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My baby girl is FIVE years old! It's so hard to believe. She's always gonna be my little girl I think. For her birthday, Maeve was convinced we'd have snow so she wanted to go sledding, skiing and ice skating and then drink hot chocolate. And while it snowed the morning of her birthday (magical btw), it wasn't enough to sled or ski. Conor took Maeve ice skating just the two of them in the afternoon. Maeve was thrilled with every part of her birthday. We gave her a mermaid palace toy she has been pining for. She saw it in a catalogue and has spent hours looking at the picture. Nana and Papa JJ gave her some cute outfits and Maeve wears the sweater around the clock, to bed, the whole deal. I need to wash it. Maeve wanted a chocolate cake with pink icing. Done and done girlfriend.

The day this girl was born, the world became a better place. She's so delightful. And I'm so honored to be her mom!

Conor is officially 37 years old! We loved celebrating him! I gave Conor an heirloom chess board for his birthday and then I beat him at his own game. I also arranged a chess tournament of sorts. Friends came over to play 30 minute games with Conor so he got in around 9 or so games of chess. It was nerdy and wonderful.

Here is Holly in her 12th birthday dress! Holly is very interested in all things space (thanks Lunar Chronicles!) and so this fabric is a home run! I used the Olive Dress pattern and it all came together nicely. I still need to trim threads and pull out the gathering stitches, but alas, I'm one busy momma! No matter, Holly's thrilled! The 12th birthday was my arbitrary end date to this tradition... but I think it's likely it may not end. And I guess if Holly wants me to make her dresses, I will make her dresses!

It's funny how my parenting style has changed... back when Holly and Greta were little, I was committed to a birthday party schedule of every other year with friends. I'm not sure when I threw that one out the window... but that idea has been dissolved and now my approach is embracing the parties! But also making them easy on myself. Fun memories with friends are especially important following a covid year. I suggested to Holly that we do tie dye for her birthday... she loved that idea and we ran with it! It was pretty easy. I asked her friends to bring a t-shirt to dye instead of a gift and I provided bandanas and scrunchies. This age group is pretty independent. I had told Holly ahead of time that I would do tie dye and cake and then step back and let her decide what she wants to do with her friends. They played hide and seek and other variations and had fun! And I caught my breath :)

Holly wanted Texas Sheet Cake. I had to laugh to myself, I didn't even know Texas Sheet Cake existed until I had lived in the states for a little while. Just raising my little Americans south of Canada.

My darling girl, my oldest child is 12 years old! How the years have flown. Holly is a kind and nurturing young girl. She's responsible and dependable. Holly loves to listen to an audio book while crafting - she could do that all the time! Holly loves the water and she's a strong swimmer. This past year, Holly has done a lot of new things like virtual school, Nordic skiing and mountain biking! I really like the person she is and I'm grateful I've been able to watch her grow into a really wonderful 12 year old!

For Holly's birthday, we were on our vacation in Loon Lake. Holly's a pretty easy kiddo to please. She chose all the meals and I made an ice cream cake. I really, really enjoyed celebrating her this year.

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