Lizzie turned 14 Friday. When I asked her what she wanted to do to celebrate, she said that she just wanted to have a family movie night... like we do every Friday night. I tried to talk her into dreaming a bit bigger, but she insisted that was all she needed. So, we agreed that instead of having our normal pizza, I would make appetizers and red velvet cupcakes and, she would get to pick the movie. That was it. She didn't even have much of a wish list as far as a gift went. This is not a typical Lizzie style birthday, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
I thought it would be fun to try and surprise her with a little something unexpected. But, I honestly couldn't think of anything. So, I decided this would just be a basic birthday with nothing special for the memory books. Until, Ryan and I somehow ended up out shopping together and alone last Saturday. We were at the place we lovingly refer to as Walmart. I decided to head down the aisle that most closely resembles a party supply aisle and see if I could find a pack of plates to use. As I was strolling, I found this little gem...
A "Hallo" Barbie bag.
Can you see it? The word "Hallo" written all over the bag.
I didn't have any gifts that were really spectacular, just a lot of little things that I thought she might like. We had bought her a basic cover for her Ipad, which is the one thing she had asked for. Of course, when she saw the bag waiting for her at the breakfast table, she laughed and rolled her eyes at my choice of wrapping. As if the ugly bag wasn't crazy enough, I decided to tell her it was a Magic "Hallo" Barbie bag. She dutifully opened the gifts, which had each been wrapped in some lovely, shiny foil paper, the African wrap of choice. She was very gracious after she finished, but I think she was a bit disappointed that her birthday gifts consisted of things like oreos, microwave popcorn, and hair ties.
We ran to pick up our volunteer teacher, and when we returned, Lizzie took her in to see the ugly Barbie bag, which she'd left on the table. To her surprise, the bag had been refilled with more wrapped gifts. I reminded her that, "Hallo! The bag IS magic!" I explained that the lady who sold it to me told me that the bag was magic, the items were only to be opened at mealtime, and that the magic ran out at sunset. Of course, Liz didn't fall for one word of it, but she humored me and played along, especially since it meant more loot for her. Every time the bag would get mentioned all day long, I would just shout out "Hallo! It's magic!" in my very best Made in China accent. It probably doesn't even sound funny to you, but I cracked myself up and eventually, my kids decided to laugh with (or maybe it was AT) me.
As the day went on, the gifts got a bit better and I think that the two Dr. Peppers really sealed the deal. Lizzie had a great day and certainly got the idea that we loved her, Nutella and all. We had a fun time celebrating Lizzie, in spite of our ugly wrapping paper and flimsy plates. And Hallo, how's she going to forget the "magic" that was her 14th birthday?
Here are Abe and Lizzie with the gifts he gave her. He came up with a Chick-Fil-A cow watch, some sunflower spectacles, a jewelry box that was already hers, but he added a few random coins he has collected on our travels, and a handmade picture. He is really into giving gifts and drawing picture to give away right now. Which makes me very, very happy!