Saturday, June 27, 2015

You'll Be My [Second] American Girl [Doll]

Since the moment we took Avery to get her American Girl doll last year she's wanted another one. Erik and I paid for half of the first one and Avery saved up her money for the rest, but we told her that if she wanted another one that she was going to have to pay the whole amount herself. Both Erik and I felt as though one American Girl doll was enough, but Avery is pretty determined when she makes her mind up to do something. She saved every dime she made from her chores, all of her tooth fairy money, and all of her birthday money...and had about $62. Luckily Avery got an American Girl gift certificate and a $10 off coupon (and Erik and I chipped in for tax, because tax is pretty hard for a 7-year-old to understand). So on Thursday Avery, my Mom and I headed to the American Girl store in Seattle so Avery could pick out her doll.

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For her second (and last) doll Avery chose Kit, and proudly held out a big wad of cash to pay for her. After the store employee took Kit out of the box and handed her to Avery, she floated through the store grinning and holding both of her dolls in her arms. I honestly believe that she was so gentle and careful with her first doll (whose name is Audrey) because she had to save up her money for her. And you could tell as she touched Kit's face and hair that she was so thrilled to have her and so proud to have bought her on her own. It's really hard for kids to save their money...there is always something new they want, and so many things to tempt them when they walk into a store. We're really proud of Avery for sticking to it and saving her money...she's a pretty special girl.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Avery's Birthday(s)

Avery had two birthday parties this to celebrate with friends and one to celebrate with family. Avery wanted the theme of her parties to be "Garden Fairies" (and she was very clear that she did NOT mean Tinkerbell). Her friend party was very casual, the girls came over after school, ran around the backyard, ate cherries off the tree, played in the playhouse, made jewelry, and wore the flower crowns that I made them. I found some cute reusable shopping bags at JoAnn's and filled them with every non-Tinkerbell garden fairy thing I could find on Amazon for party favors. Since I was working up until the party, my Mom very generously offered to come over and do the food so everything was ready to go when school got out. Avery wanted blueberry mini -muffins, fruit, and chips and salsa...and my Mom went above and beyond as usual.

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The family party was the same weekend, but after the kid party the family party seemed like a breeze. My mom made the cake, I glued together some flowers for the cake topper, Erik barbequed chicken for chicken burgers, and we sat around in the backyard soaking up the sunshine. Avery opened presents, Erik opened up the tent trailer again to show everyone, and we all had a great afternoon. We are lucky to have such an amazing family to share these moments with.

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Oh, and there was also Avery's REAL birthday celebration when she got her birthday crown and cupcakes at school, a new bike from Erik and I, and the three of us went to dinner at Northwood Brewery (at Avery's request). That was a pretty great day, too. 

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I just can't wrap my head around the fact that Avery is seven.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Last Day of 1st Grade

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Today was Avery's last day of 1st grade and I'm feeling kind of emotional about it. What happened to the little girl I dropped off at school back in September? Today I picked up a 2nd grader and that little girl from the fall was no where to be found. She's grown two inches since she started school, has a mouth full of big teeth, and looks unacceptably old all of a sudden. I could brag endlessly about her academic successes this year, but I'll just say she aced every spelling test and math quiz she took, earned a pile of awards for work ethic and responsibility, and her report card today was the stuff parents dream of. She finished off the year with two more awards, and is now happily enjoying a few minutes of T.V. time while Erik is picking up her favorite Mexican food for dinner. Because when you're a great kid you get Mexican food on last day of school.


Just look at this heart is so full it may burst.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

And Then She Turned 7


Dear Avery,

Happy 7th birthday to you, sweet girl. I don't know how on earth it's possible that you are seven today...time just keeps flying by. Each year brings so many beautiful moments, such inexpressible joy, I wish I could just stop time and hold on to every minute just a little longer. But then I think of all the memories we have yet to make, all the amazing things you have yet to do, and I don't mind watching you grow up after all. Well, maybe I mind a little bit.

You are so amazing, Avery. I hope you know that. You are smart and funny, strong and tough. I feel so lucky to work at your school, and to hear from the other teachers about how hard you work, how kind you are to others, how respectful you are, and how much everyone likes you. In one week you will finish first grade, and we couldn't be more proud of you. You excelled in spelling and math and reading, you studied hard, you never gave up when something seemed difficult, and you pushed yourself to be better even when you had already exceeded our expectations. You are incredible.

You love riding your bike and climbing are always up in the trees. You love to write, and constantly fill notebooks with stories of wicked queens and the princesses who outsmart them. You love to swim, but you're biding your time until you can play volleyball and you talk about it all the time. You like to dig in the dirt and then paint your nails. You love dresses and you hate shoes. You're currently obsessed with the Beatles, Taylor Swift, and the Newsies soundtrack. And you love to read. We've read so many books together this year, but we're currently reading the Ramona Quimby books and they've been your favorite by far. 

You are everything we could've hoped for in a little girl, and so much more. Each day with you brings more happiness and love than I ever thought was possible. I don't know how we got so lucky, but I look forward to spending the rest of my life being your mom. 

Happy birthday, my beautiful girl. We love you more than anything in this world.

Love always, 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Seattle Sunday, Strawberry Sunday

Lately one week seems to fade into the next, with school wrapping up and after school activities coming to an end. We look forward to Sundays because it's the one day a week we all have off together. Last Sunday we headed to Seattle for another Mariner's game, this time with Avery's school. It was a great afternoon with neighbors and classmates, and even though the Mariner's lost in extra innings, no one seemed to mind. Avery got her first autograph from Dave Valle, a former Seattle Mariner who we ran into after touring the field before the game. We were walking through the tunnel below the stadium and suddenly Dave Valle was standing right in front of us. Erik handed Avery his hat so she would have something for him to autograph, and after it was signed Mr. Valle placed it on her head and there it stayed for the rest of the day. It's now hanging in Avery's room and Erik has purchased a new M's hat.

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Today was a very different kind of Sunday. The pace was a little slower, the weather was a little hotter, but it was still my favorite day of the week. Erik brewed beer with the neighbor guys, while Avery and I went strawberry picking with the neighbor gals. The berries were sweet and warm, and the big evergreen trees rustled in the summery breeze. When we got home I mowed the lawn, cleaned the house, and Erik picked up Avery's birthday present because on Tuesday we will have a seven-year-old in our house (I can't talk about it). Sundays like today are pretty great, too.