March 06, 2012

11 for Emma

Yesterday was Emma's 11th birthday. It was remarkable for 2 reasons. It was her first white birthday and also because it was the first birthday that her Daddy wouldn't be here because he had to take a business trip to Ohio for a couple of days. Because of this we also celebrated on Sunday with a birthday breakfast at Cracker Barrel (her favorite), going to see The Lorax (so-so), opening her big present (a Kindle-she's in love!) and having Daddy grill her dinner (steak) before hopping in his car and heading out of town.

Even though the day started with snow, it soon turned to this. It was one of many surprises, as it turned out. In an effort to try to make up for Daddy's absence, I packed a Parisian kind of lunch and headed to school to eat with her.

I spent the rest of the day finishing up this doll I made her from a pattern in this book by one of my favorite bloggers. I will tell you, she isn't perfect but she was made with love and I think that makes up for the fact that her hair is kinda crazy and 1/2 of her face is slightly off kilter.

 Upon our return from school that afternoon Emma and I were greeted by this.

 Just as Emma had hoped, her acceptance letter from Hogwarts came via Hedwig. We are sure going to miss her when she heads off in the Fall.

Folks, this was all Maddie. Her idea and her work. She is the reigning best big sister in the world.

 I had to throw this next picture in because it is just so typical of these two together. Obviously Em is challenging something Maddie is saying and Maddie is just smirking with the knowledge that she knows something Emma doesn't know.

 Emma was welcomed home with the rest of her presents which included, the doll, a wand, a Harry Potter game, a new purse and a cat's cradle book with string.

 Which her big sister immediately stole from her and has yet to give back. Notice the tongue sticking out of the side of Maddie's mouth. That's how you know she's concentrating. I bet she does that in every one of her college classes. You wouldn't believe how much time these two spend snuggled up like this in Maddie's room. Almost 8 years difference between them but they couldn't be any closer.

Later I surprised Emma by having her 1st grade teacher, who has practically become part of the family, join us for dinner and this birthday pie (only click if you are prepared to bake a pie tonight). So. That was a lot of surprises for one day, right? Well, it turns out that I got the biggest surprise of all when my Sweetie strolled in the door at 6:30 after driving back from Ohio a day early! Best surprise ever. Best Birthday ever!


  1. Sounds like a very good birthday! My oldest girl is Emma and she just turned 13 in February:)
    Your girls are beautiful!
    And yay for hubby's getting home early! Love it when mine does stuff like that!

  2. What a perfect birthday!!!! I love how the doll turned out- she's so sweet just like Em! Maddie's going to kill you for that tongue picture lol!

  3. How adorable is that gift that big sister came up with. It brought some tears to my eyes, nothing better than Sisters!
    I love the doll you made too so cute, I think I need to start learning how to sew just to make meaningful gifts like that one.
    Happy Birthday Emma!

  4. What a wonderful sounding day! Happy Birthday to Emma. Love the doll you made- and seeing two sisters so close!

  5. Really sounds great! Love the doll. I wonder if my girl would like one for her birthday...she will be 11 on April 8th which happens to be Easter Sunday this year. I love the pillow on her bed with the doll. Did you make that?

  6. Such a fun post! Love hearing about Emma's day.
    Dear Emma,
    Happy, Happy Birthday! Please take me to Hogwarts with you. I'll be your house elf and take very good care of you.
    Dear Maddie,
    I'm still waiting for you to steal the awesome paisley top from your mom and mail it to me! I'm sure she won't even notice it's gone. It will be our little secret.
    Oh, I miss my Indy girls!

  7. Those presents are wrapped so pretty!

    I love to see that your girls are close. I often worry about the age difference in my girls (My Emma is 12 and Stella is 17 months)That picture gives me hope!

  8. Sounds like the most wonderful day..thanks for sharing it with us. The owl holding the acceptance letter to Hogwarts was a stroke of brilliance on Maddie's part

  9. Yay! It does sound like the best birthday ever. I love that every member of your family did their own little thing to make it special for her. Happy belated birthday Emma!

    Kim @ Vintage Pretties

  10. What a great way to celebrate a birthday! It just seemed to get better and better :) And my 24 year old daughter would love a Hogwarts acceptance letter even after graduating from college... what a special gift from her sister!


    PS I KNOW she'll love that Kindle... I'm never without mine!

