Seven Quick Takes: Birthday Edition

Many thanks to Jen, our hostess with the mostest, for organizing the Seven Quick Takes Fridays for us! Stop by her blog and see other Quick-Takers.
Today marks my older daughter’s twelfth birthday. It is so amazing to me that she is already twelve. How can it be? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we took these pictures:

And now I’ve got this girl:

Unbelievable. She’s a young woman now.


She’s also a really kind and sweet young woman. I love that about her. She hides it a lot, and has a tendency – like her mother – to be sarcastic. But under that rough exterior is a gentle soul who loves people and does her best to help them. She strives to be closer to God, but doesn’t wear her faith on her sleeve. It’s a private and deep faith, probably deeper than I realize.


My Big Girl is also a funny kid. One day, I was describing a child on her soccer team who hadn’t played before this season and was unsure of herself. Our conversation went like this:
Me: When she’s on the field, her body language is all nervous and stuff. She looks like she almost hopes the ball doesn’t come by her, and when it does, her body language is all like, “HERE COMES THE BALL!!!! WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I DO!!??!!??”
Big Girl: Um, maybe her body language needs to use its inside voice.
She slays me. And I’m not usually astute enough to write down what she says.
She, on the other hand, has great confidence on the soccer field. She’s been playing since she was almost three. (They let her on the team because they were starting a week or two before her birthday, and the first game would be after she was three.) That season, she spent a lot of time picking flowers and running after butterflies. She also spent a whole game pushing people because after she’d come to us on the sidelines in tears over being pushed, we told her that a little pushing was okay in soccer, as long as you weren’t trying to push anyone over. From that moment on – which was more than half the game – she spent her time running up to opposing players, one after another, and pushing them.
She has matured a bit in her soccer games.
This season, she has desperately wanted to play up in the front line, maybe even as a striker, but her skills in that position are not as good as some of the other children, and her defensive skills are very, very good. (She tends to go where a player is headed, knowing instinctively where to go to best cut him off. She’s been doing it for years, triangulating her position on the field defensively.) So her coach keeps her on defense. She is excellent, but unhappy. Well, not unhappy; just less happy than she’d be on the front. But she doesn’t complain to her coach about it. She plays the position because it’s where her team needs her. And I’m really proud of her for that attitude.
Each season, the team votes on the player who is Most Christ-Like. Each child picks two people, and the one person with the most votes wins. She’s never won, and we hope she has a chance this year, but in my book, she is Most Christ-Like on the team this season.
I bought her a birthday present back in March or April. I’ve been hiding it, and have been completely crazy with excitement over it. I’m going to video her opening her presents, and I’m thinking about putting it up here. I expect her to think we are the Best Parents Ever at the end of today.
Considering I’m making her do schoolwork today, and being a little mean to her about it because she is Dawdling Like a Pro, saying we’ll be named Best Parents Ever tonight is a tall order.
I am THAT confident about her present.

Last time she named us Best Parents Ever was for her tenth birthday, when we bought her an iPod Shuffle. She had been begging for an iPod, and we kept saying, “You’re not old enough yet.” We’d already decided on the Shuffle for her birthday and had it hiding in our room since late February. (I kid you not. I shop this way all the time. I’ve had my parents’ Christmas gift picked out and purchased – except for what was made this weed – since January. When I see the deal I want on something I’m going to get for someone as a gift, I jump on it.)
This was the result:


Tomorrow, we’ll be leaving for vacation. (Yes, again.) My parents are taking my girls to Alexandria, VA, and we’re going to National Harbor, MD (just across the Potomoc). We’ll meet up for a day – maybe two – during the week. Then it’s off to another Fourth Degree event for the Knights of Columbus on our way home. The girls are going with us, and we all have fancy-schmancy dresses to wear to the black-tie dinner. I needed to get clothes appropriate for the dinner for all three of us, and after buying my amazing husband his own tuxedo, the budget was tight. Well, the tux, plus the fact that both girls grow like weeds and needed new Fall clothes AND shoes.
So anyway, we went to Goodwill. I used to scoff at people shopping there. I have to say, Goodwill stores don’t look like much. But that’s okay, because I got over myself and started to go for the kids’ clothes. And then I found stuff for US!
I bought three dresses (pictures will come, I promise!), and I spent under $10 on them all. Including tax. The little shrug I bought to wear with my dress cost more! The shoes for the girls cost more. The pantyhose I bought for the three of us cost more!
Plus, I also found a Liz Claiborne turtleneck sweater for $3.50, and I bought a new white turtleneck for myself – Land’s End – for $3. I hadn’t bought a white turtleneck for myself since 1984. (Seriously. I’m not kidding.) That old turtleneck is now going to be put to use on Halloween.
But that’s my next Quick Take.
Have a blessed week!

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