Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you all so very much for your thoughtful comments, facebook messages, cards and gifts. Gwendolyn is certainly a very lucky little girl and we are so thrilled to celebrate this special and big milestone with all of you. I have to say that this birthday was pretty darn awesome. She really got it this year — as in she was counting down, anticipating, and fully aware and part of of all the plans. And we absolutely loved seeing her so happy!!!
The birthday shenanigans began last Thursday afternoon when my sister and nephews arrived. That alone is special and Gwendolyn busily tap, tap, tapped the second she saw them. And, of course, they showered her with love and affection and she didn’t want to let them out of her site for even a minute. William was really excited to share a special surprise with her from his classroom — each of his 2nd grade classmates made a special birthday card for Gwendolyn! William read each card to a riveted Gwendolyn (who held his hand throughout) and she hung on his every word. Yep, I pretty much melted.
The next day the special birthday surprises began. We took everyone to the carousel and Gwendolyn was busting to pick her own horse and determined to ride it. Daddy held her up and she loved it — especially because she was doing the same thing as her big cousins. We were the only ones on the carousel and so we got to go on an extra long ride. Afterward we headed over to one of our favorite restaurants, Shoreline Cafe, which is right on the sand. As the adults shared wine and calamari, we watched the boys play and wrestle and busily entertain themselves and Gwendolyn didn’t take her eyes off them. My sister and I didn’t want to miss out on the fun sibling action and what started as a quick snapshot turned into a hilarious debacle and soon we were all covered in sand. There is nothing like being with family.
On their last day we went to the Santa Barbara Zoo with GrandPa and Gramma and had a blast. The highlight was definitely feeding Audrey the giraffe. The zookeppers were so kind and patient and gave each child time to really feel included — and they even thought to give Gwendolyn extra long pieces of lettuce so she could feed Audrey, too. (As a sidenote: Did you know giraffe’s have purple tongues? We learned all about these tall creatures while we fed Audrey and begged her new baby, Daniel, to come closer. He didn’t.) After Audrey had a good long graze, we wandered around, fed the sheep and pigs, ran across bridges, pretended to be gorillas and had an all around fabulous day topped off with a fun lunch looking out at the sailboats.
Gwendolyn absolutely loves being with her cousins. They are so good about snuggling with her, reading to her, watching movies by her side and making her feel just like one of the gang. We can’t wait to see them again soon.
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