Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Oh my word I'm not sure what to even say after all that kindness seeped into my computer and phone yesterday. Do I talk about how I will have to go back and read some of those nice comments/emails when I'm having a bad day? ...Or maybe I should print them out and paste them all over my kitchen? :) Do I talk about how much I wish I could respond to each person individually and tell them how I appreciate their kind words? Do I talk about how grateful I am for sweet friends who made me feel like a million bucks? Or about how my family took such good care of me?

Or do I hurry and rush on to another topic so I can change the focus here a bit.

Yeah, I think I'll do the latter. But first I have to say THANK YOU to everyone for making my birthday so nice. Because seriously, when you have a big milestone birthday like that it sure feels nice to be remembered. I headed to my gym class at 5:45 yesterday morning and found an email from a kind man in Brazil who reads my blog with google translation who was wishing me happy birthday. This led me to wonder how in the world he would know it was my birthday, which led me to more birthday wish emails which prompted me to check my blog and have my heart melt because of that sweet post. Then the rest of the day was just as good. It was a great day. I'll have to post pictures later.

But for now, on to other things :)

Let's talk about Claire's birthday. I kinda like that it's right before mine so it can take off a little of the attention!

So Claire's big day happened to fall on the same day as all the youth in our area were doing a "Temple Walk." This means there were nearly 1,000 youth and leaders walking early in the morning nine miles to the new temple that is being built in our city. {More about that back here and here.}

So I invited Claire.

I mean, what a better way to spend a meaningful birthday (turning 8 in our church means getting baptized...that's coming up in February) than walking with great older examples to see where a temple is being built?

But really, it was maybe pushing it a little far to have her walk the whole nine miles.

So I went to get the youth all situated early in the morning and then came back to have birthday breakfast with the birthday girl and the rest of the fam. (Max and Elle were at the walk and Dave ducked out of the picture because he was in his biking clothes...which I should really take a close-up of some day :).
And then we went to join the "big kids" who showered Claire with love on her big day.See the temple behind them?

She felt like a million bucks being so included.
Then she got to come home and open her presents.

She was pleased as punch about it all, but especially the one thing she asked for: a charging cord for her DSI that has been out of commission for a while.
But I think her biggest gift was that she got to have her friend spend the day with who moved away from our neighborhood a while ago and who she adores. (It's always a good thing to have a friend when you're on an "off-party" year...especially when it's one of your best friends ever.)

She helped her do her treasure hunt to find her traditional candy-bar poster that Grace made up for her.It was a serious treasure hunt with lots of clues that went on forever. (Those are the clues they're holding up there above.)

(She was grateful.:)

We also went to a movie.(It was "We Bought a Zoo" which we all loved....I'll have to talk more on that later...lots of thoughts.)

Then we had dinner and came home for cake and ice cream.

Claire made a plan for her 8-year-old birthday cake shortly after her seventh birthday almost a year ago. It was going to have Oreo "dirt" and gummy worms: A gummy worm farm. She had drawn a diagram and I took a picture of it before it got thrown away.

I thought she would never in a million years remember that.

But she did. Every little detail.

So we had a "worm farm" birthday cake directed completely by the birthday girl.

I know, very random. I mean, it's not like she has an infatuation with worms or Oreos...or dirt. But hey, she was pretty darn happy about that cake.

And really, what's a birthday without having all the cousins come help you celebrate the day after?
We sure love you Claire Bear.


  1. I LOVE having the temple so close that we can watch it being built. We need to take another trip out there ASAP.
    We lived so long by the Oakland temple, which I loved, but I think the kids will have a special love for this one.

  2. She looks pretty darn happy! I so love your birthday photo traditions! Happy belated to you too!

  3. Shoot, I miss a day or two reading your blog and I miss your birthday! Happy happy belated birthday! I'm sure glare you were born. Have a blessefd year! I'm right behind you on the big 4-0!!

  4. Happy Belated Birthdays to both you & Claire - both very important birthdays this year:)

    Have a great year both of you:)

  5. I was hoping to see the "worm farm" cake on a cake float in the pool! Looks like it was a fun and VERY delicious birthday cake!

  6. We are looking to move to the Phoenix area. Do you know anything about Gilbert?? Maybe that is a dumb question, maybe that is where you live, but I need an insiders point of view.We are coming from Maryland and have 4 kids 10 and under. Thanks so much!

  7. I'm lovin' the Worm Farm Cake! :)
    Tucking that one away.
    And, Happy Happy Birthday!
    You are one amazing woman.
    (ps- Mindy is hitting the big 4-0 in May! Should be fun!)
    You both make 40 look fabulous!

  8. Happy (late) Birthday, Shawni & Claire! Thank you for inspiring and know I love your blog.

  9. darling pictures. what a fun way to celebrate her birthday. i think her smile says it all :)

    we bought a zoo, i took 2 six year old girls. pretty sure i would not do it again! specially the last 3 minutes of the movie. luckily neither asked what that word ment, the one that was spoken from that darling little red head :)


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