When I asked her what she wanted for her EIGHTH BIRTHDAY, she said,"Just surprise me, Mum." So I did. She knew that she'd get breakfast in bed on her birthday morning which is standard at our home. Then daddy surprised her with flowers and lunch at school. Mummy surprised her with a birthday manicure after school and she got birthday presents...all a surprise. She was a happy girl.

However, she didn't know that I had something fun up my sleeve. On the weekend after her birthday, I'd invited a few of her girlfriends to the amazing Secret Garden Tea Room and Gift Shop where Ruby had been before and loved it! She thought she was going on a birthday date with Oma and was guessing that they'd end up at Puerto Vallarta for Mexican food. They left a few minutes before I did and went to the Supermall so Ruby could blow some of her birthday money at Claire'e, the desire of many eight -year-old girls' hearts!

I was so delighted that she didn't seem to have a clue.

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I hopped down to the tea room in Sumner and soon pretty girls all dressed to the nines began arriving, full of smiles and twirling their skirts. I took portraits of each of them in front of the gorgeous rose bushes. I was so happy.

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We went inside and they began to work on a "Ruby Quiz" while they were waiting.

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Then I alerted them that Ruby was arriving. She had told my mum that she wanted to be blindfolded and surprised at where they ended up.

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The girls all dashed to the window for a peek and then back to their seats.

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Love those faces of anticipation...what sweethearts!

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That shocked face was so gratifying!

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She was absolutely floored and totally delighted.

When I walked in my mouth was gaping. I was totally surprised because I didn't know where I was going. Everyone was shouting, "Surprise" at me and I saw the decorated table. It was awesome.

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Here are some of my girlfriends and my mum who basically did all the work while I ran around taking pictures.

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The girls placed their drink orders. Most got hot chocolate but not Abby who knows how to drink tea with an English dad.

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They were girly and silly and goofing around. The sugar helped to escalate the giggles.

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Pinkies up!

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She was lapping up the love.

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The chicken soup and dumplings were all eaten, the scones slathered with cream and lemon curd and then these plates of goodies arrived. Those dainty girls put a mighty dent into all the wonderful treats. The teahouse is so lovely, service was excellent and the food is positively divine. At the end, the girls begged for a tour so I took them on a quick walk through the downstairs and the gasps of delight were too cute. What a blessing to have such a beautiful place for the party! Thank you Beth and Mark for such an amazing party!

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I'd say she was pleased. It's good to be loved.

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Sweet and fun...just everything that little friends should be.

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A lot of my life is filled with cars and legos with Captain America and Mr. Potato Head and I love it. I am glad that I also get to experience a whole lot of sugar and spice and everything nice too!

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