Sunday, September 13, 2020

Happy 8th Birthday Charlotte

Happy 8th Birthday Charlotte Grace!

How can you be 8 already?! You are growing up so fast. You are such a wonderful little girl, full of so much spunk!! And this is a very special birthday.....you are 8 on the 8th of September!!!





                     


I still remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. We waited too long to head to the birth center and you were almost born in the car!! Charlotte's birth story. At 4:30am you made your appearance and oh my were you all squishy and a little pissed to be out! You sure have changed from your squishy little chunky baby self.





You are growing like a weed and are now 51" tall and weigh 65lbs.

9 months old............and now


You are smart, too smart. You are curious and sassy. You are creative and artistic. You are athletic and love the outdoors. You are a Daddy's girl. You love animals. You have somehow maintained your innocence and imagination. You are funny and kind. You are unique.

     


You have the BEST facial expressions. And oh my you can say some pretty hilarious things!

             

You are a wonderful big sister to Norah. You two play very well together (most of the time). Spending so much time together this spring and summer has made you even closer. You both still choose to share a bed and love to play a variety of games together. 


                 


You love to ride bikes, scooters, play outside, and jump on the trampoline. Climb trees, spin and spin around, swing, hike and more! Anything and everything to get all that energy out! 

       


You love art. Coloring, crafting, painting, music. You are always creating something. We go through paper and markers like nobody else. 

           
always building a fort!



You love to swim! You joined the swim team here in Washington and loved going to practice. You participated in one swim meet this past year. Unfortunately, the team had to shut down when COVID started. It doesn't look promising for you being able to continue on the swim team right now. Hopefully soon though. Until then we swim whenever and wherever we can!

     

   


You love the beach. Summertime in Gig Harbor is ideal and we have been soaking up every second outside, especially at the beach. And when we aren't there you guys are out and about spending time with friends or cruising the neighborhood. 




To celebrate your big day we had some of the neighbor kids over for cupcakes! It was actually a lot of fun and a much needed treat for all! 

And after dinner it was time for a special dessert: banana split! And of course presents, where you especially loved the Barbie gift!! You LOVE Barbie!!





You had a couple of milestone/accomplishments this year.....

You lost another tooth this year! But just one, not like last year when you lost 5!


You got an early birthday present - a new bike! Since we were stuck at home for so long we decided to go ahead and get your big girl bike early. It is so much bigger and better for you! And you love to ride it around the neighborhood with all the other kids.


You also got a hooverboard for your birthday. Another early gift, this one from Grandma Rachel, to help get us through our stay-at-home order. You used to go over to our neighbors house and ride theirs for at least an hour every day after school, and when that was no longer possible you started begging us to get one. You were beyond thrilled to get your own. I especially love it when all the neighborhood kids come out and cruise the block together as a little pack. It reminds us of growing up in the 80s. 



This year you also completed 1st grade!! You started at your new school, Discovery Elementary, with your new teacher Mrs.Buckland in the fall. You did your best to make some friends and, just like in Philadelphia, you loved going to school and learning. You were so sad to have to homeschool in the spring but you did great. You worked hard every day and learned a lot. You are so incredibly smart and resilient!

               




This year you started piano lessons. We have a piano at home (the one Daddy's whole family played while he was growing up) and you are finally old enough and interested in learning. So far you love it and are pretty good at. We love to hear you practicing!


You got your first love note from the little boy next door, Judah. So sweet!!!!
it says "Charlotte, I really like you. You're a really good friend"


Sadly, we lost Harley in March of this year. He went in for surgery, had too many complications, and never came home. It was awful. I remember telling you that he had died and you cried and cried. It was so hard to see you so upset. We all loved Harley so much and will miss having him to cuddle with. 
                   




And now time for the annual questionnaire.......


Charlotte Grace Clute 
Age:8
Live in: Washington
School: Discovery Elementary - 2nd grade (today!)
1. Favorite color: light purple 
2. Favorite toy: Barbie
3. Favorite food: pizza
4.Favorite dessert: popsicles

5. Favorite animal: whale
6. Best toy friend: Bagraffe
7. Best friend: Stella & Kylie & Judah
                      
8. Favorite outfit: shorts and a tee shirt 
9.Favorite music: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
10. Favorite Book: Orion and the Dark 
11. Favorite activity: playing with Norah
 
12. Favorite holiday: Christmas (duh!)


13. What makes you happy: coloring & cuddling


14. Favorite TV show: Bluey 
15. What you want to be when you grow up: an artist & a famous diver (with Norah). They want to have their own business called "The Clute Sisters Dive Club" 




Here is a little recap of our year and all the fun things we did....

We did a bit of camping. First up, Olympic National Park..


Grandma and Grandpa visited us and we took them into the city!
        
 

Fall was super fun! We went to the local festival, had a party at your school, and of course trick-or-treating around our neighborhood! You were a cat and Norah was a ghost. There were so many kids and you guys brought in a ton of candy! It was a blast!

all my kiddos dressed up!



We made a trip to California to visit family over Thanksgiving. It was so nice to see everyone, even if it was for only a few days. 


We got to see Frozen 2!!!


As the weather got colder, and December approached we did a lot of fun things for the holidays. We watched the boat parade in Gig Harbor, went to a drive thru light show, saw Santa, rode the polar Express and drank lots and lots of hot chocolate! We all LOVE the Christmas time!




Nana came to visit us in January and we took her to the city and all sorts of fun places!



And we can't forget about our amazing trip to Maui in February! We had had enough of the rain and cold weather and were so excited to get away for a week! Sun sun and more sun! You girls had a blast. We spent our days going between the beach and the pool. It was heaven.




Before we knew it we were hopping into spring and Easter!!
      


We quickly learned how to properly wear a mask and are so thankful to Nana for making us masks with cool patterns!!

And how to give Daddy a haircut! This was actually a lot of fun!



After everything opened up (sorta) again and we were finally able to camp we went to North Cascades National Park.....



And Glacier National Park!!!



And one more trip to Olympic National Park to close out the camping season. This time we did a couple of touristy things: we went to Hurricane Ridge and Ruby Beach!



Ruby Beach! So foggy!!




And one more visit to see family in Cali! Much needed and so happy to see everyone and just lounge but the pool for a week! 




Some things to look forward to for next year....

1. 2nd grade and virtual school! You are super excited for 2nd grade, but not so excited to go to school at home. We made it through the spring and we were hoping to be back in person in the fall but it's not safe yet. Happy 1st day of 2nd grade!!!


2. Going to Hawaii in February - hopefully! Fingers crossed we will be able to travel because by February we will need a break from the rain in Washington and some warm sunshine on our skin. 
       

3. Lose another tooth? You have one on the top that will probably come out in the next year. That would be your 8th tooth lost when you are 8!!! I think 8 might be your lucky number!
                          

4. Improving those piano and swim skills. You have been able to have piano lessons either virtual or in person over the last few months. Perhaps next spring you may even be able to have a real recital! That would be so exciting. 
              

5. More camping trips!! One of the best parts about our move to the Pacific Northwest has been access to absolutely incredible camping and outdoor activities and we all love it so much. It is probably our most favorite activity to enjoy together as a family and it is great to see you and your sister riding your bikes together around the campsites in all the places we go. It is so important to us to share exploring our beautiful country as a family. Incredible memories that we will remember for the rest of our lives. 




Eight is great!!!! Happy Birthday to our spunky and sassy and all around amazing girl. We love you more than you will ever know!




Love, 
Mommy & Daddy