Finally, ten years old. For a girl who can’t wait to grow up, this birthday has long been anticipated. Though I share in her joy and celebration for sure, this momma also feels the surprise and hint of sorrow that comes with realizing how quickly ten years have gone by and how quickly this firstborn of mine is changing and becoming a little lady. This girl has inspired and shaped so much of my journey as a mother, as firstborns often do. God couldn’t have given a better gift to us those ten years ago on the day before Christmas Eve in that early morning snowfall. God couldn’t have set apart a better kiddo for paving the way. She is strong, incredibly joyful, vivacious, enthusiastic, positive, resilient, determined, compassionate. She loves everyone easily and generously. She forgives quickly. She has a huge passion for learning and exploring, and her own sweet faith in God is growing and continually encourages and challenges me.
I would venture to guess there are few who enjoy a party and presents as much as Phoebe does, so her special day was much anticipated. She was excited and happy over every gift as you can see in the pictures. She received from us some horse backing riding pants and boots, her birthday sweater which I knit, a new dress for her Kaya doll, a book, a new breyer horseback rider for her collection, as well as a couple gifts from family. I especially enjoyed seeing the other children wrap up favorite stuffed animals and toys in their blankets and present them to Phoebe as gifts. We also surprised her with a riding lesson at the same stable where she participated in horse camp this past summer. Everyone enjoyed the outing to the stable and visiting with the horses, and I was reminded that one’s area of interest enriches all of our lives. Later that night we had cake and sang happy birthday and marveled over this little ray of light. What an endless source of delight to us she is.
Oh, all the big feelings over this girl. Each of my children’s birthdays are special and emotional in their own ways, but this girl is and always will be the one to do things “first.” God is so wise in placing her as the firstborn in our family, she has paved the way beautifully for the other children in her kindness, joy, helpfulness, love, and exuberance. To know Phoebe is to love her, there’s just no argument there. People tell me all the time that she makes others feel special, and I think that’s just exactly right. It isn’t hard to celebrate this girl, but for this momma who just wants to slow this whole thing down a wee bit and hang on just a little longer to these sweet days, it comes with a tinge of sadness. Phoebe has grown up so much over the past year and there’s just no stopping this girl. She can’t wait to be all grown up.
She’s traded in her love for dress-up with a deep abiding love for horses. It’s her dream to own one, but she’s happy just to see them. To touch one or ride one is pretty epic. She has slowly been collecting Breyer’s horses and plays so sweetly with them. She has read the entire history of horses curriculum many times over, has memorized her horse handbook, and lately has been enjoying the Horse Diaries series immensely. We purchased a few of them for her for Christmas, but also got her A Horse for Kate for her birthday, as well as a horse calendar. She is becoming quite addicted to reading and devours her books in a day or two. Every week I scour the library for more books on horses for her to read.
Her birthday sweater is called the Ghost Horse sweater and she really loves it, which makes it all worthwhile (it was quite a lot of feverish knitting). She also got a pair of roller blades and she is so into them. Anything we can do to keep motivating our children to be outside and moving!
I made creme brûlée for her, and she requested spaghetti for dinner (though she only eats the noodles plain). Phoebe loves a good party, so we joined with all her local aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents for a celebration. It was really sweet to celebrate her together with them. They gave her sweet and meaningful presents too, and she really treasures it all. She hopes to use some of the gift money she received to take some horseback riding lessons.
Phoebe girl, I adore you with all my heart. Happy 9th birthday! Last year to be in the single digits. Let’s savor it.
Just after winter solstice eight years ago, a bright and shining light was born into this world. You, our sweet Phoebe girl. Our horse crazy girl. Vivacious, energetic to no end, singing and talking and dancing all the day long. We knew we would love our little baby girl but we had no idea how everything would change the moment we laid eyes on you. You came so quickly I was still in shock when I was staring into your dark eyes and wrinkly forehead. Were you really here? Were you really real? You stole our hearts then and you still have them now. It’s not easy being first, being the oldest, but I can’t think of someone more well-suited for the task. You are a leader if ever there was one, never shy or unfriendly. You are brave and bold, my girl, facing your own set of challenges with a cheerful spirit.
Eight years old feels grown up in ways that make my momma heart ache a bit raw. Normally on your birthdays you are up before the sun and can’t wait to open all of your presents at once. You have grown up this year, I suppose, and instead you spread the opening all throughout the day even until just before bed. You received a horse for your Kaya doll that we found at our favorite consignment store as well as a barn and corral for your other horses. You and I have so enjoyed the Misty of Chincoteague book series so we gifted you this Album of Horses book by the same author. Your birthday sweater was still damp on the blocking boards but you couldn’t wait to wear it and your sparkly purple skirt as well. You have worn your sweater literally every day since your birthday and truly you are the most knit worthy person I know! It’s a joy making things for you.
Your daddy and I are so very proud of you Phoebe, thankful to know you and humbled to raise you. We hope you grow this year in your love for God and for His Word, that you continue to seek Him and rest in His favor over you, His love that can’t be measured or lost. We hope its a year full of growth, adventure, learning, and laughing. Happy 8th birthday!
Ps. Phoebe’s cake is the Chocolate Layer Cake made from the Paleo Kids Cookbook (highly recommend if you’re looking for ways to recreate children’s favorite foods and snacks) and I found organic and naturally dyed sprinkles from our local food co-op (very pricey though!). My children haven’t really ever had sprinkles on anything so they were so enamored and excited, which made the cost worthwhile. The cake seemed like it was going to be a big flop and it wasn’t pretty but it was delicious!
pps. Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. (That just means if you click through and happen to also purchase the same item through my permalink I get a very small payment from amazon without any cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog and our family!)