Monday, July 1, 2019

Anna Turned Sixteen

Sixteen is such a sweet age. And Anna makes a wonderful sixteen year old.

So many of the birthdays my girls have turned reminded me of when I turned that age myself. Not sixteen. Sixteen now is so totally different than sixteen in 1989.

Anna {like so many of her peers} has no interest in learning to drive. Someday? Well, yes of course. But not now.

I'm grateful that sixteen now {at least for Anna} is still family time - loving being home and together. Sixteen is playing with your sister still. Sixteen is reading on the couch in the summer after lunch. Sixteen is being tucked into bed every single night with a hug and a kiss.

More independence? Sure, yes, there is. Anna is a lovely sixteen year old. And oh so funny. She has us laughing every day. She does so much around the house, for us, for her sister. She manages school and her intense viola studies while she still enjoys drawing and stuffed animals. She is wise about the world around her and the greater world out there. She understands things happening and has a unique perspective on events going on.

She loves her life and wants to protect the environment {and the animals living in it}.

Anna holds a calmness about things that would keep me up at night. She gives wonderful life advice and usually has me in awe with the wisdom she holds.

Her faith life is strong and yet very different than mine - it is all her own, just as it should be.

Anna is very smart and very young all at the same time. She is confident and doesn't worry about what others think. She is quite happy with who she is and has no desire to try to be like anyone else. She is perfectly happy outside the 'normal' bubble of high school girl drama. She has no time for that in her life and thinks it's all quite silly, really. She seems to hold a maturity that girls gain somewhere in the middle of college - and yet she is feels young to me in other ways.

Anna is also a complex person. And it's difficult to think you know her well - there are many layers. Scott, Abigail and I are really the only ones who know all of Anna. There are things from her past that have made it difficult for her. She is strong but oh so fragile all at the same time. And that alone has made Scott and I yearn to be the best we can for her. We will protect her for the rest of her lives even if the 'world' doesn't understand. And yet we will also watch as she braves things that are unthinkable for a sixteen year old.

Anna's past and what she has gone through is more than anyone I personally know. And yet... God is writing a beautiful new story in her life. He continues to heal her from a most horrific first 14 months of life. And although I would do anything to go back and have Anna in my arms from the second she was born - I can't and that's okay. I have the unique privilege to watch her walk out with grace His plan for her life. There is beauty in ashes and I will continue to hold her hand and cheer her on as she lives and breathes this beautiful life.

Oh how I wish I could meet the woman that gave her life all those sixteen years ago - I would wrap my arms around her and thank her for letting me be her mama. This complex, fun, fragile, beautiful, brilliant, kind, wonderful daughter I have is because of her. And God who put us together. For that I am grateful.

Happy birthday darling daughter.


Now - let's start that birthday post:

We celebrated big for Anna on her birthday. THIS is how she woke up on sixteen!!!


Sixteen pink balloons filled her sky above the bed and the ribbons tickled her face as she woke up.


It was pretty awesome!



We were in the final stretch of school - in fact it was the very last Monday of school.


After we all got home I set up the porch and we celebrated with cake and presents.


She picked a wonderful strawberry cake that I baked the night before and assembled on her birthday. The filling was amazing!




It was so much fun {and still so new} to be in the baking center!




I love baking for my girls on their birthday - making their birthday cake is such a wonderful treat for me.


The recipe came from a cookbook on just birthday cakes. I handed it to Anna a few days earlier and said, "pick one". Oh boy... she sure picked a good one!


I love this moment - the just before she's sixteen moment.




And then it was time for presents.






Abigail has lots of love for this big sister of hers.



Scott and I wanted to get Anna something really special for her sixteenth. We bought her a drop pearl in  China all of those years ago and saved it for this day.

And the weekend before we headed to a jewelry store to buy a white gold chain for the pearl. It took her breath away.





And so it was a very sweet night filled with love for our girl. I love her oh so much and can't wait to celebrate birthdays for years to come.


  1. Happy Birthday beautiful Anna! I love the gift you gave her. We feel 16 is a big Birthday and have given Nicolas and Isabella something they can keep forever for their 16th birthday. I love the balloons above her bed..what a fun surprise to wake up to.

  2. Happy birthday! Happy sweet 16! What a perfect way to celebrate a special young lady. LOVE the corny joke - ha ha! And the stuffed corn! The pearl was so incredibly meaningful!