About a week ago, Ellie came to me with a notebook page, color co-ordinated and decorated in a very typical almost-10-year-old-girl way, with the events of her birthday spelled out. She had shopping, dinner at Village Inn, and cake and ice cream all time mapped out for her Tuesday afternoon/evening birthday celebration.
Last Friday morning, Mike called me. He had just gotten off the phone with my brother Casey, and as soon as he told me that, I knew the combination of him talking to Casey, and the timing of the American Idol season that it probably meant one thing. (Remember last year?)
Casey had "tickets" to the American Idol final singing competition, Casey no longer lives in California, but that didn't stop Mike from ever pausing to question whether or not he was going to go. (Last year Mike and Casey attended the actual finale.) As soon as Mike looked at the date and saw the tickets were for May 20th, he declared Ellie his travel partner. Yours truly had to drop all of her Friday morning plans and errands for the sake of finding flights for them. Mike invited his cousin and her daughter to attend with them. (It was going to be dads and daughters, but Mike's cousin's husband couldn't attend, so he went with his cousin instead! Fun-wish I had a photo of all 4 of them.)
I LOVE that Mike flying to LA, now 2 years in a row, with just days notice is so NOT him, but so him. I love that Mike is frugal, a workaholic, and organized and well-planned, yet he has now followed a particular passion of his twice and temporarily thrown all those traits of his out the window. Enough about Mike, it is Ellie's birthday.
Mike told Ellie on Friday night that she was going to go to American Idol with him. She was very excited, but a part of her wondered/questioned/worried about "missing" her birthday.
Even Luke mentioned a couple of days ago, "I love birthdays, even other peoples. I'm sad we won't have balloons, and presents and cake." And today, Drew mentioned, "Is it really Ellie's birthday? I don't like it."
Mike and Ellie flew to LA on Monday night, and will return early on Wednesday morning. I have to say, it has been a very strange day today. I LOVE birthdays, and it has been odd to not see my child on their birthday. But on the flip side, receiving these photos throughout the day, have made me smile.
(Waiting in line with Cousin Katie to claim their tickets on Tuesday morning.)
(Cousin Karena took the girls to Starbucks to get a snack while Mike held the place in line. Apparently, Ellie got a free hot chocolate and a cake pop!)
(I wish I had a photo of Ellie holding up her sign. We could see her blue sign being held up right after Jena's performance! So cool. Side note to remember: On Sunday night when Ellie was making her sign, on one part of her poster she wrote, #americanidol. Mike came into the room and asked, "Why have you written number American Idol?" He got all sorts of negative feedback from the three oldest children, "It's a hash tag Dad, haven't you noticed that on all the American Idol shows you've been watching this season?" #mikesisnotintosocialmedia)
We can do a pretend birthday tomorrow, but I think today will remain the highlight! At least we think...Ellie isn't one to show a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.
Happy 10th Birthday Ellie!