It will not always be this way but it just so happens that the beginning of preschool, first day of ballet and Loulie's birthday fall within days of each other. I know she gets older/bigger/more grown up everyday but having all these tangible reminders at once kind of sends me into an emotional tailspin. I may have been the only mother who cried in the hallway the first day of school while my child happily walked right in. The difference this year is that we've done most of this before--I felt seasoned. I wasn't the new kid on the block anymore. And Loulie--she inherited her mother's nerd genes and loves school! I hope it stays this way and that she's always so excited to see her friends and teachers.

 Beginning about 6 months ago, Loulie started asking about her birthday party. EV-E-RY-DAY. Her main requests: 1) that it be an Ariel party at the beach, 2) that she have an Ariel cake and 3) that all her friends be there to sing her happy birthday. She talked about this so much that I began to get a little nervous that our plans would not meet her expectations. Then I remembered that she is just 3 and to keep it low key. So we had a little beach picnic with a few of her little friends at my parents' house. Bert's landlord lent us his golf cart to shuttle tired kids back and forth.I packed sandwiches and fruit in sandbuckets for lunch. I am no party planner and entertaining a pack full of littles kind of scares me. But thankfully mother nature cooperated and the day went off without a hitch.
 Another of Loulie's requests was to BE Ariel (WTH!) so we found some mermaid fabric to make her this dress and headband. I may have lost my fingerprints in the process but she felt so beautiful so whats a few burns?

 Loulie and her friend, Madison in the picture below, are fourth and third generation Sullivan's Island neighbors. So fun to have all of them there!
 I'm just going to go ahead and make the most biased comment ever--these four are the sweetest girls you will ever meet. They partied long after the other guests left, pretending to be mermaids. Below is a shot of them resting on the beach after just being saved from a fisherman's net. I don't know where they come up with this stuff but it makes my heart glad for Loulie to have sweet girlfriends to play with. I am so thankful for them and their parents.

 The actual day of her birthday we made cake batter pancakes (pinterest fail) and had a few presents all set up. She didn't ask for anything but we had hinted at a kitchen. Bert and I were all excited with cameras ready to see the look on her face when she walked in. She walked right past it, sat down and started eating. Finally, we we like 'So, um, do you notice ANYTHING?!" Completely surprised, Loulie goes "That's for ME?" Best money we've ever spent. She has logged hours in her little kitchen that is no so little. I think I am about to move the kitchen table out to accommodate Loulie's furniture. (Never say never--I always promised I wouldn't let children's toys take over my house)

There aren't really words to express what it's like watching someone grow up. The gratitude I have to God for making us her parents, for loaning us His child--it's overwhelming. I wanted Loulie to feel loved and special and appreciated for  the kind daughter she is and for how proud she makes us. I think we accomplished that.


Easing Back In

The irony of this whole blogging hobby is the more you have to write about, the less time you have to write it. Life has been so, so full of blessings lately but I have also been tired trying to keep up. Bert stays on me for taking on too much and saying YES to everyone. (I'll go ahead and put on record that I said no to two people at the beginning of September.) I get wrapped up in wanting to live in the moment, enjoying these lightning speed years of Loulie being little and discovering so much all at once with, but also wanting to document it all; record each funny saying, photograph all the funny fashion statements, as well as remember the thoughts going on in my own mind. It's a ying and yang this new era of technology and the opportunity to create in so many ways. 
So I'm easing back in--giving myself grace in not writing every day or every week (obviously) but trying to record the stuff that inspires me hopefully before it escapes my mind and we're moving on to the next memory. So for the next couple of weeks, I'll be all out of chronological order. (Yes, I can do this. Oldest, Type A children can be spontaneous and out of order. Right?!) Catching up or reminiscing, I'll call it both. 
In the meantime....