Surprise Snow

From March 5 – 12….

A nice spring afternoon hike at Smith Park.  We still haven’t explored all the trails at Smith Park, it’s such a fun, trail filled park in our area that not many people seem to visit.

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Hiking selfie.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen any deer there – I think it’s our louder company scaring them off.  It’s still a great and quiet park.

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She loves him so hard.

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Lilli’s list of requirements for her future husband.  He must love animals, and most of these things on here.  I hope she always keeps some of these standards!

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They finished a big re-do of Abbi’s playground and this cute outdoor car track is absolutely one of her favorites.  They’ve added some storage to it since then.  I know she’d love something like this in our own yard once we get it all landscaped.

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Two good cleanings for both girls! No cavities this time!

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I really, really enjoyed Chip and Joanna Gaines’ book “The Magnolia Story”.  A really great look into how their businesses took off and more about them.  I think she and I are very much alike in our mental processes.

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One Saturday morning I headed out for an easy 4-miler.  I knew some snow was in the forecast, but this one ended up being a massive surprise to all! When I got started it was just light, pretty little flurried.  And then it turned to ice pelting me and I could barely see.  I was barely moving in all the wind, but trying my best just to get back.  I still did all 4 miles (there was no question there!) but by far it was literally one of my toughest runs ever.  The ice was absolutely pelting my eyes and I was trying to run with my head down, or shielding my eyes and kept losing my footing no matter what I did.  By the time I got back the greenway was covered in a thin layer of snow and ice.

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At one point I met someone walking with their German Shepherd and chuckled because the dog’s fur was covered in snow.  Then I realized my hair probably looked like that as well! Ha! And it really wasn’t that cold of a day – I’d felt fine in not that many layers of running gear, and no ear wrap.  I was really wishing I’d had it because I might’ve been able to use it to shield my eyes from the snow and ice.

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My car when I got back! I had to scrape…..

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And the main road was looking like this – so crazy! When it started falling, it fell FAST! It had been such a warm week that I was really surprised how quickly it accumulated.  Regardless I was pretty proud of myself for making it through that run, and never quitting.

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We ended up getting a lot of snow!

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And it was perfect for building a snowman!!

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It wasn’t cold out at all, and the driveways and roads melted fast but we quickly built our snow family.

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Since the trees were blooming we made flower headbands and necklaces for the girls in our group.  Our snowmen were nearly life size, too!

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Lilli went to a back handspring clinic later that day with her bestie.  She’s so close to completely landing it on the ground, and already has it on the trampoline.

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The next day after church – it mostly already looked like spring again! The mowers had already been once to mow before this snow happened!

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And we were back to spring activities like taking nice walks around the library and playing outside, no coat required.  It was such a freak snowstorm but we were so glad for the chance to build some good snowmen! And then move right back into Spring, for good.

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Randoms….

From Feb 25 – March 4….

We took the girls to Let It Shine for Parents Night Out and it was my turn to plan Date Night.  I’d heard good things about Pie Five, so we tried it out for the first time.  It was SO good! Their Gluten Free pizza might not look like much, but it was the best gluten free crust I’ve ever had.  The toppings were light, so the next time we went back we got something else instead, but that place was a new winner for us! (And they have regular pizza too…..)

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And then I took Brent roller skating! We roller bladed a lot in college, but now we take turns going to the skate center with Lilli for parties since Abbi isn’t into it yet.  I was surprised how crowded it was, and a terrible mix of great and awful skaters, so you’d have people whizzing by and cutting and then smaller kids you’d trip over.  We still had a blast skating and playing the games – and Brent even won me an ICEE in one contest! And the down side this one kid did end up cutting right in front and made them both fall – and he ended up cracking his wrist.

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Miss Chelsey came one night to babysit so Brent and I could go to a Scream Free Parenting class at Lipscomb that had been advertised at church.  He also does Scream Free Marriage talks, etc.  It was a great seminar and so much fun to do something like that and get some tips for not losing your cool in those heated moments.  And the bonus was running into our old preacher and his wife (that we had went to college with back in the day) from East Nashville.  They’ve moved out of town but had heard about the class.  So fun to run into them.

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Loved, loved, loved Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love”.  Probably the best book I’ve read so far this year.

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Abbi went to Monkey Joe’s to bounce and celebrate her school buddy Dylan.

