celebrating 8.

A few weeks ago after a 10 hour day photographing Huntsville’s cutest families, I drove home, changed out of my grass stained clothes and picked up Huntsville’s cutest eight year olds for a wild night on the town. We headed to a swank hotel (courtesy of a door prize at a local triathlon) and checked in.

Now. If you’ve never had the unique experience of taking three pre-tween girls (is that a thing?) on an epic sleepover adventure I have to take a minute to tell you just how much you are missing out. I was dog tired when I picked each of these girls up. My feet hurt, my legs ached and my head threatened to start throbbing at any moment. But the minute we walked into that room I was a brand new women.

Because you guys, this.

The level of excitement over every.single.item in that hotel room was off the chain.

The mirror!The wi-fi!

The spinning chair!

The leather boots!

(oh wait, that was just me being lazy. But man, I do love my well-worn boots.)

The shower door!

The…wait for it…


Seriously, it was all just too much. I thought my heart might explode.

Sarah had been planning her magical night for a good two months and had decided weeks before that nail polish would be a great party favor. So we bundled up and walked down to Ulta before dinner. As soon as we walked into the makeup megastore Sarah announced, “Wow! This is my dream land!” (Which she has also exclaimed on occasion about Michael’s. So apparently our girl dreams in body glitter and hot glue.)

Betsy really wanted to ride the carousel so we also stopped there on our way to our 7:30 dinner reservation. And I was pretty happy to get the one shot of the evening with me and all three girlies (although just barely)…

Then it was dinner time at the Melting Pot. (Cue Brittany from Glee’s “Fondue for Two” theme song.)  The girls spent a little time pre-meal working through the children’s menu entertainment. And then it was time for the good stuff. I opted for us to just do cheese and chocolate because I knew the girls wouldn’t have the patience (or prowess) to cook their own meat. It was a good call. 

But they devoured that cheese like they hadn’t eaten a meal in days. And frankly, so did I.

And then the chocolate an fixins arrived. And this pretty much sums that experience up…

Our waiter was amazing and so patient with the girls. When he came out with this personalized chocolate dipped strawberry I vowed for the first time ever to complete one of those customer satisfaction surveys when I got home. And it may have taken me a week or two but I did it. Because look…

After dinner I can’t really tell you much about what happened. Because I passed out pretty much the minute we got back to the room. But I’m sure it was all fine because in the morning I still had three girls. That’s all that matters, right?

They threw on some clothes and headed out for breakfast at Panera.

Not before posing just a bit first though. (Hey, it’s a prerequisite for their generation.)

Once at the restaurant I tucked them in to the corner booth and then grabbed a spot with a birds eye view from across the room. This delighted them. Which would have hurt my feelings had I not once been an eight-year-old girl too, desperate for my own smidgeon of independence.

Back at the hotel they humored me for one more shot as they headed inside.

But not without fawning over the masterpiece that is the revolving door. (!!!)

And as we walked out of the room for the last time, I noticed that those sweet girls were so enamored with their experience that they felt compelled to leave their own customer satisfaction survey (of sorts)…

And I can’t argue with a word of it.

Jessica WNovember 26, 2013 - 7:06 am

What fun! Our 8 year old also wanted a sleepover party for her birthday in Oct. We opted for one at home, but heard many murmurs of ‘best sleepover ever!’

dawnNovember 26, 2013 - 7:06 am

Those girls!! i know they had loads of fun, thanks for sharing:-)

AddieNovember 26, 2013 - 11:37 am

Looks like so much fun! Great pictures!

SandraANovember 26, 2013 - 12:07 pm

What great fun! They are sure to talk about their adventure for quite some time.

Heather MayberryNovember 26, 2013 - 3:20 pm

You were brave! That looks like the ultimate 8 year old birthday party! I’m sure those very stylish girls will never forget that experience.

JenniferNovember 28, 2013 - 2:22 pm

Wow, talk about the best mom ever! What an amazingly fun thing to do. 🙂

NiccoleDecember 11, 2013 - 1:57 pm

A “wild night” on the town with the cutest 8 yr olds sounds like fun. These pictures look amazing!

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