They say that time flies when you're having fun.
In that case, I must be having a blast, because the past - dare I say it? - NINE years have just flown by.
Nine years ago today, our Big Helper was born - and it doesn't seem possible that it has been that long.
Since then, she's grown into a creative, talkative, artsy, entrepreneurial kid - with big ideas.
Every year I make a birthday cake for her of her choosing. It's a tradition we started before she could even choose her cake. Those early ones were of her goldfish tank and a princess castle.
This year, she chose something that shocked me. What did she want?
"I want a landscape cake, Mommy," she calmly told me a few weeks ago.
How in the world do you make a landscape cake? What is that, anyway??
To help me understand, I asked her to draw out her ideas. She handed me this a few minutes later:
I had to look at it a while to get it. Do you see the top and side views? The key indicating icing color changes and topographical diversities?
So, the night before the party, my mom and I - I sure was glad she was there! - started baking and brainstorming. We wanted to give her the cake she dreamed of, but we figured a few surprises wouldn't hurt, either.
We made the boulders out of ganache-covered marshmallows and put Swedish fish and Goldfish in the river. Graham cracker crumbs made the riverbank, and Oreo crumbs became the garden soil.
I think she liked it -at least, I hope so.
Before the candles even made it on the cake, she and her daddy put their heads together and started dreaming. Before I knew it, another bear had been added - a fishing bear.
I'm rather scared to see what she'll dream up next year - but then, next year we'll be talking double digits, and I can't imagine that, either, so let's not go there. In the meantime, I'm very happy to be taking the day off with my super-creative, artsy, imaginative daughter.
What are you thankful for today?