That's our baby, Hillary. Does she look eight years old to you? Because that's what she is as of today! (Compare.) For breakfast she requested doughnuts from The Donut Hole, so she went with Susan this morning to pick up a half-dozen (and frou-frou coffees for Mommy and Daddy). She opened a birthday gift, too--an outfit, complete with sunglasses, from her SC aunt, uncle, and cousin--and ended up wearing it today. Then she was ready to begin her busy day.
A few weeks ago when I phoned for a haircut, I learned that today at noon was the only available opening, so I took it. When I hung up the phone and Hillary learned that my haircut would be on her birthday, she started to cry! June 19 was supposed to be all about her, I guess. However, she handled it just fine once today--and the haircut appointment--finally rolled around. The whole family accompanied me to the salon, from which we headed afterward to Sanford's (Hillary's request) for birthday dinner.
Hillary had planned to share a Buffalo chicken salad with me, but after a few bites, she decided that it was too spicy for her tongue--and ended up swapping her share of the salad for Susan's bowl of chicken noodle soup. However, the real reason for being at Sanford's, of course, was the complimentary birthday cookie sundae (the server led us in singing "Happy Birthday to You" when she delivered the sundae to Hillary): a plate-sized chocolate chip cookie covered with three scoops of vanilla ice cream, one covered in strawberry sauce, one in butterscotch, and one in chocolate, sprinkled in butterscotch chips and chocolate chips and decorated with dollops of canned "whipped cream" product and a maraschino cherry. Behold:
She shared, and we all gorged ourselves and left in time for the girls to stop at home and change into swimming suits (and for Hillary to open another gift: matching outfits from her NE aunt for Hillary and her Build-a-Bear Workshop teddy bear) before the next event in Hillary's day: a swimming party at the West River Community Center. I went grocery shopping while Susan supervised the swimmers (our three girls plus a handful of Hillary's friends), after which Susan brought them back to our house for the birthday party. They played games, they opened gifts, they ate tacos-in-a-bag for supper, they played more games, they ate birthday cake, and they got into pajamas and nestled into their sleeping bags for a movie before the sleepover.
One of the girls sleeping over is Madeline, Hillary's best friend and our neighbor. Madeline's younger brother was part of the swimming/playing troupe, but he's not spending the night, so his parents, Chuck and Reba, stopped over after supper to pick him up. Of course, they were here for quite a while visiting before hauling him away for the night. Hillary's aunts Cassie, Sandy, and Cathy all phoned today, too, although Hillary was too distracted by the presence of friends in the house to concentrate on lengthy telephone conversations with any of them today.
Love that expression on Hillary's face! She looks so much like her aunt Cassie. Anyhoo, Hillary is holding up a necklace with the letter "H" on it from her friend Madeline. Not coincidentally, Hillary gave Madeline an "M" necklace for her birthday a couple weeks ago. Reba told us that Madeline wanted to give a matching necklace to Hillary as a token of their friendship. Ahhhhh!
The flip-flops on Hillary's ice cream cake are appropriate considering her wardrobe and today's swimming activity. She also gave flip-flops to her guests as party favors today.I spent a good portion of the afternoon and evening in the kitchen. We have a lot of venison in our freezer (from Susan's dad and brother, both of whom are hunters), and I was on a mission to use some more of it. I created a robust marinade (dark beer, red onions, fresh rosemary, and various seasonings) for some venison chops and set them in the fridge to soak up the flavor overnight. I will grill them tomorrow for dinner.
Then I assembled the meat grinder attachment for our mixer and made some hamburger out of equal parts of sirloin tip roast, various venison cuts, and smoked bacon. I stopped grinding when Chuck and Reba arrived, but now that they're gone and the girls are quieting down, I'm going to turn that into Swedish meatballs, fry them up, make some gravy for them, and refrigerate them for our enjoyment in the next couple days. Cooking at midnight! Woo-hoo!!
While I was in the kitchen earlier this afternoon, one of the party guests, Lita, came upstairs, sent on an errand from Hillary, and found me before anyone else. She started her question with, "Hillary's Dad, can you . . . ?" I thought that was cute. I went downstairs with her and helped Hillary with her request. As I left the room to go back upstairs, I heard one of the girls say, "Your dad is so nice." Awwww.
Also nice is little Hillary. We can hardly believe that our youngest child is already so old! We have eight years of great memories and are looking forward to decades more!!