As of this past weekend, our Thora is three. How did this happen so quickly? Blink. From fitting in the palm of my hand to tearing through the house singing about the potty. Can I say, so far I'm in love with three. Yes, let's sing everything! And pretend everything! Oh, you are a lion? R O A R.

And when a birthday of this magnitude comes around, you celebrate. It does not matter that you just had the floors redone and all of your furniture is stacked in the basement and kitchen (more on that later). Let's stay up late and put it away, on tiptoe, don't wake her up. Call the bakery, alert some close friends and order the balloons.

Make no mistake, this wasn't all spur of the moment. My brain churns with ideas and plans and irrational thoughts at all times. It's exhausting! So although I had days to throw it together, I knew what I wanted. I bookmarked that Oh Joy! party collection for Target ages ago. And I'd been working on a very special gift for months that I was DYING to present. In many ways, her birthday couldn't come fast enough.

The night before I got to set the stage. I was so excited to do this. Putting together the vision, seeing it come to life, is almost more fun than the party itself. I hung balloons, draped the tablecloth, pulled out the cake stand and set up this little vignette of gifts. That dollhouse right there is my blood, sweat and tears (and I promise a post all about it). I couldn't wait for her to wake up!

Of course, what she saw first is that giant No.3. And it kind of freaked her out. As in, stopped dead in her tracks and would not budge. It took quite a bit of coaxing from us to get her to walk into the room.

Of course, eventually she did.

The dollhouse was well-received! And here is where Mommy collapses to the floor in a giant sigh of relief and complete bliss. In the distance she hears a soft voice saying over and over "soooo tiny..."

We spent the morning playing with the dollhouse, getting dressed and cleaning up. I stopped often just to stare, amazed at the little lady she has become. So independent already. And she is happy. She is happy! Then we had her favorite lunch, peanut butter and jelly, and off to nap. Because that afternoon was her party!

The cake was red velvet from Hopkins Street Bakery in Berkeley. It was yum! And I am happy to report Thora took a bite. This child has been presented with countless cakes, cupcakes and cookies and had never put one in her mouth until this cake. I credit her friend Jonah for showing her the way.

The spread was a minimal variety of snacks. Cheese, crackers, olives, mini quiche, mini pizzas, fruits, veggies, easy peasy. We had sparkling water and beers. The most important part was good friends. I'm sure I've mentioned before we do not have family nearby. Friends are everything and they are voices to sing.

And man, does this girl like it when people sing her Happy Birthday! (Side note: This was technically Thora's second party for her third birthday. While the floors were being refinished, she and I headed to Laguna and celebrated there with her MiMi, Uncle Pete and his gf Yvette. If it isn't obvious, this is one lucky girl. She also Skyped with her Grandma and Grandpa in Illinois. Lots of singing. All around.)

Cake-eating evidence.

Presents! This girl loves her some Daniel Tiger and man, was she psyched to get her own trolley!

Admittedly, she still has not fully embraced the joy of ripping open some wrapping. This is how it usually goes—I follow her around saying "Thora! Look!" and somehow I do most of the work. It's okay, I know this will all change soon. And she was truly thankful for everything she received. We are blessed, there is no doubt.

These two.

I swear.

That night it took forever for her to fall asleep. Girl was wound up from the fun and festivities, so was I frankly. And when she finally conked out, Mike and I sat on the couch together with big pieces of cake and smiles on our faces too.

Happy Birthday my love!