Sweet Sixteen

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Anna Katherine turned sixteen on April 11th.  Which means my life has drastically changed.  The photo above explains it all.

While I used to have some hesitations about her driving, I soon realized, especially after this year being with the kids alone, that another driver could be handy.  And it really has been.  Of course I pray daily for her safety and for the other drivers on the road.  Any of us on the road are at risk.  But it has been a huge blessing having her now in a position to run herself to extracurricular activities.  I guess a Mom never stops worrying over her children, whether they’re just learning to walk, just learning to drive, or just leaving home for the first time.  Every stage brings on a new set of worries.  But I’m learning to embrace each stage and just enjoy it.

The teenage phase is not always the smoothest, but there are times I treasure.  And one of those times was a surprise overnight getaway with friends to celebrate her 16th.

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The girls arrived together at our house at 4:30, ran into AK’s room, and about scared her half to death.  She was packing a bag, thinking she and I were going to visit my cousin in Tennessee for the weekend.  Shannon was home and had taken the boys to visit his folks, so I had to come up with a story to get her to pack some clothes.  She fell for it.

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We all piled in the van to head to Birmingham for the night.  My sweet college friend, Jo Carol, came along with us.  Anna Katherine was just as thrilled to see “Jo Jo” as she was all her girlfriends.  And I was equally thrilled to have her company and to help chaperone six teenage girls.  They were all very sweet, but it’s always nice to have some extra supervision.

I wish I had some photos of the inside of the van before they loaded up.  I taped old photos of Anna Katherine all over the inside windows.

The girls wore some fun birthday buttons with a photo of AK that was taken at a dance recital when she was four.  And I promise that feels like it was yesterday.

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They also had some snacks on the two-hour drive and used these fun drink huggies for their Cokes and Dr. Peppers.

 

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One of the girls brought AK a Frappuccino in a Starbucks tumbler to enjoy on the trip.  They obviously know her well.

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After checking in at the hotel, the girls changed clothes for dinner, and we drove around the corner to The Cheesecake Factory.

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It was already 8:00 at this point, but we still had to wait about an hour.  Seems like every high schooler in the area had prom that night, and they chose that particular restaurant to take their dates.

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Once we were all stuffed on pasta, the waiters came out and delivered a heavenly slice of cheesecake to Anna Katherine while singing to her.  The other girls ordered dessert to go, since everyone was too full to eat another bite.

It was late when we got back to our hotel, which was a good thing.  They all put on their p.j.’s quickly.  Jo Carol and I stayed in the next room, and I checked on the crew a couple of times early on.  But they were calm and exhausted.  The pasta dinner was an excellent choice.

The next morning, we all slept in.  They had the continental breakfast at the hotel, and then we went shopping and had lunch at The Summit.  And  I was most delighted when they asked to make a stop at Target. These girls speak my love language.

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We made it back home that evening all in one piece.  No injuries.  No drama.  It was a great trip and such a sweet group of girls.

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Anna Katherine!  We love you so much, and we wish for you a year of much joy and happiness.  Hope you continue to easily make new friends wherever you go.  I know this next year will be a huge adjustment as we move, and I admire the way you are embracing it as an adventure.

One Comment

  1. Posted 05/20/2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Such a special day for AK. Praying for all of you as you make this big transition!! We will miss seeing you and your family!!