my baby girl turns 6.

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eleanorbirthday8

it’s become tradition for me on the eve of one of my children’s birthdays to sort of stay up all night. in the beginning, it was never intentional, but i’d re-read their birth story and that would open a flood of emotions. then i’d start to go through all of the beautiful photos of their face i’ve collected from the past year, or two or three and so on.  somehow, it’d become midnight. then one, or two in the morning. and i’d go into their nursery room and hear them take deep breathes as they sleep, sometimes putting my hand on their back or kissing their cheek trying not to wake them but desperately wanting to hold them. always feeling a ridiculous number of tears rolling down my cheeks while doing so.

and so, it’s become a tradition to sort of stay up all night on the eve of their birthdays. it’s my own way of protesting them growing so quickly, hoping that maybe if i don’t go to bed, the next day won’t come just yet. the next big birthday. another year older. several inches taller. less baby rolls to squeeze but longer limbs that i can barely pick up to cradle.

eleanor’s birthday this year is especially difficult for me to wrap my head around. she’s my baby girl and today she is six years old. i remember the day she came into my life like it was just a few hours ago. the way she first stretched her fingers and toes, the color and smell of her skin and her puckered up swollen lips. i was exhausted and overwhelmed and hadn’t slept in over 30 hours but i remember it all. she came into my life and forever changed it. she gave me a new direction that was above and beyond what i had dreamed and prayed for. because just as every newborn baby is, eleanor was something special. eleanor is something special. and i felt the weight and responsibility to raise this strong daughter of God as best i possibly could, within those first few moments of meeting her.

i have to tell you that raising a daughter, as well as my two sons, in the current state of the world, scares the daylight out of me more often than not. i am both saddened and terrified at times to do so. i just want to keep them little, under my wing, within my protective walls as long as i can. but i know i can’t do that. even staying up all night long on the eves of their birthdays in my own personal protest to “never grow up” won’t stop them from growing up and leaving my mama nest someday.  what i do know, and what i try to hold onto, is that my strongest conviction and the deepest desire of my heart is to raise my daughter to know kindness and love, to exemplify it and to share and spread it as far as she possibly can. i will make countless mistakes raising her, i already have. but i don’t take lightly the responsibility bestowed on me as a mother to raise her to know and exude the kindness and love we are all deserving of.

i am tremendously proud of the creative, intelligent, thoughtful and good human being she is becoming. she’s a six year old whose current favorite song is sabotage by beastie boys, who likes to eat a lot of ketchup, and who gives the best spontaneous hugs and kisses throughout the day to her family members. she is full of countless questions, gets so attached to her library books that she will return and check the same one back out in the same visit, and looks out for her two little brothers in a way that reminds me that there is good in the world. i am so very confident she will do great things in her lifetime, through kindness and love. i feel so fortunate to be her mother and for the lessons she has taught me in the six years i’ve known her.

eleanor, you are such a light. thank you for changing my world for the better six years ago, and for making these past six years the very best years of my life. i love you eternally, and will always be proud. happy birthday, beautiful girl.

  1. Savia Jane

    I couldn’t find the courage to read this. And welled up at the title itself. Cried through the lines. My first born turns 5 in two and a half months and I just don’t want the days to pass by. Too tough. Too fast. Damn!
    Why do they grow up at all?

  2. Jackie

    I am currently 4 months pregnant with my first child and reading this post brought tears, making me think of how fast it is all going to go when my little is born and growing up every day! Thanks for always sharing your life with so many people, Naomi! And Happy Birthday Miss Eleanor!

  3. vicky

    happy birthday, sweet Eleanor! <3

  4. Brittany

    Happy happy happy birthday sweet Eleanor! And happy birth day mama!
    Xo, Brittany
    Cozy but cute outfit ideas on my blog today!
    http://www.notablob.com

  5. Jenna

    I started reading your blog a few months before Eleanor was born and my son, Oliver, was born the day after on February 2. He turns 6 tomorrow and my heart is already nervous and anxious for his “official” first day of six. Happy birthday Eleanor! I love watching you grow up virtually alongside my son and seeing all the beauty, kindness and love coming from little souls. All the happy wishes for a great year ahead!

