{ Erika’s American Girl Birthday }

We have had some major American Girl fever around this place, and Erika has been right at the middle of it. For the last few months, every time an American Girl magazine would show up in the mailbox the girls would grab it and be circling stuff like crazy. They finally made their own little binders with pages for each girl they liked, and cut out items and would glue them to each page. Erika was positive about what she wanted for her birthday-the American Girl doll Julie. She would show me almost everyday something new about Julie that was so cute she would just have to have it. She wasn’t shy about what she expected to show up in one of her presents.

We have an American Girl Doll store on the North side of Atlanta about 2 hours away-she was torn about whether she wanted to open the Julie doll for a present or go to the store and pick her out herself. Those back and forth decisions were changing on a daily basis, and as her birthday was coming closer, I had to make a decision and hope it was the right one…Present or Store?

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One of the other presents I had gotten for her months ago-like way back in April. She had been mentioning wanting another set of Lego Friends-The Vet, forever, so when I bought Brooke and Abby’s presents back in April I found a great deal and picked this one up as well. It had been hidden away in my closet for all these months hoping that she would still be interested in it by October. Lucky for me, she was, and had fun putting it together with Brooke and Abby that night.

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Her other present….I picked the STORE. I figured the memory and a special date with mom and dad was a lot more fun that just opening a present. We told her that she could bring Brooke and Abby if she wanted to or just go with Aaron and I. She really wanted to share her excitement with her sisters since they are just as American Girl doll crazy as she is- so the date was set for next night after school.

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Our newest 9 year old and our “Cake of the Year”-the chocolate stampede from Longhorn Steakhouse. SO GOOD!!!

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We left after school and stopped in Atlanta at a special pizza place we had heard about. It was suppose to have authentic Italian pizza-and it proved to be a great place to eat. It’s called Antico and it sits close to the Georgia Tech campus. It was fantastic-at least Aaron and I thought so. The menu was all in Italian, and they made the pizza right in front of you, threw on big clumps of cheese and cooked it in their brick oven. I love that the times say ”Open at 11:30am-until the dough runs out”. By the time you pay, and find a seat in their small cafeteria style seating, your pizza is ready. Talk about fast service. The thin crust and clumps of cheese made me long to be back in Europe! Aaron and I were in heaven. The girls tolerated it, and mostly enjoyed the tiny little soda bottles that they sold there.

They mostly wanted to eat as fast as they could so we could keep driving and get here….are those girls excited or what?!

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Erika went straight to the Julie display case. I don’t think I could have saw a bigger smile on that girl. She was so excited!

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We wandered around the store, the girls oohing and ahhing at one thing after another. I have to admit, I think Aaron and I was oohing and ahhing just as much-okay maybe me more than him, but he was being very excited for birthday sake too. If I was a nine year old girl-I would have been in heaven, there was so many cute things there. The girls had a good solid hour there of walking around and adoring all the cute dolls and accessories. A few minutes before the store closed Erika had picked out her Julie doll, a new brush, and some cute eyeglasses for her doll. The lady opened her up out of the box for Erika (Erika decided to keep her hairnet on for a little while longer so it wouldn’t get “ruined”), and a very happy girl left the store that night. The whole ride back we heard the three girls talking and giggling and playing dolls. It was a very happy birthday.

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9 Things We Love About Erika At 9

  • Her love for animals. She says she wants to be a vet someday.
  • Her complete dedication to something. NO matter what it is, she goes all out finding out anything and everything about it. If it’s horses, she goes horse crazy for awhile. Horse books, horse games,horse shows…She loves to be totally dedicated to something.
  • How she tears up when I share something spiritual during Family Home Evening. She is very close to the spirit-I love to see her little testimony bloom and grow.
  • Her excitement for her little brother to be born. She is completely obsessed with my stomach. She really would walk around ALL day long with her hands on my belly, just waiting for this little guy to kick, if I would let her. She is going to be a great big sister.
  • Her love of pasta. Some things never change. I am pretty sure I have written about her love of pasts for the last nine years. It is definitely her food of choice. She would rather have it than cereal for breakfast if I would make it for her.
  • Her laid back nature.Nothing bothers this girl too much. As long as she eats and sleeps on her very definite schedule-she is good.
  • Her bright imagination. She loves to “PLAY” still, which I love. Her and Abby or Brooke are always coming up with something to play. The latest ones are gymnastics, horse anything, dolls, dogs, and ice skating.
  • She is super observant. Keeping secrets from her is close to impossible. She is constantly looking over my shoulder. I always have to be one step ahead of this girl-which is HARD! She almost always figures out surprises beforehand. She definitely keeps me on my toes.
  • She loves to come and give random hugs-they are the best!

Happy Birthday Erika. We love you!!!

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