Claire was certain that Max’s mission call got moved back a week JUST so that he could be with her on her birthday.  It was last week (HERE).  
Let’s talk about how it all went down.
Traditional early-morning breakfast before school:

(complete with candy bar poster)

Everyone looks overjoyed that early in the morning, don’t you think? 🙂

My brother and his family were still staying with us and it was fun to have a couple of them join in for the grand breakfast.

I snagged her from school and we went out to lunch.

Apparently it was the best birthday ever.  All her friends remembered and sent her home with the most thoughtful, sweet things:

Friends “chalked” our driveway before she left for school:

Let’s see if we can get a better look at that…
There we go.
Her cousin brought her over a little treat…

The Young Women her age “heart attacked” our front door:

(It’s a pretty big deal when you turn twelve in our church because you get to “graduate” from primary and head into Young Women.)

One of the reasons Claire was so over-the-moon that Max would still be here for her birthday was that she was so dang excited to go to the temple (you get to start going when you turn twelve), and she wanted SO much to be there with him.

So she made sure to have her interview and be all prepared so that she’d be ready to go with us all on the very day of her birthday.

And it was quite a night I tell you!

Lucy stayed with my brother’s family and the rest of us headed to that wonderful place.

Claire’s excitement was tangible.  Made my excitement pretty tangible too.

I felt so overwhelmed with love for that place, for those kids, for that husband, for faith, for the gospel, for a son ready to go share it.

As we were leaving we ran into this cute girl who was leaving the very same day to the very same mission with Max.

How crazy is that?

We basked in the glow of that beautiful place for a few minutes…

Then headed out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

Because where else do you celebrate a spiritual high comparable to Texas Roadhouse??  Ha!
We came home for cake and ice cream:

…and then had our Claire-birthday-tradition DANCE PARTY.

The pictures can’t do it justice.  It was rockin’.

I don’t know how in Heaven’s name we forgot our traditional cheek-kissing picture in all that hoopla, but I’ll have to add those asap.
I think it’s safe to say though, even without the cheek-kissing dealio (ha!) that that birthday of hers was well-celebrated.
I just still can’t believe that little sweetie-pie golden-girl of mine is twelve.  

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  1. Happy Birthday to Claire. What a sweetheart she seems to be. Love the temple pictures. Hoping that person face down on the ground in the second to last picture was okay. And hey, Texas Roadhouse is sounding pretty good!

  2. Sounds like a great day. Seems like I am seeing birthdays celebrated all over the place. It's my sister's today. Love your individualized birthday traditions!

    1. We found a local guy to make the table (we couldn't find a 72-inch table in the style we wanted), and we purchased the chairs from Overstock.

  3. I hope my question isn't impolite, but I guess Max went to a special part of the temple when you had that big celebration for him a while ago, am I right? And when Elle and the rest go to that part, it'll also be a significant milestone, right? Or did Claire just enter the temple earlier?

    1. Not impolite at all, thank you for the question! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this! Yes, you're right, Max was able to go to the temple to learn more about the gospel and make covenants with God, something people do generally before missions or before marriage, whichever comes first. I hope all my kids will be able to go to the temple some day. So what Claire did was different: When kids turn twelve they are able to do baptisms in a different area of the temple, that's what Claire was so excited to do. More about temple baptisms here: I hope that makes sense!

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