Natalie is 10!

So, what’s it like to turn 10 in a pandemic (when its 20 degrees outside and you don’t live near any family)?!?  Well, Natalie said that even without a friends birthday party, it was one of the best birthdays ever!  How did everyone join together to make it fun? Here are 10 ways…

  1.  It was on a Saturday, so no school and tons of family time.
  2. Conor helped me decorate the dining room – he was a big fan of the blue streamers.
  3. Elliott made a sweet happy birthday sign on a white board.
  4. Check out the last 4 pictures… there’s a lot of gifts there!  Thanks to everyone who sent her something.
  5. She and I baked pies two weekends in a row – the weekend before her birthday, it was french silk pie and the weekend of her birthday, peanut butter pie.  Baking is our favorite activity to do together, so it was a date.
  6. Best of all, important people from her 10 years of life submitted videos for a birthday video compiliation.  She had submissions from Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and even Dubai! (Her preschool teacher.)
  7. Alison sent a picture slideshow of adorable pictures when she was our nanny… about agest 4-6.
  8. Two of her closest friends came over the week before for an outdoor play date when it wasn’t as cold and one brought cupcakes.  She got a gift dropped off later too.  It’s the thought that counts!
  9. We had belated birthday dates… Jordan took her out for breakfast at a resort in FL, and Natalie and I painted toe nails on Christmas.
  10. Movie night!

Look at my big sister, Natalie!

(Natalie watching her birthday video!)

Cheers to our big sister!

Showing off another impressive baking feat – peanut butter pie!

E-man loves and looks up to his big sister so much. (this is more of a birthday present for him!)

Yum – celebrated with pastries for breakfast and Indian for dinner (her choice!?!)

Her birthday video was amazing…. here are 10 of the themes I heard from the video:

  1.  Kind
  2. Smart
  3. Funny
  4. Creative
  5. Graceful (dancer)
  6. Silly
  7. Cute
  8. Fun
  9. Great Friend
  10. Thoughtful

Here are 10 neat/cool things about Natalie:

  1. She’s a terrific dancer – and always has been.  From her silly toddler moves to pineapple princess in PreK to her graceful ballet now, this girl knows how to move.  She started a new ballet school this fall and has learned so much.
  2. She’s an avid reader – she is often found cuddling in her bed, reading a book… and still enjoys reading at night with us too.  Although she loves some of the most popular books for her age, like Babysitters Club graphic novels, she is open to new books that I get her and likes stories of people with various backgrounds, like My Family Divided by Diane Guererro (her parents were immigrants to the USA and were deported when she was in high school in Boston and now she is a famous actress).
  3. Natalie loves to bake… we’ve baked cookies since she was 1, but especially this year, she’s encouraged me to try more adventerous ones with her like creme brule and crepes.
  4. She writes great poems – she is insightful and funny.
  5. She loves playing soccer and did an extra league this summer, which helped her confidence.  She’s played on the same travel soccer league for 3 years.
  6. She is trying out an acting class this winter!  Due to COVID, it’s going to be online. I’m excited to see what she learns.
  7. She has been my best biking buddy… well, she and Conor (he’s on the back).  She’s always up for joining us for a bike ride.  She got a great new bike in the beginning of COVID, since her hand-me-down was too small.  Great investment.
  8. She is an excellent drawer.  She can draw so many things… I love the characters she draws.  They have these sweet big eyes.  She is super detailed and conscientious when making a card for someone with her drawing.  She and Grandma often draw while on Facebook Messenger.
  9. She is a collector.  There are so many precious things in her room.  She says she needs a bigger room.  Amazingly, Jordan and I agree.
  10. Natalie is hilarious.  Although she is cautious with sharing this outside of her family, her friends and classmates catch glimpses.  With her immediate family (and sometimes Pop too), she can let her silliness shine.  I would get in trouble if I shared the details.  I will say, she has made it a personal goal to tease me and get a rise out of me.
  11. I cannot stop at 10. She also began piano and tennis this year. And she names everything – our house (Vanessa), last years Christmas tree (Joy Noel), the avocado stuffed animal (Liam), the milkshake squishie (Cecily) and our car (Regina).

Natalie’s favorites:

Food: clementine

Treat/dessert: trois chocolate (from the French bakery in Florida)

Ice cream flavor: cookie dough as long as there are a lot of chunks

Hairstyle: straight and long

Books: Matilda and Roller Girl

Songs: natural by imagine dragons, if the world was ending, someone you loved

Movies: parent trap (the “newer” one with Lindsay Lohan)

Christmas movie: Elf

Place in the house: her bed

Color: periwinkle

Number: 13

Teacher: Daddy (piano!)

Sport: soccer and ballet, followed by basketball

Flavor of gum or mint: peppermint

Thing to do with Conor: play and cuddle (when he lets her!) and spinning on the chair (he always loves that)

Game: Life and Scattegories

Restaurant: Potbelly’s and Chipotle on the corner of Belden and Halsted and Bina Vita pizza in Enfield

Gemstone: blue zircon (Dec )

Subject: writing or reading if it’s free read. Or PE if it’s with Mom and Dad.

Things to do with me: baking and working out

Things to do with Dad: Piano and basketball

Thing to do with Elliott: wrestling

Other Fun Tidbits:

Trip taken: anytime we go to Chicago because it feels like home and good memories

Dream trip: Paris, France

States visited: 14 IN, CT, Ma, Vt, NH, NY, Wi, IL, PA, FL, OH, MI, Maine, AK (Thanks Grandma for remembering that last one!)

Countries visited: 2 (USA and Canada)

Stuffed animals on this trip: Fern the Fox, Yot, Mousy. (The last two are from when she was a baby. Fern was from Valentine’s Day a couple years ago)

Future baby names: Joy Noel, Tyler. Unless they are twins: Summer and Winter

Time she goes to bed: 10pm

Time to wake up: 730am on school days and 7:45am on weekends

Nicknames: Nat, Natbug, Naterpillar, My Girl, My chocolate chip, Spunky Star, Na-Na, Nat-eee, Nat-bu (drops the g). Those last three are from Conor.


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