In the blink of eye, she was 7. How she managed to age 7 years while I have stayed a young 28-year-old I'll never know. But on Friday morning, at 5:30 am, our family began to celebrate seven amazing years of our Amazing Grace. A note for the record: she woke up and then woke everyone else up (not Aya, thankfully) at 3:00 am, but we declined to start celebrating at that hour. Grace and Noah were commanded back to bed until a more - eh hem - humane hour of 5:00 am. And so it began before sunrise...
A side of cupcake with breakfast? Yes, please! You only turn 7 once!
I visited Grace's class with more cupcakes and it was very lovely to see her friends and classmates feeling so happy with her and for her. Her class this year is a very diverse, sweet group.
...and I came back to pick her up from her after school soccer club, just in time to see her in action!
Far came home early from work and brought her flowers
(interestingly and totally unplanned, I had brought her flowers after school too!).
Grace, Noah and her bestie Mattias began work on her big new Lego box!
And she Skyped/Facetimed with Nene, Farmor, Farfar, and Uncle Rasmus' whole family. She had videos and messages from Uncle Mark (the day before), Auntie Meghan, Auntie Tine and my Facebook was flooded with sweet birthday messages for Grace!
Birthday dinner of her choice: spaghetti with meat sauce and bruschetta :)
PHEW! She was so tired in the evening that she didn't want any more cake or any singing or a movie or anything...just a bit of playing and straight off to bed. Day 1 of being 7 was exhausting! All day on Saturday we prepared for Grace's birthday party...no big deal, just 16 first graders at our house for 3 hours (make that 4 hours...5 of them thought the party started an hour earlier than it actually started!). The theme of Grace's party this year was...well...there really was no theme, I guess. It was originally supposed to be a Minecraft party but she sort of lost interest in that, so just decided to plan things she thought would be fun - namely a big water balloon fight, watching a movie together (she is not usually allowed to watch TV or movies when friends are over so this was a big treat for her!) and eating lots of treats!
A Nerf gun shooting competition, devised by Far...
Mama planned some hula-hoop games...
Far had them hunting for random stuff in the house - a Lion, a sword, an umbrella, and an enormous basket of towels...
...and then set them off to throw dozens of water balloons at each other!
Everyone changed into dry pajamas, and settled in with homemade pizza, popcorn and veggies to watch The Minion Movie. You'll note that Aya did not miss a second of this party!
Although she did take a break from the movie...this year she was the only one who visited the coloring table.
Noah also hung in for the whole ride, except during a few "scary" parts of the movie he kept busy building Grace's new Legos.
End of the movie? Cake Time! Oh, to be 7 again!
(the cake was rainbow on the inside too - yummy!)
We closed up shop at 7:15 pm - with Aya begging to be put to bed! - and Mattias got to sleep over at our house for the first time. They were exhausted but managed a football/soccer match at 8:30 pm :)
This morning Grace, Noah & Mattias played and played and played. And opened so many wonderful, thoughtful, fun birthday presents from Grace's very sweet friends. If that's not a great birthday weekend, I don't know what is!
As for our Gracie...at 7 years old: She loves, loves, loves her school and is so proud of what she does there and how far she has come with her reading and writing this year. She is eager and energetic to try all kinds of different sports and activities - this year alone she has done floor hockey, tennis, Kung Fu, and football/soccer. She is far more athletic than I ever was so we know she gets that from her Far! But from me she gets a love for music and dancing and a dramatic flair, if you will...she and Mattias would like to be stand up comedians together, and rumor has it that she might be performing a dance in the school talent show with some other girls. She continues to be a fish in the water - another blog on that coming soon. She is still primarily interested in things like dinosaurs, dragons, and Legos (Ninjago and Lego Friends equally) and Star Wars, but also making loombands and writing stories and drawing pictures. She obviously loves her siblings, but is still negotiating how to share space and attention and time and belongings with them without being frustrated and/or mean to them.
Grace is not perfect, no child is!, but she is pretty wonderful and we love her fiercely. It is hard to believe that she is 7... because that just sounds so old! And since Grace's birthday will always be our parenting anniversary, on Friday morning after all the kids were at school, Kristoffer and I snuck off for breakfast together overlooking the Indian Ocean, to celebrate 7 years of trying our hardest to raise these wonderful little people into wonderful big people. We are also not perfect and it's a hard job! But to the girl who made us a Mama and Far in the first place, we hope her 7th birthday was as wonderful as we think she is!