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On February 7th, Greta turned 7 years old! I can't believe she's seven and at the same time I can... we have been counting down to her birthday for a long time! Greta's birthday differed greatly from our usual traditions. I packed balloons and a golden crown (for her golden birthday), but there were very few presents, I didn't sew a birthday dress and we didn't eat our typical birthday food. The day before Greta's birthday, we went to the market and bought fruit for a fruit salad for breakfast. We ate ice cream (helado, helado, helado! Cincuenta sentavos!) twice. The spanish school was so thoughtful and bought a cake and every sang. Because the cake was gluten, Greta couldn't eat it, but mature beyond her years, she felt deeply celebrated. I feel really proud of how Greta responded to her very different birthday in Ecuador. I love Greta very much and I can't believe she's grown so much from her little self. When we brought her home from the hospital, she weighed a mere 4lb, 12oz! My smallest baby!

I just can't believe that Holly's 8! It was her birthday a week ago. Yesterday, she gave a primary talk and used the line, "when I was 7..." She's so old now! Birthdays are so much fun (and work!), but it makes the kids so happy to be celebrated! I love the joy of the day. We threw Holly a games night birthday party with friends. It was crazy and loud and Holly loved it! 

We really hit a home run with the gifts this year. A jean jacket and the game, sleeping queens, were a huge hit! In just less than 3 weeks Holly will be baptized. Eight is such a big milestone! 

Last week was my birthday...

Something Conor's said to me has kind of stuck out to me lately. I was lamenting on how I can't eat sugar without feeling terrible like I could 10 years ago and it's so unfair, etc. Conor said simply that I'm getting older.

I'm still super young, but even the differences in the last decade have made me look at my future with more dedication. I want to be as youthful as possible. And I'm not just talking about my skin glow. I want to have energy and health. I want to have mobility and strength. I want to be the opposite of bitter.

About 4 months ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS. Fortunately for me, I don't look like the typical PCOS patient, as in I'm not overweight. Having PCOS comes with some immediate problems (having a baby) and future problems. I'm at a higher risk for diabetes and I'll always need to take hormones, otherwise I'll get cancer. Those are big things! And I don't want either. I know I'm on a very healthy path... I exercise lots, and I eat well(ish), but there's always room for improvement.

Everyone has their hard "things" in life. This is one of mine.

I'm grateful for my life. And I'm grateful for my emotional experiences. They make me human. And somehow, even the pain makes my life rich and beautiful.

Some photos of me with my favorite people ever.

Here are some more photos from my birthday at the beach. We finally remembered to bring out a kite we'd been given and all the little girls had fits and giggles over flying it! Again, it was a lovely day...

On Friday, we celebrated Greta's third birthday. It was a regular day jazzed up. A special breakfast - crepes and OJ and some present opening in the morning. Greta loved opening the gifts and her reactions were awesome! "Another box!" she said many times as she kept removing the wrapping paper to reveal another box. Holly made painted wood beads and strung them into a necklace for Greta and as you can see below, Holly was very excited for Greta to open up the gift! Greta was very, very spoiled this year! Lots of fun new things to play with, lots of Sleeping Beauty. One of our gifts to her was a book and the girls were so confused when it was opened up and claimed we already have it. But no, we don't. We've just borrowed it from the library so many times because Greta loves it!

I printed off 28 photos of Greta from her last year of life and created a collage and taped them to the gifts. Growing up is bittersweet.

We wrapped up our day with cupcakes! We didn't do a birthday party this year, but we did have a fun family outing on Saturday. I really love this style of celebration. And I adore celebrating my daughters!