Best Birthday Date Ever (Promised Pictures for G & G Owen)

For the last three or four years, John has taken every child on a special birthday date, during which they eat good food, do something fun, and generally just enjoy each other's company. It's the perfect gift for children who admire and adore their Papa, to have a time set apart for just the two of them.

This year, knowing Annika's love of running, he gave her the option of running in her first race for her date.  She leapt on it, of course!  The Sloppy Fool trail run seemed tailor-made for our little Fool-- a 4-mile race (a bit more this year, due to extra-muddy conditions on the normal trail), winding up hills and through woods.

It's a few hours away, so they drove there the night before and stayed at a friend's house.  He was kind enough to take these pictures for Annika to share.  Thanks, Jason!

Look at her big grin at the start of the race.  :)

She chatted with this boy during the race, and he ended up coming in first for his age division and fifth overall (Annika came in first for her age division and fifth in the women).  I told her next time she should just tail him and get sixth overall!

And, here, at the finish line, another big grin.

Sloppy fool...

After the race, they went out to eat with Jason and his wife Amy, at a restaurant where they serve pancakes bigger than a big person's head.  (They got souvlaki, though.)

As a bonus, Annika found a beautiful climbing tree in Jason's yard.  Early that morning, his neighbor saw Annika climbing the tree and took pictures of her out the window.  Then she called her husband over to see, and he came out to chat, expressing his pleasure that someone was climbing the tree. Some trees just need to be climbed. :)  John took these pictures later that afternoon so we could see its glory, too.

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