3 Cheers!

Last Sunday we celebrated Freida, and her arrival at the big 3. There are so many things to be grateful for when a child reaches a new age, a new year... but the most important thing to celebrate is the child themselves. I can't even begin to describe the magnitude of joy that having Freida in my life has brought about for me. When we named her Freida (yiddish for joy), I did so with my great-grandmother (her namesake) in mind - there was nothing quite as joyful to me as the memory of the intense joy that older women portrayed when I met her as a young girl. She twirled me in circles singing Hava Nagillah with the brightest of smiles lighting up her warm and wrinkled face. I so wanted joy like hers in my old age as well, and so I named my firstborn daughter with what I hoped would be a guarantee for giggles, good nature, and great big smiles. This little 3-year-old blessing has in fact brought such intense happiness to every moment of my life - and while days surely go by when I take this for granted, her very special day of birth serves as a concrete reminder as to how much appreciation I truly have for the gift of birth, life, and for the special little birthday girl herself!

Naturally, having my mother in town to celebrate her with was the icing on the cake. I just kept thinking of the day after Freida was born - Shabbos morning - sleeping in my hospital bed, cuddled up with my sweet sleeping newborn, and opening my eyes to see my mother sitting there on the chair just watching us sleep... There really is nothing even close to the bond of a mother-daughter relationship, and I feel so blessed to be so close to my own mom, and even more grateful to be given the gift of a daughter!

We gathered the gang of family and cousins together for a little afternoon backyard princess-gone-medieval party :)

Freida took the "no bouncing without a costume" rule very, very seriously. To get into that bouncy house you must don some dress-up garment or accessory. No two ways about it.

Happiest Birthday wishes, little lady!! I can't believe I've only known you for 3 short years - and yet can't believe you are 3 years old!! Looking forward to sharing many more bright moments through your sweet blue eyes in the year to come! Happy Birthday!

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