Marley, age four

We had a little party at our neighborhood playground.

A few friends...

The family, of course...

Birthday cake...

And presents.  Equals four-year-old bliss.  She tells me that she feels older, and that there are lots of things she can do now that she's four years old- and she believes it too.  I love that.  Even though the one thing involving not wearing a pull-up to bed anymore didn't turn out so well.

That girl.  She drives me completely crazy with her insistence that she be seen and heard every moment of every day.  But when I stop to think about it...that is such an important thing for a woman in this world:  

To be seen.  And heard.

One day when she's older, I hope I can talk with her about her gift for being seen and heard and help her understand how she can use it for good.  I know that she is who she is for a reason.  And I'm pretty sure the reason is not to drive me insane.  Even though it seems like it sometimes.  

Happy birthday to my bella girl.  I never knew it was possible to be frustrated, exhausted and profoundly happy and grateful all at the same time until you came into my life.  I hope you keep me crying and laughing for a very long time.


For your bedtime reading pleasure...

...a quote from Brigham, just before dinner last night:

I got an email from Mitt Romney.  Apparently Obama failed to stand up against China.

Also, I believe we've been officially welcomed to Santa Cruz- while about to get out of our car on a downtown street earlier tonight, a bearded man walked by and spit right on my window!  The only think I can think is that he was a crazy, anti-SUV environmentalist.  Eric just thinks he was mentally ill.  All I could do was laugh, and think- Buddy, we drove that car across the country with four children and a golden retriever.  It has seen FAR worse than a little spit from you!