the night before, we took a "last day of being 12" picture because we're cheeseball like that. and i thought it was really cute that she'd chosen the t-shirt i made her last year for our disneyland birthday extravaganza.
the old lady came over after she'd gone to bed to help me with a bunch of stuff, like wrapping presents and decorating. we had lots of fun stuff to put up that we knew the birthday girl would love, and it was fun to see it all put together.
the next morning, like any respectable birthday celebrant would do, she woke up extra early. as she always does, she came into our room to say good morning and snuggle with the dogs for a few minutes.
she eventually made her way out to the front of the house and giggled and squealed as she spied all of the BTS decorations we'd put up. and then she immediately picked up cocoa and took her on a tour so they could look at it all together.
the pile of presents was the biggest torture for her. but knowing we always open presents when everyone is - well, present - she settled being allowed to open one of the smallest ones. and we both cracked up as she ripped off the paper to find a set of shopkins mini toys. she and i love these things...they're really lame but super cute.
she eventually made her way into the office to find the fun backdrop her daddy had put up on the wall behind her computer.
and back in her room, the traditional birthday balloon floor photos.
while she got herself ready for school, i got to work making her a bubble waffle for breakfast.
one more photo op before school. teddy was thrilled.
while she was in her first class, i wrapped the cookies i'd worked on the night before.
during a break, she came out and realized that some of the balloons were BTS-themed too. and we let her open another small present.
just before they broke for lunch, her dad arrived with something else he'd ordered for her - a ridiculous amount of sushi-grade fish.
per her request, we'd picked up brunch from her favorite local spot in town - blintzes filled with a super delicious cream cheese/ricotta mixture with some eggs and bacon. and as if there weren't already enough going on, the doorbell rang with another special delivery.
when she went back into the office for her last class of the day, i got to work on her "cake." one of my friends had gifted me with this fun pan set to make what looks like an oversized oreo, and so i decided to give it a shot using the recipe on the box. i may have rethought this had i actually read the recipe first, though, because the first step involved using a pastry brush to butter all of the crevices in the pans and dust them with cocoa. all of that even before making the batter.
the biggest bummer? i obviously didn't use enough butter, because once baked the layers didn't want to come out of those pans. BLAH.
the other surprise was that the batter didn't make a cake at all, really. it came out more like a brownie - which turned out to be a good thing because the bean prefers brownies to cake anyway. she and her sister thoroughly enjoyed plucking chunks out of there and devouring them on the spot.
so, those cookies that i'd made? they were for a mini parade from her three dance class BFFs. these girls have been friends since they were about 4, and it just so happened that they were all available to do a quick parade that afternoon. it was so sweet, and so great to see them all.
when the girls came out to say a quick hello - masked and at a distance, of course - we realized they were wearing the most amazing matching t-shirts. i'm tearing up just remembering it. along with a birthday greeting, there was a picture of the girls from the very first dance recital they'd done together when they were all about 4-5 years old. it was just the sweetest thing, and i was so touched by it.
after we'd honored her last request for the day - dinner at sushi roku in pasadena - we headed home, where she was finally able to open the rest of the gifts that were waiting for her on the table. as she happily ripped into them, the hub danced around with one of the signs from her friends.
this birthday was definitely all about the k-pop. along with the much-coveted "learn to speak korean with BTS" kit, the top presents of the year were the official light sticks from two of her other favorite groups. armed with bluetooth capabilities and USB charging, these things are a far cry from the little glow sticks with the jonas brothers logo we used to get the old lady at their concerts.
we closed out the day with a family photo.
ah, 2020. you may be a big disappointment, but you can't steal all the happiness. there's still lots of it to be found, if you know how to look for it.
and HOLY SHIT, THE BEAN IS A (QUARAN)TEEN. sigh.