Thursday, April 30, 2015

Celebrating Eight Years.

We wrapped up our birthday month this week.  Baby girl turned eight years old.

April always begins with much excitement and enthusiasm for the girls birthday celebrations.  Much how December begins with all the Christmas hype.  Also like Christmas, by the end I'm sorta ready for it to be over.  Take the tree down, put our house back to order and get back into the normal day to day.  When it comes to birthdays I have to power through.  There is no losing enthusiasm because I want to celebrate each girl full-heartedly.  And so we do.  She's my baby and deserves to be celebrated indeed.

On Ava's birthday we awoke to 6 inches of snow.  On Layla's we had a blue bird seventy degree day.  This meant a picnic lunch, playing at the park and the scavenger hunt to look for gifts was outside rather than in...

Same with the cake...

Yes, those are pigs on top of her cake.  What better way to celebrate a girl obsessed with pigs than putting them in chocolatey slop?

The warm day meant when she found her final gift we got to go use it right away instead of having to wait a month when spring time normally shows up around here... 

This girl loves her birthday.  As I tucked her in that night she wanted to know why birthdays only get to last one day.  I reminded her between the family party and her upcoming friend party we were pretty much celebrating all month.  She didn't buy it and I don't blame her.  You can celebrate all you want, but you only truly get a day.  And this is enough.  One day to reminisce about the day this beautiful soul came into the world.  One day to make it all about her.  To say yes to an extra piece of cake.  To see her sister being super nice to her all day.  To think back and feel grateful that we have had her in our lives each day for the past eight years.  To pull out old home videos and the baby book and watch her giggle as she sees herself as a baby.  And then a toddler.  And now.  I sat up after I tucked her in and read the words I wrote in her baby book.  Feeling so happy I took the time during those sleep deprived days to document what she was doing each month for the first twelve months.  To feel myself be taken back to those days as I read.  To remember the good times...her happy giggles, her first words, her giant brown eyes.  And the hard times...the nonstop crying for the first couple of months, the juggling a new baby with a busy toddler.  To see how far we've come and what she is turning into.  All those tears and tantrums were early signs of her fiery personality.  Her strong will.  The things that will take her so far in life.  The things that make me always know she will be ok because she is one tough chick.  How hard she makes me laugh and how much she enjoys making us laugh.  Her happiness is contagious.  And her love.  Oh, this girl can love hard.  She may be difficult at times, but she loves with all her might.  You can feel it in her hugs.  In the extra kisses she wants at school drop off.  Yes, baby girl will go far.  

Birthday month has been wonderful.  Exhausting yes.  I found myself the other night crashing hard.  Done with the planning, the celebrating, the cooking and cleaning (I've created little girls who request quite the birthday dinners...homemade gnocchi, grape leaves, spinach pies...whatever happened to pizza?)  Done with the emotions that come with knowing yet another year has quietly slipped by all too fast.

With all the fiestas going on some things had to go on the sidelines.  Things like my weekly mountain run and writing regularly.  It threw me out of sorts a bit.  Missing things that are only for me.  Of course I still got in my regular therapy of running and yoga, but these extras were missed.  This morning I made my way to the trail for the first time in a month.  What a difference a few weeks makes.  Suddenly everything was green...
Last time I was there it was brown mixed with mud and snow.  Today it felt fresh from the evening rain, wildflowers added color and it smelled like the morning after of my favorite smells.  It felt so good to be up there.  It reminded me that even when life gets busy, these things are important.  Even when I don't feel like writing, if I give myself just ten minutes to see if I get into I know it will suddenly be an hour later.  And, if it's not at least I tried.  Setting aside time for the things that are important.  All the things.  Family things, my things.  They all go together in the long run.

Enjoy that sunshine out there.  

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