The day you turned 5

As per tradition now, a photo story of the day you turned 5.

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Your baba and I stayed up the night before to blow up these balloons for you to wake up to on your big day.

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Waking up the next day, super excited to be turning 5. A little post-breakfast celebration in the form of a mini donut tower.

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I made you a little treasure hunt for your birthday gift and you were so excited as you tried to find each little clue leading up to your present.

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Exploring your brand new little robot. // And later helping me make our birthday cake.

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Talking to your nani on the phone and telling her about your gift // More robot exploring with your daddy. (This is the one Bilal got)

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I told you I wanted to take some birthday photos + do a video-interview of you and you excitedly decorated the space for me. (Here is an example for you guys.)

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You chose Cheesecake Factory for your birthday dinner because of the Happy Birthday song they sing for you and it made me reminiscent of your 3rd birthday dinner there. How time flies!

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I had been feeling bad that I hadn’t baked your birthday cake after your 1st and 2nd birthdays when you were too young even to enjoy them and wanted to make the rainbow one that you wanted. Sadly it was an absolute disaster (Please don’t ask why). So sorry baby girl. Thank God for the tiny extra cake we had made that we were able to decorate instead!

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Hanging out with us as we couldn’t stop remembering the day you walked into our lives. 5 years of being your parents Alhamdullilah!

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All day we got messages from all over and we tried to read as many out to you as we could. Ending the day with some Skype with some of your favorite people.

PHOTO STORIES FROM EACH OF HER PREVIOUS BIRTHDAYS HERE.

Thanks for stopping by! Lots of love!

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Letters to Anya: Here it comes, the princess phase

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Dear heart of mine, I tried to never use the word ‘princess’ to refer to the Disney characters in front of you since you were young, and proudly used to tell anyone that asked you what princess you liked that you had no idea about them. But then slowly, a little less than a year ago, I started noticing a change in you. It started with your love for tutu skirts, and wanting to only wear dresses with flouncy skirts. Then one time in the car going somewhere, you quietly asked me, ‘We don’t like princesses, right?’. It broke my heart as I asked you if you liked them and you slowly said yes. I felt bad that even though I had never said it explicitly, my indirect ways had given you the message that you can’t like princesses! My baby girl, I would never want to force my opinions on you and despite my struggles with this whole princess thing, I am slowly learning to accept it as a phase and letting you enjoy it. These days many of our mornings start with you wanting to have your hair like Elsa, look like her and talk like her, or being a beautiful fairy princess ; but then turns into a day of spaceship journeys, lots of reading ‘Elephant and Piggie’ books, watching Bubble Guppies and Word World and making artwork over artwork. I never thought I would say this, I don’t mind at all for right now!

I just want you to know that the world is your oasis and that you can be anything, you can do anything. I just want you to know that there are amazing strengths in you, that your inside is so beautiful that your outside could never ever even match that! I just hope you grow up knowing you’re beautiful just the way you are and you don’t need to look like any standard of beauty that culture forces upon you, to feel good enough. I try to explain to you sometimes when you ask me if you look beautiful, that what makes a person really that, is the beauty of their hearts. I tell you what a beautiful, kind, heart you have and that I love that best about you, and as you smile that bright little smile of yours, I know we will get through this. We will get through this princess phase and all the other phases that will follow as long as you know that the beauty of your heart is so much more important than the beauty of your outside.

Love, Your Mama.