After going to the cemetary, we finished getting ready for the Ladybug party. About 60 people came to celebrate Ellie's 1st birthday. We celebrated with popcorn, sub sandwiches, chips and fruit. At 12:42pm we all sang Happy Birthday to Ellie and then ate the incredible desserts my aunt made.
We knew we couldn't just sit around on Ellie's birthday and mope. We wanted to make her birthday a day that Ellie would have loved. And we wanted something good to come out of what was definitely going to be a bittersweet day. So we asked Ellie's guests to do a couple of things that would benefit others. The first thing we asked was for people to bring food for the food bank. My parents think we have about $900 worth of food to donate!
The other thing we asked people to do was to bring stuff to make blankets. We will be donating blankets to the Children's Hospital. We will also be including some with the memory boxes we plan on making to give to families in the PICU that suddenly lose a child. Many people brought fleece to make tie blankets and many brought pre-made baby blankets, afghans and microfleece blankets. After I wash all the blankets, I will be putting a ribbon around each one that says who it is from. All blankets will be from Ellie and another little Angel. As soon as they are completed I will post some pictures. Yesterday we got 52 blankets. As my friend Jodi pointed out, that's one blanket for every week of a year. Perfect for a 1st birthday party.
After the party, Dave, our parents, my sister-in-law and cousin, Kaelin, went out to the cemetery again. We brought her special Ladybug cake and after we re-lit her candle and sang Happy Birthday, we all shared her cake. We left a party hat for her and her Aunt Emily hung an angel she made in the tree for her. Before we left, we released a pink "Happy 1st Birthday" balloon for her. As it floated away, I just kept thinking that it shouldn't be like this. We shouldn't have had to do any of what we did today. A 1st birthday should in no way include a cemetery...
Thank you to everyone that came to help us honor our Birthday Girl. Yesterday was definitely difficult but I think Ellie would be proud. The kindness and generosity we saw yesterday was amazing. It is proof that Ellie's light continues to shine.
|Lighting Ellie's Birthday candle. The ladybug pinwheel we brought for her. (Her Christmas tree is frozen into the ground)|
|The bouncy ladybug|
|Our ladybug themed room|
|Ellie's Memorial Table. We also collected recipes so we can make a cookbook as a fundraiser for Ellie's Light|
|Max wore his Big Brother shirt|
|The Ladybug cake Aunt Kerri made just for Ellie|
|Ellie's cousins wearing their ladybug headbands|
|My aunt made a ton of delicious desserts|
|pink lemonade cupcakes!|
|Max standing in front of the bubble machine|
|Star blanket makers!|
|working of making blankets|
|Making Elle Bell's- beaded keychains with jingle bells on them|
|More blanket making|
|Ellie's Ma as a ladybug|
|Eating Ellie's cake at the cemetery|
|Ellie bell Angel made by Auntie Em|
|Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Angel!|