Our sweet Hailey bug turned 11 on Thursday! Celebrating her is such a joy, as she asks for nothing (except Shepherd’s Pie for dinner) and deeply appreciates everything. I think 11 is going to be a wonderful year, as I can see the blurring of the lines between the incredible child she is and the emerging young woman she’s growing into.
We celebrated her in such a fun way! The day started off with sleeping in, eating a bagel with an egg on top (her fav), and watching two episodes of Full House while I made dinner.
My mom surprised her by showing up midday and ringing the doorbell with a bunch of balloons; such a fun surprise, as both kids were so giddy to see Nana. We all went to lunch at Blue Star Grill, where she got her go-to order- cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato with fries.
Afterwards we took her to Frankie’s, where we all acted like 11 years olds playing arcade games. We didn’t even make it to laser tag or putt putt because we ran from game to game racking up tickets for prizes. It was a ton of fun and I laughed as we all screamed like we won a Las Vegas jackpot when we finally got a bunch of ticket cards to tumble over the edge of the token push game.
Once back home mom took the girls on a walk while David and I set up the big surprise- an 11 gift long gift scavenger hunt! Hailey loves a good riddle clue experience and I wanted to make it happen for her. It was such a blast watching her decipher the clues and race from place to place.
With 11 gifts, obviously most were smaller gifts (one was a six pack of her favorite zevia and lime chips), but the hunt culminated with her big gift- a new desk! We sneaked it into her room so when the last clue took her there it was a big surprise. It. Was. Awesome. She was completely surprised and fell immediately in love with her big kid gift.
Afterwards we ate the birthday girl’s request, shepherd’s pie and peach cobbler, which pretty much is the perfect blend of fall and summer, a seasonal shift she adores. Then played her board game of choice, Trekking the World, to finish the evening. All in all, one fantastic day celebrating our sweet Hailey.
Now to freeze time for a moment and share a few fun facts I want to remember about her at this age and stage.
- Hailey has the biggest heart and a gift for reading emotions.
- She is task oriented and wants to knock out what is expected of her quickly.
- She is creative with special talent in the areas of writing, gift giving, and crafting.
- She loves art, knitting, sewing, and baking.
- She likes to know what to expect and gets uneasy and uncomfortable when thrown hurriedly into new situations.
- Her clothing of choice is usually athletic clothes and sneakers or jeans and a t-shirt.
- She has started to do her own hair and loves the scarf ponytail holders; it’s the sweetest look.
- She is entrepreneurial. She makes and sells cake pops, spiced apple muffins, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Saves her money well, sometimes too well, and we encourage her to spend it when she finds something she really wants.
- She asks for nothing and appreciates everything. After every meal I make her she always says “thanks so much for dinner, mom!” She’s so fun to give to.
- She currently wants to be a farmer when she grows up and has quite the elaborate plan about how she will save money, the kind of house she wants, what she wants to grow, and how she will sell it.
- Hailey adores Finley and knows how to handle her well.
- She enjoys piano, soccer, swimming, and being part of a team.
- She loves me, no doubt, but has a soft spot for her dad. She’s definitely a daddy’s girl.
Hailey, you bring so much joy not only to us, but to everyone you are around. It’s such a gift to be your mom and I hope you always know that we love you unconditionally, but that we also genuinely enjoy being around you. You are a ray of light with a gift of seeing the positive in people and situations. We love you so much and are so proud of the person you are. Happy 11th birthday baby girl!