Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Ava!

It seems unreal to me that my baby girl is 3 years old today! I think back over the last three years and realize how much joy and love Ava has brought into our lives. Our little miracle baby is now a smart and sassy little girl!

I love that even before she was born, Ava was bringing glory to God! When I was 38 weeks pregnant, Ava was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta . . . a heart disorder that would require surgery the week after she was born. Literally people all over the world were praying that she would be healed. Her crazy birth (evacuating Gustav at 40 weeks, 23 hours of labor then a C-section) is a story in itself! The greatest part, though, was when they checked her heart after birth and found that it was PERFECT! God completely healed her heart and received all the glory for it!

I love this picture, even though my family probably won't appreciate me putting it on here! :) It captures the emotions we were all feeling as we waited for Ava to be born. Chad got to walk her from the OR to the nursery, which gave our family a chance to get their first glimpse of my precious girl!

Family of 3! We were clueless, but already had such hearts of gratitude for the gift God had given us. We had a moment at the hospital (there was more drama after she was born that was very stressful) where we cried out to God and surrendered Ava into His hands . . . the best place for her!

Is this not the most adorable picture? I know I'm biased, but she was an absolutely beautiful baby girl!

The cuteness continues!

Ava has been tiny from the very beginning, but don't let that fool you . . . she has a BIG personality!

One thing that has been so funny to watch as Ava has grown up is how she wants to be just like Mommy! She talks like me, uses the same mannerisms and is a little feisty like me too!

She likes to exercise (and stretch) like me . . .

wear makeup like me . . .

I don't stroll around with no clothes on, but she almost always has a purse on her arm and loves to take care of her babies!

She also loves to cook . . . helping me make dinner or taking orders and cooking something up in her own kitchen!

Ava wants to be like me, but she's always been a Daddy's girl at heart. She LOVES spending time with Daddy and it is amazing to watch Chad love and teach her!

One of Ava's favorite things to do with Daddy is to go "exploring" which usually entails picking up random stuff and poking ant hills! When we were in Arkansas earlier this summer, Chad took Ava on a Daddy-Daughter date and they went exploring for a whole morning!

Ava is an incredible big sister! She has loved Grayson from the moment he arrived . . . sometimes a little too much love comes out in some big squeezes, but he's survived so far!

Grayson is enamored with Ava and now that he is scooting/crawling, he follows her all around the house. He'll definitely be learning a lot from her, both good and bad. :)

Ava has such a sweet heart and fun personality . . .

For such a little girl, she is very aware of the feelings of others and has a compassionate heart. Judson was sad the other day as his mommy drove away and I captured Ava comforting him and telling him it would be okay. So sweet!

Who Dat?! Ava is a SAINTS fan! In fact, for the longest time every time she saw a football or a game on TV she would say "Go Saints!"

My girl is little, but she plays hard! At Leigh Ann's wedding last summer, Ava had so much fun that she literally fell asleep standing up!

Ava loves to swim! She stayed with my parents when Chad and I went to East Asia last year for two weeks. We were worried about how she would do, but clearly she was having a blast and wasn't afraid of anything! She has a little more fear this year, but still loves to be in the water.

I have a fashionista on my hands! Ava loves to dress up in all manner of crazy outfits, but is never without her princess high heels!

Evidently we have a little entrepreneur as well. Ava had her first lemonade stand at our yard sale to raise money for our adoption. She tried to charge on lady $600 for a cup!

My girl is really into painting and crafts, which has been a lot of fun! I love seeing her creativity come out!
Ava has such a beautiful heart, which is hard to capture in a picture. Through our family worship times and just everyday life, she is learning about Jesus and memorizing Scripture . . . we pray that God continues to shape her heart.

Edgewater has prayerwalking in our neighborhood once a month and Ava is always in her stroller and ready to go! She is already a little prayer warrior! In fact, God used Ava's prayers to confirm that we are supposed to adopt from Africa. She had our family praying for Africa every night during family worship for months!

I can't believe that we've now had 3 birthdays with my girl . . .

Her first taste of chocolate on her 1st birthday!

Bob and Larry (Veggietales) party for her 2nd birthday!

Ice cream party with lots of friends for her 3rd birthday!

What a beautiful little girl God has entrusted to us! Happy Birthday Ava!


  1. She is absolutely beautiful! Praise God for children!! Thanks for sharing the pics! They're awesome and do a great job of showing us that beautiful big heart in that little beautiful girl!!

  2. I couldn't stop laughing and smiling while reading this, Cole... :) :D I know Ava's life is a true miracle and I can't wait to see how God continues to use her! Love you guys!!