Monday, August 19, 2013

You Say It's Your Birthday

Back when progress was the name of the game, I used to live this life with expectations. Once that ship sailed, it took with it the life of expectation (within reason of course). And I don't just mean with Aviana, it crosses over into many areas of my life. I have to say, a life without them - is a much better life to live.

This birthday, her seventh, was by far the best. I realize it was because in the past, I placed expectations all over her, and the day. Poor girl didn't deserve that. Early on, I was comparing her birthdays of the past to her birthdays as they are now. As we dragged her through therapy, I assessed her with each passing birthday. I compared what she couldn't do with what she could before, and even what the other kids we saw every six months were doing.  After accepting Aviana for who she is, life got much better. Of course, the sadness for what is still finds its way. I really should try and separate what I mean clarify. But for now, I will say, while (for many reasons) there were some difficult moments leading up to her birthday...there was really no grief or sadness to shelve on her actual day.

We didn't necessarily plan, and ended up having a really great day. We decided to take her to the zoo, and then to Farrell's. She was only kind of into the zoo at first, but that was okay, just as long as she was out and about...that's what mattered. I thought she would like meeting the giraffes, but she didn't really have any reaction. Years ago, I would have been crushed...not anymore. Now, we just move onto the next. I then thought she would love the carousel, not the sitting on our laps in the seat part, but the actual riding an animal, up and down, wind in your hair action. And she did! She loved it! Her face softened. Her eyes got big, and lit up! She was lifting her head! That's the reaction we were looking for. It takes time to find what she likes, but when you do. So, we rode a few times! After that, everything else at the zoo was boring to we left in hopes of finding something else.

What else makes this girl happy inside? Strawberry milkshakes and a birthday song from the fine people at Farrell's. She wasn't even interested in the sundae once they exited stage left. She kept looking in their vacant direction, her eyes pleading "come back's still my birthday. I have cute hair to offer you."

Have I told you lately how in love I am with all of our family, friends and everyone who wished Aviana a Happy Day? It's all of you who help pull me through time and again. I am so appreciative. This year, Aviana had the most reaction she's ever had to every present that found its way to her from each person. She loved every moment of the opening process. For a girl who doesn't react to much, it was obvious...her 7th birthday was her favorite birthday since the accident.

She wasn't wild about this beautiful boy, but he was the highlight of my life!!

Aviana looks like she's saying, "Lions and Tigers and Bears...b-o-r-i-n-g!!"

She was still bored at this point, before it moved.

"Eh, what's this thing do?"

The video doesn't do her love for the ride any justice because I'm not good at filming, I got in trouble, and then I ran out of room on my phone : / But I tried...

Do you remember Farrell's?

I've got my eye on you! 

Come here.

Milkshake Break!

Stretch it out girl...there's more coming!

My favorite.

Happy Birthday Ariana!! ; )

Come back...please!!

Forget the sundae Daddy. Use your words and get them back...please. 

Okay...I guess I'll settle for the sundae.

I'll be back with the present post...


  1. I am so happy that she had a good birthday! Looks like a wonderful time.

    Boy, did that giraffe have a long tongue - wow!

    Love to you all ♥

    1. Yes he did. I sent that picture to my mom from the zoo and she said something like, that's disgusting, gross!!!

  2. So so so cute!!! She looks adorable! Happy birthday Aviana!

    Face it Jen, the zoo was YOUR idea, wasn't it? You just used the excuse of "oh, it's my daughter's 7th birthday, let's go to the zoo!" That's ok, you use Aviana :)

    LOVED the birthday video of them rocking out for her.

    Did you notice you were wearing stripes? Apparently it's contagious too because it has spread to Dave. Next thing you know Aviana and Rainey will be wearing stripes too!

    I love you.

    1. No was Dave's, I was barely thinking at the time. I can't seem to plan anything anymore, but if I WAS thinking...I would have said ZOO ; ) And of course...I have no problem 'using' my daughter to see the giraffe. I went through a few times too! I could have stayed with them for the rest of my life!!

      No, I didn't notice I was wearing stripes and even after I read your comment I had to go back and look. They are contagious. I even sent Avi for her first day of school in them. Rainey does have about 16 different collars, including stripes!!! You will be wearing, and LOVING them just wait and see!

  3. What a wonderful day! Happy Birthday Aviana!! Seven already?? How can that be. It looks like it was a very happy day. I cracked up at the Happy Birthday song. I love Farrells :)

    1. Thank you! I know, can you believe it? I surely can't!! I so loved the birthday song. I think I have watched it at least 12 times. I too, loved Farrell's when I was little. I am so happy it is back!

  4. So glad you guys all had a wonderful day Happy Birthday!!!!!

  5. Aviana lights up the world around her. It just makes me happy when I look at her precious face. So glad that your family was able to enjoy the day. Funny how Dave and Avianna were behaving and you are the one that got in trouble. Jen Hodder needs to step away from the edge. That made me laugh so hard.

  6. What a great way to spend a birthday! You Sac people must be the only ones left to have a Farrells. It's the perfect party place and Avi looked mighty pleased with her celebration!


  7. Every time I check in with your story, I am deeply touched and moved by the truest sense of what "love" means, shown to us through your life with Avianna. You are an inspiration to those of us who want to love unconditionally. It is beautiful.