We have given up trying to put balloons up while Anna and Taylor are asleep on the night before their birthday as they stay up later than we do and because we don't want to wake them up too early in the morning.... so Jason and I put these up while Anna was in dance on the night before her birthday, and she walked in to find her room decked out with gold balloons and with photos all around. This was such fun to scroll through tons of photos to pick some favorites.
Our boy is turning 13 this month so we've been intentional about trying to create something that would fit his personality and that would speak to his heart to help mark this "crossing" year. We did a more elaborate version of this for his sister, Anna, but he made it very clear that he did not want the same kind of pageantry. As we thought about how to tweak some of our ideas that we'd put in place before, we still had some of the same goals that we'd had for Anna. The ultimate message that we wanted him to hear and remember was that he is loved. One small thing we did in preparation to drive this home was that we had him memorize Psalm 139 over a period of a few months as this passage is a beautiful reminder of God's love for us and His presence with us. We also wanted Taylor to know that as he turned from 12 to 13 into the realm of being a teenager that he was not doing this alone. We wanted him to know that he has a team of people