Yow there have been a lot of moving parts around here! We just put the last two plus Murphy on the plane after Claire’s farewell weekend, and now it’s down to just the three musketeers plus our little future missionary at home. We’ve been through some serious jet lag and a giant cold sore and lots of managing logistics surrounding the temple and the farewell and open house. Now it’s on to the home stretch before we send this girl off into the wild blue yonder.

So much to say, and so much I want to remember, bur for now we’re going to go back to Elle’s birthday for a minute. Because it was a special one that we got her home for. She and Carson were here for 24 hours from their California externship before Carson headed back to work and Claire, Grace and I stole away with Elle for our first “MFMP” trip that night. So much more to come on that trip, but for now let’s talk about cake floats and grit on the lake.

Since it was I think 115 degrees, we decided there would be no better place to celebrate than at the lake.

I think maybe we’d all agree on the highlight for the day: when Lucy decided she was going to learn to surf.

And if you know Lucy, you know when she sets her mind to something, she is pretty darn determined!

So Grace got out there with her and worked with her on all things surfing. After a few tries, Carson got out there too.

Can you see that determination in her face?

That girl probably tried to get up twenty times, I kid you not. I’ll admit that a few of us were thinking, “ok, good try, let’s move on!”

But that Lu just kept at it.

Her helpers too.

And finally, after all those tries, this happened:

(Carson and Grace’s faces are my very favorite up there in the background.)

She got up not once but TWICE, and only then was she satisfied.

It was a pretty incredible day filled with that girl’s grit and determination.

A pretty fun bday gift for her big sister who adores her so.

This is the face of a girl who worked her tail off to accomplish something.

The “Impossible.”

And came out triumphant.

Post-surf wrap up with the best cheerleaders:

Then it was time for the traditional cake float:

(Elle was born on my sister’s birthday who’s birthday tradition has always been to float her cake on her birthday, so we adopted that one for Elle too.)

And we better get a better look at that “cake” (which was really our favorite giant Levain copycat cookies stuffed with those little Trader Joes peanut butter cups):

Sure love these people, including Elle’s friend McKenna, who’s really all our friends we love her so!

It was a good day, filled with birthday the best helping of grit on the side.

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    1. Yes we have traditions for each birthday but this one is probably the one we do most. It’s just enough “weird” and easy to do that it sticks! Max’s is to do something with water (swim, water balloons, etc.), Grace’s is a pinata (which worked much better when she was young, we often made our own pinatas, one post about that here: https://71toes.com/graces-birthday-2/), Claire’s was a dance party, Lucy’s was camping (that got trickier as her vision got worse and worse…one post about that is here: https://71toes.com/lucys-birthday-3/).

  1. That young lady of yours is amazing!! After I read what you wrote about that day and looked at the pictures, I thought to myself “If it were me, and my vision was seriously impaired and I was up on a surfboard, I would be so afraid! The actual feeling of standing up on that board and moving fast across the water and not really being able to see what is going on…….I know for a fact I would freeze up completely and probably have an anxiety attack. How does she make herself swallow that fear and continue to climb up on that board and just do it??What is it that makes that girl the bravest, toughest young lady I’ve ever seen? And at the age she is, when kids tend to give up and don’t want to try things!! And actually, who would blame her, for a task such as this? But she has trust in herself that just blows me away. From reading your blog for a few years, I honestly believe her whole attitude and confidence comes from the family that she has! All of the love from each of you, real love and kindness and concern has truly helped to make her the girl she is today. That’s what I think!

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