The apple of our eye is THREE!

Today, our Madeley James turns three.

I always have such mixed emotions on my kiddos birthdays, but especially on Ashby and Madeley’s.  I think about their sweet mamas every single day, but today, I really think about Madeley’s mom.  Adoption is so amazing and such a gift…but it is also so hard.  We don’t know if today is really Madeley’s birthday or not.  It could have been yesterday.  Or last month.  Or next month.  We don’t know.  We do know that she was found on December 19 and appeared to be about two months old, so they gave her today as her birthday.  We also know this…her mama loved her so much that she gave birth to her.  She loved her so much that she kept her as long as she could and left her some place where she would be found.  And I know this too…her mama thinks about her every single day.  I just know she does.  My prayer today is that the Lord can give her some sort of sign, some sort of peace that her little girl is in good hands.

We are so thankful to have Madeley.  This girl is our JOY.  She is just this light in our family that we didn’t know we even needed until she showed up and shined so brightly on us.  We could not love this little girl more.  We are so thankful to be spending her third birthday with her.

Right now, our big three year old is growing like a weed!  She is so physically active, loves to ride her tricycle, play on the swing set, run around the yard and chase her big siblings.  She loves to sit at the bar and color and is always so proud to show off her art.  She loves to help me bake and cook and is found most days on top of the counter helping.  Madeley loves school and is so social.  She has real friends!  Real little girls and boys that she talks about, gets excited to see and loves to be with.  She is so loving and oh so lovable.  I feel like it’s such a gift to be back in this stage of life again.  I love hearing Peppa Pig in my house, I love playing with the big Duplo blocks, I love blowing bubbles at the park and going for walks with a stroller.  I love it all because I know that in a blink of an eye, this stage will be over.

On Monday, we celebrated Madeley’s birthday with a play date with her little friends and their moms.  Here are some pics from our special morning…

We had an apple themed party.  Isn’t her birthday sign so cute?!


We gave each of her friends little goodie bags as they left filled with things like a coloring book, crayons, bubbles and such.

And then my friend Emily made these adorable cookies to pass out at the end too (since the party was before lunch, they just left with a cookie).

Aren’t they pretty?!

She was all dressed up and ready to go!

These two.

The big kids knew that we were celebrating her with little friends and that they get to celebrate today with her.

I just love this girl too!

So, we went and we played…


Look at Britt walking around!  Isn’t she getting so big too?!




I really think it would have been easier to take a picture of wild cats 🙂 .  We love these kiddos so much!!  We are so thankful for them and how much they mean to Madeley.




Party success!

And back at home helping me cook with her new Moana doll in hand 🙂 .

Today, we celebrate some more!

Happy birthday sweet Madeley James!  We sure do love you!

To see Kensington’s parties from years past, here you go…
To see Ashby’s birthdays from years past, here you go…
Ashby’s Princess Party
To see Madeley’s first birthday with us, here you go…
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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog October 19, 2017 at 4:37 am

    I love what you wrote. You have so much love for all your kids and I truly admire that. They’re so lucky to have a Mama like you! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Dana October 19, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Aww…happy birthday to sweet Madeley!! And you know you’re going to get tons of questions on that shirt…it’s so cute and perfect for fall!

  • Erika Slaughter October 19, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Happy Happy Birthday Madeley James!! She is such a sweet girl who lights up a room and has the best little personality. We love that girl big over here! Lots of Birthday love from the Slaughters! XO

  • Melissa October 19, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Happy birthday Madeley! Yep, please share info on your buffalo check top. Thanks much!

  • Karah Stracener October 19, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Happy Birthday to your sweet Madeley!!! I hope she has a wonderful day. I just love reading about your precious family. Ps: I love your shirt! Where did you get it?

  • Elspeth Mizner October 19, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Love the unique theme. You always come up with fun and different parties.happy birthday Madeley

  • whiteshawaiianadventures October 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Wooho! Happy Birthday sweet Madely!

  • Beth October 19, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Happy Birthday to such a cute little one!! Love your top Shay! I hope you share it in your Friday Favorites! 😉

  • Angelique at October 19, 2017 at 6:26 am

    What a cute theme for cute little girl’s birthday party. Love it! And, yes, I agree with Dana above – you have to talk about your shirt!

  • Kfran October 19, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Madeley looks like a little love bug! Happy birthday wishes!

  • Connie October 19, 2017 at 6:31 am

    You are so blessed! Madeley is just a little doll!! I love those cheeks of hers!! Happy 3rd Birthday to your precious little girl!! 🙂

  • Sheaffer Sims October 19, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Happy Birthday, sweet girl! We love you so much!!!

  • Amy D. October 19, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Happy Birthday to Madeley! I hope she has the best day!! What a fun party and theme!

    Amy @

  • Whitney Pegram October 19, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Happy Birthday, sweet Madeley!!! Shay, she is a baby doll!!!

  • Robyn October 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I always think of the scene in the movie the Blindside where Leanne’s friends tell her that she’s changing Micheal’s life and she responds no he’s changing mine. Your girls are really awesome and I love hearing about them!

  • Narci October 19, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Happy Birthday, our beautiful Madeley!! We love you and your fun personality!!! Xoxo

  • Brittany Hensley October 19, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Eek!!! How stinking adorable is Madeley!? Happy birthday to that precious girl!!

  • B.Y.S. October 19, 2017 at 7:42 am

    It will be 34 years on October 28th that I have been in America! I was 9 months old when I was adopted from Korea. I will be 35 in December.


  • Jordan Meline October 19, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Oh goodness, that first part about Madeley’s birth mama made me tear up… its TOO early to cry! What a wonderful thing adoption is and I am so happy to see what a blessing your family is to this sweet baby girl!

