her golden birthday

Someone is stinking THRILLED to be turning 5 on the 5th today. She’s been waiting for this day for AGES and AGES (and her mommy has been dreading it just as long).


I never understood how mamas could think of their youngest as BABIES for so dumb long when they were CLEARLY not babies anymore. Well, I get it now. And you will always be ^ THIS BIG ^ to me.

You’ve loved to write (and read) for as long as I can remember. And your mama is trying not to be so obviously pleased-as-punch about that fact.

I know I need to let you get big, but my word, it’s hard. Look how cute!!

You are such a big helper! For real! I get things done faster around here thanks to you.

Oh, I could just EAT those sweet little cheeks! I wish they could be that round FOREVER.

This is one of your most endearing traits–sucking on your hair. Although I’ve mostly convinced you just to twirl it madly rather than put it in your mouth where it gets all crusty and impossible to brush.

This is one of those pictures that would make people who knew your daddy when he was a little guy say, “Oh my word, she looks JUST like Gabe did!” His blond curls were just a tad (and only a tad) shorter than yours.

I wonder how many other little girls have been to 19 zoos before their 3rd birthday. Or how many have been to 52 before their 4th.

You’re definitely a passionate soul. You feel BIG and you feel MUCH and you wear that huge ol’ heart on your sweet little sleeve, and we love you for it.

I love watching you get SO MUCH JOY out of life–every bit of it.

You have your own unique style not swayed by any silly trend-of-the-month.

And no one can pull off the Goggle Look like you, Neenie.

That’s ^you^ on your birthday last year (although I think you’ve got those same pajamas on tonight), just 2 days after you spent a couple hours in the emergency room because we thought you might be dehydrated from throwing up so much. Our whole family gets sick at the beginning of every January on years divisible by 2. Praise the Lord for good health right now!

All you can talk about right now is going to Cambodia to meet ^this little girl.^ All day long I hear “Kimhou” this and “Kimhou” that. (pronounced Kim-HOO-uh). And I love every minute of it. As long as God keeps saying yes, I’ll do everything in my power to introduce the two of you while you’re still five.

I don’t know how you got so big so fast. But I know this. At five years old, you are already showing signs of becoming a godly young woman who wants to follow Jesus with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength.

And nothing could make your Mommy and Daddy happier. Happy, happy FIFTH birthday, Nina Gabe! We love you so much, Peeky!

19 thoughts on “her golden birthday

  1. Laura@life overseas

    i LOVED this post. such great pictures and such a great testimony to her heart and life! beautiful on so many levels, friend!

    did you read my response to giving over my way in the comments? can’t thank you enough for that! such a gift!

  2. Chris Yoder

    Happy 5th birthday, sweet little Nina! I had so much fun with you tonight! I can’t believe you’re 5 already! Grandpa and I love you very much, honey!:)

  3. LS

    why am i teary? those blonde curls just wrap themselves around this curly headed girls heart. happy birthday sweet nina. . .i sure do pray your fifth year includes cambodia and that you grow to love Jesus more than anything in this world. . .

  4. amber

    Happy Birthday, Nina!! I’m sure you’re already spoken for, but since I’m a firm believer in arranged marriages, I have a cutie-pie 6 year old that could possibly steal your heart. Your mommy and I will work on that, mm-kay??!!

  5. jess

    I can’t believe she’s 5. I’m pretty sure that’s how old Livi was way back when I first met you! This put a lump in my throat. They grow entirely too fast. My heart is full for Nina! Happy 5th on the 5th!!

  6. Sharon Meekins

    I LOVE this, Marla! Escpecially, the part of visiting Cambodia while she is still 5! 🙂 Happy 5th Birthday, Nina all the way from Haiti!

  7. Amanda Rae

    thanks for making me cry, Marla 😉

    Happy Birthday, Nina!!! 5 is such a special year, and you’re going to be one of the most awesome 5 yr olds EVER. Keep on being your sweet little(big) self! I miss you, little buddy!

  8. GenieBlazi

    Happy 5th Birthday to Nina! She is a doll…she reminds me so much of my 5 year old…especially the way she looks in goggles:) Have a great day celebrating!!!

  9. Kaye

    Just checked my calender and SO thrilled to find that today is NINA’S BIRTHDAY!
    Hope it is a wonderfully blessed day for a beautiful, sweet little girl.
    Thanks to all of you for all of the birthday wishes, absolutely priceless:)
    Blessings to your family in 2011.
    Matthew 21:22

  10. Rhonda

    Happy Birthday, Nina! Sammy was looking at the computer with me this morning and was very sad when he found out that Nina lived too far away for us to visit her for her birthday. He feels a definite bond with all other five year olds. I’m there with you, Marla. It’s not easy so see our babies grow up. Mallory, my “baby biological” will turn 22 in less than two weeks. She is student teaching this semester and will graduate college in the spring. I’m not sure how it happened so quickly. She should still be in elementary school like the children she is teaching. God sent me two wonderful gifts through adoption and it’s flying by again. Ricky turned double digits this year and Sammy is five. I’m trying to enjoy every single moment, even those frustrating ones, because I know that my precious babies are little for such a short while.

  11. Holly B.

    Have a fun 5th birthday, Nina! Just think…there’s only one you on the whole planet! God made you to be special and unique! :o)

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