Sweet baby Paige was turneg 5 (FIVE?!?!?!? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?!?!?) on January 11th.
If you know me at all, you know how I feel about birthdays. They are my favorite – especially for my girlies. Doors are decorated with streamers, balloons are placed throughout the house, birthday t-shirts are worn. Oh, and I am not afraid to tell every single person we see that it is so-and-so’s birthday (that goes for grown ups, too – consider yourselves warned).
We headed to Florida after Christmas for a little over a week. We were scheduled to be in Florida with Nani and Botsie through the 7th, but I still already had lots of plans made and plenty of time to take care of purchasing everything else.
Or so I thought.
Enter the Polar Vortex of 2014. Stupid Polar Vortex – what does that even mean? It sounds like a roller coaster at King’s Island. And I hate both roller coasters AND amusement parks. So, I think you know how I might feel about Polar Vortex. During the days leaving up to Jan 7th, the entire Midwest and East Coast basically shut down. Flights were cancelled all over the country, roads were closed, travel was reserved for “emergency only.” Our friends in Indiana were talking about how terrible (and freezing) the weather was at home (they were rudely unsympathetic to our being-stuck-in-Florida drama).
I just kept thinking, “What am I going to do about Paige’s birthday?”
Cut yo us driving to Tampa early on the morning of the 7th, getting there, standing in line with 300 people, having my crying girls appear on the local news … and finding out our flight was canceled (which, by the way, “I FREAKING TOLD YOU SO, DERRICK!!” Phew. That felt good).
We salvaged the day by taking the girls to the (amazing) Florida Aquarium in Tampa, then turned around and headed back to Nani and Botsie’s. Thank God
t hey pretended to act like they were glad to have us back. Did I mention this was Tuesday? Because the earliest flight Southwest could get us on was Saturday. Night.
As in, Paige’s actual birthday.
So, I cancelled the party we had planned at The Children’s Museum. You know, the one she’d been talking about for months, and had invited her cousins and cute little girlfriends from her preschool. The one she planned herself, and had been looking forward to like … well, like it was going to be her 5th birthday party?
So, we did what we mammas (and grandmammas) do best. We improvised. And then we spoiled the crap out of that child.
She got loads of
junk gifts, tons of outings, and basically got to eat whatever she wanted. We celebrated a day early with Nani and Botsie, loaded up the girls for our second attempt to get home, and then continued to celebrate for the next 2 weeks. I’ll save you the narration, and will let you see the celebration pictures below.
Celebration #1 – Dinner at Eat Here in Sarasota
Celebration #2 – Breakfast at ‘Mickey Mouse Pancakes’ (otherwise known as The Blue Dolphin)
Celebration #3 – Paige’s ACTUAL Birthday – Tampa International Airport/Southwest Airlines Flight to Indianapolis
And then this happened (I apologize for cutting it off at the beginning – I wasn’t expecting it!):
Celebration #5 – Pizza/Cake with the Colby Family
Celebration #6 – Present from Mommy and Daddy
Celebration #7 – Benihana (duh!) with Susu, Uncle Robbo, Aunt EJ and cousins, and Aunt Jenny
Aaaand, finally, Celebration #8 – Bowling and Pizza
Sweet Baby Paige – we cannot believe you are actually five. I’m getting a little choked up even writing this – I just hope you know what a little miracle you are. You make my world a brighter place. Your exuberance and passion for everything you do makes me want to appreciate every single aspect of not just the years of my life, but the weeks, days, minutes and seconds. You are my baby, and you are my big girl. And I promise to love you with all of my heart every second of your life (even when it seems like I might not … I promise you, I do).
Happy birthday, Paigers.