My darling Emmanuelle Grace turned 9 last Tuesday.
Thankfully, we were able to celebrate that special day with our church family since family was so far away. Also, her cousins were with her that day, and the night before she blew out a birthday cupcake during the ice cream social at the family retreat. On that day, I read her birth verses for her and we left the retreat refreshed, strengthened as a family. I believe God’s blessings on our family through those messages and the reaffirming of our dedication to serve God through our family was probably the best gift we could give Emma. All gifts fade away, but having a strong family rooted in faith and love are the things that last throughout one’s lifetime.
(She looks so much younger in my head…)
We made a stop at Norristown to pick up something to signify the milestone in our family, then headed home for some swimming and dinner with her cousins at her favorite restaurant.
The next day, we drove again to finally reunite with her lola and lolo who have been gone quite some time to the Phils. So we spent the day there for them to catch up and enjoy each other’s company since the girls absolutely miss them.
That Thursday of her birthday week, we had such a surprise for the girls. We drove to Hershey, PA where we spent a few days in Hershey Lodge, shuttling back and forth to Hersey Park. It was the girls’ first time there and it was a perfect birthday getaway. The 1st day it rained, we stayed in the hotel, looking through the scheduled activities for the kids, swimming indoors, and eating profusely at the chocolates in the gift shop.
The next day, we took a shuttle bus in the morning and stayed way into the evening until we couldn’t take the fatigue anymore. The majority of our park day was spent in the water park inside Hersey Park, getting a righteous tan and enduring the kiddie rides that now has the ability to make me feel like puking- you know, the ones that spin while you’re already spinning. I realized how old I’ve become to those rides and now would rather look forward to eating, or the slow-breeze in your face-long tour sky rides. Lame, I know. Actually, it’s not. Even better would have been those sky rides WITH some funnel cake and sweet potato fries. Get at me.
Anyways, even Elle had a blast, having ridden so many kiddie rides all by herself, sometimes without the company of her sisters. She was always the youngest one, smallest one, but so mature and brave riding by herself. What a girl! She even waved her hands at the spectators, receiving friendly and awe gushing waves and hellos. She’s a charmer.
Then came the carnival games. So get this- Emma won two prizes- one for the strength hammer game and one from the coin drop game. Zi won one prize from the coin drop game. And VIP goes to Perze who one two prizes, one from the ball-in-goblet game which won him a ginormous, seriously ginormous Pikachu. Elle was so amazed (as we all were). The backstory to this is that recently, Perze’s been secretly trying to get Elle to favor watching Pokemon, probably because he was once so enamoured with the show.
We took the shuttle back to the hotel to rest up before the fireworks for Fourth of July. We went outside, right in front of the hotel, near the lake and laid out a blanket amidst all the other families, bought a couple of glow in the dark plastic circles for the girls to play with and watched the fireworks coming out of Hersey Park. It was perfect. Elle learned the word “fireworks” that night.
That Saturday, we went back to the park and toured Hershey Zoo, another attraction right inside the park, which was a great way for the kids to learn about some of the animals, AND a great way for the parents to add steps to our fitbits. After more rides, more ice cream, and some souvenir shopping, we headed to their friends’ birthday party where we stayed for dinner, play, and fun conversation. She’s special friends with Zienne so we didn’t want to miss the celebration. We were able to see friends there too, so the extra miles were worth it.
So, that’s celebrating Emma in a nutshell…a whole lot of mileage. 🙂 Was worth every drive.