"because it's my birthday"

Christmas lasted for 6 weeks. Avery’s birthday lasted for 6 days.

This was the first year I actually planned a location party. It wasn’t intentional. It just happened. Ice skating.

Pictured below are her favorite friends and cousins at the party. The boys are in the background somewhere. And, 2 gals from Bible study are not pictured. Girl A fell down, bummed her knee, but became distraught when Girl B, her sister, told her that the kind stranger who helped her when she fell was actually going to try to kidnap her. Every party has a pooper. This one had two. Girl A didn't want to get up for the picture (and rightly so...she had cried her eyes out over the fear of being kidnapped...poor thing), and I may have intentionally cut out Girl B.

Last year I was smart. I did family parties and piñatas. I mean, I bought a My Little Pony piñata and transformed him into a purple unicorn, pieced him back together and turned him into a black and white horse. I’ve got skills. Spray adhesive and hot glue are my new BFFs. Sorry, Megan.

It’s also the first year I’ve opened the door to a themed cake. I caved. Artificial food coloring. And a lot of it. I just didn’t care. I talked the bakery into attempting a unicorn. It was awesome. I mean after he scraped off the purple Great Dane mistake.

Avery’s birthday was last Sunday, so this post might seem late. However, we celebrate birthdays for about a week around here, which means I’m right on time. Correction, we celebrate kid birthdays for a week. Mine gets the whole month.

"Make this your motto," reads the inside of the card.

That girl and I. We are so much alike. Too much.

At first I was grateful that she likes things clean and organized. Put in its place. A child who cleans on her own. Praise the Lord! But I know that need for a clean and tidy space can be exhausting. Physically and mentally. It can be debilitating. I don’t want that for her. I don’t want it to keep her from enjoying life (and messy people) like it did me for so many years. Messy people have value too. I’m married to one. (I threatened to post a picture of his "sock trail" as proof.)

That girl. She squeaks when she walks. She had mentioned wanting a few things, but when I encouraged her to spend her birthday money, she no longer wanted those items. Oh, no. I took her to Target, and while in the aisle showed her the same item on Amazon. She’s smart and patient. I forced her to spend that money, hoping she won’t have the same stigma about spending money on herself as I do.

But that girl has got her daddy’s heart. His big mushy bleeding heart. While I would want the fun of putting Legos together myself, she invited her brothers to help her as she opened the new boxes, thinking in the end they would play with her because of it. But when it came time to play “shopping mall,” I watched the boys sit with Legos in front of them while their eyes intermittently shot a glance at the TV. Then I noticed they each had a finger on a nearby controller for a video game. Seriously, Boys!

I’ve got a couple weeks before I have to start planning for the their birthdays. And thinking about their cakes. With all that food coloring. And I shudder.

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