That's what they do, I've learned. They just keep growing up! Of course, I adore this girl. This last year has been so different, with her being gone at school, and she and I seriously butting heads for the first time ever, really. But we learn as we go, and our love and respect for one another remain paramount. She is a wonderful daughter. Now that she's older I see that she has formed her own opinions and ideas that are sometimes not how I imagined she would feel, but I marvel that I taught her to think and it worked! She's figuring things out in life, just as I am, and I stand in awe of her beauty, intelligence, and grace. She's one tough cookie behind the pretty exterior! I love her for that.
For her birthday, she wanted to go back to Universal City Walk, where we went for her 16th birthday. Her friends were all out of town or busy that day, so we only took her boyfriend, Braulio. Good thing I had Conor there with me or Third Wheel Syndrome would have been more than I could have handled.
We ate at Hard Rock Cafe, where the second hardest thing to do is choose what to eat. (The first hardest thing to do is hear the person across the table from you over the loud music.)
When the waiter brought our food, I asked him if he'd be willing to take a picture for us. He said, "Sure! I'm actually an amateur photographer!"
Lyns and I couldn't decide so we each ordered something that looked delicious and then split our meals.
She got the BBQ Chicken Pizza, and I got the Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich.
Of course, we told the server it was her birthday, and it's so fun when they have the entire restaurant wish you a very hearty, "Happy Birthday!"and then give you a sundae.
We walked around City Walk. Made a few emergency dashes to the bathroom for Conor, who always drinks too much when we're out to eat.
A couple of Nerds.
Of course, Conor had to make a stop at the water fountains to play. That was really the only thing he was looking forward to.
Then we found ourselves in a huge dance party at the free concerts City Walk puts on. This night was Nick Cannon and a few other small groups I'd never heard of. (Queenz, 4 Count) It was pretty fun, though I had to kick out some punks for smoking.
We're standing there, crammed like sardines with hundreds of people, and we smell cigarette smoke. I turn and see these two guys, early twenties, having a lovely time blowing their smoke rings in the air as they pass the cigarette back and forth. "Hey!" I said. "You can't smoke here. What are you doing?"
Startled expressions. "What? Um, we looked for signs. . ."
"This is California! You can't smoke in any public place. I've got my kids here and I don't want to smell that. Go somewhere else."
And they apologized and moved on. Which stunk for them, because we were pretty close to the stage and had been waiting a long time for the concert to start.
We made it onto the jumbo screen a few times. You can't see me, except for the stripes on my shirt, because I'm holding up my iPhone to snap the picture, but can you find Lyns and Braulio? (Around the 10:00 position.)
After we'd had enough, we came back to the house for The Cake. It was as delicious as we thought it might be. Even better cold. And with a tall glass of milk. Take me now.
Conor and I put together this huge candybar card for her. He was so excited to give it to her. (He also really enjoys helping her nibble on it. And sharing it with everyone who comes over without his sister's permission.)
My bookends. We sure missed those boys in the middle!
She opened her cards from her grandmothers, and is very grateful for the cash!
From Braulio, she got this travel jewelry/makeup holder
And this shirt.
And from me, a mani/pedi kit. I'll show more of this in a separate post.
And then we all played a game of UNO.
She drove Braulio home that night and came back into my room for a goodnight hug and thanked me for a wonderful birthday. I love it when she's happy.
And now she gets to enjoy her last year in her teens!