A birthday surprise!

Maia turned eight yesterday! As birthdays go, this one seemed pretty special, but then I guess they all do.

Here are a few photos from the day and the weekend…


Maia cooked and decorated her own birthday cake (with a little help), as she did last year, this time opting for a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, strawberries, and chocolate embellishments.

The chocolate butterfly is an idea I found via Pinterest (except we did it free hand with bittersweet chocolate on parchment paper). We had extra chocolate so made some more flowers, little butterflies, and hearts.


Maia’s friend Marlise visited from out of town and she and Maia painted Daphne’s face.


Then asked me to paint theirs.


Maia requested brownie pops as a birthday treat to bring in to her class, after seeing them over my shoulder on my Pinterest party board.


The combination of sugar and birthday excitement made Maia leap and jump with just a tad bit more energy than usual.


(Despite all the calm-looking photos I usually post, this is actually fairly normal energy level for her.)


Once she settled down, she opened the big box I had waiting for her after school.


It was a box of balloons, yet another idea found via Pinterest.


Instead of taping the bouquet of helium balloons to the bottom of the box, though, I tied them around a star suncatcher I made for Maia.

(Maia is named after the Greek goddess Maia, one of the seven sisters who were transformed into the Pleiades star cluster.)


Of course the big box was just as much of a hit as the balloons.


Happy birthday Maia darling! You are such a bright star in my life!

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  • Reply
    Sarah m
    August 28, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I love all the little details, Jean, including Maia’s beautiful birthday cake! What a treat to get to decorate your own cake. Happy Birthday to Maia!
    Sarah M

  • Reply
    Catherine Phipps
    August 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Happy Birthday Maia!!!!! Can’t believe how grown up she is looking!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    That is so sweet! I love the balloon idea, especially with the suncatcher. It’s so amazing to see how she has grown after reading your blog for 4 years now. Congrats on raising such a lovely little girl :)

  • Reply
    gidgets bookworms
    August 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    happy birthday Maia, what a wonderful birthday and myth for a pretty name and girl.
    Her energy level is the same as my almost 8 year old girl :)
    My oldest turns 13 Friday! 13 I can’t believe it.
    Hope she has a wonderful year.

  • Reply
    Heather Collins
    August 28, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Beautiful post. Happy Birthday Maia! I love the idea of the box of balloons :)

  • Reply
    August 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday to Maia! I love her cake and the balloon surprise. My eldest turned 8 in June; it’s a very sweet age.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Hi Jean, what an awesome birthday, love your photos. Thank you so much for sharing your joy, your blog always makes me happy. Anjali xxx

  • Reply
    Tamara Balderas
    August 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Oh, Jean! Eight?! What a Beautiful Birthday! Happy Birthday, Maia! :)

  • Reply
    September 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Happy Birthday (belated) Maia! We’ve been out of the loop for a couple of weeks here but wishing you the very best now and always. xo

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