Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Sweet 16!

We put together photos of the birthday girl to share with everyone.

A Birthday Blessing

Happy birthday to my first born child.

It is almost impossible to believe we are here,

celebrating your sixteen years

and yet it is equally as difficult to think of our lives before you.

What a joy you have been to us.

You've grown so lovely

and I catch myself


little hands and funny moments;

"just one more book mommy,"

and I stop and breathe deeply.

You are the best of Dad and me.

We are so proud of you; the lady you have become.

You are our treasure.

We would love you even if you weren't exceptional;

But you are - you are so exceptional.

You are not afraid of hard work;

It will serve you well.

You know how to weather adversity,

it will serve you even better.

You know who to go to

when the winds blow hard.

And they will blow.

But you already know this.

You have learned to see what faith has promised

and to trust,

not with eyes,

but with soul and to believe.

You are careful with your friendships;

A true and faithful friend.

In 16 years I have never heard you speak unkindly of a friend, or a teacher.

Not even once.

You do the right thing even when it costs you.

And in many cases it has cost you,

but you do it,

because it is the right thing.

Hailey, we celebrate you on this special day;

the day of your birth.

You have blessed our lives.

We love you and we are exceedingly grateful to our Lord, Jesus Christ,

who called you out as

His own,

And gave the gift of you

to us.

May you continue to grow in the knowledge

of the One

who knows the number of the very hairs on your head.

May you be a perpetual blessing;

a living gospel to all.

Happy birthday our darling daughter,

in whom we are well pleased.

We threw a surprise sweet 16 birthday party for Hailey. Here she is arriving at the house with her good friend, Charis and realizing that something is up.

Here are our wonderful guests. We tried to keep things fairly small - about 35 people. Those who came were people who have ministered to Hailey and had an impact in her life in some tangible way. Of course, some were not able to be there - separated by distance, but their impact in her life is felt nonetheless.

After cake, we had a time of blessing, funny stories, and well-wishes for the birthday girl.
O'Connor Griffith and Jordan Ghiglia (seated) share a funny story memory.Charis Bolander wishes Hailey happy birthday and speaks blessing into her life.

One of Hailey's teachers - Alex Trochez, encourages Hailey and shares how she has blessed others.
Corey McEachran, Hailey's 6th grade teacher, shares funny moments.Eric Devries, Hailey's former teacher and principal, also blesses Hailey with his words.
One of the sweetest moments of the evening came from Gill Walsh, family friend, who said if he had a daughter he would want her to be like Hailey.

What a wonderful evening, full of love and laughter - and yes, some tears from mom and dad too. What a blessed people are the children of the living God. We celebrate with intention and the ones we love gathered around to rain down blessings into the life of our girl.

Happy birthday my sweet girl!


  1. Your daughter sounds like a treasure! What a blessing for your family.


    P.S. I like that you call yourself nerdy! High five, soul sister!

  2. very sweet tribute to a wonderful girl. xox

  3. I loved every bit of this post..the photos, the comments, the poem and all the loved poured into the corners! Beautiful

  4. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl. What lovely eyes she had, her spirit really shines through.

  5. Hello fellow "traveler" on this road less traveled. Nice to meet you. And thank you for leaving an encouraging footprint :)

    Beautiful celebration here of a beautiful and precious life! Long time ago, my hubby and I planned to move to Washington but it must not be God's plan for us. He knows best! We just gotta' learn to keep trusting in Him. Looking forward to coming here often and reading more about your own journeys. God bless you and your family.

  6. What a wonderful tribute. I can only imagine the number of moments like this one that you will chroncile over the next two years. Trust me, they're coming, and they are sweet and good and full of the stuff that requires our growth and trust at a deeper level.

    Live each one well! May this year be one of untold blessing and beauty for your family.