Dear Ali,

It’s been a wonderful year since your last birthday – I’ve loved the amazing adventures and conversations that we have had.

Thankfully, we didn’t experience anything that could even be close to being called the Terrible Twos (although I know you’re making no promises about the Threes yet).

In fact, you were, for the most part, downright agreeable, letting me teach you such words as Axiomatically Bombastic, being eager to learn your states and your presidents, and finally wanting to learn how to write.

Sure, we had our moments. Especially related to poo. And sure, you talked my ear off at times and wanted to grow up way too fast, but overall, this year has been better than I had ever imagined it.

Here are some of the highlights:

This year, you got to try new things, like Snow (obviously last March, not yesterday’s snow-letdown): Snow
Of which you weren’t a fan..Snow2

(You much preferred mud-puddles)Mud

Waterslides, Waterslide1
Um, also not a fan..Waterslide2

Your first trampoline, Trampoline

Your first haircut,IMG_5546

Your first wedding,Wedding

And you got to start your Olympic training in GymnasticsGym1
…of which you were SUCH a fan, you made sure to practice everywhere.Gym2

You and AJ continued your best of friendship throughout the year: AJ1




And you even began hanging out with some boys…


You adored the beach…Beach0Beach1Beach2
Honed your musical skills,
IMG_3112 copy

As well as your milk-bubble talents.

You cheered for your Daddy’s favorite team (you know – the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS..apparently you’re good luck),IMG_3384

And practiced Greek Dancing in honor of your Mommy’s heritage.
You developed your own funky sense of style,



IMG_2437 copy
And ADORED you some makeup. Makeup1

Thank you for making this year adventurous, hilarious, at times mysterious, and just plain fun.

On your last birthday:1

Month One:2

Month Two:3

Month Three:4

Month Four:5

Month Five:6

Month Six:7

Month Seven:8

Month Eight:9

Month Nine:10

Month Ten:11

Month Eleven:12

Month Twelve:IMG_6667

Just one request for this next year… please don’t get too grown up on me.

…please keep making up your own contractions, like “am’t” instead of the boring way adults say “I’m not”…

…please keep making up your own past tenses, like “doos” and “gotted”…

…and please keep drawing your own conclusions, like “My Eyes are Bright!” instead of “The sun is bright!”

Happy Threeday, Ali!

Leave your comment below!


  1. Happy Birthday Ali!!!!!

  2. Happy Birthday to the girl with the sweetest curls EVER!

    Thanks for sharing her with us Rachel.

  3. Happy, happy 3rd birthday, sweet Ali! May this be a wonderful year full of surprises, adventure, knowledge, mystery, understanding, and wonder! God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you!

  4. Hope Ali has a wonderful 3rd Birthday!

  5. Super sweet and adorable!

  6. contin kandy says:

    Happy Birthday Ali!

  7. If she gets any cuter, she'll be twins. I don't really understand that saying…but, you understand what I'm trying to say…Happy birthday, ALI!!

  8. Tina - My Own Party of 5 says:

    Awwww…She's getting so big!

    Happy 3rd Birthday Ali! I hope your day is filled with all of your favorite things!

  9. That last little part made me a little sad :(. I love when Sam does that too with the past tenses – isn't it cute?

    Ali is just precious and you've got some great photos here :).

  10. Beautiful, beautiful Ali, Happy Birthday!
    Awesome post, Rachel!

  11. Congratulations on making it three years Rachel! You have learned a lot, and have a beautiful little girl to show for it. Happy Birthday Princess Ali!

  12. I just LOVE her! The pics are so great – she has the cutest, curliest hair I've ever seen!

  13. Absolutely sweet!

    Where did you find her Hello Kitty rainboots? Rayna is obsessed with HK and I would love to get her some!

    (PS I spy some MAC makeup! lol)

  14. Happy Birthday, Sweet Ali! I hope "3" wll be a magical year for you!

  15. Cannonicity says:

    This post is precious! She will love looking at these when she is 16 some day! Hope she has a great birthday!

  16. She continues to be one of the cutest and funniest little girls I know! I hope y'all have a wonderful birthday!

    As far as the contractions, Joe who has almost flawless grammar, still says "teached!"

  17. Happy Birthday, Ali! Loved seeing her year in review. ;)

  18. Happy Birthday Ali! Eli's looking forward to your partay tomorrow!

  19. Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) says:

    What amazing photos!!!!

    Happy birthday to your sweet little girl. She is so wonderful.

    You have so many beautiful photos of her. I love it.

  20. Awww! She is just beautiful! Happy birthday to the birthday girl!!!

  21. Momisodes says:

    What an awesome birthday post! I loved looking at all of the photos of her throughout the year.
    I definitely remember some of those posts!

    Happy Threeday Ali! Hope all of your wishes come true :)

  22. Elizabeth says:

    She will love looking back on this when she's older! Happy Birthday Ali!

  23. awww, what a great recap.
    Happy threeday Alie!

  24. Happy Birthday, Ali!!!!!!!

    Love, Giann

  25. This Is The Day says:

    Happy Birthday Ali!!!

    What a sweet post! She is going to LOVE looking through all these posts when she is older…what a great thing for you to do for her.

    She is just too cute!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday my sweet angel girl!

  27. I sure hope she had a wonderful birthday party today. I sure wish I could have come. Alex and I are both miserable today.

    I did get her 2 cute dresses and some craft stuff so hopefully she'll like her gift. I hope she doesn't get this. I didn't know yesterday when I hugged her that I had caught what Blakelee had the night of the Championship game. Literally everyone but my mother has gotten this so far. We're hoping mom doesn't get it all all, but that will be hard considering Craig had this all day yesterday and he lives with mom.

    Have fun, and let Ali know I love her and I really wanted to be there today.

  28. Happy Belated Birthday to sweet Ali! I love the series of pictures. She is such a beautiful little girl!

  29. Rachel,
    Happy, happy birthday to sweet Ali, who, of course, shares her birthday with Braaten. I'm sorry I missed saying it on her special day. Umm, I was a little busy.

    I love this post all about her "threeday". Favorite photos: the one that had me laughing out loud was the one with the biggest hair on her I've ever seen. I enjoyed the photos with her new friends called boys, and the last few of month 10, 11, and 12. She is precious and you are the best blog writer ever!


  30. She's adorable! Happy b-day!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday Ali!!!
    This has to be the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

Speak Your Mind