Tuesday 22 August 2023

Ava - you're 12!

Dear Ava,

Another year flown by - another year under our belts. As my body has been growing another little member of our family, so much of this pregnancy has felt eerily familiar to my pregnancy with you. The intense sickness, the tiredness, the teaching with a bump and snaffling ginger biscuits in the cupboard to keep the nausea at bay before facing a class of children. It feels somehow like the right kind of way to bookend our family. Our firstborn and our final. So similar in so many ways.

Ava crocheting a blanket for her new baby sibling!

And here we are... 12 years later. 12 years after those deep blue eyes blinked and looked up at me for the first time... when I felt I knew you so well... and yet I didn't know you yet - not like I do now anyway. Not as the kind, compassionate, gentle soul that you are... not as the avid bookworm, skilled footballer, music loving linguist and wonderful friend. You are an all-rounder. You love trying new things, and pretty much take to everything like a duck to water... and yet you have a humility and a gentleness about you which is beautiful to see. You take your responsibilities as a big sister seriously, and Papa and I are so grateful that our other four (!!) children have a role-model like you to look up to.

The gang at the Trevi Fountain in Rome this summer

This year has contained some mountainous change for you, and has been a year where we've really seen you developing and growing in your specific interests. This time last year I was gearing myself up for some big emotions as you made the huge change to secondary school, but you have taken it all in your stride and thrown yourself into everything you can - football, netball, athletics and choir. You are quite the little sportswoman, and as someone so petite, its been thrilling to watch you getting to take part in bigger events and watch your fierce competitiveness push you to achieve some amazing results. I will never forget your first sports day at your new school, when in the 800m race you fell back almost to the back of the 15 other runners as they whizzed off - their long legs far outpacing your little ones, and then I watched with bated breath as you pulled it back and overtook every single one of them to come in first by a good 30m! I almost missed the race... I'm SO glad I got to be there to witness that moment for you!

You love football, and I love that your generation are getting to witness women achieving amazing things in sport! You loved following the World Cup (despite the disappointing result!) and you love your football training at school and every Saturday where you are really being stretched and skilled by some really talented coaches. I love that about you - you are SO like me in almost every way - your appearance, your personality, your quirks and mannerisms... but when it comes to sport, you are definitely your Father's daughter... and I love seeing you thrive in an area I was never particularly gifted at!

At church you have loved moving up to the older youth group and have such a lovely and solid group of girls around you, and some wonderful leaders who you really respect. I love your friendships - at School and at Church. You make wise choices with your friends (you made friends with your best friend on your first day of Reception and are still thick as thieves!) and the girls that you love so much have come to mean so much to us as a family too. And then of course there's your sister, who remains your number one fan. I'm so thrilled to see how close you are even as you grow up (I won't deny there is plenty of bickering too of course!) I hope you always have such a lovely bunch of friends around you. 

Most of all, though, I love seeing your relationship with Jesus grow and mature. Gone are the days of Bible stories in your Pyjamas... it has been pure
joy to see you take your joys and sorrows to Jesus off your own back. The fruit in your life has been evident to see, and I love seeing the Spirit at work in you. He succeeds in changing and transforming where our parenting fails time and time again. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Our prayer for you is that you would continue to lean on the Saviour, to find your joy in him, to run to him when you're struggling... and to build every brick of your life on His firm foundation.

There is no better advice a Mama can give to her daughter.

Ava we love you so much... keep being your wonderful self... keep running to the Saviour for all you need... and keep your eyes fixed on Him - the author and perfecter of your faith.

Happy 12th birthday sweet Ava!

Mama and Papa x 

PS - I'll finish up with a few highlights from this year!

Experiencing life in the cockpit on our way back from Norway in May!

A 121 trip to the British Museum with Mama - we totally geeked out on the biblical history!

Football, football and more football!

Playing "Young Anne" in a full scale production of Kipps the Musical at a local theatre



  1. this is incredible reading and beautiful so thank you for sharing it with us xxx

  2. What a lovely read about our lovely granddaughter. She truly is an all rounder and a lovely soul. Love you Ava x


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