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Consignment season was upon us! I sold a ton of the kids old toys and clothes, and to celebrate one night after shopping presales Michelle and I ran into Fresh Market to grab some desserts!

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Lilli was a big help getting car load after car load ready – then she decided to sell herself for $5.  No way! She’s worth way more than that, but at least she realized she should do a “no discount”.

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Lilli and Reese walking hand in hand to class after All Pro Dad.

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And just like that….spring starting arriving and with it Tornado Season! One morning as I was getting ready a pretty severe storm starting forming.  It was an expected storm, but it wasn’t expected to be so severe or have tornadoes.  I had pulled some things out of the closet, but once it really started forming over Brentwood I ran to get the girls up and we huddled down in the closet.

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We had some large hail, strong winds, and the girls were all pretty freaked out.  A tornado did hit in Brentwood, about 4-5 miles away.   Olli was also in the closet with us, but you just can’t see him because he’s all black! We got lucky and thankfully our part of Brentwood didn’t have severe damage.

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It was still really windy when I met up with a former intern later that day for lunch.  It’s so great to keep in touch with Morgan and it’s crazy to think she’s all grown up and has been out of college for a year now!!

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I finally got to pick up my ring once it was all sized and the band and ring were welded together.  Brent treated me to a surprise manicure, which I desperately needed! It was so good to have nice looking nails for a change!

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Later that day we met up with the Wrays to play at Adventure Science.  The girls had a blast playing for a little while, but the center was closing early for an event that night so we didn’t have a ton of time together.

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We had a late lunch/early dinner at the original Baja Burrito.  The kids table was super lively.

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And then we let them play for a bit at Sevier Park.  It was too pretty of a day not to enjoy it! Ella (6), Lilli (8), Molly (2), Abbi (4).  We always call them #8642 and laugh that in some families, that would be one person’s kids.  We just didn’t space ours the traditional two years apart! And we have our sanity to thank for that.  These girls don’t get to play together nearly as often as we’d like, but they always pick right back up and have the best time together.

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All the ladies……

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Party of eight with our superior selfie skills! So much fun, a lot of temper tantrums happened when it was time to go.

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Valentines, Friends and Fields

From Feb 14 – 24….

We kept Valentines pretty low key.  We grilled steaks and had Cupid floats, and kept it fun and easy.  The girls had all their Valentines from school, and a boy in Lilli’s class bought her a big chocolate heart! She never really heard why, but he didn’t do that for anyone else in class.  So funny!

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We only got them a few small things, some candy and a few little cheap things we’d found along the way.  They have too much junk and we’ve cut WAY back this year on “stuff” for them.

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One of the books I read this year – Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love”.  Love her comments on unicorns and balance!! So true.

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Lilli was Star Student and got to take or do special things each day – from family pictures, to a poster about herself, to a show and tell day, it was “her” week.  On Friday I got to go and read to her class and answer their questions about her – like how many pairs of shoes she has, time of birth, first word – inquiring minds!

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We had Pepper and Serif come over for a playdate and Jeff and Michelle went out on a date.  Or, maybe we had Elsa and Serif over.

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This was during Pepper’s wig phase – she had a lot of fun with our old Ariel wig!  Lilli was there, just on the other side of the bench!

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Big kids played Lego, while little kids did baby dolls and I cleared out a bunch of princess stuff to send home with Pepper! This consignment season I sold most all of Lilli’s old princess gear – toys, dolls, playhouses, and so on.  This fall even more will be going!

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Saturday night we had Miss Chelsey (one of the teachers at Abbi’s school who also goes to our church) over to babysit and we made reservations at Kayne Prime.  I’ve been dying to try it so we double dated with Tim and Wendy.  It was SO good! Everything was delicious and the service was truly amazing.  Definitely a fantastic special date night place to celebrate a belated Valentines.

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Brent and the girls when I was out on a “girls night out” with Michelle and Angela.

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One afternoon we were leaving at the same time as Isaac and his mom – a certain someone ran ahead and held his hand as they left.  She’s smitten with him!

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The girls had their annual well visit check ups.

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Both girls got clean bills of health, and flu shots! Abbi wasn’t a fan of her shot…..

