I have plenty of thoughts on this.
But before I get into that....today was the day I got my hiking legs back on. I slowly watch the snow melt from the mountains, waiting for my turn to get up there. This morning was the day and although there was still some snow hidden on the dark parts of the trail, most of it was rough, dry dirt and rock. It felt so good.
I have an article up at Distinctly Montana about my love for this popular local trail. I think reading it again is what pushed me to get back out there. You can check it out here. I have a couple more months to sneak in these runs while the girls are at school. Then they will join me on any hiking adventures throughout the summer. I like having them with me, but today it felt so good to be on the mountain solo. Pushing my way up and then flying down on very tired and sore from a power yoga class legs. Grateful for the strength to be able to do just this.
Anyways. Back to the birthday girl...
Oh this girl. She is growing so fast and I love the young lady she is becoming. She has a heart of gold and imagination like no one I know. And such a dreamer. From her dreams of owning a horse ranch to leaving notes and treats for various fairies in hopes they will visit her. I want her to hang on to this whole hearted trust in make believe for as long as possible. It's so very sweet. Her kindness radiates and she's just a good kid. I can't believe she's nine. One more year until we enter the tween years. Who knows what that will bring. All I know is we are enjoying the ride right now. In these moments.
For her birthday Little Miss wanted to invite a couple friends and go to the movies. Easiest birthday party ever. I really dig this simplifying birthdays thing. There may be more of them...one family party, one friend party and then an actual birthday, but they've all been low-key. I made cupcakes, set out a couple snacks and the kids handled the business of fun...
Little sister tagged along and tried to keep up with the big girls.
There were a couple presents. Happy Birthday was sang.
And then it was off to the movies. Watching giggling girls gobble popcorn and stare at the big screen.
Ava had fun which means it was a success.
The actual day of birthdays have become a lovely tradition in our family. Ava woke to a balloon outside her bedroom door with one present attached. Breakfast of pancakes with a single candle and singing of happy birthday. Then off to school. I grabbed her at lunch so Matt and I could take her out. They get to pick whatever they want for dinner and then it's a scavenger hunt to find the few gifts from us. And, of course there's birthday cake.
I may have cheated on the other birthday treats...ice cream sandwich cake, store bought frosting...but for her real birthday cake it was all from scratch and full of love.
After the cake and presents we all sat on the couch and looked through her baby books. I can't help but pull them out on birthdays...reminisce on the day they were born. I spent the evening before going over the day in my head...making sure the memories stay. I don't ever want to forget that day. The excitement we felt knowing we were going to meet our baby. The fear and anticipation of becoming parents. The blissful unawareness of how much our world was about to change. The way my heart exploded with a love I didn't know was possible until I held that slippery, screaming baby girl in my arms for the first time. The amazement at having her on the outside world after feeling her somersaulting inside me for 9 months. At 7:47 pm on April 15 2005 knowing our world was forever changed. As we sat on the couch that night 7:47 rolled around and I gave my baby a birthday kiss and told her thank you for making me a mama.
I love birthdays for my girls. I celebrate them because they are my babies and they are very special days indeed. A couple weeks and someone will be turning 7...
Happy Thursday to ya.