Brooklyn's special day didn't turn out quite like we had planned. She had a sleepover on Saturday night with our neighbor friend Allison, so that was super fun. I walked over to their house around 10am to pick Brooklyn up, and she was all smiles since it was her actual birthday on Sunday.
We walked home and piled into her room to give her our birthday cards + treats and to show her the rest of her birthday gifts - the new lamp and artwork above her bookcase. She was excited because her room is finally complete!
The rest of the day went downhill from there. Jacob was at his dad's for Thanksgiving and through the weekend. The plane tickets home ended up being too expensive, so his dad opted to drive him home. But, we had no idea where or what time we were meeting up. And they weren't answering or responding to any of our phone calls. So, we skipped church and tried to go ahead with the rest of our day, not really knowing what was going on or how we were getting Jake. (a.k.a. Our own little hostage situation. Not fun.)
We let Brooklyn pick out her restaurant of choice for lunch. She thought of Chick-Fil-A, Steak-n-Shake, then finally decided on Claim Jumper Restaurant at Opry Mills (their yummy chicken is one of her favorites.) I made reservations for lunch at 12:30, texted + left voicemails for Jacob and his dad about our plans and we were off!
Lunch + dessert came and went, and it was a really nice meal. Brooklyn enjoyed having a special treat to celebrate her day! And then, we finally got word from Jake that he was on his way to the restaurant, so we waited until he showed up. After driving over 400 miles through the night + stopping in a store parking lot to sleep a few hours, we were just thankful he got there safe and sound - no matter what shape he was in!
We shopped around for a bit, braved the rain home (after stopping to get a few groceries) and snuggled up in our warm, cozy house to get ready for the week. After our dinner of leftovers, I fixed Brooklyn's favorite dessert - brownies - and we had one last celebration at home. Scot and I couldn't believe our sweet, funny daughter was ready to turn 8. Oh, how time flies!
I'll admit, that day was a disaster for me as a mom, tears and all. But, no matter what comes our way - I pray that each one of our kids know how much I love them and that I just want the best for them in life. To know Jesus as their Lord and Savior - to love God and to love people. And even on those darkest of days, when they're so mad at God and they feel lost + abandoned, they can't see the good in a situation and they feel like life's spiraling out of control - know that God loves them and is fighting for them every minute of the day + His goodness is there...even when they can't see it...there is eternal hope.
Freedom. And hope.
No one can take your faith from you. That's something I pray they always remember and cling to in life. It's the only thing that truly gets us through...
So, on this crazy day, I want to celebrate Brooklyn and all that she is! Here's the top 8 things we love about our girl:
1. Brooklyn has the sweetest, kindest heart - always looking out for the needs of others. She picked a boy in her class for something just because he looked like he was having a bad day, and she wanted to cheer him up.
2. Brooklyn is so gifted and creative. She can color + draw + create pieces of artwork that are just amazing. This year, she won the school coloring contest for the whole 2nd grade!
3. Brooklyn is all-girl. She loves dressing up, playing with dolls, painting her nails, doing crafts, really anything sparkly.
4. Brooklyn is the perfect mix of me and Scot. She is shy and quiet at times, she says the funniest things, and she can speak truth and stand up for herself when needed. A good trait for a girl these days - something I wish I could have done when I was younger!
5. Brooklyn is a great sister. She and Jake get along famously now, but she's still learning how to live life with a loud, crazy almost-4-year-old brother and not get annoyed when he's making farting noises all the time. (Trust me, I don't blame her one bit - ha!)
6. Brooklyn is sensitive and emotional - always sensing when things aren't right or not going well. She's the heart of the family.
7. Brooklyn has a need to please and is usually the first one to apologize + ask for forgiveness after she's done wrong. Her soft, fragile heart is something that blesses and inspires all of us.
8. Brooklyn loves Jesus and seeks to please Him in all that she does. She's a beautiful daughter of the King!
We love you, Brooklyn, with all of our hearts. You are the kindest, most beautiful soul and we're so blessed by you. Happy 8th birthday, sweet girl!