A long overdue post in recording the celebration of Emma's 15th birthday in early November...
Our dear sweet Emma,
Oh, how you longed for the day to turn the page on your fourteenth year of life. The trials and struggles and complexities of this past year have only deepened our great love for you. You warned us that "everyone" says 14 is the hardest year ever, and we can now confirm that alongside you. BUT, that doesn't mean it was a year empty of hope because we trust and have seen how God is holding you in His grip and never letting you go with his outpouring of love and grace upon grace.
When you bounced down the granite steps on the morning of your birthday and embraced me with the biggest bear hug ever, saying "I can't wait to live!" I was brought to tears. And your joy throughout the day never wavered. In many ways it was a symbolic day for you in starting a new chapter, hope filled about the new year ahead.
It was our great joy to celebrate alongside with you and reflect on the amazing fifteen years of loving and parenting our most favorite daughter ever! It warmed our hearts to once again see you and Samuel walk out the door together to do another birthday photo shoot. I think it has become your new sibling tradition. Samuel did an amazing job capturing your spunky side and gorgeous face!
Your day then proceeded with online classes in the afternoon, followed by dinner at America Graffiti where you ordered a 500g deluxe burger. Your teenage hunger and metabolism gave you no problems with inhaling every bite down and then helping me finish off my fries!
Leaving just enough room for birthday cake, we returned home for presents and dessert. Gone are the days when you would give me a theme or idea for decorations. Thankfully you still insist on a cake flavor which was once again chocolate cake with crema filling, and the "good" buttercream (i.e. American, not Italian buttercream). I ventured out to choose a cactus themed cake because it was just so cute--and I know how you love pink.
|scarf/shawl from the Panzarino family|
|Irish Aran sweater from Dublin from us + money |
from others to go towards your bass guitar savings fund.
|Nano and Papa's gift in the mail the day after|
Lest you think our celebrations ended there...I also took you and Dalida out to celebrate your birthdays that are only 1 week apart. In between your special days, we had a girls day out shopping, having lunch, picking out paint color to redo your bedroom, and ending our full day with coffee and sweets. Such a fun day!
You also got more ear piercings for your birthday. But since you nearly fainted in the process I forgot to snap pictures. :) [Ear piercing guns are illegal in Italy, so the good ol' needle method was done without numbing cream--crazy brave girl!]
And finally...we concluded your birthday celebrations on Saturday with the Ferrarini family. Because how could we not?! You and Stefano are twins, born on the same day and year. What a gift this dear family has grown to mean to us this fall. It was God's perfect timing and gift to bring Stefano and Sara (10 days older than Luca) into your life when He did, with a connection so natural and genuine. We can spend all day together and it feels like mere hours. We stuffed ourselves with amazing food for lunch and then had not one but two more cakes to enjoy. We are so very thankful for these friendships, from regular family gatherings to Wednesday night hang outs while the dad's jam to Thursday night hang outs for you and Stefano to jam. God is so good!
Emma, we pray your day and celebrations were memorable. We count it our greatest joy and honor to be your parents. We could not ask for a more courageous, honest, determined, talented, beautiful inside and pretty outside, unique, intelligent, and grateful daughter. We pray this coming year brings joy and peace and a greater understanding of yourself and who you are as a daughter of the King. God is writing a beautiful story with your life and we can't wait to see how that continues to unfold. We love, love, LOVE you ALWAYS AND FOREVER NO MATTER WHAT!!