16th Birthday Book

Yesterday was Kait's 16th birthday and as a parent that does strange things to your emotions. Not in the "sweet 16 and never been kissed" way, but in the "she's almost out of high school and on her way to being a grown woman" way. She has always been a tremendous joy to us, has made the teenage years fun and is just an incredible young lady. I am so proud of her. 
A few of the plans we have to celebrate her birthday will take place early next summer, but we wanted to do something special for her now! Hubby came up with the idea of a Declaration Book. He sent out a message to several friends asking them to write a "declaration" to Kait. It could be a letter, a poem, an acronym, a prophetic declaration over her life, whatever they felt like writing. We received over 20 declarations that moved us to tears with the words spoken over our daughter. WOW! It was beautiful to read the way people see her and feel about her. Even ones who don't know her as well as others hit the nail on the head! Sometimes as a parent, even with the most amazing of children, you wonder, "are they getting it...are they getting what I'm pouring into them, or is it leaking out of little pinholes". You read things like I read and go "YES! They are getting it because people are seeing it!"
I excitedly hit the craft stores and Walmart, and also my own collection of scrapbooking things that have lied, lain, sat dormant in my closet for a really long time. I tried to think of her favorite colors. I searched the internet for quotes that would encourage her. I COULDN'T WAIT to give it to her!!!
We gave friends a deadline (which was a week before her birthday), but encouraged them not to wait till the last minute (can you imagine how crazy THAT would've been). As I received the declarations, I printed them out on velum and colored paper and with the help of an amazing friend we birthed a beautiful scrapbook. I really had forgotten how much I love crafting and scrapbooking. I also forgot how time consuming it is and how "lost" in it I can become. "Oh, my family would probably like to eat"...."I should probably do laundry"....I finished it half an hour before we had to leave to go pick up Kait from the airport (she was returning from a 6 day trip to Pennsylvania). Before she left for her trip the book was at my friends house and she worked on it. When Kait left for her trip I took it and worked on it.
Last night we had about 6 of her friends over for a dinner of pork ribs, baked potatoes and salad, with ice cream cones for dessert. We presented her the book and she loved it. Nan loved it too and said to me "this is really cool, I want one". Guess what someone's getting for her 16th birthday? Yep, a Declaration Book. Kait is one who loves words. She saves every card, letter, note or e-mail that means something to her. We knew this would be something she would treasure for years and years. 

I actually think that somewhere I have a note from my mom written to her that I need to hunt for and add to it. We wanted her to always have a reminder of how amazing she is and how much she is meant to change the world. Why do we, as adults, feel the need to inform young people of how hard life is going to be and fill their minds with dread. I'd rather fill their minds with how incredible life is, all the opportunities that are out there for them, and how much they can change the world. Yah, that sounds like a lot more fun!

So my beautiful girl turned 16 and I am looking forward to so many more years of her life! 
With Joy UNquenchable,


  1. I bet she loved it! It is amazing to see your girls growing and becoming who God has designed them to be. I hope she enjoyed her birthday :-)


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