willa's FIFTH birthday

Earlier this month, Willa turned five. FIVE! Somehow that milestone felt more significant than previous birthdays. Maybe it's because it's half of a decade? Or because it's kindergarten age? Or because she was really, REALLY excited about her birthday in a way she hasn't been in years past? Whatever the reason, it was fun-filled and exciting and we loved having a chance to celebrate her.

We kicked-off the birthday festivities with a family BBQ at my sister's house. Willa had been asking for a "pink mermaid cake" (as well as "Elsa cupcakes") and I'd been close to dropping the ball, but WalMart amazingly came through with both the perfect-sized pink cake as well as a cute Little Mermaid toy that worked well as a cake topper. SCORE. She couldn't have been happier. Look at her eyes!

She was a lucky girl and received generous and thoughtful gifts from her family. We are so appreciative of the love and support we constantly feel from our family. HUGE thanks, everyone!

For MONTHS Willa has been saying she wanted to go to a specific swimming pool for her birthday: The Bay Aquatic Center in Broomfield. It is a fantastic place, for sure. (AND it checked off an item on "summer goals" list!) We invited a few of her friends to come along, and the three girls had a great time splashing around the pool and sharing snacks. We gave her friend Mae a ride to and from the pool, and the two of them sat in the back of the minivan singing "Let it Go" and "Can't Stop the Feeling!" It made me smile and also caused that intense feeling of "she's growing up too fast!"

Once she recovered from the pool with a quick nap (and I recovered from a bad fall that scraped my leg and hands and cut my big toe open), she got dressed up in a new dress and shoes from her Auntie Al, and we headed out just the three of us to celebrate at Denver Central Market.

The night was filled with special treats. One should be spoiled on their birthday, right?

Willa got a lemonade to drink alongside our pizza from Vero. For dessert she first selected a cupcake with pink frosting from Izzio Bakery (best cupcakes in Denver, in my opinion!) but when that didn't hit the spot, she asked for ice cream from High Point Creamery. Normally, I would have been all, "are you crazy!?" but it was her birthday! So we took the cupcake home and she got "Rose Gold" ice cream which she has not stopped talking about since. It was strawberry ice cream with white chocolate. Delicious and fancy. 

We ended the evening by walking around RiNo and admiring the street art. So many cool pieces to see! It was so wonderful to spend the night focusing on Willa. I think she felt really special, too. Our little girl. Getting older all the time...

Happy Birthday, Willa!