Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Days

It has been a nearly perfect day. After a long string of crazy days, where I've often felt like one crazy lady, today was calm. For a change there is nowhere I or any of the kids are scheduled to be, except for meeting up with Jon somewhere overlooking the ocean for a picnic dinner. At this point in the day school is completed, Jacob is playing contentedly in the back yard, Andrew is busy making paper airplanes, and Michael and Olivia are playing a game involving middle names and some of my first aid supplies under a tent they've constructed in the bedroom. As I look out at Jacob, his hair sticking up and shining in the sun, I realize that I haven't combed his or any one's hair today. Then again, neither have I brushed my hair and a bed head pony tail is doing the trick just fine. It's a happy day.

Last night Olivia and I had some girl time in celebration of her birthday. A couple weeks ago, as we were making plans for her birthday, she had requested some time together in lieu of gifts. What a gift to me! So as soon as Jon was able to spend an evening with the boys (which for them was kind of special too), we took off for an evening together. We had a "fancy" dinner together, trying things on the menu that were different, and sharing creme brulee for dessert. She thought it was funny that creme brulee means burnt cream. Later we went shopping and she picked out some summer dresses and shirts from H&M. Our hours together seemed to slip by, and as always, we hope to have girl time again sooner than later.

As we sat talking over dinner, I couldn't help but be amazed at how lovely she is. She was poised and ever so feminine, even as she carefully cut into her meat. I admired her delicate features and thoughtful manners combined with a confidence that is strong, yet unsure at times.

She seems to have matured so much in recent months, but just as I begin to think that her childhood years are beginning to slip away, she breaks out into the most silly, fun-loving, and uninhibited girl. That was the case last night. We laughed together and I giggled privately to myself, because she is just darling. And so silly. She makes the funniest impersonations. The things she finds funny make me laugh at her sometimes, because, when it comes down to it, I love everything about that girl.

Last week we celebrated her 11th birthday one afternoon at the community recreation area of our neighborhood with a few of her friends from church. I'm so thankful that the Lord provided a good group of girls that took her right in when we moved last fall.

Ever since we came across some cute cupcake liners at Michael's, she had wanted a picnic party. She asked if we could make pompoms like last year to hang in the branches of a tree. She wanted Ina Garten's Chicken Caesar  Sandwiches, strawberries and lemon curd, and of course cupcakes. She helped me make everything pretty.

The girls climbed trees, lazed around on the quilt eating and talking, then went swimming till it was time to come in for dinner.

No birthday is complete without a real live lizard as a gift from a brother. But Olivia is not typical; she thought is was fantastic because it was a big one with an extra blue belly. Later in the afternoon I discovered the little guy stored in my things for safe keeping!

Jacob and his friend didn't make it in the picture...

A few left-over cupcakes melting in the sun...

I'm sure this year will bring many changes for my girly, and I'm excited to see what God has in store for her. What a thrill it is to have a daughter!


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