Happy 8th Birthday Charlotte!

Dear Charlotte,

‘Eight’ seems such a ‘milestone’ year. We’ve seen you blossom into such an independent, kind, caring, sensitive, creative character over the past eight years. Your love of art, music and dance touches every corner of our home. We are so proud of how far you’ve progressed in all that you do and the way you care so much for friends and family.

We celebrated your special Birthday a few days early, what with Daddy being away in Auckland for your actual Birthday.

Happy 8th Birthday!

We chose the Saturday prior and were treated to a day of splendid winter sunshine – the perfect weather for riding a new bike!

Both you and Sophie have waited so long and eagerly for new bikes. For several months you’ve both persevered in riding your toddler bikes, with knees knocking on the handle bars! You joked with us that you were like little clowns riding them around the house. Well, you both finally grew a few precious inches and became tall enough for bigger bikes! Whoop! Whoop!

After a splendid Saturday morning opening the lovely presents kind family had sent you, we headed out on a ‘morning tea’ (aka ‘much needed coffee’) mission. You weren’t quite sure whether or not new bikes were going to be on the menu, or whether we would make you wait till Christmas. When we drove up to the bike shop you were both delighted and insisted on riding them to Lyall Bay.

Charlotte's new bike!

Alice and I took the easy option and drove down, whilst you and Sophie cycled (with Daddy gamely jogging alongside you and Sophie, barely able to keep up). What a perfect way to celebrate your Birthday. I couldn’t help circling back in the car a couple of times to watch you pedal fast on a mission, enjoying your new wheels. Seeing you pedal away brought back happy memories of long, bike rides with my own sister and Dad, through country lanes – often with a pub stop for lunch – a beer or shandy for my Dad & coke-a-cola in fancy, glass, twisted bottles with a straw for my sister and I πŸ˜‰ !

Sorry if I embarrassed you slightly with my shouts of glee from the open car window of, ‘Way to go! Well done!’… I’m allowed to be a crazy, proud Mama from time to time x

Daddy and I finally enjoyed our coffee too – at Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli. Alice conked out for a nap and Sophie decided to rest up alongside her and take the option of a lift home in the car (coughs and colds have been slowing us all down a bit of late – particularly Daddy and I with disrupted sleep care of dear, little Alice). You, however, were determined to cycle home around the bay (giving Daddy a really good work out!).

It was lovely to meet up with you, after your long ride, for a play at the play-ground. Alice was in awe of your new bike and took a particular liking to your bell πŸ™‚

Riding, naps, morning tea & bells

In the afternoon we prepared for the big event! This year, you invited a small group of five friends, wishing to dine out on dessert at the sumptuous ‘Strawberry Fare’. It was all quite grown up.

Your friends arrived at our home for some pre-feast games and present opening, before being whisked away by your kind Daddy (he got an ear-bashing taste of life to come; transporting you and five of your screaming girl-friends to the restaurant! Tee hee!).

Frances kindly drove Alice, Sophie and I to the restaurant, where we all met up and enjoyed such a feast (with pavlova being the favourite of the day). You were made to wait till last for your dessert – but it was worth it for the candles and extra strawberries (congratulations on turning two by the way! – That’s all the candles that would safely fit!).

After dessert, we played some hilarious games of ‘Chinese Whispers’ and a game you called ‘Chubby Bubbies’ – which entailed stuffing as many ice-cubes as possible into your mouth!

Strawberry Fare

And then we returned home for a DISCO! Our fabulous neighbour lent us some ultra cool disco lights and you girls really got grooving. And your amazing Daddy let off a few fireworks to finish off the evening!

Finally, you had your very good friend from school to sleep over. What a perfect end to a great celebration!

It’s been an AMAZING eight years Charlotte (no longer ‘Charli’ – but Mummy and Daddy still remember your ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ phase – you carried those trains around in your little bag to many a place!). We are hugely relieved the ‘terrible twos’ are a distant memory (hee, hee!), but it seems you got out your system whatever you needed to at the time and have grown into a wonderfully responsible young lady (dare we say that?!).

It is because you have shown such maturity this year, and have grown so much, showing incredible promise, we feel you are ready for a new educational path in life. A path that will lead you in a diverse range of new and wonderful activities, nurture your spirit, challenge you, inspire you and give you the opportunity to fulfill your passion for learning.

We visited a wonderful school with you last week and though it is going to cost us in coffee consumption, cake, and holidays, we really think you are worth it! So, come Term 3, you will be starting a new school, with a fabulous history, in the heart of Wellington. We are so thrilled for you and delighted that you love it and are so excited to embark on this new path.

Happy Birthday to our wonderful 8 year old (well, you will be at a little past 11pm tonight!).

It was great that Daddy could make it home from Auckland in time for chocolate cake and a round of ‘Happy Birthday’. You certainly have a strong pair of lungs on you blowing out those candles! All of our love, always x