Ellie and Ainsley have been best friends since they met at 2 and 3 months old. Ainsley is a month older than Ellie. They met in our PEPS group and immediately seemed to gravitate to each other.
So when they said they both wanted to do the same thing for their birthdays this year (party at Pump It Up), and invite the same people (friends from school), we (the parents) suggested they have a joint party. We were very careful to explain the party wouldn’t be on either of their actual birthdays but rather sometime in-between, and they would have to share the limelight. Even so, they thought it was THE BEST IDEA EVER.
So today we had the joint birthday party for Ellie and Ainsley at Pump It Up, a crazy bouncy-house extravaganza.
(A word about the matching dresses: This mostly happened by accident. Dana picked up these dresses on a super sale, and she let me know that Ainsley would likely wear hers for the party. Jeff and I, not being matching dresses kind-a-folk, purchased three new dresses for Ellie that she could choose from to wear at the party. She disregarded the ones we set before her and dug this one out of the closet instead. When we let Ellie know that Ainsley might show up in the same dress, the response was “THAT’S SO AWESOME! WE CAN BE TWINS!” We decided the universe was laughing at us.)
One thing that ended up being way cooler than anticipated was that we asked that in leu of gifts (since getting a gift for both girls could get unwieldy, and really, they don’t need more toys!), that folks consider giving a cash donation. We explained that we would take a small sum out for the girls to buy a small gift, and the rest we would donate to a charity of their choosing.
Oh my gosh, folks were so generous – we couldn’t believe it! After the party, we all came back to our house and opened all the cards. We got $250! So, we gave the girls $15 each to buy a gift, and the rest they decided would go to PAWS (a local kitty rescue).
We took the girls to our favorite local toy store, and they got to choose what they wanted to buy with their $15. They had so much fun discussing the options and getting each other’s opinion. Ainsley ended up getting a hummingbird finger puppet and a bag full of marbles. Ellie got a small horse and an accessories kit that included a saddle, bridle, and feed bucket.
When Jeff and Ellie get back from California (for Macworld and a visit with Susan and Ron), we’ll take the girls to PAWS to deliver the $220 donation. I can’t wait.