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“Greta the Great”

On February 7th, my wee little baby turned 8 years old! It's crazy how fast time goes by and I constantly wish I had stronger memories of Holly and Greta as babies. Greta has always been a very loving child and I do recall that from a very young age, I could understand what she needed and wanted even before she communicated it. As a toddler, she was very demanding as she developed emotionally. And now she is an intuitive and complex little girl who asks for hugs frequently and is a Daddy's girl through and through. She's goofy and likes to make us all laugh, but can't stand feeling embarrassed. She's an avid reader and almost constantly has a nose in a book. She can express herself very well and is very in touch with how she feels and what's fair or not fair. Greta is brave and outgoing, but also needs alone time to recharge. She loves fiercely and wants to be loved in the same way. She's a passionate child. She feels life deeply and experiences life to the fullest. I love her dearly. She's so very different from me in many ways and I often wonder how I created such a beautiful child. She's dear to my heart and I love her!

I feel very fortunate to have made some dear friends in Oaxaca. And those friends came to celebrate Greta with us. My friend, Claudia, made a beautiful and decadent chocolate cake with strawberries! We broke a couple piñatas and had a grand time!

We found a great bakery that we walk by at least twice a day most days. Baked goods are very affordable (read: cheap) here. Here's a photo of Greta with her choice of the day! Greta's in a phase of making some really funny faces every time I pull out this camera. She's a goofy kid and a bit of a class clown! This smile is so sincere, I had to share it! 

Over the weekend, we threw Greta a surprise party! I've never thrown a surprise party for my kids and in the words of Greta, "I want one every year!" So it was a hit! Greta's birthday isn't until the beginning of next month, however her birthday lands right in the middle of our month long trip to Mexico and we were in Ecuador for her birthday last year. I really wanted to make sure she feels loved and remembered.

I invited a bunch of her friends over and we made pizzas and ate cake and the kids played. It was pretty low key and pretty exciting at the same time!

I love you Greta!

Happy Halloween! I love dressing my kids up for Halloween. It's a lot of fun! Greta is a nutcracker, but perhaps looks more like a circus ringmaster. And Holly is a native American. For photos, Maeve was first a butterfly because she has flat out refused the necklace and hat for her costume. But, she was so pliable with a sucker in her mouth that I decided to try it and she allowed me to dress her! Very exciting! I made Holly's dress, embellished Greta's and I made everything for Maeve besides the green jammies. 

Conor had just gotten home earlier in the day (he spent a week in Chicago!) that I took photos and all Maeve wanted was him! So cute. Love how everyone looks and we are already dreaming up costumes for next year, as we do!

For our church's trunk or treat, Conor was an off-duty cop (that mustache!) and I was a lumber Jill.

Greta ran her last XC race last week. She qualified for the all-city race and she did great! After the race, I asked her if anything any said along the sidelines helped her run faster, thinking that maybe one of my coaching comments I yelled to her as she ran past me was inspiring. Man, did I eat a piece of humble pie! Greta said that she liked it when some of our friends (who she loves) cheered for her at the end was the best and that helped her to speed up. It was a moment of great learning for me! I saw her three times in the course of that mile and each time I told her to run through the pain or pass those girls or speed up you're at the end. And I should've just cheered for her. Simple as that.

Well despite me, Greta did awesome and I really hope she keeps to running throughout her life.

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