A quarantine-style 12th birthday

Happy 12th Birthday, Carrie!

I know this isn’t the way you envisioned the end of your 11th year; spending just about every waking moment with me, your Dad and sisters. Lucky you! I also know the last 5 weeks of sheltering-in-place have not been easy, but just like everything else you do, you have persevered and even shined. You and Erin have found ingenious ways to entertain yourselves, whether you two are skateboarding on the nearly empty streets of Redwood City, doing chalk art, or working on solo projects like Bertha.

Modeling Bertha

For those who don’t know who or what Bertha is, let me explain. Bertha is a beautiful hand knitted blanket you began working on early in the quarantine. Being the perfectionist that you are, you didn’t like your first version of it, or even the second, but like the saying goes, the third time is the charm. I must admit, it is lovely, even if it sheds more than our old dog, Mac.

Maybe I should have relented and let you get the faux fur coat you modeled during one of our excursions to Nordstrom Rack (well before COVID-19).

But I digress… back to you and celebrating the cool and quirky self that you are. 🙂

One of the totally cool things that I love about you is that once you set your mind to doing something, you do it, no matter what. Take the great COVID-19 puzzle challenge. You singlehandedly completed a 1000 piece superhero puzzle, easily defeating me by almost a week as I tried to finish a Grand Canyon puzzle on my own. I only finished it because you, Erin and Dad answered my incessant pleas for help.

Technically, this was the second time you worked on the superhero puzzle, which you bought all on your own with a Target gift card. The first time we did it together I (ahem) finished it without you, going as far as putting in nearly the very last piece. True story. You haven’t let me forget it, for good reason.

See, this is what determination looks like and proof you can do just about anything if you put your mind to it.

You’re also a kid who likes to go out and do things, and luckily you are almost always up for an exercise excursion with me, be it going for a run or paddle boarding. I seriously love these times when we’re hanging out just me, and you, even with the complaints of knee pain or sore arms. I hope you still want to do this once you’re a teenager.

One thing I don’t think you’ll ever stop loving is musicals, specifically Hamilton! Can you even count the number of times you’ve listened to the soundtrack? Any time you pick the dinner music there’s a 99.9% chance you’re choosing Hamilton. The other .1% would be Dear Evan Hansen.

We were lucky enough to get the chance to see Hamilton as an entire family, and it is one memory I think I’m going to cherish for my entire life. Dad and I kept it as a surprise to you girls, and once you guessed where we were headed, you had the biggest smile on your face for the rest of the car ride to San Francisco. Olivia was excited too, but not nearly as excited as you.

It has been quite the year to say the least. I’ve watched you grow and get out of your comfort zone, doing things you would never do if left to your own devices, but you’ve come out the other side stronger. I’m so proud of you for what you’ve already done, but am so very excited to see what’s in store for your 12th year… besides many, many, many more Hamilton songs playing on Google Home.

I love you kiddo! I know I say sign off every birthday blog with these four words, but consider it a signature sign-off.

Mom

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