Celebrating Life

I’ve started this post so many times in my head, but it never got anywhere. Between prescription runs, child drop-offs, working, and party planning – not to mention being emotionally and physically exhausted – I haven’t had much time.

But we did celebrate life. We celebrated my daughter’s 17th birthday. She made it. Despite the toocloseforcomfort call, I got to see her smiling face at 17. I swore THIS year, I would not cry on her birthday.

Because last year?…… Sixteen? WAS SO HARD. I cried a contact right out of my eye in the Hallmark store trying to find a card (Dang you! Hallmark!).

I just knew seventeen would be easier than sixteen, and the age itself is, just not the events leading up to it.

We were in such a shock state this past week. Everything was autopilot and scary. There were many emotional battles I faced – from being angry at the driver of the truck that hurt my family – to cringing at my husband’s cries of pain and worrying about my daughter’s hand. Worrying when she drove, and especially worrying when we were all in the car together.

I hadn’t planned or thought of her birthday at all. But at the last-minute, I took Friday off to get a pedicure with her after-school and do a little surprise birthday planning which included picking up her sisters from school and having them overnight.

What a surprise it was when she got home. And yes, she laughed. We laughed (at silly, fun decorations). Because life is sooo precious and laughter is sooo healing.

Justin Bieber Rockin' Party

Party decorations for Sydney’s 17th (yes, she does LOVE Justin Bieber).

My 17yr old daughter

Seventeen years young and absolutely gorgeous!

Justin Bieber Birthday Party

Two of our very VIP guests. My beautiful step-daughters.


Molly gets into the decorations and has a ball being a mini-teen (just like her idol sister). Note- outfit in above pic complete with phone in hand.

Little Sis Smiley at the party

Bridget, the youngest step-daughter, always gives me a smile no matter what she does. The smile lollipops are for Justin Bieber’s song, You smile, I smile which also played at our wedding.

Cold Stone Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Sydney’s favorite cake…..Cold Stone Chocolate Chip Cookie dough…….HEAVENLY!

Sydney saving her breath

Another year, I will never forget.

Sydney shows her Birthday card

Birthday card by Molly. Complete with her favorite animal the Cheetah. Isn’t that the cutest thing??

Sydney and her boyfriend Brandon

This is Sydney’s sweet boyfriend Brandon. He did the best job wrapping a gift for her and picking out cute stuff. I was very impressed!

Sydney 17 with her step-sisters
All the girls on Sydney’s birthday.

It meant the world to me to have them all together for Syd’s birthday (I really can’t thank their mom enough to give them up on her weekend). I kept counting them, looking at them, and hugging them. We had this wonderful night to celebrate life and give thanks for our family…. truly amazing memories.

Our lives may never be the same, but we are all here and we celebrated that.

Today, Mother’s day, was also incredibly special; being mom to Sydney and getting to spend the day with her. It was also my first year as step-mom, and although I didn’t get to see the little girls, I have them in my heart, along with every precious moment we have shared.

My heart is so very, very full.

Celebrating every second.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

19 thoughts on “Celebrating Life

  1. Momma Diddy

    Nice party theme and I love LOVE Justin Bieber too 😛
    Sydney is such a fine young lady that I wish that I could have a daughter like her and of cause the two little sweetie pie step daughters of yours. I can see that you have been a wonderful mom and step mom to them. *applause*

    Happy Mother’s Day, Angelia.

    Send my regards to Sydney too.
    Happy Birthday pretty young lady.


  2. FYI: Next weekend is Stepmother’s Day on Sunday….and it’s a real thing…I checked 8 years ago when I first became a stepmom!!! Typically the kids are with mom on Mother’s day weekend, which then starts the rotation back to Dad the following weekend…which is when Stepmom’s Day is!


  3. Awww!! I loved reading this post, Angelia! It’s so nice to see the great relationship you share with your daughter! She seems like such a great kid and a sweet big sister too! Happy Birthday to her and I’m so happy to hear that your family is still intact! Lots to be grateful for this year!


  4. Precious moments…so happy you not only enjoy them but record them so that the girls will have lots of photos and words to go with their memories. You are a very special woman, Angelia!


  5. When you take out your “mind’s eye broom” and sweep away everything that doesn’t really matter – it will make a huge pile – what is left will be the precious diamonds that will always be treasured. I believe that we can approach accidents, mishaps, near-misses – all sorts of so-called “bad scary things” – in many ways, but the best way is to see them all as blessed opportunities to rejoice and give thanks for the goodness and love that is always surrounding us. That beauty stands out so much more clearly in the bas relief of hardship and pain. Blessings on you and your family and Happy Birthday, Sydney!


  6. It will take time for the effects of that close call to fade. Trust me, we’re coming up on the year mark and I still get nervous when he drives off alone. But if you view it as a reminder to never ever forget to cherish your loved ones, its bearable. Looks like a fabulous birthday for Syd! The pictures = gorgeous as always.

    Glad you had a good Mother’s Day!



  7. AWE. SOME.

    I love it. I love the decorations. I think you are awesome for having took the day off.

    WAHOO, Sydney!

    I am still so happy that the Molly and Bridget were able to attend. My heart is warmed by that. (Yay MOM for letting your girls be with their big sister on her birthday.) That just makes me sooooo happy, Angelia!

    I just looked up and saw runrettarun’s comment and I was very teary-eyed too.

    Hugs and love all around!


  8. Oh my goodness. I shared with Michael what happened, and we both just said “how much can they go through in a year?!” But of course- you are full of wisdom and gratitude. My best wishes to Sydney and her mom! Celebrating life- what a perfect thing to do!


  9. Elo there. I haven’t been on wordpress for some time & I missed so many things! It seems so much has happened in your life! Hope your whole family ok now and that everything back to normal.. Happy belated birthday to your wonderful daughter 🙂 And she must be proud to have a mum like you, you are great!! 🙂


  10. I remember you writing about Sydney’s 16th like it was just yesterday. How has a whole year gone by? Looks like those “last minute” plans turned into a lot of fun. She really is just a beautiful young lady.
    You’ll have to come by my page and see what we did for Canaan’s 8th birthday a few days ago!


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