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On Sunday Maya celebrated her 6th birthday by hosting a fun birthday bash for all her little friends at The Little Gym. Maya loves gymnastics and The Little Gym has become a sort of home away from home for us the past year, so having her birthday party there seemed like a fantastic idea. Plus, they do all the work which was a great added bonus!

The party was a blast. The girls had such an amazing time. It was so fun watching Maya interact with all her friends and enjoying being able to spend time with them just goofy off and having fun. She has made a lot of friends since moving here which has helped her feel very at home here in Seattle.

After playing their little hearts out in the gym the girls gathered in the party room for snacks and cake. The cake I ordered turned out beautifully and the girls loved it!

I still can’t believe she is 6! I’m glad she had a good birthday and got to spend a wonderful afternoon partying like a 6 year old with her friends :)

Last week we all boarded a plane and headed back to St. Louis to spend some time with some of our favorite people in the world. As much as we have loved living in Seattle so far it just doesn’t quite feel like home yet because a few people are missing from our day to day lives, our dearest and closest friends. Heading back to The Lou to see everyone was so refreshing.

We spent the week staying with my very dear friend, Heather, and her family. Thank you Heather! Maya got to play with her bestie Claire every day which made her happier than happy.

The week flew by way to fast. It was filled with fun moments with our dear friends and I could have spent at least another week and still not felt like I had enough time with everyone. I miss our friends in St. Louis so much. I’m glad we got to spend a little time reconnecting with them and just hanging out like old times. Watching Maya and Claire pick up right where they left off, like no time had passed at all made my heart smile.

Thank you to all our dear friends who made our trip back so much fun. We love all of you and miss you dearly. Can’t wait to see you all again, hopefully soon.

We are pretty lucky to be living in an area where we are surrounded by beauty on a daily basis. There are huge beautiful trees every where, mountains speckle the horizon and everything is green and lush. But, Sunday we headed to Mount Rainier National Park with some friends for a day of hiking and I found myself in quite possibly the most beautiful setting I have ever been in. It was seriously breathtaking.

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With the peak of Mt. Rainier soaring high above, lush green trees surrounding us and meadows filled with gorgeous wild flowers every where we looked there was something beautiful to see.

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We started our day by meeting up with our friends and enjoying a picnic lunch before hiking up to Paradise Lodge. The hike was beautiful with the path meandering through mountain meadows as it made its was up the side of a mountain a little bit. The lodge was in an incredible setting with absolutely stunning views of Mt. Rainier. Lorne and our friends headed up the mountain a little further while I stayed at the lodge with the girls. Maya killed the time climbing on some rocks.

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It was an amazing day surrounded by incredibly beauty.

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Our family is finally complete again, everyone if back home. Lorne got in Friday evening. With jetlag in full swing for him I wasn’t sure if we would end up doing anything for Independence Day. Luckily, he was up for heading out to a local park with some great friends for a few hours of 4th of July festivities and fireworks. We had an amazing evening celebrating Independence Day. We really couldn’t have asked for a better day.

This was Maya’s first experience with fireworks. She isn’t a fan of loud noises, but the girl adores all things sparkly and colorful, so I was hopeful she would love it. And, love it she did. She has already asked me no less than a dozen times today if we can go see fireworks again when it gets dark :)

Weather here in St. Louis at this time of year can often put a damper on celebrating anything outside. Hot and humid is often the forecast everyday, so although we crossed our fingers for not too hot temperatures, we didn’t hold our breath. How amazing was it to wake yesterday to a forecast that was calling for temperatures in the mid-eighties. Some rain the night before and the morning of the 4th resulted in actual pleasant temperatures, and even a breeze! We found a shady spot under some large trees and set up shop with some great friends. We ate a picnic dinner, watched the kiddos play and enjoyed great company while listening to live music and waiting with anticipation for the grand fireworks display.

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When the fireworks finally started everyone was super excited. The kiddos rocked their glow bracelets, necklaces and sticks. The display was amazing and the grand finale was so loud and crazy that Maya couldn’t help but giggle at all the noise and bright colors exploding over our heads. I tried out the fireworks setting on my camera and managed to get a couple of neat shots.

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Our 4th of July was so fun and we were so happy to share it with great friends. Hope you all had a great time celebrating the nation’s birthday with your family and friends.

Maddie

It has been 2 years.

2 years since a Mom and Dad lost the most amazing thing in their lives, their daughter.

2 years since the world lost the light and life of an incredible little girl.

2 years.

For 2 years we’ve been missing Madeline Spohr. We’ve been supporting her family in every way we can. Lifting them up when the weight of a world without her seems too much to bear.  2 years.

On this April day, 2 years ago, we said good-bye to Maddie.

On this April day we remember the beauty, light, love and strength beyond her years that was the Amazing Maddie.

We love you. We miss you. We will remember you always.

Please stop by Heather’s blog and let Heather, Mike and Annie know that you are thinking about them today.  They need love on this day.  Please consider making a donation today in memory of one truly awesome little girl.  Heather and Mike are raising money for the March of Dimes this year in preparation for walking in Maddie’s honor again this year or you can make a donation to the charity set up in Maddie’s name, Friends of Maddie.