Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Annika's 9th Birthday

On Saturday, our little girl began her last year in the single digits. Nine years ago, she decided enough was enough ... and surprised us 3 weeks early. Nine years ago, she made us parents. Nine years ago, we realized only idiots make plans and believe they will pan out as expected. Nine years ago, we learned how instant and fierce the love of a parent can be. Nine years ago, we were blessed with a little girl who is brimming with creativity, spunk, intelligence, empathy, energy and love.

Nine years down ... first steps toward 10 (eep!)

Yes, I really do make our kids hold a birthday sign every year. :)

Annika woke up to balloons falling on her head as soon as she opened her bedroom door and the day continued up from there. To be accurate, she also walked into a wall of balloons in the middle of the night when she got up to go to the bathroom and her amazing engineer of a father rigged a new balloon drop system when he woke up in the morning. (Thanks, hon!!)

For the most part, the day was very low-key, which was ideal in many ways considering our recent and non-stop go-go-go pace. It was lovely to simply stop (or at least, pause) to take in the fact that our baby girl is quickly growing up and readying herself for life's next adventures. It was also nice to catch up on a few to-do items while the kids had a MARVELOUS time playing with the plethora of balloons almost all day long. They even created a balloon pit using a bunch of blankets, pillows, and ... yes, the balloons. They created games and stories that were detailed, funny, and downright silly. What more could a parent ask for?

Eric and Conor hanging the family's "Happy Birthday" banner

The balloon pit

Annika decided that she wanted chili for her birthday dinner (yum!) and red velvet cake for dessert. The kids donned their proverbial chef hats and jumped in to help make the cake ... and they did a great job! (I did the frosting solo, but had plenty of offers to lick the bowl and utensils when I was done ... they are such team players!)

All day long, Annika awaited the blessed moment when we told her she could open her presents. I'm pretty sure she thought making her wait until after dinner was our form of child abuse, but she survived the wait and gleefully opened the items from us and a few out-of-the-area family members.

Reading her card from Conor
(who lovingly decorated the envelope with all sorts of curly/fancy letters to spell out her name)

What 9-year-old girl doesn't need a unicorn shirt, I ask you???

Modeling her new mermaid swimming fin

Admiring the microscope from Uncle John & Aunt Wendy

Happy scientist

Pretty sure she would live in this mermaid tail from
Aunt Kajsa and Uncle Jeff full time if we let her

Reading up on her new Jenga from Auntie Suzanne and Uncle Randy... let the games begin

She was a weeee bit excited to see we gave her the wireless headphones she's been longing for

After presents and cleaning up from dinner, the four of us piled on the couch for cake and to watch "The Little Prince" on Netflix. It was a marvelously cozy way to wrap up the day... lots of snuggles and chocolate to go around. :)

Eric lighting NINE candles

Make a wish, birthday girl

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