  • Ariadna October 19, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Happy birthday sweet Madeley!! Her smile is so contagious, thank you for sharing her and your other sweet kiddos with us!! I hope she has the best day!!

  • Priscilla October 19, 2017 at 8:02 am

    So, my daughter has a wonderful friend of Asian descent who smiles just like Madeley. She always says, “The happier I am, the less I see!!”
    Happy Birthday sweet girl.

  • Jenny October 19, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Happy Birthday Sweet Madeley!!! 🙂

  • Michelle Randall October 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Where did you get your top? So cute! Madeley is so cute too! Looks like she had a great time!!

  • Joanne October 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

    So cute! Happy Birthday Madeley! On a side note, the buffalo plaid top is adorable, can you link it or tell us where its from?

  • Alexis deZayas October 19, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Happy birthday sweet girl!! That picture of you two at her party is precious 🙂

  • Alison T October 19, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Happy Birthday, sweet Madeley! You clearly bring so much joy to your family. They are lucky to have you! My birthday is today, too. Also adopted (from S Korea) with today as an approximate Birthday. So it must be an extra special date! 😉

  • Heidi October 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Such a sweet post. What a beautiful little girl xx

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick October 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Ohhhhh I loved all these pictures!!! Happy happy birthday, Madeley!!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Carlin Smith October 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Hi, do you know what the blocks are that Ashby is playing with in the picture after the light wall. I am thinking my kindergarten classroom needs some!

  • kellie carrara October 19, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Happy birthday Madely James! What a love! We have an asian bitty baby named Madely in her honor — we also have an asian bitty twin named Clara “Ashby” for Ashby, too! So, to say my daughter is a big fan of this blog is an understatement! Ha! And she adores Smith & Kennsington, too — we just haven’t named any American Girl dolls in their honor…yet! Have fun celebrating!

  • Megan Elizabeth October 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

    October 19th birthdays for the win!! I guess Madeley and and I are birthday buddies!! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl 🙂

  • Christina Hogan October 19, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Happy birthday!! She is absolutely precious and incredibly lucky to have you as her momma!! What a blessing!!

  • Patricia October 19, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Love the way she smiles by crinkling up her eyes! And love seeing her big sis using both hands. Happy birthday Madeley.

  • shawnna October 19, 2017 at 9:04 am

    hey girl- love the post! Happy Birthday Madeley!

  • Jennifer October 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Happy Happy Burthday! She is adorable! Yes please share about your shirt!! 🙂

  • Deena October 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Happy Birthday to Madeley! Her personality just shines in all her photos. I can’t believe she’s 3 though.

  • Heather S October 19, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Happy Birthday to Madeley!! what a cute theme for that little cutie pie!

  • AMANDA SHEROD October 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

    She is so adorable and is lucky to have such a sweet family! I love your shirt, where is it from?

  • Kellylane October 19, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I just love seeing her big smile! It’s so big that her eyes disappear! Thanks again for sharing with us!

  • Katie Protzeller October 19, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Where did you get your shirt Shay? 😍

  • Mary C October 19, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Where did you find a life size Light Brite and how do I get one!!!! OMG!!!!

  • Rosemary Q October 19, 2017 at 10:09 am

    When I am touched by something someone has done but have no way of personally thanking them I ask God if he would please give that person a really good day. So today I asked God to give Madeley’s momma a really good day after reading your heartfelt post. Happy Birthday to your little girl!

  • Debbie October 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

    All I see Shay is your selflessness! You make those kids childhood memories priceless. They will be forever grateful. I know, because I had a Mother just like you! ❤️

  • Lindsay D October 19, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Happy Birthday Madeley!!!

  • Justyna October 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl!!!

    THAT TOP!!!! details please! 🙂 need to order ASAP!

    • Mix and Match Mama October 20, 2017 at 5:06 am

      On my blog today!! I love it :).

  • Stephanie October 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I am an adoptive mom and I always feel a special feeling on my girls birthdays. I always say a prayer that their birth moms will be able to feel what awesome girls they have turned out to be. It’s definitely s bittersweet feeling. I never take for granted how they came to be mine ! My girls are 19 and 13 and we have had them since they were 2 days old. Adoption is a very special calling. My husbands grandma told us ” Babies are where they are supposed to be, some just have to be rerouted :-). Your family is beautiful !!

  • Chasity October 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I so love her sweet smile! Happy Birthday !

  • Ann Marie Tennison October 19, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Madeley Girl- these Tennison sisters loved celebrating your birthday! They had so much fun. You are blessed with the sweetest family and loved beyond measure. Happy birthday!

  • Jeanie October 19, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Such a sweet party with all her friends. Happy birthday, Madeley, you cute little girl with the wrinkly nose!

  • Melanie October 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I remember you taking your family to NYC a while back. Since Madeley is now turning three, I’m assuming our tot is about the same age Madeley was when you went…2. Do Broadway shows allow 2 year olds in the theatre?

    • Mix and Match Mama October 20, 2017 at 5:05 am

      Yes! They have to have their own ticket though. We took Ashby at three and Madeley at two.

  • Carly October 19, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Happy Birthday Madeley! I just love those little feet and cheeks! Hope you have a wonderful year! Thanks for sharing Shay!

  • Kacy October 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Madeley is the sweetest! I can never get enough of her cheeks!

  • Jaimie October 19, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    She is just so adorable, my heart could explode! And I always love your birthday party ideas! Thinking of her birth Mom today, too! Love and prayers! xoxo

  • Kathy October 19, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    I love that sweet face …the way her eye squish shut when she smiles is just so precious. Bless both her mamas today!

  • Angela Ellingson October 19, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Happy birthday Madeley! What sweet dolly!

  • Bethany October 20, 2017 at 4:26 am

    I love this so much! Adoption is amazing!