November kicked off in a big way...with our sweet Olivia turning 9!! Not sure how that is possible, but I am fully aware that we are now only one year away from double digits! This girl was looking forward to her birthday with incredible enthusiasm, so it's only appropriate that the celebration take place for an entire week!
We kicked things off with me joining her for lunch at school on her actual birthday. She was excited to have me come to school and bring her Subway (her request). I joined Olivia and a handful of her friends at their little lunch table and listened to what 8-9 year olds talk about on a daily basis...quite enjoyable! Towards the end of lunch Olivia's Nana showed up with her birthday treat that she could share with the class...soccer cookies!
That evening we prepared for Olivia's annual birthday dinner at Takaoka. I think this is our 4th year enjoying this tradition, and it's something we ALL look forward to. Before heading to dinner Olivia opened a few presents at home. She was most excited about her Alex Morgan soccer jersey!
Todd's Mom is kind enough to treat us all to the wonderful hibachi dinner each year for Olivia's birthday. We only go to this restaurant once a year, so the girls really soak it up when we are there. It is also a good reason for us to get a little dressed up to celebrate a special occasion.
The fun really begins when the chef comes to the table. We have been more times that we can count over the years, but the routine never gets old. Mainly because you know what the end result is...delicious food! Cece enjoyed the "show" from beginning to end and definitely enjoyed the rice! The rest of us enjoy our food as well as Olivia had yet another fabulous birthday dinner at Takaoka!
Next on the birthday agenda was the annual family birthday party! Per Olivia's request, the theme was soccer and I did my best to deliver for her. From the cookies to the cake to the jersey she wore for the night...it was all about soccer!
As I watched my girl blow out the candles on her birthday cake I couldn't help but simply beam with pride for the young lady she has become in her 9 years on this earth. She amazes me on a daily basis and I often find myself wondering how I am so blessed to have such an amazing child. She just fills my heart to the fullest. It was a fun evening celebrating Olivia's birthday with those closest to us!
Despite having celebrated Olivia's birthday for a full week, there was more to come! And if you asked Olivia, probably the thing she was looking forward to the most...friend sleepover! Not sure what I was thinking when I told Olivia she could have a small group of girls spend the night. I think I went into it expecting the worst, but I was pleasantly surprised. Why? Because Olivia has some amazing friends who are polite, sweet and very well behaved!
We had a night of fun things planned to keep the girls busy. My Mom came over to help me out, which was huge! We kicked things off with cookie decorating, followed by pizza and right into present opening. One fun activity after the next!
We gathered to sing Happy Birthday to Olivia and have some cake! Little girls never say no to cake! The immediately put that sugar high to good use by playing Just Dance. Lots of giggling going on in our basement.
Other activities that evening included a lip sync battle and pedicure before finally settling down for movie time. They were all pretty tired by the end of the night so I felt safe heading to bed, knowing they would soon be drifting off to sleep themselves.
It was a wildly successful girls night! I was so impressed with how well they all got along. There was no drama, no arguments...just fun times. Most of all, when it was all said and done I felt grateful that my girl has so many wonderful friends in her life. Olivia welcomed 9 with open arms and we definitely enjoyed the week long celebration!
We were barely into winter when we were hit with our first mini snow storm of the season. The girls were excited by this unexpected storm and wasted no time heading out to play. It was perfect snow for making a snowman. Cece time outside was limited so Olivia and her Dad finished up Mr. Snowman. Unfortunately his lifespan was also limited once Beasley was introduced to him. Oh well, we will have to try again with the next big storm. Still waiting for that...
We look forward to Thanksgiving weekend each year, because it is the official start to the holidays. We use the extra time off to start decorating the house for Christmas. The Christmas season is full of little family traditions that we look forward to. The first one is for the girls to decorate their little trees while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This was the first year they both did them entirely on their own. (I may have fixed them up afterwards, when they weren't looking)
We always end Thanksgiving weekend with Festival of Trees. For the past few years Olivia has performed with her dance studio. Attending this event always make it feel like the Christmas season has officially arrived!
After Olivia's performance we take time to walk through the festival and see all of the beautiful trees. An opportunity to see the first Santa of the season presented itself. Cece has always been timid when it comes to seeing Santa for the first time each year and this year was no different. Olivia was all about it, while Cece had a mini meltdown and decided to watch from the sidelines. It was obvious we had some work ahead of us before Cece would sit on Santa's lap to tell him her Christmas wishes.
This was just the start to all of our fun Christmas traditions. There is something about this time of year that is just so special. The best part is experiencing it all through the eyes of my beautiful girls! Bring on Christmas!