An American Girl Birthday

Last weekend Breeley turned 6! 

The 6th birthday at our house is when the girls get an American Girl doll. (Something my girls have to have because I never got to have one so I will make sure my girls get one! My parents didn’t love me. ?)

Breeley had already decided, by looking at the store before and in the catalog beforehand, that she wanted Mary Ellen. So she was set to go!  

She woke up to balloons (tradition at our house) and donuts. She actually didn’t have a lot of time because we also had the girls dance pictures that morning (which explains why they both have on a ton of makeup!). So after we finished up her photo shoot she changed into her new dress she had picked out and we went for shopping and lunch at the bistro. 

After lunch we took Alyse to her pictures and then headed home for another birthday celebration with family. 

Breeley had requested a party with her new doll and lots of flowers. (Actually she had like 10 decor ideas – Frozen, Descendants, Makeup/Fashion show… I had to tell her we were sticking just with American Girl.) 

I had picked up some little party favors at Micheal’s for the dolls so I decided that would be our colors. When at Target I found some more party supplies in the same colors so I kinda mixed and matched from the dollar section, the party section, and house decor. 

(I still haven’t taken the battery operated garden lights down yet.)

On Friday’s Uptown on the corner of Trade and Tryon they have a flower vendor. I asked Josh to go get me a bunch of flowers to decorate with and to put on her cake. 

The candelabra and sparkle candles are also from Target. 

I brought a small table down from the play room and made a little table for the dolls. The guest were Alyse’s Caroline and Samantha dolls, Cammie’s Bitty Baby and Layla (Breeley’s Next Generation doll from Target.) I also made a little cake just for their table. 

Breeley loved her party! 

Watch her celebration on our YouTube channel 

NC to DC 

A few weeks ago we packed up the car and took a trip to Washington DC.

On the way we made a side trip to Williamsburg.

We toured the church, trade shops, the Governor’s Mansion, the court house, the jail, and walked around the historical area.

There were many portraits of Queen Charlotte. The girls told everyone that we were from Charlotte.

I was really proud of how my girls walked around (there was a lot of walking!) and sat through all the presentations. They were very good.

Their favorite part of the day was playing in the maze that is behind the Governor’s Mansion.

Later in the afternoon, we got back in the car and headed the rest of the way to DC. We actually stayed in Old Town Alexandria at the Hotel Monaco. We did a little walking around Old Town and then had dinner at La Madeleine. We took the girls swimming and then went to bed to get rested for our first day in DC.
The girls were excited to ride the metro (which they kept calling the monorail).

Once we got off at the Smithsonian stop we decided to first walk the Mall and see some monuments.

The Washington Monument:

The White House:

We stopped at the Reflecting Pool to feed the ducks.

Breeley took her shoes off for a minute as we were standing there. As we were getting ready to walk away she was slipping her shoes back on and somehow tripped and fell into the Reflecting Pool. She jumped out as fast as she could and started crying. She thought she was going to get in trouble.  She was also freaking out cause the water was so dirty.   Josh and I just had to laugh. It’s very shallow and she had her shoes off so really all that was wet was her leg.

After drying her off we finished our walk to the Lincoln Memorial.

Then we headed to my favorite – the National Museum of National History.

We stopped for lunch at the cafeteria. We had hoped to just grab something at a food truck but didn’t see any. The cafeteria was pretty expensive…

Then we headed around the museum. I was excited to show the girls the First Ladies Dresses. It was always one of my favorite exhibits.

Alyse loved looking at and reading everything she could. Breeley… She was much quicker to get done and ready to move to the next thing.

Cammie missed a lot of it cause she was exhausted by all the fun we had earlier.

We saw Abraham Lincoln’s top hat:

Visited with Elmo:

Saw Dorothy’s ruby slippers.

And Julia Child’s kitchen.

The girls loved playing with these electronic paper dolls.

We stayed until the museum closed and then headed back to the hotel.

We went out to dinner at Chadwick’s and did some more walking around Old Town.

The next morning we met Josh’s sister for breakfast at Jackson 20 and then headed to Mount Vernon. (Not a lot of photography was allowed.)

After eating lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn restaurant we went on a short cruise on the Potomac River.

That night we went to go see some family friends that I have known for 20some years.  It was so fun to hang out with the Sheets family and catch up!

Here is an example of one of the many reasons I love my husband – every night he was the one who slept on the roll away bed.  Cammie was supposed to sleep on it, but she wanted to sleep in bed with me.  So he gave up the comfy bed to sleep on the little bed with his feet sticking out over the edge.  He’s the best.

Our final day we headed back into the city.  We first went to the Air and Space Museum (which was packed!).  We walked around very quickly but made sure we saw the Wright Brother’s plane and looked at some space stuff too.

Finally we headed over to the National Museum of Natural History.

Again we ate at the (expensive) cafeteria and it was so busy.  We walked around and saw dinosaurs, butterflies, mummies, and their favorite part- the minerals and gems.

(Breeley had to take some time to put on some of my lipstick.)

When the museum closed we walked a few blocks to Poste to meet Josh’s sister again.  It was an excellent meal and a great ending of our time in DC.  We rode the metro back to our hotel and started to pack up and get ready for our trip back home the next day.

We really had such a great time!  We saw a lot and I really think the girls loved learning about a lot of things we have been learning about in school.  I know we will go back when they are older, especially since there is so much more that we did not get to do and see.

I did make YouTube videos of our trip.  Make sure you check them out!

NC to DC 1) The Road Trip

NC to DC 2)Colonial Williamsburg

NC to DC 3) Old Time Alexandria and DC day 1

NC to DC 4) Mount Vernon and Back to DC

Saddled Up To Celebrate


Alyse Nicole is now nine years old.  (9! I am kinda hurting that this is her last year in single digits.)

Her birthday was Monday and we celebrated her birthday and her love for horses.

We don’t really throw birthday parties for our girls.  We do celebrate, decorate, and have a lot of fun, but it is usually just our family.  We often go on a trip, but this year Alyse started riding lessons for her birthday.  She loves horses and this was a dream come true for her.  More on all that later.

When the girls wake up in the morning there is always balloons all over their room and then they come down to the kitchen all decorated in whatever theme they pick.  Of course, Alyse picked horses.

Birthday table

A lot of the styles I saw were very “cowboy/western”.  I didn’t really want that.  So I was really happy when I found this set of supplies from Birthday Direct.

Birthday 2.jpg

Other supplies were from Oriental Trading Company (the large horses on the wall) and Hobby Lobby (additional paper supplies and tissue paper pom poms).

Alyse loved it all.  Her favorite was the horse on the table.  Josh and I found it at an antique store.  It is an older American Girl horse that we paid $30 for.

She also loved her balloons.

The cake is always a big deal to her. (More on that in another upcoming post.)


She had requested a donut date with Daddy for her breakfast.  After that we headed to the mall to visit some of her favorite stores and Chey’s for lunch.


Soon it was time to head to the stables.

Josh and I had called a number of places and I was getting nervous because all she really wanted was to ride a horse on her birthday.  Finally the day before we found an opening  on her birthday!  She could hardly contain her excitement.

When she finally met Grey she was ready to get to work and get to riding.  She learned all about how to care and prepare for her horse.  She was full of questions and comments.

  She was totally in her happy place.

I don’t think she stopped smiling the whole time.  As we were walking back to the car she kept hugging Josh and I and telling us thank you over and over.  It really was a very happy birthday.