my personal photographer and took all these great pictures.