Happy Birthday, beautiful Ava! You’re EIGHT today! I can hardly believe it! I can still vividly remember the day you were born. Don’t tell your sisters, but it was, by far, my favorite Birth-Day. You made it so easy. You gave me time to get pretty, you didn’t make my belly contract painfully, you let me get to the hospital in time for an epidural, and I didn’t feel a stitch of pain the whole day. Bless you!
The first two hours of your birthday have been rough. You’re feeling a little gypped. We don’t get to go to your favorite place (the pool) today, and you aren’t too thrilled about going to your class at church on your birthday. I’m so, so sorry you inherited your Mama’s Moody, sweetheart, but those are the breaks.
Thankfully, you got a lot of my good traits too. And a lot of your daddy’s. And quite a few of your very own.
You are something else, girlfriend. And I mean that in the most awesome way.
You’ve got spunk, you’ve got spirit, and you make friends like nobody’s business. Your teachers have told me from day one that “everybody wants to be friends with Ava.”
You know what you like (except when you don’t–your chronic indecisiveness is from your mother). You’re going to look smashing in your new Brazil soccer jersey you got from your Grandma and Grandpa Yoder (I love that you studied Brazil all year in school and know so much about it–even some Portuguese!). You’re going to look amazing in the U.S. soccer jersey you’ll get this afternoon from your Grandma and Papaw Taviano.
Speaking of soccer, I LOVE watching you play. You’re a natural (thanks, Daddy!), and you make it look effortless. I’m looking forward to the fall when you and Livi are on the same team.
Speaking of Livi, you’re such a good middle sister. Such a good buddy to Livi AND to Nina. I love watching you interact with each of them, and while you three have your moments, for the most part you are great, great friends.
I love that you’ve learned to swim and have overcome your fear of the diving board and are excited about swimming lessons starting tomorrow.
I love that you wanted art supplies for your birthday and that you love to draw and create and play school with your sisters and friends.
I love watching you with little kids. You are going to make one heck of a mama or aunt (or both) some day. You are such a lover and nurturer, and little ones light up when they’re around you.
I love your heart for hurting people. I love your love for animals (and your persistent begging for a dog–maybe in 15 years). I love your love for life.
I love that getting-ever-blonder hair, those getting-ever-kinkier curls, those gorgeous popping-up-all-over freckles and your beautiful smile.
I love listening to you laugh. I love listening to you tell stories. I love your contagious enthusiasm and zest for life.
We love you so much, Ava Marie. We are so stinkin’ blessed to have you in our family!
I hope (and pray) that your birthday gets a thousand times better than it is right now!