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Afterwards Brent took Lilli to Adventure Science for her field trip.  I had scheduled her doctor’s visit a year prior, literally, and it just so happened to fall on a field trip day! What are the odds? But he was able to take her afterwards and stick around to chaperone.  He was responsible for Lilli, Lauren, and Beulah.

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The bizarre “Wicked Plants” exhibit.  The lights went out when they were in the back and there was a lot of little girl screaming – but I think that ended up being their favorite thing! Girls love some squealing.

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Lilli’s traditional pic – with one extra Beulah!

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Lunch with the girls! I’d say it looks like they had a good time! For sure more fun than me, stuck at work! I’m glad he got to go because their final field trip of the year was a no chaperone trip to a one room school house, and we didn’t go on their earlier field trip this year.  It’s hard to believe now there’s less than two weeks of school left!

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New Hair, New Bling

From Feb 5 – Feb 13….

Two tired girls on the way home from Granny Camp!

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Brent picked them up early before church, and that Sunday afternoon Lilli and I went to a skating party for one of her classmates.  I always volunteer to go to the skating parties! Such fun, and great exercise!

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Little Sporty Spice.

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My new spice rack that Brent made! It turned out SO good and makes cooking a million times easier! Our previous spice area was just a MESS and things fell all over the place.  This is so easy to keep them all organized.

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Abbi’s picture night – which we had forgotten about and she ended up wearing all kinds of conflicting patterns.  But gave them a great smile!

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All three of us girls went to my salon for cuts.   Lilli just got a trim, but was in total heaven.  She loves some pampering!

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Abbi’s before and after – she’d been begging for a cut.  Her hair had gotten so long and she was getting stuck in everything – her car seat, clothes, etc.  She has such great hair, but it was time for some maintenance to keep it pretty and healthy!

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Megan straightened it that day, but she still has her loose waves.

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Looking sassy with her straightened up bob.  She wants to grow her hair long again.

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I made us reservations for American Girl that night.  They were kind of late reservations, and they were tired and cranky by the time of dinner, and hungry! It wasn’t the best plan I’ve ever made! We should’ve just skipped and eaten in the mall. But, the food there is always good and Lilli was able to use a gift card she’d gotten for Christmas to get a few things for her doll.

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Their favorite part was riding the escalator.  Seriously.

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We’d been talking about getting my ring repaired for a while – I’d lost a few diamonds from the wrap and band, and when we went in to get a quote we started thinking about trading it out for something new.  In the end we went back and traded in my entire set for a new set.  It was time! I got a double diamond with diamond band and wrap, for about nearly 2 carats in total.  We picked it all out that night, but had to leave it there for a few weeks to get sized! It was a great Valentines gift!!

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Afterwards we went to Krispy Kreme to try and get some heart shaped donuts but they were already out.  The girls still had fun watching the assembly line and picking plain donuts out instead.

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Winter Randoms

From Jan 25 – Feb 4…..

Ticking off a couple of weeks here!

I had some Gymboree Gymbucks from purchases around Christmas and used them to get the girls a few new things for winter – including this kid’s first Star Wars shirt! She was so proud.

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I also got them both a few new pairs of exercise pants and sports bras that were on clearance for about $5 each! They are such great quality and they were so proud!

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Matching sister shirts! So cute.  And they both are a little big so they should get a couple of years out of them!

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We took the girls to Let It Shine for Parents Night Out and we tried a new (to us) BBQ place.  It was SO good!

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And of course a Starbucks Soy Vanilla Latte.  It’s not a date without it!

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Happy as a clam!

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On a day when he’s thrown up 4 times it’s nice to look back and see a sweet pic like this.  He’s about one more throw up away from finding a new floor to yack in…….

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Jenga! Winter is full of lots of family game nights.

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The girls went to “Granny Camp” for the weekend so we could go to a marriage seminar at church.  It was SO good! Really funny speakers with lots of great tips and pointers.  It was such a good weekend!

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Lilli Turns 8

From January 21 – 24….

Almost done with birthday posts!!

The sleepover went great.  Having a sleepover after a day at school, followed by a bounce party, makes it pretty easy to get them in bed around 11.  I think they woke up around 7, and entertained themselves until breakfast time.  They’re all really good girls.

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A little post breakfast trampoline workout. They all take the same cheer and tumble class, so they’re all little gymnasts.

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Some Barbies and dress up to wrap up a great party.

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When the dog finds the string on your balloon.  Hilarious.

