|Marissa and her friend, Erika, at the American Girl Doll bistro.|
She spent a day with me at home six days before her birthday, just Marissa and mom time. We went for a long bike ride with a stop at the Linden Hills library to pick up a book, and a stop at Great Harvest bread for a cinnamon twist.
Then, as she's done many other birthdays, she spent time by herself, singing songs, dancing, playing with her dolls and making up stories. It was so sweet to eavesdrop on.
On her actual birthday we were in Tracy, MN, for her grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. We drove home that morning and let her open her gifts right away. The unasked for karaoke machine which I thought she might like has been her favorite plaything. The bubble gum machine is already half empty.
We celebrated dinner at her favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, with Aunt Kristi, who gave her a beautiful charm necklace.
When the server said, "Happy birthday" to her, she said "Thank you" with such charm that he had to tell her happy birthday again, just to hear her say "thank you" once more.
She smiled the entire day.
Like previous birthdays, the day was punctuated with exclamations of, "This is the best day ever!"
She is sweet and kind, funny and carefree, she is our 9-year-old Marissa.