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Heaven help us all. There is a teenager in the house. This past weekend we celebrated our daughter's 13th birthday. Eden is now officially considered a "real" teenager as evidenced by the fact that the number 13 ends in the word "teen".

However as a lowly 12-year old I did notice some signs of this impending age. First how the pendulum swung from child to adult back to child in a blink of an eye. Then how Terry and I are slowly (but surely) becoming not-quite-so-cool parents. Not to mention how the bathroom is becoming a permanent place of residence.

I do try to slow the wheels of progress. But the kid is too smart. The internet isn't helping. When I try to slow the advent of eyebrow plucking, leg shaving, and make-up wearing, she googles how-to videos. Then proceeds to explain to me how I AM doing it all wrong!

But I can't imagine life any other way. Terry and I were married for 17 years before Eden made her debut. She took our breath away. All parents are positive their kid is extra special. We are no different. Eden brought laughter and love into our relationship that can only come from a child. I will never forget when she was three-years old, Terry asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She looked at her dad full of exasperation. "Daddy," she exclaimed. "I don't even know what I want to be for Halloween!"

So to celebrate the beginning of her teenage years, we took Eden and her friend, Paige, to Madison, Wisconsin. We toured the state capital. It is a gorgeous building. I can now tell you that the female statue on top of the capital is named "Wisconsin" and she appears frequently in paintings throughout the building. Plus, if you want to know how the capital was named, it was because the citizens of Wisconsin were so enamored of our fourth president, James Madison, they named the city for him.

Plus we toured the Wisconsin Historical Museum before wandering over the Cat Cafe Mad. This was definitely the hit. The cafe serves coffee and refreshments while customers can sip and chat with cats everywhere. They are sacked out on couches, crammed into baskets, and wandering the hallways. The girls were thrilled with the live furry entertainment. The cats are available for adoption, but we did manage to leave without a new family member.

Then just to make things really interesting, at 2:00 a.m., a guest returning to the hotel from the bars decided to pull the outside fire alarm. Apparently the guest couldn't find his or her room card and decided to cut to the chase. Everyone was evacuated. We trooped down ten flights of stairs only to hit the bottom and find out it was all clear.


So Happy 13th Birthday Eden Malone Wettstone Swails!

We love you.

Mom and Dad

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