  6. Briana

    I cannot believe she’s 6 already! I’ve loved seeing her grow up through your pictures over the past years and hope you all enjoy her birthday :)

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

  7. Natali

    😭😭😭😭😭 this post made me cry…

  8. Elishia

    This is such a beautiful post, I can’t imagine the overwhelming connection you have with your babies! Congratulations on having 3 happy littlies xx

    http://www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

  9. Elishia

    This was such a touching post to read, I can’t even begin to imagine the strength of your connection, but I hope that one day I have something similar! Congratulation on your 3 happy littlies xxx

    http://www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

  10. Sarah

    Very sweet! Did you have her in D.C.?
    I just read an article “raising kids in nyc is a bad idea” and the points there got me a bit terrified since my husband might be getting a job there and I’m due with our first baby this summer.
    This is the link https://www.google.com/amp/nypost.com/2015/01/22/youre-a-terrible-parent-if-you-raise-your-child-in-nyc/amp/?client=safari
    I know you love living there but is it true New Yorkers are annoyed at the sight and sound of babies??

  11. Bonnie

    I completely understand wanting to keep them under your wing. Happy Birthday to little Eleanor! Such a beautiful tribute. ❤

  12. Jennifer

    So beautfiful it brought tears to my eyes. You can feel your unconditional love through your writing!! I can’t wait to have my own babies. It will be something unbelievable!

  13. Corina

    This is what motherly love is made of. Your words made me cry, Naomi.
    This sweet little girl has stolen my heart from the first photo I have seen on your blog.
    She is absolutely beautiful, intelligent and caring
    Happy birthday Eleanor!
    The world is a better place with you in it

  14. Lauren

    Happy Birthday, Eleanor! Loved following your family since you were pregnant with her, can’t believe she is SIX! May all your wishes come true, E!

  15. Definitely cried a bit whilst reading this the love just pours off the screen. I love you too Eleanor! Biggest birthday hug from Amsterdam, I hope you have the best day today and I am excited to see the amazing things you will do in your life.

    Lots of love,
    Yara

  16. Steffany

    I adore this. My baby girl just turned 6 months and as my first it’s so hard to grasp letting her grow! The first year is full of so much growth and it’s hard to believe it will continue. Thank you for sharing, this warms my heart. Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  17. Michelle

    Eleanor is such a lucky little lady to have you and Josh as her parents and Samson and Conrad as her brothers. It’s such a joy to see Eleanor growing up into a confident and kind girl. Happiest birthday, Eleanor! And thank you Naomi, for another heartwarming post :)

    Michelle,
    http://www.wheremichellegoes.wordpress.com

  18. fefe

    How did she get so old?! This means I’ve been reading your blog for 6 years! Happy bday Eleanor!

    http://objectsicantafford.com

  19. Happy Birthday Eleanor!! Feliz cumpleaños ! Joyeux anniversaire!

    Thank to your mother I’ve seen you growing up :) you are so nice

    Kisses from France

    http://Www.mapetitetribu.com

  20. Erin D.

    Beautiful!!

  21. Emma

    Hi Naomi! I am a longtime reader, but I’ve only commented a handful of times. I started reading while I was in college (when it was probably a little weird for me to be following a family blog!), and have enjoyed getting to know you and your family over that time even though I am still not ready for kids myself.

    I just have to say that I have been so moved by many of your posts lately. The vlog with you and Josh talking about your parenting philosophy & this post have just blown me away. I always admired your style and parenting, but now I really look to you as a role model. The world does feel a little fragile and my heart feels vulnerable sometimes, but it is so inspirational to see you raising E, S & C to be strong, smart, & compassionate people. They give me hope.

    Happy birthday to Eleanor! I hope she has the best day ever!

  22. Page

    Happy birthday, Eleanor!!! What a beautiful celebration of words for your precious girl, Naomi. I hope the Davis family has a wonderful day with your big 6 year old!

  23. Nicole Saldivar

    You have such a way with words. As a mom myself, this made me a little sad. Happy birthday Eleanor!

  24. Katie F.

    Happy birthday! Mine will be 4 in April and I can’t even keep up. This was a beautiful tribute to E!

