It's also scary seeing how grown up she's becoming. Overall, the last couple of years have been amazing, and I expect 9 will be a really cool age as well. It's the honeymoon period of child-rearing. The kids are old enough to do most things on their own, yet young enough to still think you're cool. Let's face it...those days will be numbered, so I'm enjoying it while I can!
The birthday party was great fun! My daughter had 7 friends at a bowling party. She did a pretty good job mingling and making sure everyone was having fun. Her friends obviously care about her very much, and it was nice to see her surrounded by good friends.