Friday, January 08, 2010

A Birthday Journey

Braaten Noelle is 12 today! I thought I'd share the journey with you from 1998 when she was born until this year. Here's the thing though. My SD card will not unload onto my iPhoto in order to give you the latest birthday shots from today. And I just don't know why. I will make it my duty to update this post when it decides to behave.

Braaten is such a blessing to Shawn and I and our family. She is sweet, kind, ever loving, gentle, caring & compassionate, beautiful on the inside and out, she is smart as a whip and doesn't miss a beat, and she loves Jesus. She is our firstborn daughter and she fills our home with amazing love.

Happy Birthday, Honey. We love you from here to the moon and back & a bazillion times more than that.


Bray was just 4 months old in this picture. Remember when a child's special blankey was put on their heads like this and it was the cool thing to do for a photo? That's exactly why I did that. ;-)

She was chillin' poolside.


Braaten had just turned one, but I'm not sure why she was sporting crepe paper on her forehead. Or is that toilet paper?


Daddy helping his little girl with her cake at her 2nd birthday.

Somehow she looks younger in this picture, but I might have gotten them confused. My hubby went through the boxes of photos today to choose photos for me. Two summers ago he lovingly, albeit painstakingly, went through all of our photos and chronologically organized them. He did this when the kids and I took our first trip from the U.K. back to the U.S. without him. He kept busy not only doing that, but also refinished our kitchen table and restored its original beauty. Thanks again, Honey.


I love the way she's looking up into the camera, dimples showing, headband on, and necessary fanny pack in tow. Adorable!

She is her mama's daughter with liking to bake a nice cake and all. I was enjoying watching my little mini-me.


Every little girl wants to have long nails.

Sister love is beautiful.

Braaten loved her new Easter dress and Melanie had one that matched.


Braaten turned 5 and we made a huge deal of it. She and her little buddies
went to a pottery painting place and had a blast.

This was our family only celebration.

Here's the pottery place again.

Christmas time just before her 5th birthday.


We had moved from NJ to Michigan while she was 5. She turned 6 soon after, and here are the little sillies in matching t-shirts. Apparently I was satisfied with dressing our identical twins alike, I had to do the same with the girls.


Toes up on the front porch in Marshall.

We were extremely proud of her when she donated her long, thick hair to Locks of Love. How darling is that hairdo?


We were at the Statue of Liberty here. It's a must-see.

If you can fit in a tree, you must go there and have your picture taken.


Braaten was all dressed up for her cousin, Chyenne's wedding. She often talks about how it was the best wedding she has ever been to. This coming summer Chyenne's sister, Brittany is getting married. I know Braaten can't wait for that event to happen. Every little girl loves weddings, right?

We were all at Side Track Ice Cream. What a beautiful photo of a little girl growing up before our very eyes.


Ah yes, to be 10 again! What a wonderful party she had for turning double digits. She invited both her cousins and friends. They did karaoke, went sledding, played a game that involved whipped cream and m & m's, watched movies, overloaded on snacks, and had a blessed time because God is so good to us... All the time.

Birthday presents time.

We went to visit friends from NJ while they were visiting their family in Indiana. It's great to reconnect with friends you don't see for a long time and it feels just like yesterday that you were together. I love friendship like that. Braaten and Brooks have been friends since they were babies.


Lymm, England in our back garden. It was the one day we had a 1/4 inch of snow. This winter has been completely different. As I wrote just a couple of days ago, we got a foot of snow and it shocked everyone here.

This was Braaten's mommy/daughter picture from her 11th birthday. She is precious.


The latest photos from today will be uploaded soon.

Thanks for sharing in Braaten's Journey.


Andrea said...

Happy Birthday Braaten. You are a beautiful young lady. I am sure GOD has big plans for you.
Blessings, andrea

He & Me + 3 said...

What a beautiful girl. How cool that Shawn organized your pictures. That is awesome and helpful. She was adorable from the beginning. I love the blanket over the head picture:)
Happy Birthday Braaten!

Denise said...

Happy Birthday Braaten. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing and hope you've all had a wonderful day with the birthday girl :)

Joyce said...

Well this was just so sweet. You could just feel the love.

Happy Birthday to your lovely little girl/lady : ) Hoping this year is filled with special blessings for her.

McCrakensx4 said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful birthday girl! Loved seeing her grow up!

Darcie said...

Happy 12th Birthday to sweet and beautiful Braaten! I can tell just from the birthday journey that she feels your heart and your home with so much love.

Tracey said...

Love the photo journey! Hope she had a wonderful birthday!

Rachel said...

That's too sweet! My favorite photos was the poolside one and the one right after the haircut - that WAS a gorgeous hairdo!

Happy Birthday Braaten!!!

chili pepper said...


Isn't it wonderful and horrible to watch them grow up before your eyes? I never know whether to laugh or cry and I often do a little of both. How blessed you are for such a precious daughter! Yes, God is good to us... all the time.

Happy Birthday Braaten!

Thank you for your notes of encouragement and concern in regards to my friends death and to our family sickness. You are a blessing to me and I always enjoy visiting you and when you stop by.



LisaShaw said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter. What a journey of her life and she has LOTS more living to do...Look forward to all the exciting photo events of her life on your blog. Love and blessings.

Teresa @ ♥ TOO MANY HEARTBEATS ♥ said...


I am stopping by from Mikki's blog, The Not So Perfect Housewife. Your blog title caught my attention because I have been using the name JoyNtheJourney for my email and usernames on various websites (HGTV, DIY, Garden Web, etc.) for a LONG, LONG time. There's a REALLY long story to explain just how I came up with the name, but I started using it as a witnessing tool to share my 'journey' with the Lord. 'Join' the journey OR 'Joy in' the journey, however someone wants to read it. I love the opportunity to explain it to someone! :0)

Anyway, I really love your blog so far and I can't wait to come back and read more soon!

I hope you and your family have an amazing week.


Teresa <><