Category Archives: Birthdays

Happy 6th Birthday, Rachel!

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Rachel,

Today we celebrated your 6th birthday! I found myself at different points during the day thinking back to the day you were born and every time I found myself amazed at how quickly time has gone by.  You are, without a doubt, everything we could ever ask for and more.  You are kind, sweet, smart, funny and driven! You love to learn new things and are always, always, always asking questions.  I know that drive to learn will take you far in life.  You are thoughtful and giving, but also shy in certain situations.  I am so thankful that you have a heart that sees the best in people at all times.  You wonder about injustices in a way that makes me wonder about them too in a deeper sort of way.

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This year you held a lemonade stand to benefit our local blessing box that offers food to people who need it.  You came up with this idea all on your own one day after we had dropped off food at the box.  You asked why we took food there and I explained to you that sometimes people just don’t have enough food to eat.  We had a long conversation, in an age appropriate way, about why that might be and what kinds of things can happen in life to make it so that someone doesn’t have enough food.  What I’ll never forget from that conversation is how your mind was processing through the fact that some people’s basic needs are not met and you were “with-it” enough to know that you could help.  When you asked to have a lemonade stand to help I felt such immense pride knowing that you “got” the gist of the conversation.  You knew that it didn’t so much matter the “how’s” or the “why’s” of  what lead people to struggle, all that mattered was that you had the power to help make things a little better.  Taking initiative is such an important step in life, Rachel.  I know that you will go far if you always listen to your heart and look for ways to show people what God’s love is like.  IMG_2627IMG_0104

You raised nearly $100 from your lemonade stand and we filled up an entire grocery cart full of items to put in the blessing box! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too small to do anything to help! You can do anything you set your mind to.

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This year you started school and boy are we ever proud of you! The first day of school I thought there might be tears getting on the bus, but you hopped on that bus so fast and sat down in your seat to wave good-bye and before I even knew it the bus was headed up the street to take you to school.  You are reading and writing like nobody’s business these days.  We find little post-it notes of yours around the house everywhere.

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Still one of your favorite things is playing with Jake and playing on the beach.  Here you both are chasing the birds at the beach.  I’m amazed at how you always see the good in people, even when your brother can be a little bit, um, punchy–shall we say? He can be a handful, but he is A TON of fun! You always tell people that he’s “just a teensy bit wild!”

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Of course, since it’s Christmas time I have noticed that you have not waivered from your viewpoint of his standing on the “Nice List.”  “OF COURSE he’s on the nice list,” you always say.  You are the absolute best big sister.  Sometimes you even help me put Jake to sleep by rubbing his back.  He loves you so much too!

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Rachel, we thank God for you every day.  We know that you are bound to do great things in this world and we can’t wait to see what amazing things are in store for you.  You told me earlier that you think you were put on earth to “help people,” and I don’t mean to sound corny here but it makes me misty-eyed because I feel like you really get what life is all about.  Thank you for reminding us that we are called to love and serve in any way we can, even if (and especially when) we don’t understand.

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Happy 6th Birthday, sweet Rachel! I love you to the moon and back and forever and always.  You are everything we hoped and prayed you would be and more.

I love you.

Love,

Mommy

Happy 4th Birthday, Jake!

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Jake,

Happy Birthday to you! You are so excited to be four and you have been reminding us all day today that you are “a big guy now.”  We are so proud of you and feel so lucky to watch you learn and grow every day.  You are fun, and exciting and challenging and spirited and a great big ball of energy all rolled into one.

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You remind us that life doesn’t have to fit inside the perfect cookie cutter box and that when there’s a will, there’s a way! Your excitement for life and adventure reminds us that it is important to slow down and appreciate life.  You remind us all the time that we don’t have the answers, and that it’s ok not to have those answers.

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Thank you for reminding us not to take life too seriously. Every day is an adventure, every day is a gift and every day has something exciting to offer. 

Thank you for showing us the beauty of individuality and for sharing your zest for life.  Thank you for being exactly what this family needs–even if we don’t always know it.  You are a gift, you are delight and we are so thankful for the day you were born.  We love you and are so very proud of you.

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Keep smiling, keep learning and keep questioning.  I can’t wait to see where life takes us.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever.  Happy birthday, little guy.

