as of last weekend she's completed six trips around the sun, this girl of mine.  she woke to us quieting singing the birthday song, and a house full of balloons and color.  we surprised her with a camera of her own and turned a built-in hamper in her room into a 'secret nook'.  we celebrated with a late-morning tea party for her and six of her girlfriends.  (her closest male friends were good sports about it, and had her on their minds too- one left a pot of red gerber daisies on the stoop for her, and another sent a text message to her (via his mama, of course) that read something like "Hi Claire.  I love you.  Happy Birthday" (followed by about 70 or 80 little emojis or whatever they are called- whatever they are, my old (not smartphone) phone recognizes them simply as rectangles....).  it was funny, deciding to encourage a 'girls-only' party.  it took me a while to come around to it, and I didn't want to leave anyone out, but also knew I wanted something small (in the winter, in our small house) and so a tea party sounded like a good plan.  and I imagined it might be the ladies who'd enjoy it most, so I told her it was nice to include everyone, yes, but that it was also okay to have a girls-only thing sometimes, too.  and so while she fully embraced the girliness sparkle of it all, I was (only moderately, though) surprised when the first thing she did when her first couple guests showed up was to run into the back yard to show them how to shoot her little bow and arrow.  so there's that.  she is, quite truly, my little warrior princess.

papa, about three weeks prior to the party, informed me he was going to either rent a tux or buy a bow tie and cummerbund, in order to better play the part of server at her party.  a role I hadn't put upon him or even really thought much about before, figuring the little ladies could just self-serve their mini sandwiches and such.  but oh no- he had a plan.  and I must say that it was so very well executed and that it made the girls so giddy and giggly, and Claire was so surprised (good surprised) to see her main man so gussied up, just for her.

we sang to her, we ate cake, we pinned horns on a unicorn, we made fairy glitter gel for the girls to take home, we listened to them play.  this was the first year I didn't specifically request 'no gifts' and insist to people that "their presence is their present", seeing as how, as they get older, they start to get the idea that "oh, hey- people will probably bring me a present", and generally not wanting to too much interfere with however people wanted to celebrate her, and she has had such fun with her sweet gifts.  a wee little tea set, a paint-your-own birdhouse kit, a stuffed monkey, a lovely handmade pillowcase, a beautiful book, a handmade coiled rope bowl, a fairy doll crafting set and magnetic fairy play board...... not to mention the sweetest box in the mail from nana and pipop, filled with all sorts of thoughtful goodies, and a handmade stuffed dog (and matching pajamas!) made by my mom.

it was such fun, all of it.  such bright, hopeful, colorful, simple fun.

six years since that blizzard-y, full moon night.  my goodness.  it both does, and does not, seem like so long ago~

may she feel special, and celebrated.
may she know the depth of our love for her.
may she feel safe and secure.
may she know the joy she bring to us, to her world.

may she celebrate ever so many more birthdays, in good health and much happiness.

all my love to you, sweet girl.


snow days

we had a little teaser snow day midweek last week.  teeny tiny snowmen, a little bit of snow play and cookie baking with neighbors.  it was over and gone pretty quickly.  and then thursday night it began to snow and it continued until late saturday morning.  snowfall amounts varied widely throughout our area (Mt. Mitchell got an incredible 66 inches!), but here at our place the total seemed to be about 8 or 9 inches.  friday was pancakes and then snow tubing down our street followed by hunkering down by the fire and listening to Vampire Weekend and making and eating chili.  there have been many, many cups of hot tea, lots of reading and art, and we've kept the fire burning, day and night, for several days.  on saturday we took a walk (or ride, as was the case for her) into town with some of our very favorite people.  it was such fun passing someone on skis on the main road and enjoying the hush of a snow-laden world. there was hot cocoa and impromptu sledding and general shenanigans with friends.  we made a snowman and a snow fort.  I wish I'd gotten photos of our sledding round in the driveway at our friends' house, but I was busy being a human barrier to keep the kids (and grown ups) from sledding into the road, so...... you know.... priorities.  

happy snow days!

wink emoti