Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Brooklyn's 8th Birthday

Brooklyn's 8th birthday was celebrated in a super fun way this year - I whisked her away on a girls-only surprise shopping trip to the American Girl store in Cool Springs! Her birthday is actually on November 29th, during Black Friday weekend, but I decided to do our fun girls day the weekend before Thanksgiving. And I'm so glad I did!

Brooklyn woke up that Saturday and had no idea what I had planned, except that we were off to enjoy a girls day somewhere. (Scot took the boys out for a boys day too.) We pulled into the Cool Springs Mall parking lot in front of the American Girl store. Brooklyn saw the sign and said, "Aw, I've always wanted an American Girl doll. My friend Elsa at school has like 5 dolls and most of the girls in my class have one. I would love to have an American Girl doll one day."

And that's when I got to be Oprah for a day and say, "Well, today's your lucky day - we're here for you to pick out and buy your very own American Girl doll - and shop for a few accessories too!"

Brooklyn's smile was priceless. (Wish I had captured that one.)

Here she is shopping throughout the store:

She found her favorite doll in no time - #61 a red hair/green eyed beauty!

Waiting in line at the hair salon for her ears to be pierced:

She was in love with her and couldn't wait to get through the masses to check out.

We shopped around for a bit more to look at all the clothes and accessories, and to get ideas for Christmas. It was seriously the most fun morning with my girl!

Grammy stopped by at the end of our shopping trip and got to meet Brooklyn's new doll, Kathleen:

Then, we were off to the bistro for lunch at 12:30. They had reservations booked all day, but thankfully, they were able to fit us in. It was so much fun!

The staff gave Brooklyn's doll Kathleen a teacup + saucer and a bowl of kitty food for her new cat Bella (a.k.a. chocolate sprinkles) while we ordered our food. Brooklyn ordered grilled chicken (her favorite), and I had some type of pizza + salad. It was delicious!

So thankful for this special day with my girl.

We both ordered brownie sundaes for dessert. Brooklyn was in heaven!

Just look at these two in the back on the way home:

Little did Brooklyn know, I had arranged to pick up her neighbor friend Allison on the way home that afternoon. She was shocked when we pulled into her driveway to pick her up - along with Allison's American Girl doll too!
The two played for a bit, while we set everything up for her party that evening at 5pm. She thought everything was set up for Thanksgiving, so she was shocked to learn we were having people over for her birthday!
Here's the birthday girl and her friend Allison before everyone arrived: 

The food table (all of Brooklyn's favorites):

Slush punch | popcorn with M&M's | puff corn | dino chicken nuggets | garlic cheese bread | mac-n-cheese | cookies

The party crew:

Cousins Arabella, Giselle + Keegan | Friends Ethan + Chloe | Allison | Family - Grammy + Papa, Kris + Jennifer | Friends Myles + Jenny

We sang to the birthday girl:

The ice cream cake was a hit!

Then, it was time for presents:

The beautiful homemade quilt from Grammy + Papa (that took a year for Grammy to make):

Everyone left and Allison + Brooklyn enjoyed a girls night watching movies in the bonus room upstairs:

Two beauties + two dolls + plenty of stuffed animals and pillows make for one packed bed:

The girls woke up to eat donuts and played Monopoly Jr. for almost 2 hours the next day.

Allison's 4-year-old sister Natalie came over for the day and kept Connor busy.

And this was the view in Brooklyn's room later that night:

Both Brooklyn and Kathleen exhausted from two days of nonstop birthday fun.

I look back at our girls day at the American Girl store, and it was truly one of the best days ever. I have dreamed of taking my daughter there one day. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that we'll both always remember.

So grateful for my 8-year-old girl.

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