Friday, August 15, 2014


I'm not sure how this happened. I thought I had been so careful. I thought I had been soaking in every day, every second. I thought I treasured each moment. Some days went by more quickly than I would have liked but others seemed to drag on. Still, the entire year flew by and now here we are in the middle of August. And Gracie is five. FIVE.

I don't know how this happened. 

We celebrated Gracie's birthday early this year (the 13th) since Todd would be out of town on her actual birthday (the 15th). You'd think that would have given me enough time to prepare myself for her turning five yet somehow it still caught me off guard. 

On Wednesday we did the usual presents and cake. Grace got a beloved baby carriage, a fishing rod (to replace the one she accidentally cast overboard as we were fishing a few months back), and a few toys. As you can see she was pretty excited. She was equally excited when she woke up from her nap to find I had decorated her cake. Her pink on the outside, and pink on the inside, cake. It was a very exciting day. 
As the tradition goes, the grandmas joined us for dinner at the restaurant of Gracie's choice. The entire restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" to her and she was properly embarrassed. However, the free t-shirt and treat made it worth it. Afterwards it was back to our house for a couple of presents yet to be given (from the grandmas) and then some pink cake. 
Overall, it was a very happy birthday for Grace. 

That night as I was getting ready for bed I smugly patted myself on the back for being such a brave mama. All day long we had watched Grace's baby videos and I only got mildly sentimental. My baby girl turned FIVE and I didn't even cry. Wow. I must be getting stronger.

"Of course," (a small voice in my head spoke up) "she isn't really five yet. She doesn't turn five until Friday. She isn't really older yet. She is still four."   

I shrugged off the crazy voice in my head. What difference will two days make? She is practically five already!

And then before I knew it today was here. Grace's birthday.

It didn't really feel like her birthday since we had already celebrated it so I had that going for me. I was going to be fine.

Still. Today was her ACTUAL birthday so I felt that we should all do something special.

I packed the kids in the car and we drove up to Green Bay to a wildlife sanctuary. The kids had a blast running around looking at all the different animals. Cougars, wolves, river otters, eagles, owls, hawks, fox, bobcats, skunks, deer, coyotes, turtles, and hundreds of ducks and geese. We even met some crazy tame chipmunks that came up and ate corn out of the kids' hands. But the best and most favorite part of the day was when the kids fed the ducks and geese. Who knew a $1 bag of corn could make my kids so happy? It was exciting stuff, people.
We spent hours at the wildlife sanctuary, too busy for me to even start to get melancholy over my girl's birthday. As a matter of fact I think I only remembered it was her birthday when I reminded her that now that she is 5 years old there is no need to whine since 5 year olds don't whine. Happy Birthday!

Since the kids were so good and we had so much fun I decided to reward them with a trip across the street to Bay Beach. Yes, we were just there last week (in part as an early birthday gift to Grace, as a matter of fact) but who can resist such inexpensive fun? Surely, not I.

We ran from ride to ride enjoying the warm sunshine. Grace got to ride all of her favorites and skipped out on the ones that still freak her out. She is too little for the rollar coaster yet (which is just fine with her) but Ben really wanted to go on it. Joey and Tommy offered to take Grace on all the kiddie rides while I rode the coaster with Ben. I was a little nervous that my two little meatheads wouldn't be responsible enough for the task at hand but they vowed to be extra attentive. 

Luckily, there was absolutely no line at the rollar coaster and Ben and I were able to walk right on. In ten minutes Ben and I were on our way back to look for Joey, Tommy, and Grace. The minute I spotted them my heart nearly burst. Joey was ushering Grace onto one of the safest rides in the park. Not only did he walk her to the little car but he lifted her in and secured her seatbelt too. Yep. He was extra attentive. I asked the boys if they were able to ride anything with Grace and the both just shook their heads. They let Grace pick the rides and both boys were too big to ride with her. Instead they stood vigil. Good boys.

After a full 7 plus hours of walking and running and riding and laughing we were all famished. So, once again, it was off to our favorite restaurant, Kaleidescope. Our meal was delicious and Grace was treated like a little princess and was served her very own extra large slice of chocolate cake. Thankfully, Grace shared it with all of us because it was THE BEST chocolate cake I have ever had in my entire life. Woah. Amazing. 

The car ride home was heavy with rehashed favorites, complaints of full bellies and tired feet, and singing and dancing along to the radio. By the time we got home the kids were actually eager to hop into bed.  

And I did it! Grace turned five and I didn't cry. I wasn't overly emotional. I was barely even sentimental. 

And then I started editing our pictures from today. And I started looking through pictures from past birthdays. 

And then...

I just lost it. 

Because, how?  HOW????

How do I go from this...
my newborn baby girl, Grace.

To this...
my newly walking one year old Grace.

And then this...
 my spunky 2 year old Grace.

 And before I knew it she was...
my three year old Tinkerbell, Grace.

And I blinked and she was...
 my 4 year old fairy princess, Grace.

Just like that. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

And now she is five. FIVE. My five year old, Grace. Still a pink-loving, princess-loving, spunky, sweet, sassy, independent, smart, funny, tough, shy, cuddly, loving, kind little lady. But now she is five. FIVE. 

And she is this.

My girl. My Grace. Happy 5th Birthday.
I love you.


Bijoux said...

What a precious girl! Happy birthday! You sure know how to pack in some fun!

betty said...

Happy (one day late) Birthday Grace! So sweet! Looks like she had 2 great birthday celebrations!! Time really does fly indeed!


Angie said...

She is such a beautiful girl! Looks like she celebrated her birthday in style :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I remember when she was born. Five already?
Happy birthday to her!

Wisconsin Girl said...

I think I really need to check out that restaurant the next time we are in Green Bay! What a fun birthday it was! Happy Birthday Grace! I'm struggling a bit with 5 too and I have 6 more months yet, but my girls can't stop talking about turning 5!

Robbie K said...

What a beautiful girl and a wonderful celebration! I don't know about you but my youngest one's birthdays and milestones are always incredibly emotional for me. I think it's also the fact that I am thinking "this is my last first day of first grade." "this is my last 6th birthday party."

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Happy birthday, Grace! What a great celebration!

And, I'm sure you never hear this, but she looks JUST like you! What a lucky little girl, and mom and family!

Hilary said...

Awww Happy Birthday to your beautiful Grace. Time sure does fly when you live with an angel.

Riahli said...

Awwwwww! Leiella turns five in October and I can't believe it either. They have grown up way too fast!!! Grace is so adorable! Looks like you all had a lot of fun. :)

Unknown said...

You know we are coming up on this milestone too and it's REALLY hard to believe for me too!

Grace is so beautiful and vibrant. And she looks SO much like you. It's like having your own little mini-me. :)

Happy belated Birthday to her, sounds and looks like she may have hat the best birthday celebration(s) ever! :D

lime said...

sweet, sweet post for a sweet girl. sounds like the celebrations were just lovely all the way around. family, food, and fun, what more do you need to celebrate?

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson