Annie turned sixteen at the end of last week and entered into a flurry of activity to celebrate.
First of all, there's nothing sweeter than getting your braces off on your birthday.
We spent the weekend celebrating our girl.
She's beautiful inside and out.
Celia finished up with her semester just in time to arrive and help us live it up in style with pedicures and lunch at our favorite local sushi restaurant.
We had a little family party.
Here I am trying to push out the last half inch that keeps me taller than her.
And after that, I think she thought we were done.
But behind the scenes we were working really hard at keeping a surprise party secret for the following day.
These cute friends were so good to pass the word and come together.
Here they are gathering and hanging out with me while we waited for Annie to arrive from her driving school class.
She was pretty surprised.
Most especially when this brave young man asked her out for her first date to Prom for next weekend as a gift.
I think she couldn't have been happier about that.
There was a little celebration dance around the kitchen corner away from prying eyes ;)
In lieu of presents, I suggested that her friends maybe bring something that would be special to Annie to take with her in our move. A song, a letter, a favorite quote.
I loved the tender things she received.
This chalkboard for inspirational quotes.
A journal with a sweet letter posted in the front from a friend about memories that bring us together wherever we are far apart.
A jar full of "Reasons I love Annie". I wish I had one of those for myself whenever the voice in my head gets too loud ;)
And quite a few handwritten personal letters full of remembrances that brought some tears.
We've known these kids a long time and the sound of their laughter playing board games around my dining room table was magic.
I'm so glad they were willing to adjust the outdoor night games to board games because our crazy Colorado spring weather threw us a humdinger of a snow storm.
Thank goodness not one big enough to necessitate a reschedule.
We sure love this girl. She is the brightness in our everything.
Happy sweet sixteen birthday, Annie, we love you forever and ever.