Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blackberry Picking and Conor's Funny

Part of Annika's 10th birthday was spent walking up and down the Urban Trail on a hunt for blackberries.

The kids and I were each armed with a 1-gallon plastic bag for our blackberry haul... and boy, did we have a haul. In about an hour, we wound up with 6 pounds of blackberries! We are quite the berry-picking trio, if you ask my humble opinion.

While were were among the berries, vines, and thorns, I figured we'd done a thorough job picking in our current ares, so suggested we move down to another section along the trail. Conor replied, "Why? Do you think there are berries down there, too?" I explained, "Yup! I'm pretty sure there will be. Let's go look." His response? "Mom ... that was a RHETORICAL question." (Lord help us all!)

Conor evaluating the berries

Our little berry pickers

Annika was very happy to go off of the beaten path for some good berries

Pickin, pickin, just keep pickin

You KNOW I had to make a pie!! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Annika is officially double digits

Last night, Annika went to bed as a 9-year-old. This morning, she awoke as a 10-year-old. Double digits, baby!!

Today she is 10... a decade of life under her belt. That also means Eric and I have been parents for a decade... three weeks earlier than we expected. (She has kept us on our toes ever since!) As we left the hospital with our newborn baby girl, I couldn't help but look over my shoulder and think "They're just letting us leave with her and we have NO CLUE what we're doing!"

Over the past 10 years, there have been countless bouts of laughter and tears, moments of "What the hell are we doing??" and "Wow! We haven't screwed them up too much ... yet." It has been quite a journey and one we are incredibly grateful for. As we watch the kids take one each day, we often stare in wonder at all they have learned, how much they've grown, and how much they've changed since they were born. 

This girl amazes us in so many ways. She is witty, compassionate, wickedly smart, funny, daring, and loving. She is tough and isn't afraid to stand up for herself or someone else being wronged. She is a protective big sister who will go to the ends of the earth for Conor, and will be the first in line to complain about something he has recently done. She instantly falls in love with any baby or animal that is in her line of sight. Life will not run over this girl... she will do well for herself, we are sure of it. She loves to art and science, and is often occupying herself with one (or both) of these things. She is our girl and we are so proud of who she is and can't wait to see who she develops into. Happy birthday, sweet girl!  

We are having a fairly low-key day today, which considering our summer's hectic pace, is a welcome change. As I write this post, Annika and Eric are playing a game and Conor is relaxing with his Pokemon stuff. I hear chatter and giggles ... and am loving every minute of it. Annika and I started off the day by going 8:30 mass; she signed up to be an alter server this year and wanted to make mental notes about all of the things she will need to do. After while, she opened presents, which included a digital watch, a "Officially 10" t-shirt, a point-and-shoot digital camera, a night gown, and a book about drawing animals. In a bit, we'll head to the pool for her weekly diving lesson and then we'll have Swedish meatballs as her chosen birthday dinner. 

Annika's 10-Year Birthday Interview

What is your favorite color? Red and pink
What is your favorite toy? Bunny 1
What is your favorite food? Swedish Meatballs
What do you do really well? Diving
What new skill do you want to learn? Ride a unicycle
What is your favorite book? Captain Underpants
What makes you laugh? Daddy
What is your favorite game? Tickle Spider (Daddy/Annika silly game)
What makes you happy? Family
What do you want to be when you grow up? Engineer who builds robots
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
What is your favorite song? True Colors
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? Put some in bank account and give the rest to a charity that helps the homeless and poor.
What do you look forward to now that you are 10? Getting to do more grown up things