On turning 9 & a birthday surprise

As per what’s becoming a tradition now, as her next birthday comes up I’m sharing her previous one (cannot believe she’s turning 10 in a few weeks). Sharing a photo story of her 9th birthday today ending in a birthday surprise that I was most excited about, her first pet (will share a post about guinea pigs as I’ve gotten q’s on that another time isA).

I think I do these birthday posts for myself more than anyone else. Love going back to these birthdays from over the years, watching her grow and seeing a glimpse of myself and what my heart felt like in the moment.. it feels like a gift from the past. Just wanted to share:)


.. & birthday phone call with her nani
Remember how I decorate her room every year? This year’s was just streamers that I already had lying around from her birthday party from a year ago (still need to finish that post haha)
Since her actual birthday surprise was coming later; I just included gifts from family, books she’d been wanting, this penguin stuffie I’d randomly picked up from Safeway and her birthday outfit from her nani that she’d picked a few days ago..
Her nani, my beautiful mama wanted Anya to get a dress from her and we found this sweetest emboidered tulle dress at Nordstrom Rack along with a gorgeous scrunchie. You know I like a new outfit for birthdays.. a silly little ritual I have.
Now that she’s getting older, I want for her birthday to be about more than just the gifts she’s getting – of course it’s a lesson I’ve learned in my 30’s but maybe there are tiny ways to pass on the message to her too? I made her a little bucket list for her day.
Wanted to make scrambled egg for lunch so I helped her with that.
Just happy feels hanging out in the sunshine; she sang some songs for us; and feeling grateful to Allah the gift of motherhood.
Went out to dinner at our favorite Ivars by the water in Gene Coulon Beach Park
followed by some errands.. after which I casually walked into the pet store next doors (I’d visited and bought her birthday gift – baby guinea pigs earlier that day).. and told her we have to pick up our pets! You can imagine the excitement, it was my favorite moment of the day:):)
Picking them up ..
And then apparently they got to meet her bestie too.
I’d realized a little before this that while I used to make her birthday cakes when she was a baby (1st / 2nd birthdays.. ) but hadn’t done that since then which is so funny so I wanted to make a homemade cake for her. Nothing fancy so no recipe to link or share – added a little simple decor on the top:)

And that’s it, there were also videocalls, a gift delivery right on the day of and other fun things and alhamdullilah for a good day. Couldn’t believe I was mom to a 9yo and now it’s going to be a 10 year old inshallah. This time is flying like it’s hard to believe. We had no idea but just a few weeks later the world was going to change like crazy #covid19

Leaving you with a throwback of my own 9th birthday, Nadiya was 6.5 here and 2 months after this Waliya joined our gang. Doesn’t my mama look so beautiful? and look who sweet Papa and Nani Nana look. That doll house remained one of my favorite toys for years, wish I’d saved it for Anya.

ALSO: tips for making a birthday at home special in this one.

ALSO: STORY OF HER 8th / 7th / 6th 5th / 4th / 3rd / 2nd / 1st BIRTHDAYS.

Have any of you been around since her 1st birthday? I get these messages sometimes about how it feels crazy how much she’s grown to you too. So heartwarming and so I’m curious.

Lots of love, Nataliya