4 years ago I was in Orem, Utah giving birth to our first child. Fast forward 4 years later and we are singing "Happy Birthday" to our same baby girl in London! Amazing what can happen in such a short amount of time.
Since we already celebrated Marisa's birthday with friends and with family before we came here it was funny to see Marisa's reaction when she woke up and I said,
"Marisa today is your real birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
"Yes, it is April 17th!"
hahaha I guess she was over it?? But as the day progressed she got a litle more excited. Especially when we pulled out the pink cupcakes she picked out for her special day. It is fun for Tim and I every so often today to ask, "Marisa how old are you?" And she just smiles real big and says, "Four!"
This morning we got ready to venture out and travel to church and go to the ward that will be our own ward. Today was also the London Marathon and it started in Blackheath, which is basically where we will be living and where church is, so we weren't quite sure how that was going to pan out with the trains and everything. Also, the route for the marathon literally went right past our windows here in our temporary apartment in Canary Wharf. We got to see the leading ladies run past. Here is a pic of the leading pack from our window in the living room.
The girls thought it was so neat.
Church was great of course. It is so comforting in so many ways to know that the church is the same all over the world. It is also comforting to know that we have a built in support system where ever we go.
We were instantly, warmly, welcomed and the help and advice came pouring in without even asking. There is a small group of young families with kids all under 4, (perfect), that welcomed me into their circle already, and a couple of the women are actually American but their husbands are English so that is why they live here. Cool!
Because expats come and go quite often in the ward they told me not to buy ANYTHING because they have a ton of stuff that just rotates from one expat family to another. One sister said, "Just make a list of what you need and we will get it for you." Great! AND they are already going to set me up with getting things in and ready for schools for Marisa. A HUGE help because that is a big hassle here. Not easy like the states. I mean, really, what. a. blessing.
Coming back from church in Canary Wharf was also fun because the rest of the runners were now coming down our street.
We saw a tiger, a rhino, a star, spider-man, and many, many other odd costumes running in the marathon. Why would you run a marathon with extra baggage on your back, anyway?
If you walk down and out of our building this is how close I am to the street.
At home, Marisa grabbed her birthday card that plays music from Papi and Nana and held it by the window so the runners can listen to it while running. How thoughtful. ;) Do you think they heard it 20 floors up?
We then sang "Happy Birthday" to Marisa and celebrated by eating pink, (of course), cupcakes.
I can't help but reflect for a moment on Marisa on this special day of hers and mine. When she was turning 3 I had a hard time accept it. I told her she can stop growing and be 3 forever. It is unevitable though that our children grow so quickly contrary to our desires. Marisa is growing up to be such a fun, sensitive, sweet-natured little lady and it is so neat to see her blossom intellectualy and spiritually.
It has been such an honour and privilege to be your mother, Marisa. You are such a blessing to Mommy and Daddy and we are so lucky to have you in our family. Thank you for being an amazing daughter and teaching us to be better people and parents with your sweet spirit. May you always know that you are a special daughter to us and to your Father in Heaven. Thank you for reminding me to love my divine role here on earth as a woman and as a Mother. I love you!