Our Laina-Bug turned six last week! Six! Six is a fun age, and a good one. She had such a fun birthday because her friend Avivah (who was adopted from Rwanda at the same time as Laina) was here with her family, spending the week with us. So much fun.
(Laina's last day as a Five)
Laina and Aviva were inseparable the whole week (and the fun continues: they're face-timing right now as I type). I am so very thankful for their friendship. What a gift to grow up with someone whose story is so similar to yours. Laina actually spent Avivah's second birthday with her, in Ethiopia, which is pretty amazing.
Birthday Banner Time! A Brannon Family Tradition:
We had Laina's birthday party on Wednesday (the day before her birthday) with the McLennans and the Whatleys. She requested sugar cookie bars with purple frosting and sprinkles.
(Lania got Bumblebee, the DC Superhero Girl from Nona and loved it. Also, a dress from Nona and a skirt and headband from the Whatleys, and a baby ergo and hair beads from the McLennans. And I have no idea why she and Avivah attended the party as Snow White and Tinkerbell. :) )
The other big news of Birthday the Sixth is that Laina got an American Girl doll. I had bought it for her on sale a year ago (a year! I've been waiting and waiting to give it to her!) but we decided she wasn't quite ready for it yet. For Christmas, she got a My Generation doll from Target and we told her it was a test to see how well she could care for it. She did very well, and that, along with the fact that she's taking an American Girl class at Timothy this year, meant that it was time!
She was just a little excited.
(yes, she is kissing her doll through the box!)
On Thursday (her actual birthday), we loaded up all the kids and drove to the American Girl Doll store where Laina very dreamily and happily spent her birthday money from Grammy and Papa. She named her doll Amanda and got its ears pierced. The boys spent the morning at the Lego store, so they were very happy too.
(I had been waiting for years to take her to this store! I loved my American Girl Doll--Kirsten, if you're wondering, and yes, I still have her--and couldn't wait to share this fun with my girl! Also, note Laina's party hat. The girl has style.)
We love you, Laina Kate. You are growing up to be such a lovely girl, inside and out. You have a quick and beautiful smile, you love to help people, and you are a joy to be around. We are so thankful for you! Happy birthday!
(first day as a Six!)
First birthday (cupcakes and pink lemonade at the park):
Second birthday (and one of my favorite pictures of her of all time! M&M party at home):
Third Birthday (Butterfly party at home):
Fourth Birthday (Mermaid party at Grammy and Papa's beach):
Fifth Birthday (Craft party at our house):
Sixth Birthday (party at home and at the American Girl Doll store):