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On her birthday day eve we ate Mexican, per tradition.

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Brent installed the new dishwasher! She’s a beaut.  And SO quiet. We love our new Bosch appliances.

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We got Lilli the game of Life and she loves it!

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Birthday week can be a killer for baby sis.

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And finally it was her actual birthday! 8 years of birthday celebrations!

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The birthday fairy came but her helium tank must have been low, and she must have been sold some really junky balloons because most of them were on the ground in the morning already!

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I went and had lunch with Lilli and took her class donuts, per her request.  She picked Lauren to sit at the special table with us.

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With my birthday girl!

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We opened presents – we kept it small – some Star Wars clothes, some things for American Girl, and a horse that we ended up returning in favor of getting an American Girl horse.

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And to put a pin in birthday week we celebrated at Chuck E Cheese with the Godbys.

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Future sister drivers.

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One last pile of cake and icing!

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Future wild bestie drivers! This one scares me……

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These two are hilarious!

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Cashing in those tickets for tootsie rolls – Abbi has hers hanging out of her mouth and she’s helping Pepper dive in.  And just like that, we survived birthday week! We served about 80 pieces of cake, 3 dozen donuts, and about 2 dozen cupcakes this year.  Mercy.

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Lilli’s Birthday Bash…..

From Jan 19-20….

So not only did we have an oven replacement happen during birthday week this year we also had to replace the dishwasher.  It had been making horrible sounds for a few months, and we knew it was on its last leg, and then it just completely started leaking and we had mushrooms growing in the floor.  Not good.  We’d already picked out a really nice Bosch that we wanted so off we went to get that ASAP, because no one likes hand washing around here.

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This year Lilli picked having her party at a bounce house and having a couple of friends spend the night afterwards. And then she said she wanted to invite her entire class.  And a few special friends.  Oh my.  So we had her party on a Friday night because it was WAY cheaper.

There are some friends you just want to wear matching shirts with.  Lilli was so excited to get this shirt for her birthday since her BFF already had the same one!

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When you invite pretty much everyone you know, about 27 kids show up.  Whew.

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The first jump room had a rock wall, all kinds of bounce houses, and a tornado wind simulator.  It’s been a long time since we’ve done a bounce house and they had a lot of fun climbing and doing all the big kid obstacles.  And at their age, the majority of parents drop off but they were all so well behaved.  It was way easier than I had imagined.

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In the wind simulator.

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Inside the wind simulator – packed in tight!

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Lilli on a big slide….

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Abbi didn’t have any fun at all…..

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She had her bestie Pepper there to keep her company.

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The second bounce room had more obstacles and bounce houses, and racing inflatables.  This one was more of a “wipe out” type challenge.

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It was literally impossible to get all the kids in once picture at the end.

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Another angle of silly faces….

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Lining up to go and eat pizza and cake….

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One of the tables eating.  The Pump it up party helpers kept everything flowing really smoothly and I was impressed just how well behaved the kids all were and how no one got injured or ended up crying.  Eight really is great!

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But the cake.  Mercy.  This is the ugliest cake we have ever had.  Lilli wanted a Star Wars themed party, and this cake is about the saddest thing Publix has ever made. A huge crack down the middle and SO plain.  After Abbi’s adorable Cars cake earlier in the week I couldn’t believe how sad this thing was! But she liked it so…..(but it should absolutely be on Cake Wrecks)./

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Looking pretty serious about this cake thing….

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The birthday girl!

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Making that wish! Also, I have never, ever heard the birthday song sung as loud as in that room with so many boys and girls! It was pretty hilarious.

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All kinds of kids wanted to pose before they left – Kaitlyn, Livvy, Lilli and Zoey.

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Kaitlyn and Lilli

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Kelly and Lilli

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Reese and Lilli

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Molly and Lilli

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Lauren and Lilli

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Emerson and Lilli

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Our party favors were light sabers.  I instructed the pros to pass them out as kids were leaving since I knew these things could get violent! Like when Evie took out Audrey from behind…..

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We had Reese and Kelly spend the night afterwards.  The car was full of little girl giggles on the way home.

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They opened presents when we got back to our house and the magic 8 ball from Serif created even more giggling with all kinds of questions about boys.  HA!

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When baby sis has to go to bed alone, without the big girls.  The agony of being the baby…..

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