Harper Is 11!

March is a busy birthday month for us and Harper’s birthday comes rolling in right after Amon’s.  It’s fair to say we haven’t been on our best birthday game this year.  Our minds and hearts are full of so many hard things right now…processing and healing and fighting for hope.  It’s hard to keep track of regular day-in and day-out things.  About a week before Harper’s birthday she mentioned how her birthday was coming up and if we could start talking about it.  🙂  It still makes me chuckle.  We kind of are just winging everything right now and birthdays are no different.  Let’s all give a round of applause for Amazon and the way they support last minute people everywhere.

This year her birthday fell on a Thursday which also happened to be the last day of school before spring break and rewards day at her school.  Pretty much the ultimate party day!!!  For her celebration she decided to ask her classmates over to eat dinner and cake and play games.  We might have thrown it together, but it worked out just fine and Harper had a blast.  Her birthday always falls right around Easter.  Before she even turned 1-years-old we celebrated 2 Easter’s with her.  Totally an Easter baby and it is completely fitting for her.

Harper is crazy fun and colorful and is always just happy to be here.  She is such a good leader in our family and rolls so well with whatever is happening and understands being flexible in a big family.  We asked and asked about things she may want for her birthday and got nothing from her.  Her response continued to be, “I don’t know what I want.  Just surprise me.”  Gah, I love her!

I drew up a fun little invitation for her classmates and we just copied it on our home printer and she passed them out at school.  She invited all the girls in her class and I was thrilled with how simple it was.  She asked for a waffle tower for breakfast, snickerdoodles to share with her friends at school, our go-to crockpot chicken noodle soup for dinner and our most favorite iced sugar cookies for everyone to decorate after dinner.  Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Aunt Jen and Campbell came over to get in on the cookie decorating action.  I’ve decided the picture below will be our Christmas card next year.  Hahahahaha.

Her party was too fun.  We had pizza, funfetti cupcakes with all the sprinkles and ice-cream.  She wanted to play some fun games so she picked out 6 different ones.  She wrote each activity on a piece of paper, put the piece of paper into a balloon and then blew all the balloons up.  Of course she chose rainbow colored balloons and the girls would pop a balloon and do the activity that was inside together.  They did the cookie face challenge, a silly string fight, peep spoon relay race, jelly bean blowing straw relay, bubble-gum blowing contest and the seran-wrap candy game.

It was really fun watching them all play and interact and have fun together.  One of Harper’s love languages is time spent together so her love thank was filled to the top.

It has been an extremely difficult year for Harper.  Losing Everett knocked the life out of her and throw in starting middle school and moving to a new school building and it’s just been a rough year with hard transitions, but she is so freakin’ strong and has the most amazing little heart.  She has grown and learned and her compassion for others reminds me Everett’s death was not in vain.  While Josh and I are learning to love better so are our kids and Harper has taken this loss of her little brother and tucked it deep into her heart.  We are all becoming braver people and determined to remember every little thing Everett showed us and taught us.

She will be driving solo in 5 years.  She will be an adult and possibly moving out in 7 years.  She’ll be taller than me by this time next year.  It makes me want to grab her and never let go, but it also makes me excited because I really like this girl.  She is a gem and she shines so bright.  The morning of her birthday I hugged her so tight and squeaked out a little “Happy Birthday” through my tears.  I say it a lot and I hope I never stop saying it, but we’re the luckiest parents on the planet.

Harper Kelley, you made us parents!  You are created in God’s image and there are too many lovely things about you to even count.  It’s an honor and privilege to have you in our family.  Thank you for being you and for loving us so well.

Happy 11th birthday!


  1. Happy Birthday Harper! May God bless you abundantly in your 11th year.

  2. Suzonne M. says:

    Happy Birthday Harper!!!!! That girl is special!

  3. Love me some Harper Kelley! We need to steal her for a birthday sleepover!

  4. Happy birthday to your sweet 11 year old girl! She’s going to do amazing things in this world 🙂

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