  25. Beth

    Ditto to Emma’s comment above! ^^ I’ve followed your page for years and am so inspired by how intentional you and Josh are about everything: your marriage, your children, your life. My husband and I are in the early stages of conversations about starting a family, and while the idea of bringing a child into this broken world seems overwhelming more days than not, what a privilege to raise another human being to be a source of light in the darkness!

    I hope your family has a wonderful day celebrating your precious Eleanor (my all-time favorite name, by the way!) If I’m fortunate enough to have a girl, I hope she is as compassionate, strong, and thoughtful as your sweet baby!

  26. Six?! Wow, where has the time gone?? Happy birthday, Eleanor! You seem to be raising such a kind, smart, and adventurous young lady! <3
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  27. Tily

    Man, just when i thought you went all oyt and won over my heart again with Josh’s birthday post… I was wrong.. This rught here is why i always wanted to be a mother. You have a great family and an amazing daughter. I totally agree with keeping them little. I see my 15 months old son getting more independent each day and i am happy for him while it breaks my heart.
    I hope you are having a great time celebrating Eleanor’s birthday and every day that follows. In this crazy world we live in we can just raise amazing people who make the world a better place. You are definitely doing that and hope we manage as well.
    Enjoy her, and thanks for sharing a bit of you with us.

  28. Jessica

    Tears!! I was up last night looking at pics of my baby girl who will turn 5 in a month. So bittersweet looking at old photos!! My oldest is 8 and I will tell you it does get easier and it’s such a beautiful thing to watch them grow. Also having crazy baby fever since my baby is 2 1/2!! Don’t you just love the flood of emotions us mommas have?! Happy Birthday to your beautiful Eleanor!!!

  29. Happy birthday Eleanor!

    And thank you, Taza, for sharing her sweet smile with us too :)

  30. Amber

    Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  31. Gabby

    Happy Birthday sweet and smart Eleanor! I have loved watching you group up for the past couple of years!

  32. Eisha Conrad

    Happy Birthday Eleanor! I think you are both so lucky to have one another. You are an incredible mommy to your littles and they are all such awesome kids (based on all the sweet things you write about them!). As she continues to grow, I already know she will do GREAT things and be so sweet and successful like her momma and papa!

  33. Martha

    I found your blog in early 2013 and your passion for motherhood really inspired me to become a mother myself. Happy birthday, Eleanor!!!

  34. Ashley

    You have us all crying today! Xo

  35. Sandra Bøgh Zerahn

    Congratulations ! I love following your family, and have for years, I remember when she was born.
    I look forward to fire parents blogs of vlogs. I am especially curious about your favourite parenting books and how to deal with the whole sibling thing. I am expecting my second, and have no idea what to do… how to teach them to share, how much they should be allowed to have their ‘own’ stuff and space… ❤

  36. I read this post early in the morning with my coffee and I’ve just come back to it again this evening – it’s just so beautiful and heartwarming. I can only imagine how equally wonderful yet terrifying it is watching a baby blossom into a lovely little lady but you guys seem to do such a fab job with your kids. They seem like such a happy bunch and E seems like the sweetest big sister! Happy birthday E!

    http://victoriaspongepeasepudding.com

  37. Sara

    Oh wow I am just a blubbering mess reading that! My baby boy turns 1 in 18 days and I can’t believe it!
    Happy happy happy birthday Eleanor. You have a mummy and daddy who love you very much!
    Sending lots of Birthday wishes from New Zealand xx

  38. Yaindy Lara

    6! Already, I have been reading your blog since she was just a couple of months!! And she’s now 6!! Happy birthday Elenor!!!

  39. nikki

    I started following your blog when you were pregnant with E. I remember reading about your newly wed life, your pregnancy, and the new “parent life”. Reading this post now is a reminder of how much time has passed for you, your family, and for myself as well. Our world is crazy and unpredictable. You have no idea how much it means to have this “taza corner” to pause, take a moment, and indulge vicariously through your photos in the most sincere pleasures of life: family and love. I feel very blessed to have somewhat watched your little ones grow and to have you and Josh here to share your wisdom and humor. Thank you, for all of that! Wishing E the best year yet! <3

  40. Randi

    Awww happy birthday Eleanor!!!!! Such a sweet tribute. I’ve been following your blog for years and I remember your posts when she was born and fresh and new. Following you all of these years – Eleanor’s bright personality and sweetness brightens my days as well as all of your followers. As do your sweet boys too. But it’s amazing with social media and everyone being connected how far their light and kindness goes these days. Thank you for sharing your beacon of light Eleanor with the rest of us!

