IMG_1083In a way I’ve been waiting for this day, for Ellie to be four. My own earliest memories as a kid are from when I was four. And when I first found out I was going to be a father and I started picturing my life with a child, I always pictured Ellie as a four year old toddler. I pictured playing in the leaves in the fall, building snowmen in the winter, her helping me in the garden, and sitting on the couch watching rock concerts and listening to music. Her becoming four always seemed so far away, and yet after what at times feels like a flash, that moment is here.

This past year, as any other year, has been filled with many changes and huge accomplishments. We started year three with almost daily epic tantrums, we said good bye to our dear friend naptime, and toilet training was a very sore subject. But now, a year later, tantrums are a rare event, she is a champion at using the toilet, and she actually falls asleep fairly quickly and easily now. And since she’s turned four, she’s had her first dentist visit, started piano lessons, and is so excited and eager to go to school! Reflecting on the past year always makes me eager and so proud to celebrate her birthday.

IMG_1092We never have big plans for her birthday, but we always have the family over for dinner and cake. She requested Japanese food and the strawberry cake I made for Chloe’s birthday. That was the only thing she asked for, so of course I obliged. She was so happy, excited, and grateful all evening giving everyone big hugs after she opened her presents. I was especially happy with how she reacted to my gift. I made her a Hello Kitty night gown and a robe which she lit up with excitement.

“Daddy made me this!” she shouted with smiley giggles as she tried to put the robe on by herself.

She wants to wear the night gown every night and wears the robe every morning after she wakes up. All my hard work was completely worth the effort.

IMG_1107IMG_1122So much has happened that I’ve never pictured nor never could have imagined since Ellie was born. But as I look back over this past year, all of those things I had envisioned, they all actually happened. So to you Ellie, on your birthday I say to you, Happy Birthday! and thank you for making my dreams come true. I’m excited for the future and helping you realize yours.

I love you!



Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

I only have nine inch circles cake pans, so I doubled the recipe. And I tripled the frosting so I had enough to add some decorative edges. There were eight of us and we only ate half the cake. I can’t confirm what happened to the other half after everybody left.IMG_1129

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