I’m still on a high from Annika’s amazing birthday weekend! On Sunday, Paprika turned 9 years old – and the reality that this is “half-time” for her childhood was not lost on me. 🙂 We made so many wonderful memories this weekend – I can’t wait to share them with you. The way it all came together was nothing short of incredible!
On Saturday, Paprika and Mr. M had a Daddy/Daughter Date that made Paprika’s dreams come true. You all know that Paprika LOVES mermaids and wants to be one more than anything in the whole world.
Paprika as a two year old mermaid:
Do you remember when Paprika was on swim team and she would sit at the bottom of the pool during practice and talk to mermaids while everyone else swam laps?
Paprika age 5 at Swim Team Practice:
Or when she was in Kindergarten, they asked everyone what they wanted to be when they grew up. Paprika said she wanted to run into the sea and live with the mermaids!
Well, not much has changed…
Awhile ago, Paprika found this amazing real mermaid on YouTube. Her name is Mermaid Linden and she does awesome videos for kids. Paprika loves watching Mermaid Linden and her BIG dream was to meet her one day.
I never in a million years thought Paprika would get to meet her – I just didn’t know how to make that happen. I knew Paprika wanted to swim with a real mermaid more than anything in the whole world, and I was so frustrated that I couldn’t make that happen for her. Late last week – with Paprika’s birthday just days away – I asked God (literally) to help me find a way to make Paprika’s mermaid dreams come true. I didn’t know how it was going to happen – I just prayed with all my heart that it would.
I kid you not, 3 hours later, I got a Facebook notification that THE Mermaid Linden was going to be swimming in our town for FREE with kids, the day before Paprika’s birthday! What are the chances?!!!
We made a plan to wake Paprika up early on Saturday morning and surprise her. We KNEW if we told her, she would not sleep a wink the night before out of sheer excitement, plus we weren’t sure if it would work out. What if there were too many people and we got turned away? The heartbreak would have been too much.
The day of the event, Mr. M and Paprika arrived at 8am (an hour before the event started) and they were the first in line. I stayed home with the little girls because we wanted this to be something special JUST for Paprika since it was her BIG birthday wish:
First In Line!:
The crowd grew bigger and bigger, and Paprika wondered if she’d really get to see Mermaid Linden:
Then, it was time! Paprika meeting Mermaid Linden! She was as magical, gracious, beautiful, and kind as Paprika imagined she’d be:
Paprika even got her autograph!
Next, Mermaid Linden went over to the pool…
And guess who got to swim with her?!!! Yes – Paprika got to swim with her not once, but twice! 🙂 She swam with her in the morning, then went home and had lunch, drew her a picture, and went back in the afternoon to swim with her AGAIN.
Here are some pictures from their swims together!!! 🙂
Paprika got to try out a Body Glove Mermaid Linden Monofin, to practice swimming like a real mermaid! 🙂 She is hooked – she’ll probably never swim two-footed again. Haha!
She loved every minute of her special time with Mermaid Linden!:
What can I say?! Dreams really do come true! 🙂
Paprika’s drawing she gave to Mermaid Linden:
This day was the highlight of Paprika’s YEAR. She’s been walking on a cloud since Saturday. When Paprika came home, she wrote her own blog post on her blog (Fairy Girl’s Magical Blog) – because she was so inspired by meeting Mermaid Linden. She said she wanted to make sure the ocean stays healthy and beautiful for all sea creatures, including mermaids, of course!
If you have a little Mermaid or Merman lover in your life, make sure to check out Mermaid Linden’s YouTube Series – and also, you can add her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When I showed Paprika the birthday messages Mermaid Linden wrote to her on Facebook and Instagram, Paprika said: I bet she has a waterproof laptop in her grotto. (Because, of course, she does! Ha!)
Mermaid Linden is coming out with a brand new Season 2 of her show, Mermaid Minute! She also has some beautiful videos she’s made for very sick children- a little boy named Marcus in the United States and one sweet girl, Lauren, in Scotland.
I’ll be back tomorrow to write about Part 2 of Paprika’s Birthday Weekend – It was truly magical! I felt like I was walking on a cloud all weekend – or maybe, swimming in a magical lagoon would be more appropriate! 🙂