Alana is 5 today!
This is an appropriate time to repeat all of the things that parents say when their child turns another year older. These sayings are cliche because they’re true, and they’re the best way to describe how we feel. Things like, “time flies” and “I can’t believe my baby is 5″ and “where has the time gone” and maybe even “it feels like yesterday that we were coming home with her from the hospital.” Well, now I’ve said all of those things without really acting like I was saying them. See how that works? I’m clever.
But I say those things because they’re real, albeit redundant. Time is a gift, and I’m coming to view it as precious but scary. It goes by without us really noticing, without our permission, and without fail.
I am so thankful for the time that God has already blessed me with my family!
Our sweet Alana is 5, and it’s hard to believe. I remember posting a blog when she was just two weeks old, and since she was our first child, I was overwhelmed, anxious, and emotional. I remember friends coming to my rescue and saying things like “don’t worry, it’ll get easier.” And I remember thinking, “well, it had better get easier, or this baby will be an only child!”
But now I know what they meant when they said “A baby changes everything, but you’ll fall into a new normal.” Our “new normal” is so normal now that we can hardly remember life without these two precious girls. They have doubled our laughter and joy (and the mess in our house).
So as we wish our oldest a happy 5th birthday, we are thinking about her amazing qualities, her sweet nature, her desire to serve, her ability to happily share, her kindness, her silliness, and her incredible love for her baby sister (who is turning out to be not such a baby these days). Sierra will say a new word and Alana will look at me as if she is a peer of mine, and say “Oh, my goodness! I’m not ready for our baby to grow up! I love her just the way she is!” No, I am not kidding, Alana regularly says this without any prompting from me. She truly adores having Sierra as her little sister, and she is the most amazing sister we could have dreamt up for Sierra.
It may seem a bit random to post family photos on Alana’s 5th birthday blog, but I’ll explain. Last month, in mid-October, Rich told me that he wanted to make a little family trip down to Rome, Georgia to the campus of Berry College to take a few photos in the gorgeous fall foliage. I am never one to turn this opportunity down, so I agreed, excited to experience a new place. Rich had photographed an engagement session there last fall and had wanted to show us around the beautiful campus this fall. But as soon as we planned our outing, I came down with a sinus infection that lasted, well, until now. Since I was finally feeling better, we made the trip last week but were saddened when we realized that most of the striking color was gone and the evening was overcast. We’d definitely missed peak season, but we made the best of it anyway. We chose just one location on the campus and took the following photos, having a great time together. I LOVE my family.
And because I love these images of Alana SO MUCH, I wanted them to represent her 5th birthday until I have a chance to edit and post her birthday party photos.
Sweet Alana, if you read this blog post when you are older, I want you to know that mom and dad love you more than our words could explain. We are humbled that God allowed us to be your parents, and we pray that we are someday as much a blessing to you as you are to us! Happy 5th birthday baby! What a milestone!