The weeks leading up to today have been so different than her previous birthdays.
In 2011, we had SO much excitement as we counted down the days to her arrival.
Then her birth day came. Our lives were changed forever.
I knew the greatest sadness and the greatest joy in a matter of hours.
I heard her heartbeat on the monitor, I heard it stop, and then was later told it started again.
Sobbing, meeting Annabeth Sage.
She was over two hours old and I was so excited to finally see her!
Mark had gone to NICU with her and they, thankfully, had taken two little pictures for him to bring me as they sewed me up but I needed to see her, hold her to know she was going to make it.
I knew in that moment that she was a true fighter, so strong, and that God must have some
HUGE plans for our girl.
In 2012, I had recovered from two surgeries after her arrival and had just begun preparing for the third.
Her birthday came and I stared at that little one year old girl, not believing that we had all made it.
Birthday lunch at Einstein Bros Bagel
I love the "Birthday" on her shirt and the "Every Day" on the sign behind her!
Yes, let's celebrate every day!
In 2013, we celebrated her second birthday with a princess theme.
Mark had to have princess as the theme and I think as much as she was his princess that day, she is even more so now. Mark and Annabeth have such a special relationship. I love to watch them together.
Celebrating with her GIANT princess castle cake.
Mark picked out this cake for her:
if that isn't proof that she is Daddy's girl, I don't know what is!
In 2014, we celebrated with a Hello Kitty party.
She had picked the theme months before and we watched as she planned her whole party - she even included a seating chart. She was only turning three but we were getting a big glimpse into who she really was.
She loves parties and party planning but still gets a bit shy when all of the attention is on her.
She was so cute, being shy, while we all sang "Happy Tutu" as she called it that year.
Last year, her birthday came after Owen's arrival. I had healed in so many ways, emotionally, after his birth and was able to feel less pain when preparing for her birthday. She chose a Deer Party during her third birthday party and kept that theme until her 4th. She was becoming so sassy and stubborn and, as from the beginning, strong.
Our beautiful girl, in her special Deer Party dress posing with Owen.
She selected his outfit for the day.
Her love for him is so beautiful!
This year, for the first time, I haven't felt that overwhelming sadness as her birthday approached. I have been able to reflect on her #4 year as she calls it and have looked forward with joy to her "five birthday."
I will live the rest of my life as Annabeth's Mama. I will live my life in awe and in love with her. She is so incredibly kind to her brother. She is so in love with her Daddy. She is growing and learning so much - most of all I love her dedication to praying and studying the Bible with me daily. I feel so incredibly blessed to know her and to love her.
Happy Five Birthday - Golden Birthday to Annabeth Sage, my Nanners, our Miracle Girl