Sushi and Cell Phones {Grace is 9!}

Grace Face is nine. That's halfway to eighteen, and this one is hitting us hard. 

Isaac was just saying that we only have her for 9 more years. That's only 468 more weeks. If we teach her one thing a week, that's only 468 life lessons and influences we can give her to help her navigate the rest of her life.

This girl has the kindest, most loving heart ninety-nine percent of the time. The other one percent is all about having little sisters, and girl, I can relate.

As Grace has grown up, she's taught me a helluva lot more than I've taught her. I've had to learn patience (still working on this one) and how to provide answers to the oddest of questions. I like to have things lined out constantly - what we're doing today, this weekend, next week. Being a mom has made me let go of sticking to that schedule even if just a little bit. I have to be OK with us missing a planned activity or event and keep it moving. One of the greatest qualities I want my kids to have is a positive mind. I want them to be happy, and I always say the key to being happy is to just BE happy.

Grace is always wanting hugs and kisses from Mom and Dad, so we make sure to give them out as often as we can. She loves to snuggle on the couch while watching a movie and would probably tell you that it's her favorite thing to do, as long as we're by her side.

She loves to swim and play sports. Any time we let her, you can find her outside playing street hockey or softball with her best buds. You can also find her spraying on way too much Britney Spears perfume and taking silly face selfies in her favorite dress. She's definitely the best of both worlds.

This girl loves to play soccer, and while she may not be the best at it, she's works hard to be better each season. She loves to practice and run hard, and she (almost) always gives it her all, which is what we push her to do in all aspects of life.

She has always struggled a little bit with reading, but she's been reading a lot this summer, and I feel like it's finally clicking. She likes to sound out every letter when she comes to a word she doesn't know instead of using mixes of letter sounds to read it quicker. Her teachers and tutor have all said the only way to get her reading faster is to keep reading. The more words she knows, the less time she will spend sounding them out.

At nine years old, Grace is pretty true to size in clothes wearing a 9/10 in pretty much everything. She's in a size 2 shoe and is currently standing at 4' 4".

She recently got her first cell phone, but she is only allowed to use it to call/text Mom, Dad, and other close family members. We found some cool parental control apps, and she can't download any apps or games without us having to approve it from our phones first. We have also set up geofences, so we get notifications whenever she arrives or leaves specific locations. There will be no social media forever if I have it my way. I hate that kids have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. profiles, because there are already so many ways for them to be mean to one another. Why add another, easier way to make negative comments about others? I think these social media profiles make them brave, because they can hide behind their screen- so we're staying far away from those for a long, long time.

Grace loves sushi and would eat California Crunch Rolls for every meal if we'd let her. She also loves asparagus, pulled pork, pizza, steak, chicken pot pies, egg burritos, all kinds of olives, and olive oil Pasta-Roni.

She loves to have the last word, which is a habit I'm trying to break. Mainly so I can have the last word, but also so she will be able to end an argument in the future without needing this.

We love our Gracie girl so much, and it is so fun to watch her continue to grow and change. She is really starting to have her own personality with her own beliefs, and I love having discussions with her about different things and getting her point of view.

Our annual tradition is to ask the girls 20 questions each year on their birthday. Here are Grace's answers:

She's the sweetest, toughest, silliest kid with the most tender heart. I wish I could protect her from the world forever, but she's already starting to learn too much about it. I'm trying to be careful in the way I explain things to her, and more often than not, I find myself wishing she could just stay innocent for a bit longer.

We love you more than all the stars, kid. Thank you for making it so fun to be your mom!

Happy 9th Birthday, Gracie!!

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