    Xo, Randi
    http://eye-see-you-randi.blogspot.com/?m=1

  41. Shawney

    I’m 4.5 months pregnant with my first child and I’ve been following your instagram forever. Your words today, while making me cry makes my heart swell just knowing that in a few short months I’ll get all of this. People are too quick to point out my sleepless nights, my huge tummy and the all of the other stressful things pregnancy and motherhood will bring. But thank goodness you put a full stop on all of that with your pride and hopes for your little ones. While I’m sure it’ll be a heck of a ride, I hope in 6 years I’ve had as much of an adventure as you with a beautiful human to reflect that. Penblwudd hapus , all the way from Wales, UK X

  42. elle kayem

    This is such a beautiful message.
    I have such deep admiration for you and Josh and the way you view parenting. You truly cherish the moments you share with your children and allow them to enrich your lives.

    Happy Birthday Eleanor.
    You’re a rockstar! xox

  43. Julie

    What a beautiful post Taza, it got me really moved. My oldest one is nearly 8 and loves growing older but I can’t even bear the thought of him turning ‘already’ 8. The feeling is even stronger with my youngest (#3) who is 2 as I know she is my last one and there will not be another of her age phase in the future…..got to appreciate every phase they go through but letting them get bigger is no easy task. You are doing a brilliant job as a mum and your kids will be so grateful for all you are doing for them. Hugs from London, Julie

    http://www.jafinthebox.wordpress.com

  44. Darcie

    Thank you Naomi for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I began reading your blog shortly before Eleanor was born and have been in awe of her and you! Happy birthday to your girl!

  45. Love this heartfelt post. Happy birthday sweet Eleanor, I love reading stories about you, your mama and your family :’)

  46. Bethany

    So, so beautiful. I feel just the same about my babies. You are an incredible mom. Happy 6th birthday, Eleanor!

  47. Yaritza

    Aww Happy Birthday sweet Eleanor! This is so sweet, I can’t imagine watching your child grow up right before your own eyes. Not currently a mother but one day I’ll be :-)

  48. Pam

    How sweet and touching! Can’t believe she’s already 6.
    Wishing little E the best of birthdays and you the best of life! I’m sure her soul will always be as kind as yours Taza <3

    http://www.pamelayaquelin.com

  49. Alida

    Happy Birthday from South Africa, Eleanor!!

  50. Fran

    Teared up a little reading this. Just be reading your posts, and seeing your pictures on insta/your stories… I can see what a wonderful person Eleanor is. Happy (belated) Birthday to your little girl!!!

  51. Ashley

    Your sweet post makes me teary and so reflective! My “baby,” our oldest, turns 7 on Monday. She’s also the older sister to two brothers, ages 4 and almost 2. Very similar to your family, and I feel so many of the same things you described! I love who she is becoming, and I tear up over the years we have already spent with her–so beautiful, and gone so fast!Best wishes to you all as you celebrate your dear Eleanor, and I’ll hold my still-6-year-old just a little tighter this weekend. :)

  52. Heather

    The birthday posts ALWAYS make me cry! Happy birthday, Eleanor!

  53. I started to look at your blog around the time you had her !! I can’t believe I look up to you since this time !!!
    Happy birthday to this sweet little girl you’ll go far in life !!

  54. Gina

    Ever since I had my baby last June, things like this always make me cry! I so understand the sentiment. What a beautiful message for Eleanor though. Happy birthday to the big girl!

  55. Hayley

    Your birthday posts always make me teary! I know exactly what you mean mama, guilty of sneaking into my babe’s rooms all teary on their birthday eve’s too x It’s a beautiful kind of hurt. Happy birthday wonderful Eleanor!

  56. Happy Birthday, sweet girl!