Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe sweetly wish Ava a happy 18th BDay


Reese Witherspoon is having a big week. First, her silly rom-com Home Again came in second to IT this past weekend. Granted it is not getting very good reviews and when I say second, I mean it made more than $100M less than IT but still – second. Personally, though, things are a little better for Reese. Her job-holding firstborn, Ava Phillippe, turned 18 (yay! – another voter). For this milestone birthday, both her parents celebrated their daughter on Instagram. And by “on Instagram,” I mean ALL OVER Instagram:

Ryan kicked things off with this photo montage of the mighty Ava throughout the years:

happy birthday, punk. i love you more than any strangers need read, but…

A post shared by philz (@ryanphillippe) on

If my kids ever decide to join any form of social media, I am unabashedly stealing Ryan’s caption. But Ryan is a dad and parents were put on the planet to annoy their children. Now that Ava is officially an adult, the embarrass factor gets raised 10x. So Ryan posted this multi-pic message of all Ava’s best qualities, starting with this unfortunate outfit choice:

you are the coolest

A post shared by philz (@ryanphillippe) on


A post shared by philz (@ryanphillippe) on

and even though you're no longer a child, you'll always be my little girl. happy 18th, princess

A post shared by philz (@ryanphillippe) on

Boom! Always end on the Ballerina pic – it’s the showstopper.

And that’s when Mom took over. Reese came out of the gate with powerful Momspirational thoughts and a sweet yesteryear shot of them:

She mercifully wrapped things up quickly with a present day portrait, simply captioned #18:


A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

To which the birthday girl herself countered with her own #18:


A post shared by Ava Phillippe (@avaphillippe) on

Wow – she doesn’t look a day over four! Following her Belle cosplay pic, Ava posted something very touching. Apparently Reese has been writing Ava letters every year on her birthday and presented all of them to Ava to mark her 18th:

18 letters that made me cry (hard) today, courtesy of my lovely mother.

A post shared by Ava Phillippe (@avaphillippe) on

Obviously, I don’t know what the letters said but just thinking about them brought on the sniffles. I think that’s a lovely idea.

So happy birthday, Ava. And congrats to her lucky parents. For all the things I could nitpick about them, it looks like their kids are not one of them.

PS – I am not being Momist – there aren’t any current photos of Ryan and Ava I can get

Embed from Getty Images


Photo credit: Instagram and WENN Photos

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17 Responses to “Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe sweetly wish Ava a happy 18th BDay”

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  1. Penelope says:

    In that picture with a young Ava Ryan looks the most genuinely happy and unguarded I’ve ever seen him.

  2. Miss Kittles says:

    She really is the perfect combo of both her parents!

    • Betsy says:

      No joke! Kids so frequently favor one parent or the other – or some distant relation – but she is obviously their child!

  3. jugil1 says:

    It seems like they got the co-parenting right. It appears they put the kids first & buried their divorce nonsense. I wish other celebs (& non-celebs) would take note.

    • Molly says:

      Agreed. Having a non-planned pregnancy at 22 with both careers on the rise could have gone really off the rails in a lot of ways over 18 years. Good for both parents and kids for turning out (seemingly) so stable and happy.

  4. kay says:

    love the letter idea….i have email accounts for my two, that they get on their 18th birthdays, plus we do photo booth photos every year.

  5. nicegirl says:

    I love being a proud mom of my kids, it is super fun. Looks like Reese and Ryan are feeling it, too! It is so crazy when your kids grow up. My medium man goes off to college soon, aaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

  6. Goats on the Roof says:

    Damn, this makes me feel ancient. I remember when she was born.

  7. Happy21 says:

    Awww!!! Love this!

  8. Bobbymilly says:

    Too sweet.

    Makes me want to have kids but then I think of all the drinking aNd travelling I do

  9. Nicole says:

    Love. They both seem like great parents.

  10. Squiggisbig says:

    Very sweet. She is so pretty!

  11. HelloThere says:

    Beautiful beautiful girl. And you don’t hear crazy stuff about her. Wow. They did something right.

  12. hogtowngooner says:

    The pics of Ryan when Ava was little are just precious. Maybe it’s because he usually plays jerks in movies, but it was a really nice surprise that he seems like he’s always really enjoyed being a dad.

  13. Leo says:

    As much as I despise Reese for being a vile egomaniac, she does love her kids. Kudos.