 

Love always,

Mommy

Happy 5th Birthday, Rachel!

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My sweet Rachel,

Happy 5th Birthday!  It’s hard to believe that five years has flown by in the blink of an eye! It seems like just yesterday that we found out we were pregnant with you and now here we are–5 years later. Wow! 5 years of sharing our lives with you and you sharing your life with us.  Five years of snuggles and hugs and love.  You, my dear one, are the embodiment of the innocence of childhood. You are tenderhearted and thoughtful.  The way you talk to people and interact with those around you makes them feel like you really “see” them for who they are.  Several of your teachers and many of our friends have told us how special you are, and that they feel like when you talk to them, you are really talking to them and seeing them for who they are.  That is uncommon, especially for someone so young.

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Yesterday when you woke up on your birthday, there was snow on the ground! How exciting! You were so happy to see snow and patiently asked if we could go for a walk in it.  Out on our walk you told me that you thought it was really nice that God gave you snow on your birthday, and that “he must really, really know what my heart really wants.” Often times you’ll say things like this that makes me pause and reflect on what is happening in my life.  Jesus tells us we should be more like the children, and you remind me of that verse often just by being you.  You are sweet, sensitive and kind, and open and accepting.  You don’t notice if anyone is different, and in fact, you know that we are all different–and that is ok with you! You are patient and eager to learn.  You see the best in people and hope for the best in situations.  You trust and just know that everything is always going to be ok.  You might not think that a 5 year old could have all of these qualities, but you are proof that that is not true!img_2483

Out of all of your special qualities, I feel like you need to know how much I love watching you grow into your role as a sister. You are an amazing big sister.  You are so patient and kind to Jake each and every day.  He is a big huge ball of energy and often times we tell you that he is still learning how to behave, but you always take it in stride.  Thank you for being such a wonderful big sister and taking it upon yourself to try to encourage Jake by showing him “how to be good” (you have always been a pleaser!), you make us proud every day!

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For your birthday this year we took another trip to the American Girl store and let you pick out an outfit for Polka Dot, your favorite Bitty Baby.  You take Polka Dot with you everywhere and I have a feeling that Polka Dot is going to be around for a long time to come.  I love seeing glimpses of the Mommy I hope you will become some day when you play with Polka Dot.  You are so, so sweet with babies–real or not!

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One thing  is for sure, my girl.  Your Daddy, Jakie and I are so very lucky and blessed to have you as a part of our lives.  You might feel like we are teaching you and helping you grow into a better person, but in truth you are the one who is teaching us and helping us to become better people too.  Thank you for showing us that there is living proof that goodness and kindness can prevail in this world.  The world is a better and brighter place with you in it.

 

I love you forever, to the moon and back until the end of time.

 

Love always,

Mommy

xoxox

Happy Birthday, Jake!

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Happy birthday to our lovable, energetic, wild and super sweet baby Jake! Life in your eyes is like one big party.   From the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep–you never, ever, EVER stop moving. Ever.  You love to play with trucks and cars and have recently started loving anything and everything Star Wars.  IMG_9596

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Earlier today when I asked you what you wanted to do, you said “Dump water on something.”  That pretty much sums up what life with you is like.  It’s expecting the unexpected, looking for fun in every situation and not being afraid to bring a little bit (or a lot) of love and laughter to each moment.  Some times your Dad and I feel like we’re not sure where exactly all of your spunk and energy came from, but we know that we are blessed to be your parents and so lucky to have you as a part of our family.

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You play hard and you love hard, and for all these things and more we will be forever grateful that you are our boy.  I can’t wait to see where life takes you, or more appropriately in your case, where you are going to take your life.  Thank you for reminding us that beauty and fun can be found all around us.  From chasing a falling leaf, or clapping for motorcycles passing by, or when you’re just looking for something to “dump some water on,” you always show us that there is good and happiness just waiting to be found in this world.

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I love you to the moon and back.  More than you could ever know.

 

Love always,

Mommy

A Weekend to Remember

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Rachelweekend2-7Rachel,

The weekend before your fourth birthday was a fun one! We celebrated your birthday with a party at Monkey Joes! You loved bouncing around on the different bounce houses, as long as they did not include a slide! You said that you felt like the slides were just a little bit too high for you and that you would just rather jump than slide.  Go right ahead, little girlie, jump until your heart’s content!

