He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Monday, January 11, 2016


For lack of a better excuse, let's just say I didn't post about any of the girls birthdays this year, because I wanted to do them all in one post together.  Yep, that's why...   It's not at all because i have barely had enough time to breathe much less think about blogging about how/why/when and where I'm breathing.  

Anyway, with a New Year is, as always, the realization that time is marching on.  With each passing year, I get more and more desperate to make it slow down.  Of course,  I'm excited about the futures the lie ahead for my girls, but, especially as my Abbey gets closer and closer to leaving the nest, I want to grab on to each moment and soak it in.  The thought of her leaving always has me just moments away from a complete emotional breakdown. So as I looked back on moments and pictures from the fall of things I wanted to post about, I realized that a post focusing on my baby's 16th birthday might not be good for my emotional well being.  

Then I realized that I hadn't posted any of their birthday celebrations.  Solution!  One post about all the birthdays we've celebrated this year will keep me from being overly sappy and emotional about any one individual milestone...  Right?  We'll see.

I really can't think of enough superlatives to describe the ways each of these little ladies have stolen my heart.  Each in their own unique and special way.  
I was chatting with a friend recently about daughters and drama.  She asked me which of my 4 was the most dramatic and I quickly responded, "Naomi!" without missing a beat.  She is our comedian, our entertainer.  She marches to the beat of her own drummer and challenges me in the best possible ways.  Love this girl. 
Naomi was very excited to celebrate her birthday in America this year.   

She wanted neopolitan cupcakes.

And cake.
We had fun figuring out how to make that happen!

With a February birthday, the weather is not very cooperative to plan on something outdoors.  The house we were living in was a bit too small to host a large crowd of giggly girls.  So we opted for a putt-putt birthday across town.

Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of the finished cake before attempting to carry it across town in a torrential downpour.  (good thing we didn't plan for an outdoor party!)
It was ok, though- still tasty good even though the presentation was a bit lacking...
Pretty sure these crazy girls didn't notice!
I really didn't get many pictures at all.  Can I just say Putt Putt is a very loud place?  Sensory overload!  AND since it was raining, the girls missed out on the many outdoor activities (like, well, putt-putt).  Thankfully there was lots of fun to be had in the video arcade...
Anabelle loved the bowling alley!

There was also laser tag fun (no pictures), lots more video games (no pictures) and pizza.  There was also a ropes course up above the video game area.  This was as far as Naomi got on that...
Some of the girls made it but mostly there were tears and few willing to venture out on the ropes!
Overall a very fun party in the good ole USA.  

Fast forward a few months to May and we celebrated Miss Anabelle's b'day.  This little girl is such a joy.  She may give Naomi a run for her money as reigning drama queen of the Cox family, but for now, it's hard to tell what is true drama and what is just being four.  

Talk about no pictures from Naomi's b'day- ALL I have from AB's day is the above collage from my phone!  Oh well.  We got her a new b'ball goal (that stayed in the US at mom's house) but she loved it for the few months she had to play with it.  I was also off the hook as far as cake, because she wanted a hello kitty ice cream cake that she saw at the store.  Score!  
AB's birthday occasionally falls on Mother's Day which was the case this past year.  We had a fun family day celebrating our little princess!

July rolled around and it was time to celebrate Maddie's 14th birthday!  (Seriously, where does the time go?!)  This girl is pure sweetness.  I love seeing how God is growing her love for creating beauty whether it be on a canvas or in the kitchen.  We spent the week of her birthday at Papa and Nana's farm so she was able to spend lots of quality time in the great outdoors doing things that she loves.
Picking blueberries and other gardening.. 
 Fishing in the pond...

Helping Papa and Nana take care of the animals.

We spent Maddie's actually birthday with all the family at Lake Winnie, an awesome family amusement park in Chattanooga,

So we had Maddie's birthday celebration the night before.

She requested carrot cake and the ever versatile birthday punch (this time green to match our plates and napkins)

Anabelle was a great helper to her big sister, as I'm sure you can imagine!

August came and went like a blur as we traveled back to Jordan from the US, then traveled some more for some meetings and finally made it back to Jordan to stay around the beginning of September,  just in time to prep for AJ's 16th birthday.  So amazingly hard to believe! 

Abbey Joy.  My mini-me.   I get this girl down in the deepest part of me. She is talented in ways I have never been and never will be as far as natural leadership and love for theatre and the stage, but I can relate to her deepest struggles and fears without them even having to be verbalized.  Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this one!   I can't believe it will be less than 2 years until she officially spreads her wings and heads out on life's great adventure.  And that's all I have to say about that. (for now).  (emotional basket case, much?!)

Abbey reminded us all several times that she was the "ONLY FAMILY MEMBER" who didn't get to have her b'day in the US this year.  Woe is her! 

She requested fish tacos and a mexican fiesta bar for her birthday.  

And lemon cheesecake to finish it off!

As the ONLY FAMILY MEMBER with a non US b'day, we had to draw Abbey's birthday out a bit.  So we had our family celebration and a few days later, she and one of her besties had a double slumber party.

These 2 are 4 days apart and have been having birthdays together long enough that they had a Littlest Pet Shop cake back in the day...

They've moved on to more sophisticated mint chocolate chip cakes...
So thankful for life long friends!

OH, and I didn't mention that this was a multi location party.  They only came to us after having a pizza dinner at Taylor's house before coming to us for the cake and sleep-over part.

Anabelle was never too far from the center of activity.  Especially when it came to helping "Tay Tay" open gifts!

Abbey made Taylor this painted canvas with pictures of their 10 year plus friendship.  Love these girls!

So there you have it.  The Cox girls birthdays in one simple post.  Just in time for the 2016 cycle of birthdays to roll around!

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