oh sister, i should probably start by apologizing for the eight-week delay in writing this, but i have a feeling that this is realistically how our lives are going to operate until you and your sibling(s) are pretty much independent from me. or probably by the time you're 12, letters like this will embarrass you, so they will then become private between you and i.
anyway, you are three. THREE. this was a pretty tough birthday for mommie. you are quickly becoming a little girl and there are very few things that resemble anything close to a baby, or toddler for that fact. this year has been filled with A LOT of changes, all of which have been the greatest blessings. you rolled through relatively unscathed during the total disruption of your life with the remodel mommie and daddy drug you through. there were a few weeks of some behavioral issues, but i can't say i blame you seeing as how we didn't have doors or flooring in the construction site we were living in. you made new friends with our sweet new neighbors and also transitioned perfectly into a new school after being at spring creek for almost 18 months. you start another new school this month and i'm sure you will roll with the punches like you almost always do.
you are hilarious. i mean like REALLY funny. the stuff you say cracks us up and the funniest thing is that you are EXTREMELY logical and reasonable for a three year old. you speak so matter-of-factly (or with conviction as daddy affectionately calls it) to where even if you're wrong, you are so convincing we start to kind of believe you. you are so observant and your memory is totally impressive.
you are really starting to pretend play and are OBSESSED with anything pink, purple, sparkly or princess/puppy related. you like your hair "big" and there is no denying you have your own sense of style. all pink. all the time. ALL. THE. TIME.
you sleep with 382094809283094 stuffed animals and they ALL have to be tucked in just right. JUST. RIGHT. i'm sure it'll be cute when you are grown and i think back on it, but right now it drives me bonkers. it is a ten minute ordeal every night to track all your friends down and get them in bed where you want them.
you and your brother are quite the duo. best friends one second, full-on brawl the next. he is your shadow and you both love each other so very much. it truly makes my mama heart happy to watch the two of you growing.
this year i have really witnessed the fruit of the seeds your father and i have planted is flourishing. you are so thoughtful and respectful and kind-hearted. you are very well-mannered and are so thankful for the things others do for you. you are also showing the gift of hospitality and i love that about you. you want everyone to come to your house and play and you are so willing to share (well most of the time. you are three, after all.) your spirit is so sweet and i love watching you interact with others.
you are starting to understand how having a happy heart is directly related to the gospel of Jesus Christ. although you don't quite understand the whole picture of the gospel yet, you do understand that Jesus teaches us to love everyone, be kind and have a happy heart. i couldn't ask for more at this point in your sweet little life.
we are also starting to really see the effects that society and outside factors can have on you. you have come home from school and other places with some less-than-stellar behaviors and words and by the grace of God we have been able to work through them and help you understand that what other people do and say may not be acceptable in our home.
as i have told you in years before, your father and i will ALWAYS be here for you and we will ALWAYS be together. we know that our commitment to each other will directly influence the way you view relationships, and our number one goal in this life is to point you (and everyone we cross paths with) to Jesus. we will never stop showing and teaching you that Jesus is the only way to true freedom. He is the only way to be in the world, yet not OF the world, and don't be mistaken my sweet girl, they are two VERY different things.
we want you to love on those who need loving. we want you to serve those who need serving. you have been placed into a family that will always turn to Christ and to the promises of scripture and we are here to help make this world a better place according to His will.
you are so precious, sweet girl, and i am so beyond blessed to be able to be your mother. you make me so proud and i am so excited to see how God uses you in this world to further His purpose.
one request though: please don't grow too fast. these last three years have gone by in the blink of an eye and i can't figure out how to make it slow down!
"whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."