Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hannah Ray Baker is 19 today!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hannah Ray Baker!!! Here is the BEAUTIFUL Birthday girl on her way out for a birthday dinner and going to see a play called Wicked, with her guy!

And here is the happy couple!!
Hannah Ray, my precious 3rd daughter!! She is pure joy to Ray and I! She is even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside and that's, WOW, because she is GORGEOUS! She is the kindest, most gentle, merciful, SWEET, discerning, WISE, gracious and a GODLY young woman!! She is what every parent would dream of having in a daughter!! I have loved being her Momma!! I pray to be more like her every single day. I can't wait for this next year in her life. She is going to be blown away by what the Lord has for her!! She probably is 1 of his favorites, ha!! I don't know what I did to deserve her (Ray I'm sure deserves her) but I am SO GRATEFUL for my precious Hannah!! Austin has such an amazing gift that he will be able to walk this life with. She is a rare, rare gem!!

So Hannah, ALL grown up and going to be a wife in 5 short months! I know I have said it before but I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! Today is her birthday and the last birthday as a "Baker" girl! I really didn't know that that reality would hit me so hard!! I added up all the ages of my 5 children and I have celebrated 93 different birthday days with them. Almost all of them I have been in charge of, planned and ENJOYED!! 93 BIRTHDAYS is a lot!! And it hit me that this birthday would be the last that I would be "responsible" for. Ray says we should shout for joy but I'm just a bit sad about it. Birthdays are a BIG, BIG DEAL in our family. It's the celebration of YOU!! We do them up BIG! Not with huge, lavish gifts or anything like that but it's a day that when the clock strikes midnight you get a call from everyone in our family. You get a text and now a twitter or a Facebook comment almost immediately. It begins at midnight and for the next 24 hrs. you're a REALLY big deal. Next is usually breakfast - it happens 1 of a few ways. Breakfast in bed by Daddy, taken to your favorite place by sisters or sleeping in! Then lunch is usually skipped because of breakfast but toes & fingers are usually done at a local salon. Then a party of some kind is had, even if it's only family. Special is what you feel the WHOLE DAY!!! I have a feeling most of these traditions won't change next year when she's Hannah Ray Baker Benjamin (she told us yesterday that she wants to be a Baker forever so she's keeping her maiden name, ahhh). She was talking about her next years birthday and I told her that if it's a weekend they could come over and stay the weekend. Well her eyes lite up and she ran to Austin & grabbed her phone to see what the day will fall on. He giggled at her & they figured out that next year it would be ON Memorial Day so we discussed going camping as a family. I think by May she will be very comfortable being away from home but right now I think it's hard for her to take. Austin being precious just agrees that they can come stay the weekend. So, Austin and Hannah will start new tradition in their little family and we have all of our amazing memories of amazing birthdays!! So I have enjoyed this birthday day with Hannah like I did the other 18!

This year Ms. Hannah has had 2 days of fun because this is a BIG 1 in all of our minds! Yesterday we all piled up and went to Turner Falls in Oklahoma for the day. We took some friends of all of ours and then some of Ray's family was there camping for the weekend so we got to spend some time with more family. I can't express how amazing our day was. It couldn't have been more perfect!!!

Here are bunches of pics of our day!
The drive was a lot of fun & here is 1 of our stops on the way.

Silly, BEAUTIFUL Hannah

Here is the group & friends that went.

These are some pics of us at Turner Falls

A bunch of them went hiking up the side of the 77 foot waterfall and LOVED it. Here is a few of that.

After a full day of fun we headed to the camp site where Aunt Wendy, Cousin Rena's family and Cousin Bobbi's family were. We played horseshoes and other games. Then came the most amazing steak dinner w/ all the fixins & her Aunt Wendy made her favorite dessert - dirt cake!! SO SWEET!!

And then today she, yes, went to breakfast and she got a garden (she said) of flowers and was SURPRISED by her guy and went to see a play that she has been wanting to see SO bad - WICKED!! She got lots of money because that's what she wanted. She's heading to Ikea with Austin tomorrow to buy stuff for their bedroom when they're married. WOW!! Crazy!!

Here she is with her flowers, cookie cake and some of her $$$!!!

So her birthday is almost over and her life here in our home is coming to an end but years and years and years of birthdays are still to be celebrated in her life. I pray I get to share many, many more of them with her. I love you Hannah Ray Baker - you are a JOY to your Mother!! You're more precious to me than the day you were born 19 years ago. In fact I LOVE YOU more than the very, very last number!!! I THANK God for you and for your LIFE!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Do I REALLY have a child that is 25??

WOW!! Rach is 25 years old today!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY my #1 daughter!! It's been a wonderful day spent with her. Sarah & Hannah had to work so Olivia and I had the honor of spending the day with the birthday girl. She woke up with breakfast in bed that Liv got her and then her best friend Megan got her a 1 hr. massage. After that Liv, Ray, Grant & I took her to a nice birthday lunch. Then we dumped the boys off and Liv, Rach and I headed to our favorite salon for a manicure and pedicure! It's been a wonderful day. Tonight she is going with some of her girlfriends for sushi and then back home for some dessert & girl time.

Rach starts the "Summer of Baker Birthdays"! We have 2 in May (Rach & Han), 1 in June (Megan), 2 in July (Sarah & Austin), 1 in August (Olivia) and 1 in September (Grant)!! And that's just the Summer! Plus mine is in May & Mother's day! OH BOY I'm tired. But 25 is a BIG 1. Rachel is 1/2 way to 50 or 1/4 of a century old -- or what she realized at lunch -- 5 YEARS from 30!! WOW, I don't feel that I could have a 25 year old child, but I DO!!

The times with my grown children just get better and better every year. That is for sure how I feel about my time with Rach!! She has been such a grown up for years but our friendship has grown so much in just the last few months! Her best bud Megan moved away and even though we miss her terribly, it freed up some time I think for more time with Rachel and the rest of us!! She's so much fun and she's always up to go or do anything. She's our family "cruise director" and she keep most of us in line!

I'm so proud of my eldest and so, so, so proud of the woman she is. I just can't express the love I have for her. She's the rarest kind of person with her love for people and the way she loves to make everyone in her life feel so special!! Birthdays are Rachel's thing that she LOVES to do for other people. She tries to make everyone around her have the BEST birthday, the best birth when they have a baby, the best wedding, the best anniversary, the best--WHATEVER is going on in their life. If you have your wisdom teeth out, Rach is there to bring you a ballon, a funny card and ice cream! She is such a GIVER and I so love that about her. She has the heart of her Heavenly Father! So when it's her birthday it's hard not to want to give her the moon!! I love that she loves so well. She's such an encourager and she gets excited for people when others would'nt think much of a friends new car or a new outfit or a new apartment. She has a way of making you feel so good about yourself - such a wonderful characteristic about her.

I have so many dreams for her and her future. I can't even imagine how much more the Lord wants for her!! The future is SO BRIGHT and the SKY IS THE LIMIT!!!! She is working so much on herself and I'm beyond excited to see the transformation happen in her life. So Rachel, my sweet, precious daughter that made me a Mommy - I love you SO, SO, SO MUCH!!! I'm excited to see what the next year is going to bring!!! We are on a wonderful journey together and I wouldn't want to be on it with anyone but YOU!!! Have a wonderful evening and I can't wait to share the rest of our lives together as Mom and Daughter - Friend and Friend!!

I love you more than the very, very last number!!!

Just a few pictures of her 25 years!!