On Monday Immy turned five. I'm not sure what it was about this birthday that hit me so hard. Five already? Sweet memories and pictures of her day, edged with the sadness that comes with knowing that five short years ago this beautiful girl came into the world, and her dad and I had stars in our eyes. And now we're carrying on as best we can, and it's hard. But we keep showing up, and smiling, and trying to show our girl that no matter what she is beautiful and loved and we are the luckiest parents on earth to have her.

She spent her day playing, and swimming, and napping with her daddy in preparation for her party. We decided to keep it small - family, and one or two friends. She wore her Elsa dress, and she looked like a princess. Of course the theme was Frozen, because honestly - what else would it be?

Pimms punch, and pinwheel straws.

This photo of her and her grandpa. My heart.

The cutest Happy Birthday candles. Which I've been saving all year for this, and then forgot to actually light.

Joss and Rourke, the boys next door. Her favourite people currently in this world.

A special guest appearance by Jeremy.

Her gentle smile.

And her crazy smile.

Candles, and snowflakes, and a sparkly 5. Of course I didn't bake this cake.

Since she loves to sing and perform, we bought her a microphone as one of her birthday gifts. We were rewarded with a show on the morning following her birthday, complete with hippie hairband, rolled up skinny jeans and bare feet.

Sometimes, being a single parent means that the routine things just get so darn tedious and I find myself rushing through them just to get them done. Supper, bathing, brushing teeth, bedtime stories. But tonight, I let her play in the bath longer. I listened to her non-stop chatter, and instead of hurrying her along, I let it be. I soaked it in, and my mind clicked over into a single thought: one of these days, sooner than I know it, she'll be all grown up. No more Polly Pocket, no more endless chattering, no more 5-year old jokes (two bananas went to the doctor because they weren't peeling well), no more loud made-up songs, no more endless rounds of shopping trolley kisses, no more tickle tickle and no more begging for just one more story before bed. I lay next to her, her hand curled in mine and I felt so grateful for the time I've had with her, and the time still to come. For her warmth, her affection, her easy laugh and the light she brings into my darkest days.

When she turned two, I bought her this book. We read it every year on her birthday. She is fairly unimpressed with it, truth be told. But I love it, and as long as I can, I will read this to her in the hopes that she will understand someday the way she changed the face of the world for so many people.

Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvellous
Night you were born.

Happy birthday, my darling Immy. You are so very loved.