December 29, 2008



Dear Michal, Dear Kenna,

Today was your fifth birthday. Five. How is it possible that you both are now five? You seem so grown up and you like to remind me that you're not little girls anymore. I actually tried to make a deal with you to stay four but you wouldn't go for it. You insisted that you wanted to be five and stood beside me to show me just how tall you've gotten. I love how you think age and height are directly connected. You asked me how tall you'll be when you're 100. You then went on to tell me that you are way too big for our house now and that you need to live in a castle.

You know I actually can remember being five. I remember an exceptionally-cute pink polyester pantsuit I had and how upset I was when I got grass stains on the knees at preschool. I remember not being allowed to cross the street -- and crossing it anyway. And I remember having two braids, curled under to make a loop, in my hair. I really hope that you both remember today.

You woke up in a hotel room at Disney World -- what better place in all the world could there be to turn five? -- and the first thing you saw was a bouquet of birthday balloons. For both of you, balloons mean a birthday party. Michal, you wondered out loud who had gone and gotten the balloons and Kenna, you just wanted to make sure you were still having a party in Cinderella's castle and that it wasn't somehow moving to our hotel room.

You got dressed in your "5" dresses and I pinned on your special Disney "It's My Birthday" buttons. We got to the Magic Kingdom and headed right to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. You each got your very own fairy godmother who transformed you into a birthday princess -- not that you needed any help in my humble opinion.

The people sitting beside us commented that listening to your conversation with your fairy godmothers made their day. It made my day too. You took the whole thing very seriously. The hairdo pictures they showed you had little girls with pierced ears and Michal, you must have told your fairy godmother 10 time that you did not want earrings. And Kenna, you reminded your fairy godmother that, "little girls are not allowed to wear makeup." You lit up like a Christmas tree though when I told you it would be OK for you to wear little girl eyeshadow and lip gloss. You both asked a million questions and discussed with great sincerity who your favorite princess is and which princess is the fanciest. Your fairy godmother asked me, with a smile, if you two were always this funny. I told her you absolutely were.

We had lunch in Cinderella's Castle with all the princesses. You both got a little cake with Minnie Mouse sprinkles and we sang to you. This would be just the first of many cakes celebrating your birthday today. We had dinner at the Crystal Palace with Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet. You each got a cupcake and then a cake to share -- and two more rounds of "Happy Birthday." When Pooh had a parade through the restaurant the two of you grabbed hands and went to the front of the parade. Poor Pooh wasn't quite sure what to do so he just followed behind you, as did everyone else.

You wore your princess dresses -- and your "It's My Birthday" buttons -- all day long. Countless people told you "happy birthday" and you beamed every time they did. We saw two parades today and then a beautiful fireworks show, which you were positive was in your honor.

I hope all your birthdays are filled with as much wonder and magic -- and cake! -- as today was.

Happy, happy birthday my special girls. And hey, that offer to stay four still stands.

























My creation



  1. Happy 5th Birthday Michal & Kenna, you girls are so cute!

    Best wishes,
    LID to China April 20, 2006

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Kristi:
    Love the "five" post! Beautiful pictures and I love the birthday letter. I've always kept a journal for Marissa and do the blog, but have never tried the birthday letter. The only letter we've done is two (one from me and one from her dad) for when she turns 21. I'm going to start the birthday letter now!

  4. Oh My Gosh! They are just so beautiful and grown up! It's amazing what a little fairy dust can do! Happy Birthday girls!

    Love the new blog.


  5. Wow, what an amazing, magical special day for them! And I'm sure for you, too!

  6. what a wonderful way to celebrate ANY birthday!!!

    hope 5 is a great year for the two princesses.

  7. Happy 5th birthday to the two most beautiful princesses at Disney!

  8. Anonymous7:06 AM

    Wow, what a birthday! I am sure Michal and Kenna will remember that day forever!

    Oh if only we could freeze ages and moments in time!

  9. Kristi,

    The new blog design is so great!!! And I am so enjoying your pictures from Michal and Kenna's birthday celebration at Disney. My own little princess is turning 5 next December and I am beginning to plan a trip to the Magic Kingdom...and now I just think I need to just keep reading and I will know just how to do it up right! It looks like you had the perfect birthday vacation!!! Just makes me happy to look at the pictures...lovely!!!

    Any tips you would like to pass on, I am all ears! :-)


  10. What a special letter to your girls.
    I've followed your blog since we started the paperchase to adopt from China back in 2005. I can't believe how quickly time passes. I just wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed your eloquent writing and lovely photography. Your daughters are precious. Thanks for sharing!

  11. What an amazing 5th birthday for the princesses! Wondering if they do princess parties for gal my age??? This will be something I will remember for Tate....

    LID March 7 2006

  12. Happy Birthday Kenna and Michal!!

    Kristi, I'm a Wisconsin girl who has been following your blog for a few months...ever since we decided to adopt our first baby from South Korea!

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family!


  13. Happy birthday Kenna!

    Happy bithday Michal!

    Kristi, lovelovelove the new blog, and holy moly I know it's an incontrovertible fact but I still have trouble believing that the girls are five. FIVE. Wowee. Very cool.

    Big hugs to all.

  14. Oh so happy to have found your blog again! The new design looks awesome and the trip to Disney sounds perfect! Oh how I am ready to escape the frozen tundra again~!

  15. Oh what fun you all must have had! I love the face pretty!!
    Happy Birthday to your "baby" girls!! They truly had a magical birthday and I wouldn't be surprised if they did end up in a castle one day....they would be right at home! :)
    Thanks for the visit Kristi!

  16. Okay...I am sitting here CRYING at this post. Yes, crying. Your overwhelming love for your girls just shines through. They look like the most beautiful princesses ever. I cannot wait to do all of this with Kate! It looks like the BEST! Happy Belated birthday Michal and Kenna! May all of your dreams come true.

  17. Wow, what a birthday to remember, very special!!!



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