  11. First of all...the two sisters are the most sweetest things! I love it!!!! Secondly, the letter from Hogwarts was a Brilliant idea!!!! Big sister is a genius! :)
    And lastly, how wonderful that daddy got to be home for some of the celebration. Sounds like your Emma had a wonderful day. As all 11th birthdays should be. :)

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  13. love LOVE the letter - gave me goose bumps...
    i don't have a sister.. never really wanted
    one.. until NOW <3

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  15. oh lordy - sorry for the mess of comments!
    first i posted w wrong googleID.. the i posted correctly - twice!

  16. Happy birthfay to your Emma. My oldest granddaughter shares that same name.

    It looks like she had a wonderful birthday in spite of the fact that Daddy was out of town. He made it special before he left and that is what counts.

    Darling little doll and I am afraid to go to the birthday pie site!;>) xo Diana

  17. happy happy birthday to your sweet girl. despite the missing daddy, it looks like her birthday was a huge success. thanks for sharing!!

  18. Oh how wonderful! You have such a great family. I love it. We do up birthdays big time too. Makes growing older so much more fun! Kit

  19. Sounds like a perfect birthday for sweet Emma! Loved the doll... she's full of charm and character... just like your two beautiful girls. I always love it when the birthday lasts longer than the actual day. Personally, I celebrate my birthday all month. :o)

  20. Looks like the prefect birthday even though Daddy is away! You are so lucky to have the girls be so close....that is so special! Wishing you a wonderful week! Angie xo

  21. How sweet that your girls are so close. I'm glad Emma had a great day.

  22. So many nice and fun filled surprises; it looks like a great day. I think the doll is darling and love the owl delivery!

  23. oh my goodness jen, this may be one of my favorite posts of yours.
    i love all the images.
    the little doll...OH MY!!! what a priceless heirloom she will be!
    are you kidding. how precious. you our love for HP runs deep & wide over here.
    love seeing maddie in these two. wow, is she gorgeous.
    i love the pillow behind the doll baby.
    i love that you pack parisiane lunch. i dont even know how to spell that. you are a good mama.


  24. oops & happy birthday emma!!!!!

  25. What a great birthday for your girl! My sister & I are 8 years apart & we are best friends! That's so nice for them!

  26. They are the ca-utest sisters EVER! Oh my dear. Love. Both so precious. (They get it from their Mama.) Happy birthday, Emma!

  27. Loved your descriptions of your daughters' relationship with one another, and the pictures of the two of them. Very heartwarming.

    The doll turned out great! I stitched one a couple of years ago and I found the hair particularly tricky. But the charm of a handmade doll is the "handmadeness" of it, isn't it? :+)

  28. What a sweet day for your little girl! My oldest just turned 11 on 2/27. Beautiful girls you have! I just love, love, love having two girls.


  29. Happy Birthday Emma!! I love your family! You can feel the warmth in your pictures! I can't believe she is 11! I think she was 2 when we "met". SOMEDAY we will meet in PERSON! :)

  30. Oh Jen - I can't believe how big our girls are! Weren't we just decorating a nursery for them? Then we blink our eyes and they are so grown up. I can still remember coming over and Maddie holding L when she was itty bitty. You made poppy seed chicken - remember? Do you know that's still a favorite of all my kiddos!

    Happy Birthday, Emma! You are very blessed to have such a great big sister. I know Lauren and Kate will share a special bond like E & M! Warms my heart to see your pics!

    I am so happy for you all.

    Much love,

  31. That sounds like the best birthday ever....i bet that made her feel so special. That will be one sge remembers always!

  32. Hi Jennifer, Really pleased to habe just found your blog via your lovely and creative pinterest boards. Very inspired, and love the doll :-)

  33. Happy Birthday Emma!!

    Cute pics and cute doll :)

  34. Happy Birthday Wishes to Emma!
    What a fantastic Birthday ... I love the owl on the fence ♥ and your sweet doll.

  35. So sweet.:) Thanks for sharing your daughters birthday with us.

  36. yeah! what a great day and perfect ending!

    wishing emma a happy 11!

    my sisters are 8 and 12 years older than me and we have always been close. it's very special.

    emma could not be dressed any cuter!


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    Please visit my blog..not quite up to your standards, but I do love photography, gardening, decorating and my family...not in that order!!
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    Linda :o)

  38. happy birthday emma! it sounds like a most wonderful birthday full of special people and special surprises!

  39. oh yeah, the dangerous thing about that pie is that i ALWAYS have the ingredients on hand :)

  40. Sounds like a perfect day...except for the Daddy having to leave. I love the craft you put together for the girls, such a cute idea! Enjoy this beautiful weather!!


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