Today, our Kensington Kate is nine.


How did that happen?


All of my kiddos are unique, and they’re all so special…and this one is no exception.  Kensington has always marched to her own beat.  She is spunky, she is shy, she is creative, she is fiercely loyal, she is dramatic, she is empathetic, she is silly, she is independent, and she has the biggest heart.  We could not love this girl more if we tried.

Here are a few little facts about Kensington this year:
1. She is almost always upside down.  You have never met a kid who cartwheels more than this one.  She cartwheels all.the.time.  If I call her into the kitchen, she comes around the corner via cartwheel until she’s there.  I mean…this is no joke.  She probably does 200 cartwheels a day.  She is always doing cartwheels.  Always.
2. She loves to play independently.  The other three want someone to play with, but not this one…she loves to go into her room and play, write, color, craft on her own (with music on in her room…and for the past 3 months, it’s been Michael Buble’s Christmas album. #likemotherlikedaughter ).
3. She loves to talk about what people wear, what she wears…but in a fashion-like sense.  My cousin is a fashion designer in Dallas and K loves this about her.  She is constantly wanting my old magazines and she’ll make collage boards with different styles (preppy, hipster, formal, etc).  We also watch Project Runway together every week.  Her favorite part is when the judges critique everyone at the end and pick a winner.
4. She has a very sensitive heart.  She is always routing for the underdog, she always gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, and unfortunate things that happen to other people really bother her.

I prayed and prayed and prayed that I would get to be a mom one day…and there were days when in my heart, I just didn’t know if that was going to happen.  But this kid.  This kid right here, made me a mom.

Andrew and I have thrown a lot at Kensington over the last three years.  We’ve made major life decisions that have affected our entire family…but she has NEVER ONCE COMPLAINED.  To watch Kensington interact with her younger sisters has blessed my heart more than words can describe.  She has been selfless, giving, kind, compassionate, encouraging, and loving around all of the changes and events that have happened to us over these last few years.  I am just so proud of her.

I asked these questions yesterday morning…

1. How old are you?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. What is your favorite food?
Ice Cream
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. What is your favorite holiday?
6. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad?
Play in the back yard
8. What is your favorite thing to do with Smith?
Play adventure (when we go on adventures in the back yard)
9. What is your favorite thing to do with Ashby?
Play dolls
10. What is your favorite thing to do with Madeley?
Read books
11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
An architect with Ebby Lee
12. What is your favorite movie?
13. What is your favorite toy/stuffed animal?
Lucky, Tinkerbell and Mimi
14. What is your favorite thing to wear?
And for grins, here is a look back at my sweet baby girl over these past nine years…
Happy birthday to our Kensington Kate!
I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27
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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog September 15, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Happy birthday to beautiful Kensington! She’s really growing up!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Emily September 15, 2017 at 4:53 am

    What a picture of God’s faithfulness! Happy Birthday Kensington and happy becoming a Mom anniversary!

  • Erika Slaughter September 15, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Happy Happy Birthday Kensington!!! You described that girl so well! One of my very favorite things about Kensington is how she celebrates. Seriously, no matter the type of party I have-Kensington will always be invited. I also love how she cheers on and encourages her people. She wants her friends to do well (which is an amazing girl trait)!! I hope she has THE BEST DAY! XO

  • Beth September 15, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Happy Happy Birthday to Kensington! What a blessing that each year you are reminded of praying for a baby and God listening and coming through!

  • Sarah Wall September 15, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington! My daughter turned 9 last Thursday! Time flies! Have a great weekend!

  • Sarah September 15, 2017 at 5:11 am

    It sounds like Kensington has a heart of gold 🙂 What a fantastic gift from the Lord!!! Happy birthday, Kensington!!!!


  • anonymous September 15, 2017 at 5:28 am

    Happy Happy Birthday, Kensington Kate!
    Shay, do you have a quick link to previous birthday posts like you have with the adoption posts? Would love to read her previous answers. Also looking forward to an updated wall post with all your birthday signs. XO

    • Mix and Match Mama September 15, 2017 at 5:31 am

      Yes!!! I need to take a new picture!! Every single time, my friend impresses me more and more with her work!! And sometimes, I ask those questions on the first day of school too…so, if you click on “Kensington” on the sidebar, you should see her posts :).

  • Elspeth Mizner September 15, 2017 at 5:33 am

    What a sweet post! Happy birthday Kensington!! She is growing up so fast! Have a great time celebrating

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams September 15, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington! Love her answers, what a sweet little girl 🙂 I hope she has the best day!
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Stacie Hoffman September 15, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Happy Birthday sweet girl!
    I am looking to purchase a new slow cooker. Do you have a link to one you like? Thank you!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 15, 2017 at 5:41 am

      My very favorite is the All Clad from Williams-Sonoma :).

