Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Turning Nine

Birthday celebrations should last for weeks.
Marissa and her friend, Erika, at the American Girl Doll bistro.
Marissa's began the weekend before her birthday, with a small gathering at the American Girl Doll store for a birthday luncheon. Our party was made to feel special, like we were the only people in the place celebrating something as wonderful as a birthday.  Marissa felt like a princess.

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.

Marissa can make a trip to Ikea feel special, like walking through a magical universe where everything is fascinating and fun, even though we were really just shopping for a work desk for me. We took the time to stop in many display areas, checking out the kids bedroom sets, the kitchen drawers that close themselves, the pantries that have built-in shelving. They all became fun play areas to her, and we took the time to pretend.

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.

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