the big day finally came! brooklyn has been counting down the days for her birthday since Christmas. that's a long time to hear, "how many more days until my birthday?" i was surprised how emotional i was on the actual day! she's grown up so much over the summer and rightfully, she should be six. but man, i sure would love it if she were four again.
festivities for her birthday started the day before with a trip to the zoo with cousins!
on her actual birthday, she got to open a present (a swim suit! summer birthdays are the best!) and then she wanted to go to target. that's ma girl!
we hit up seven peaks later that morning, auntie googs and auntie hay joined us and brooklyn loved having more people to party with than just her mom and sisters.
we met up with james back at home where we all showered and got ready, then we headed to the disney store at city creek so that brooklyn could get the special birthday treatment like kendall did. i wasn't surprised with how much more shy she was than kendall.
after that, we took our hungry bellies to brooklyn's favorite place to eat, pizza pie cafe. she orders her pasta by herself and gets her own dessert pizza when she's ready for it. seriously, too grown up!
we stopped at the local book shop for their sidewalk sale and snagged some cute children's books for the girls.
boondocks was our next stop! brooklyn got to do everything for free because it was her birthday and she was in heaven! she did the bumper boats three times, bowled, and played arcade games. she was so excited the whole time and just kept saying thank you thank you over and over again.
we grabbed some icy treats at dylan's on our way home and then headed to nana and papa's for an evening swim. the girls thought it was so cool to swim at night! it was a little chilly so they finished off the night with hot cocoa and fireworks by dad.
brooklyn claims it was the best day of her life! as exhausting as it was for this mom, i'm more than happy to do it for her because she loves it AND she is so grateful for all of it!
the next evening was her birthday party, her beach party to be exact. cousins came in swim suits, we ate pulled pork sandwiches, and brooklyn designed (with auntie googs' help) the donut cake of her dreams. she loved all of it! but not before auntie hay whisked her off for a birthday shopping spree. again, she just thought that was the coolest!
(she drew the palm trees all by herself! she had this planned out for months!)
at the end of the party, we had to surprise guests show up: great-grandma carol and great aunt barb. i was so darn excited to see them! they didn't come empty handed either. they got brooklyn the cutest outfit for school. i just loved having them there!
it has to be documented that adalyn is straight up obsessed with her baby cousin hayven! obsessed! they will be best friends next summer!
james did some more sparklers and fireworks to end the night and brooklyn went to bed exhausted after two days of celebrating. she got a day to relax and then aunt toria took her to classic skating where she got to try out her new roller skates. she had a blast! she loved her birthday and loved being able to have family there to celebrate with her! being with people is her jam and she wouldn't have had it any other way.
i love you brooklyn jayde and i'm so proud of the girl you are!
My dearest Brooklyn Jayde,
I honestly cannot believe how old you are! I can't believe you're 6! It feels like yesterday that we went in early in the morning for you to be delivered at LDS hospital. What an amazing day that was!!! As I sit here at the kitchen table, reflecting on our past 6 years together, you came up to me to ask me if we had any more crepes. You said you just love them so much because they're so good. You are such a cute girl. Even when you were born, you were darling. You had our hearts the moment you joined our family. I can't even describe the joy and happiness welling up inside my soul just remembering that special day. Every year, as we celebrate your birthday, I'm reminded of that day and it's such a great cause for celebration. All our family on both sides just couldn't wait to meet you! We had to go through a lot, especially your Mom, just to get you here and we couldn't have been more excited. You've been so blessed to be the first grandchild on both sides of your family and have had the fortune to get to know your relatives in a way some of your siblings and cousins may never know. It will be your blessing and opportunity to help them and be an example.
Growing up, I always imagined that I would have sons first and then daughters. From the first time I held you and heard your tiny little cry, I couldn't have imagined it any other way. You were the beginning of the special place in my heart for my daughters and you always will be. You have grown and learned so much already and I'm so excited to get to teach you more about the world, how to work, and how to be kind to others. You are a great example to me and to your little sisters. They love and look up to you so much. I'm so proud of you and the testimony that you have. I can see it in your eyes when we talk about our Savior, Jesus Christ, that you know that the gospel is truth and that He loves you. There is so much we can do in this world to make it a better place and there is so much joy and happiness in taking advantage of these many opportunities.
You remind me so much of myself. You are passionate and fun loving. You are also kind and energetic, However, you are also very thoughtful, smart, athletic, and talented. Your friends are drawn to you and your personality because you are a leader. Heavenly Father has blessed you with so much privilege and potential because He trusts that you will develop your talents and abiliities to find joy in blessing the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters. You will be tempted at times in your life to be discouraged and depressed but I challenge you to remember clearly in these trying times just how much I Love You. In those moments, as your dealing with life's challenges, please think about how much our Savior, Jesus Christ, must love you to have suffered and died for you and for all of us. Given how much you know I love you, you'll understand that He must have loved you even more. Being your father has taught me more about His love and sacrifice for me than perhaps any other experience in my life because I know I would gladly die for you. I'm so far from perfect Brooklyn. Please forgive me for my mistakes and impatience as you've been growing up and help me to be a better man and a better Dad. I'm confident that Heavenly Father sent you to me because He knew how special you are and that you could teach me so much.
By the time you read this you'll probably already know very clearly that I'm far from perfect and nowhere near the smartest or kindest person that you've ever met. You'll likely understand that I make a lot of mistakes and that I'm very emotional. But what I hope you'll know more than anything else, is that in spite of my flaws and weaknesses, that I truly and sincerely love you. That I ALWAYS will, no matter what! You'll make mistakes. You'll learn some lessons the hard way. You'll be faced with temptation and have the opportunity to seek forgiveness and mercy, and I'll always be there to love and hold and forgive and praise you. I pray you'll always be able to do the same for me. Work hard. You've had great opportunities and experiences in your life but the greatest is yet to come. We have to earn it. I promise you it will be worth it. I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ lives and that He walked this Earth nearly 2000 years ago to fulfill the will of the Father in enabling the Eternal Plan of Happiness. He died for you and He died for me! I have felt the powerful confirmation of these truths through indescribable peace and joy as fruits of the Holy Ghost. I have had incredible and miraculous experiences. Doubt not Brookie Jayde! Believe!