      • Stacie Hoffman September 15, 2017 at 5:59 am

        Thank you!!

  • Narci September 15, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Aw!!! Happy Birthday to a girl who is just as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside! Love your big heart, Kensington! Presley can’t wait to celebrate you today! Xo

  • emily @ a little bit of emily September 15, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Happy brithday to Miss Kensington! She seems like such a sweet girl!

  • Kristina Briggeman September 15, 2017 at 6:14 am

    What a sweetheart!

  • Christy September 15, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! She sounds like an amazing little girl. 🙂 My daughter is almost 7 and loves listening to music in her room… what does Kensington have in her room to listen to music? Have a great weekend!!!!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 15, 2017 at 6:56 am

      We put music on her iPad :).

  • Erica @ Whimsical September September 15, 2017 at 6:24 am

    I’ve loved watching her grow! Happy birthday to your first-born! It’s a big day for mom and dad too. 🙂

  • Sheaffer September 15, 2017 at 6:35 am

    I remember all of those pics….but that last one on the counter made me stop to catch my breath because she looks so dang old! Our babies are nine!!! Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

  • Angelique at September 15, 2017 at 6:38 am

    What a strong, independent little girl. She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with as she gets older. That’s a great quality to have, especially as she heads into those scary teen years. What to go mom!

  • Dustie Day September 15, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Happy birthday to your beautiful girl! Thanks for sharing your life with us 🙂

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design September 15, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Happy Birthday, Kensington! Have a great day celebrating!!

  • Erin Port September 15, 2017 at 7:10 am

    She is beautiful inside and out just like her mama! What a precious girl and how cool to watch our kids develop interests and passions of their own! Happy Birthday Kensington! xoxo ERIN

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life September 15, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Kensington sounds so much like my Ella, they are very special girls that’s for sure!! I love that she does cartwheels everywhere, seriously that is awesome! Happy Birthday to your first born!

  • Kathryn September 15, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Happy birthday to Kensington! It’s been so fun to watch your kids grow and she is one amazing girl. I know you had said there were some trepidations about how this school year will go and I pray she has a wonderful year, and that others are cheerleaders for her as she is for them.

  • Bev September 15, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented before but this girl! What an amazing answer to prayer! I love every photo but the black & white in 2011 is breathtaking! And then the next two are absolutely darling! What a beauty and sweetheart God gave to you.

  • Laci Murray September 15, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington! I always giggle on the inside at her questions b/c I have a little girl who turned 9 this month too and they always have mostly the same answers! Oh to be 9 years old again! Hope she has the best day!

  • April Parrish September 15, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!!! She looks just like you! Hope y’all have the best weekend celebrating!

  • sydnee September 15, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Happy bday to sweet K! She sounds like a great friend to have and she’ll always have your back. My daughter is turning 9 soon and it’s shocking how time flies!

  • Melissa September 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

    All those pictures you posted are just too much…what a doll! I hope y’all have the best weekend celebrating- Happy Birthday, Kensington!

  • Amy September 15, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Happy 9th Birthday Kensington! Hope you have a great day doing all of your favorite things.

  • Lindsay D September 15, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Happy Birthday to Kensington!! I hope she has a fantastic day!!

  • Jenny September 15, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Aww… Happy Birthday Kensington! 🙂

  • Heather September 15, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Your daughter is a true beauty! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick September 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

    She is such a little beauty, inside and out! Have a great day celebrating that sweet girl!!! Happy Birthday, Kensington!

    That Inspired Chick

  • Shelly September 15, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Happy Birthday, Kensington! She’s beautiful, inside and out, just like her mom. I love to watch her cartwheel around the dance studio; she’s always smiling too. 🙂

  • Rebecca Brittain September 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Simply stunning beauty. Happy Birthday to Kensington! Wishing her a blessed year ahead. =)
    -Rebecca @

  • The Nelson Nook September 15, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Happy Birthday !! She is precious ! Love #10, super sweet that she’s such a fantastic BIG sister ! Have a fabulous day.

  • heidi September 15, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Happy happy birthday Kensington Kate!
    I hope you have the most magical day.

  • Lori September 15, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington! You don’t know me but I follow your Mommy’s blog and you seem like such a precious little girl. I hope you a celebrated to the fullest today. God Bless!

  • Alexis deZayas September 15, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Happy birthday sweet girl!! Hope she has the best day!

  • Amanda September 15, 2017 at 8:49 am

    She seems completely precious. Such joy.

  • Lori Reggio September 15, 2017 at 8:49 am

    What a little doll. This post warms my heart. Happy Birthday sweet girl!

  • Doreen September 15, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington! You are beautiful. Have a great day!!

