January 3rd was her birthday. Her 16th birthday. How is that possible? I am not ready for her to be 16 but time is a funny thing; it happens regardless of if you are ready for it or not .

We had such an amazing day. We went to church to hear an amazing message then she led Kid’s Church. Their script for the next few weeks are 2 extremely county people in Louisiana (think Duck Dynasty) who take off on an adventure to the Arctic.  Then she made cupcakes for her Small Group of 4th-5th grade girls.  She adores these girls.  And they adore her back.

Keilee and her sweet girls. They made her a whiteboard card.
Keilee and her sweet girls. They made her a whiteboard card.

After church we went to IHop for the 14th year in a row!!! We started going when she was 3. There were ladies there who said they had been a part of singing to her since 2010!!!

IHop ladies singing Happy Birthday!
IHop ladies singing Happy Birthday!
The sundae!!
The sundae!!

Then back home for family visits. After that we went to an abandon railroad to take birthday pictures. Then we went to Olive Garden for dinner. We had gift cards for both IHop and Olive Garden that we had been saving.

Happy Birthday!!
Happy Birthday!!

One perfect piece of tiramisu.



For her birthday she wanted to change her bedroom. She completely took down her loft bed by herself and is now using an antique bed that I used to use years and years ago. She didn’t want me to buy her a new comforter but I insisted. She hadn’t had a new one since she was 5. She knew what she wanted and searched and searched online. She knew she wanted a gypsy/bohemian and we looked in stores and online. She finally found the one below. And loved it. She then bought 5 yards of in sale fabric and tore strips for the ‘curtains’. She made the crocheted bunting and the fabric bunting on her headboard. And she took off ALL her stuffed animals and spent a long time picking her favorite few; a wicked witch from “The Wizard of Oz’ when she played the witch when she was 11, Marie from “Aristocats” where she played The Duchess when she was 13, Butch the Bulldog that we got at The Opryland Hotel when she was 5, Meeko the Raccoon from when she played Meeko in Pocahontas when she was 8, an owl my brother got her last Christmas and her tooth fairy pillow I got her when she was 5. And the new colorful pillow my brother got her for her birthday Sunday.

The room reveal!
The room reveal!

I have had the utmost honor of raising this amazing girl. One who loves so many things. Who talks about “Fruits of the Spirit” more often than the Top 40. Who can take a stick and fabric and create something amazing. Who thinks that most teenagers are from another planet and she doesn’t speak their language. Who is happiest watching a documentary on serial killers or the brain .

Who never watches anything teen drama or a movie about anyone doing anything ‘inappropriate’ without saying “2 words people: Self Control”. Who gets a little freaked out about being 16 and wishes she was 6 at times. Who loves knowledge and music and corny jokes and Korean dramas and anything in the world animal related (especially dogs or baby animals). Who has Pinterest boards that she actually does the pins! Who loves being on stage or performing in any way. Who has grown and been stretched by God this year as she teaches children about God and prays over them .

Who delights me every single day. Who has never been in trouble really because she is just that good of a child. But who doesn’t have a clue what a ‘clean room’ looks like, she honestly doesn’t get it. Mess bothers her not at all. Who has to create the same way most people have to breathe. Who sings constantly and dances most always. And good Lord, her crazy dances are legendary around our house. Who has such an idea of right and wrong. Life is black or white to her. She will learn the ‘gray’ in time .

Who wants to be an psychologist; child, animal and/or criminal, and a farmer and a English tutor in Korea and a Disney Princess and an animal rehabilitator in Africa and an actress depending on the day. And who could do them all and rock them. And she doesn’t care about money. “Just enough to live on” she says .

This child who is almost grown up (but not really Mom there is still so much I don’t know) and who won’t be here forever and oh my goodness that time is getting closer and closer .

Who has taught me the meaning of ‘wings and roots’ (although the wings are hard y’all) .

Happy Birthday my Keilee girl. May you always soar. May you one day find your tribe and know without a doubt that you are home. May God always guide your choices and your life. May your light shine oh so bright and illuminate everyone you come into contact with .

And may you always, forever more, without one ounce of doubt; know you have a Momma who always loved you to Pluto and back. And then back again. And back .

Homeschooling Rocks!

“What I want most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be”. ~Helen Claes


6 thoughts on “~16~”

  1. You are such a lovely mother and daughter, and as I read I found myself seeing my youngest twin in Keilee and wishing rather that you lived nearby and our two daughters could meet.
    You have done an amazing job bringing her up.

  2. This made me cry with happiness. Your love for your daughter shines through the words. I love reading how you all are doing. You are an amazing family. Happy Birthday!
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. What a perfect day! Keilee is an amazing girl with such talent and a sense of self. She is one of those rare people who will never have to “find herself”, for she knows who she is and that God will lead her wherever she is intended to go.

  4. Love that quote. Miss 15 is in desperate need of a new duvet update but is going to wait until Basil moves back to his family (probably at the end of the month 🙁 ) since she doesn’t want him messing it. Boxers are very drooly dogs and his seizures make it worse. We’ve got a lot of cleanign to do once he goes.

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