Sweet Summer Lovin’

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Dear Summer,

I cannot believe that you are six years old.  It does not seem possible that it was six years ago that I held my breath waiting for someone to say what I already knew, “It’s a Girl!”  As you know, you were labeled “Surprise Baby” because we did not want to know if you were a boy or a girl until you were born.  I was positioned in such a way that I was able to see immediately that you were, in fact, the girl who I did not even know I had always dreamed about.  When your papa said, “Its a girl!”, the tears started to flow.

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You see, when we decided to have a 3rd baby, I just assumed that we would have another boy, and I was perfectly, wonderfully happy with that.  I love your brothers with all my heart and soul, so I knew that having another boy would be amazing.  Really, I just wanted another baby, and I honestly did not care about anything other than having a healthy, happy addition to our family.

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When I was about 5 weeks along, I became very, very ill.  This pregnancy took a turn that my other two had not taken, and I started to suspect that there was a little girl growing inside of me. When I would see pink baby things at the store, I would touch them and smile.  However, I did not want to become attached to the “girl” inside of me, I just wanted to love the baby inside of me, not caring if it would be wearing blue or pink in a few months.  So, I did not allow myself to buy one single pink or blue item until after you were born.  I did not even buy your coming home outfit. That was an assignment for your Aunt Darla….who also believed that you were a girl.

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When I saw your face, I knew that I needed you, my baby girl.  You completed me, you completed our family, and you completed the world, in my eyes.  I do not even know how to thank you for that.

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You are loving, spunky, smart, kind, happy, peaceful, energetic, crazy, beautiful, and perfect in every single way.  You know how to light up a room with your magical, amazing ways – by dancing, singing, smiling, laughing. By just being you.

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I truly pray that you stay just the way that you are.  You are so comfortable and happy in your own skin, and that, my sweet girl, will take you so far in life.  To love who you are, to embrace everything that makes you special and unique, and to feel with all of your heart and soul are amazing, beautiful, wonderful qualities. Those are qualities that I did not embrace until I was a mom.  For you to have them now will make you such an incredibly happy, fun-loving, independent, and truly sweet girl throughout your journey.

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Happy birthday, Princess Summer Lovin’!  I hope that your day was just as special as you are. Thank you for allowing me to hear those three special words (“It’s a GIRL!”) six years ago, and thank you for being the girl that I did not even know that I had been dreaming about for so long.

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A Tale of Three Birthday Parties: Chapter 2

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Saturday morning is when the unexpected twists and turns began.  I got up early, carefully fixing my hair, putting on my dress that Summer was so excited for me to wear, and painting my toe nails a special pink for my sweet girl.  I quietly went into the kitchen, glanced into the sun room, and called my mom.

The wind was very high the night before, and the decorations had crashed.  My mom answered, and I told her about the decorations.  She said, “Well, I have worse news for you.”  My dad was sick…very sick…and they were headed to the emergency room.  I was in shock.  And, I honestly did not know what to do.  I felt like my world was spinning out of control for a bit.  I was caught between knowing that I had to pull it together for my girl and wanting to get in the car to be with my daddy.

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I immediately called my sister and walked next door to see her.  She, too, wanted to be with my daddy, but they had made her promise to stay and be there for me.  I did not even know where to begin.  We were supposed to have a fish fry, and my daddy was bringing the fish.  The party was supposed to be at 4 pm, but I wanted to move it up in case we needed to take off to be with my daddy.

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As soon as I returned home, I heard Summer in the closet.  It took me a second, but then I knew exactly what she was doing.  She was putting on her party dress.  Sure enough, she walked in a few minutes later dressed in the special tea party dress that Nonna had specially made for her, as well as the clips that she made in her hair.  She took my breath away a little – both because of her beauty and how much she has grown up.

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After telling Summer that Nonna and Gran would not be able to come, while brushing her hair and holding back tears, I knew that I had to do whatever possible to keep things normal for Summer.  I had told her that Gran was sick (leaving out the emergency room part) and that we would not be able to do the fish fry.  I could not see her face, but I saw her take her little hands and wipe her eyes.  My heart broke a little at that moment.

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I texted Darla to let her know that Summer was sad.  She offered to bring her a present.  I said that she wanted to have a fish fry.  She said that she would have one, then.  My sweet sister took off to HEB, bought fish, cut it up, and put it in our refrigerator while we were at soccer.

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In the meantime, we received the excellent news that my mother and daddy were on their way home.  The brain scan, chest x-ray, and blood test all showed that nothing major was going on with my daddy.  After running the tests and giving him fluids and medicine, they unofficially diagnosed vertigo and sent him home with a lot of medicine.  While we were at soccer, my daddy was telling my mother to drive him to be with us.  As much as she wanted to come, my mother knew better.  She later told me that she thought that he was willing himself to sleep because he was so sad that he was missing the party.  Needless to say, when I was in the midst of throwing everything together, heard the phone ring, and realized that it was my daddy calling, I tearfully answered the phone.  Hearing his voice was just what I needed to put on my celebration face.

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And, celebrate we did.  We did have a fish fry for my girl, and it was perfect.

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Sean and my father-in-law stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.  Neither of them had ever fried fish, but you would not have known it.  It turned out perfect.  We ate and ate and ate.  The mood was very celebratory, and the food was amazing.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that it started raining just as soon as they were about to cook outside, which led my husband to clearing out the garage full of cars and moving everything into there.  He was not letting a little rain stop our party.  So, while it was supposed to be an outside party, we had it all inside.  Yes, the unicorns and rainbows made multiple appearances on Saturday.  They are always there when we need them most.

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We ate,

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we opened presents,

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we watched Summer enjoy her first piece of gum,

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we took pictures,

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and we had cake.

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It was everything that a birthday party for a special 5-year old princess should be and more.

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At the end of the day, there was only one thing missing.  Between moving the party time and trying to re-do decorations, make appetizers, and take a zillion pictures, I forgot that the party was a Princess Tea Party.  Luckily, Summer had so much fun that she did not notice.  But, I did.  And, I knew that we would be extending Summer’s birthday by another day.

A Tale of Three Birthday Parties: Chapter 1

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Well, it would seem that the universe knows that we like to celebrate.  So, to keep the celebrations extended, we seem to sometimes have a series of events that happen in order to keep the party going.

Summer’s official birthday was Friday the 13th, which was perfect because it was her real birth day 5 years ago, as well.

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We spent part of the day preparing for her party on Saturday.  But, we spent the other part of the day at the school, which is where we seem to know the most people.

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Nonna made her this precious “This Little Princess is 5” shirt, and Summer had so much fun telling everyone that it was her birthday and then reading her shirt to them.  Just when I would think that we were going to make our way back home, she would say, “Who can we go tell now, Momma?”  Truthfully, I loved every second of it.

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When we finally made it home from the school, I started decorating for the party.

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Since it was Pizza and Movie night, we continued with that theme for her birthday.  Summer has always loved my pizza, but after the switch from gluten and dairy free back to our regular pizza, she has never quite trusted that it is the exact same pizza that she loved before.  So, she requested take-out pizza for her birthday.  Given that my day was already a bit crazy, I was secretly happy that the made things a little easier for me.

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Uncle Steve, Aunt Jessica, and Baby Garrett arrived just in time to eat pizza and have dessert with us.  The excitement level at our house was at an all-time high.

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Summer requested homemade vanilla ice cream with homemade hot fudge and whipped cream for her official birthday dessert. It was a perfect end to the beautiful day.

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When we finally made it to bed, we were exhausted but very happy.  I was still so giddy about her birthday party the next day and could not wait to welcome more family into our home.