  • Susan September 15, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Kensington is such a doll and has changed so much lately. I can relate so much because my youngest will be 9 next month so hard to see my baby getting so big. Hope that beautiful girl has a wonderful day!

  • Angela Ellingson September 15, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Such a sweet girl! Nine! My oldest daughter is almost seven and I can hardly believe it. I am trying to freeze time to no avail. That 2012 picture of Kensington is my favorite!!

  • Sandy September 15, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Happy Birthday to Kensington! She has the prettiest smile and great fashion sense! But more than that her heart gives beyond measure and she shows God’s love to others. She is producing fruit. Good job mama!

  • Sue Jones September 15, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington! You are a beautiful young lady both inside and out.
    I know this is random but I dreamed that I met you (Shay) in Dallas last night. We went to a restaurant and ate chips and salsa. LOL

  • Shawnna Griffin September 15, 2017 at 9:39 am

    hey girl- Yay! Happy Birthday Kensington! You are so blessed! Y’all have a great weekend!

  • Adrienne September 15, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Happy Birthday to Kensington!!!

  • Gabrielle Storey September 15, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Happy birthday Kensington!! Oh my goodness she is just absolutely gorgeous! I hope she has the best day ever!! You are one lucky mama!

  • Elizabeth V September 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington!! Such a sweet post.

  • Debbie D. September 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

    What a beautiful, daughter inside and out!!! Happy birthday, Kensington!!! Enjoy your birthday!!!

  • Amanda H. September 15, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Happy Birthday Kensington!! Hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating her! One day when she is old enough she is going to look back on these wonderfully sweet and meaningful posts you write not only about her but the others. They are going to mean so much to them! So beautiful, you’re one amazing mama!!!

  • Amy D. September 15, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Happy Birthday, Kensington! I hope you have a day as beautiful and amazing as you are. Have fun celebrating your sweet & precious 9 year old!

    Amy @

  • Mel @ The Larson Lingo September 15, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Happy 9th Kensington!!!! I hope she has an amazing birthday weekend!

  • Becky Carl September 15, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Its been such a pleasure watching her grow through the years. Happy Birthday beautiful Kensington!

  • Paula September 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Sweet Keningston, Happy Birthday. I starting reading your blog just before you had Smith. Maybe 6 months. I have so enjoyed watching her grow & bloom. Truly seems to have such a good heart. You are right, a lot of changes with siblings & moves, and she just smiles through it.

  • Emily September 15, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Happy birthday to her! Just your description of her makes her sound so precious and sweet! I bet she’ll share that big heart with the world and do great things someday!

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World September 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl!!!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating her!

  • Amanda September 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    What a beautiful girl you have, inside and out! I still remember thinking how sweet she must be when she cried because Ashby had to get glasses on top of dealing with everything else.
    I hope she has the most special birthday weekend!

  • Tracy September 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Sign that girl up for gymnastics! LOL! 🙂 Hope she has a happy day!

  • LAURA K September 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter. My grandchildren were adopted by two wonderful families so I love to read your blog. Adoption is so rewarding when it works for all parties. God Bless you and your family.

  • Jeanie September 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Happy birthday, Kensington! You look beautiful in every one of those pictures. I’m so glad you have a beautiful heart, too.

  • Kelly September 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    What a gorgeous girl you are Kensington! Hope you have a super happy birthday and a great year!

  • Summer September 15, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Can I just say that while I didn’t struggle with infertility like so many ladies unfortunately do… God listens to even the silliest prayers. I wasn’t sure being a mom was for me, so when I prayed about having children I said something along the lines of “Well, Lord, if I am meant to be a mom it would be neat if my kids could have my husbands eyes and if it’s a boy I would like him to have blonde hair like me and if it’s a girl pretty brown hair like I always wished I had”. So shallow and silly… but I have two gorgeous brown eyed kids (mine and most of my family’s are blue)… a blonde haired boy and a brown haired girl. My kids will always be my God wink. Your sweet blog is very encouraging and drips with sincerity. Thank you for writing.

  • Jenn Menniti September 15, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Each and every picture is more and more beautiful with your stunning Kensington. 2012 looks like a magazine cover! What a special girl! Happy Birthday!

  • Marta September 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Happy Birthday to your sweet gorgeous girl!! She is going to be a stunner like her Mama when she grows up. I wish her nothing but the best.

  • Corbie September 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Loved this post! Happy happy birthday Kensington!! You are a beauty both inside and out.

  • Anonymous September 17, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Cant comment on your “about” page. You need to add your two new cookbooks 😉

  • Mollie September 18, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    What a doll! Where is the dress from in the top picture? My 8 year old LOVES it!

    • Mix and Match Mama September 19, 2017 at 5:01 am

      J Crew 🙂