My baby is 8 years old and the only thing keeping me from nostalgia over the younger years is keeping up with Finley, which is like having a busy and mischievous toddler. So instead I relish in the sweetness of this wonderful age, 8 years old!
Weeks ago (really, months) Kaitlyn started talking about her birthday and how she wanted to celebrate it. After throwing all kinds of ideas around, she decided on a “Star Party” with the family. We kicked it off Saturday morning with decorations and presents. I draped the walls in blue table cloths, added stars, wrapped in star paper, and put out the CUTEST cookies that Christy dropped of for Kaitlyn, all on theme for her under the stars camp out. They were truly the sweetest addition in all senses of the word.
We ate breakfast and opened presents every 8 minutes, which she thought was fantastic. The morning passed quickly as she played with each gift after opening it. Soon it was ready to get ready for her Taekwondo tournament. It was a bigger tournament than usual for us with a couple schools attending. She ended up winning first in forms and took home a big ol trophy!
From there, we whisked her away for a surprise. She had played around with how to fill the afternoon- climbing? bowling? We grabbed a quick lunch at Burrito Loco (I’ve heard great things about this unassuming Mexican spot and can vouch that it’s all true- it was delicious!). Then we scooted down the road to The Pit.
If you’re a Lake Norman local, you already know about this indoor family entertainment spot. It has indoor go kart racing, laser tag, escape rooms, ax throwing, arcade games, and more. We have never taken the kids and we usually don’t dole out money for things like motorcycle racing games so when we bought a bag of tokens and let them run loose, they were over the moon!
In fact, we all ended up having an absolute ball. David rolled his eyes playfully at us as Kaitlyn and I got hooked on a fishing for tickets game. Hailey’s and David’s favorite was the bomb squad escape room experience. I think laser tag was my top pick. After a couple hours the girls traded in their tickets for invisible ink and cheap little plastic popping toys and left delighted and inquiring when we could return. Huge hit!
We arrived home to some sprinkling of rain but were determined not to let it interfere with the plans. One gift Kaitlyn was most excited about was her survival fire starter. David, being the eagle scout that he is, taught the girls how to make a fire and build it up. They loved it and Hailey has already put a fire starter on her birthday list.
The rain moved on and it turned into such a beautiful evening; we even spotted a rainbow! We hung around by the fire, roasted hot dogs for dinner, fed the baby ducks, ate Kaitlyn’s request dessert of smores and mud pie, set up the tent, searched for the first star, and when the sun went down, we hung out a bit longer playing charades and “name that tune” by the fire.
By 10:00ish the girls were getting tired (though they tried to hide it) so they brushed teeth and headed into the tent. The plan was for us all to stay out there but unfortunately my allergies were in a rough spot causing me to have quite the head cold, so David took one for the team.
They were all up early the next morning but had loved the experience; we’ve promised to make it a full family affair and do it again soon. After breakfast the birthday celebration stretched on. We had reservations for our first boat of the season (we are part of a boat club) and spent the morning on the water.
We spent the afternoon at her Taekwondo’s anniversary party, breaking piñatas and throwing water balloons. It turned into quite the weekend celebration!
Today is her actual birthday, and though I think we are largely partied out, we are going to celebrate the day by either going bowling or climbing, then hitting up swim team and TKD practice, then home for her birthday dinner request- marinated chicken and noodles.
Watching Kaitlyn grow is such a gift. She is super affectionate and always likes to snuggle. She is feisty and always pushing a little beyond a boundary to see what she can get away with. She’s smart and math comes naturally to her (she gets that from David!). She’s a wonderful blend of girly (give her ALL the lipstick and she’ll be thrilled) and rough and tumble (starting campfires and playing with mud in the lake in her jam). She loves making potions and cooking in the kitchen. She has energy for days and things are never dull with her around; being her mom is such a gift! Happy 8th birthday to our animated, adventurous, affectionate, clever baby girl; we love you so much, Goose!