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We had pizza and cake and icecream and tons of fun with all of your friends and family that came to celebrate with you!

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The next day we traveled to the American Girl store where, after much deliberation, you picked out your first doll, Jessie.  We had lunch at the cafe together where they even had a special seat for Jessie so she could join us for lunch too! Later in the day, we visited the Disney store where you were given an extra special gift from Mickey Mouse himself–what a treat! You enjoyed your special message from Mickey and have worn your pin with pride almost every day since then.

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We had so much fun celebrating YOU and your birthday together. We are so thankful for the day you were born–since then our lives have never been the same! 🙂 We love you so very much!

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I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

xoxo

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Happy 4th Birthday, Rachel!

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Rachelturns4-9Happy birthday to my sweet girl who is as quick to crack a smile as she is to crack a joke! You are the perfect mixture of all that is silly and sweet, and serious and sensitive all rolled into one! You love horses and dolls and playing with your brother.  If you had it your way, you would eat grilled cheese for dinner every night of the week.  You love to swim and be in the water, but are not too sure about actually going under the water.  You make friends every where we go.  You are outgoing and determined, yet shy and uncertain at the same time.  To put it quite simply, sweet girl, you are everything we hoped you would be–and more! Rachelturns4-4

This year you asked if you could help make your birthday cake.  What started out as you helping quickly turned in to you wanting to do every single step on your own which eventually led to one perfectly imperfect cake.  Yes, the one side is lopsided and the icing isn’t the smoothest.  And yes, we almost used an entire container of sprinkles on the cake, but you love it and are so proud of your creation.  It may not be picture perfect, but to you it is–and that is all that matters! Rogue sprinkles and globs of icing in random spots just add to the sweetness of your first cake baking experience.  When I look at your cake picture it makes me smile because I know it was all you…

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Happy birthday, Rachel! You sure are the best early Christmas present we have ever been given! Thank you for making me a Mommy–it has been the greatest experience of my life!

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Moments after Rachel was born. And so the journey begins…

I love you more than you could ever know.

To the moon and back.

Love always,
Mommy

xoxoxo

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jake!

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Happiest of birthdays to you, baby Jake! You are our smiling, happy go lucky, sweet little boy.  You can be found at any given point of any given day reading, emptying drawers, or playing with your trucks.  No pair of shoes is safe with you around–you claim them all as your own! You LOVE to run and jump and kick soccer balls.  It certainly didn’t take long for you to learn to push yourself on the scooter, and did we mention you taught Rachel how to drive the PowerWheels Corvette? JakeTurnsTwo-2

 

There are so many things I’d like to say to you about how sweet you are and how precious you will always be to me, but my words are failing me right now.  Instead I have a little bit of a lump in my throat thinking about that teeny tiny baby that I held in my arms the first day you were born. So delicate and sweet. I remember your tiny little hands and how they would grasp to hold on to mine anytime yours were set free.  I knew right away that you were “my” little baby, the one that I had prayed for since I was a little girl, given to us to bring so much love and joy to our family.  Since then you have done that and so much more! We love you more than anything, sweet babe!

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Sometimes it’s still surreal for me to think about all those times I prayed for you before you were born.  I remember praying for my future children when I was just a little girl…and now here you and your sister are.  I had no idea what you were going to look like or act like, or how your little personality would light up my life, but I knew that I would love you always–because I already did! You are such a blessing little Jake, I hope you always remember that.

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Thank you for reminding me that it’s o.k. if things don’t always go according to plan.  Thank you for reminding me that it’s o.k. to smile…even if people don’t smile back, that doesn’t take away from the smile that you gave.  You help me to appreciate the little things in life.  I’ve never paid as much attention to birds flying by, ants crawling on the ground, or cars stopping at a stop sign before you were born.  When the wind blows, you stop and close your eyes just to be able to feel it blow across your face.  I could cry at the sweetness of your innocence and it reminds me what life is all about.  Thank you for that, Jake.

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You are the best Jake I could ever ask for.  Thank you for being so precious and perfect for our family.  Being your Mom is truly one of the greatest blessings in my life.  I love you always, little Jake.

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To the moon and back.

Happy Birthday, little buddy.  xoxo

Love always,

Mommy