Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday.

When I think of a topic to write about, I often start out with 20 different intros in mind. I search for the perfect one with the right wording, and then I'm typing away furiously at the keyboard trying to keep my fingers up with my thought process. But for whatever reason, whenever I sit down to write these letters, I struggle with the beginning. Maybe it's because I'm searching even harder for the words because I know I cannot bring this moment back again. Because I know that in the future whenever you, or I, will sit down to read these letters, it is the only piece of wording that I will have to capture this moment {this year} of our lives. And so, naturally, it has to be perfect. It has to truly grasp every little detail and emotion so that when I close my eyes I can feel you, touch you, and hear you.

I can feel your small hand fit so perfectly in mine, resting your head on my shoulder as we watch your favorite show. I can hear you laying next to me at night telling me about your day and how you saw the biggest hot air balloon EVER.  I see that smile when you find your favorite car that has been lost for days. The proud look of accomplishment when you put your clothes on all by yourself. And the excitement and twinkle in your eyes when you see me the morning after work.

I close my eyes now, and I found it, I found you. I can see you so perfectly, just the way you are. Every detail about you, I see. hear, smell, and feel.

Now. To put it into words. I need to find a way. A way for me to hold on to you just the way you are, forever. Because it's the only way I can.

I know I can't stop you from growing. I know I can't stop your voice from changing. I know I can't stop you from becoming less dependent on me, and seeking yourself more. I know I can't stop the hard days from coming. I know this, and that's why it hurts just a little bit. Because although you will always be my baby, and you will always be Elli, you will forever change throughout the years. In a way, it's like falling in love with another person year after year. And I'm always excited to find how much deeper our love grows for you, even when we thought it wasn't possible. But I also remember the person that we are leaving behind.  And as the years go by and as you mature, we will get to meet another part of you again. And I'm excited for that. I truly am. But I'm going to miss 3 year old Elli. I'm going to miss every little ounce of you with my entire being.

And so here I am, sitting in a dark quiet room as the rest of the world sleeps, with blurry eyes and tears rolling down my face, dreading the inevitable goodbye. Is this normal? Is it normal to feel this immence gratitude and excitement for every milestone and year to come, and at the same time, pain and sadness over what we leave behind?

The answer is yes. I know it's normal because it's the 4th time that we are doing this now. The 4th time that I sit here, days before your birthday, and relieve every part of your childhood thus far. And cry. Cry big fat mommy tears. But more importantly, smile. Smile so big that I swear I'm going to wake up the entire sleeping world. If you could hear my smiles, that's exactly what it would do.
My tears have turned into smiles as I relive this past year.

So when I think about all the things that I want to remember about your third year.... it would be this:
You love cars. You and your brother will play with cars all day long. This is what you ask for when someone says "What would you like?" It's the first thing you think about when we pull into Kroger, and you jump with joy when grandma shows up with a new car that you don't already have. And if you do have it... it's an "Aw, man!"

A couple of months ago you decided you didn't like ponytails. Not sure what happened or what sprung this out of nowhere, but you literally woke up one day and said "No more ponytails!" And since then, I have probably convinced you a total of 3-5 times to wear one. The funny thing is, you love mama in a ponytail and always ask me to put my hair up. I'm giggling right now on the couch just thinking about this morning when the first thing you asked me was..."Mama, is your hair still up in a pony?" Yes, baby, it is.

Food you love. Cereal, granola bars, yogurt with granola, waffles, mac n cheese, almond butter sandwiches, chocolate almond milk, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, carrots, peppers, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, and tacos are by far your favorite foods.  You are totally not a meat person and if you had it your way, you probably would not eat it at all. And of course you despise the thought of seeing anything green, especially broccoli or spinach.

You're wild. You have always been my crazy child, and I love that. You love to jump, run around the house, chase people, and just be out and about. I love that you can run free and find so much happiness in just being you. One thing that you have never needed {but love of course} was TV, an i-pad, or even a person, to entertain you. Even if it's a cold winter day, you can still somehow find ways to entertain yourself all day. But I love nothing more than when you walk into the kitchen and say, "Mama, can you play cars with me, please?"  There is no where else I'd rather be.

Your favorite color is blue. In fact, a month ago you told me you wanted a ladybug party {which is what you are getting}, and then a couple days ago you changed your mind and said "Actually, I want a blue party!" A blue party? "Yes, all things blue!" Well, sadly, I had to inform you that all ladybug decorations had already been purchased, in which you responded "I skipped." Ha, you mean... you changed your mind.
You love to color. You've really grown into art in the past 6 months, and it has been really fun to watch your visions on paper. You get excited when you learn how to draw something new, and I probably get just as excited about the fact that you tell me all about it. 

Have I mentioned how strong-willed you are?
You are. Very much so. I think that you know what you want, and when you want it, and you are pretty darn determined to reach that goal. You're learning though that if you want something, you have to work hard at it, and that sometimes it may not be attainable, and you have to fact that reality. We are getting there.
 Just like your mama, you are not a cold fan. Actually you hated snow last year, which I imagine had something to do with frozen. Oh yes, by the way, you are the 0.5% of children out there that hates frozen. I mean, you ask for me to change the channel if you hear the song even come on when we are listening to pandora or the radio. 

You're a teacher. Often times, I hear you trying to teach Graham. "Graham, if you have to go poopy, you tell us so you can go to the toilet." And, "Graham, this is the letter B, can you say B? It makes a bb--bb--bbb sound." I smile proudly, really.

The library is one of your favorite places to be. You love music time, story time, and getting new books every week. We always get about 20, and we always read them at least 20 times before the week is up. And when I'm not reading them to you? You're busy in the corner reading them to yourself. Have I mentioned that you started reading this year? You probably know over 300+ words {I've truly not counted}. You can read the 1st level books with no problem, and we always have you read the first page of any book we read for extra practice on the harder ones. I can already tell that you will be a reader like your mama was.

You love your pajamas. You would stay in them all day if we let you, and your favorite are always the character ones or holiday ones {Christmas especially}. 

Your favorite shows currently are: Jake the Neverland Pirate, Thomas the Train, Sophia the First, and Dora the Explorer. You also like Leap Frog and Mickey Mouse clubhouse. 

Your favorite movie, hands down: The Elf on the Shelf.

You can't go to sleep without your clubby {most nights}.

Your mama is your favorite person in the world, and I'm not saying that because I am the one writing this. I hope it stays this way forever.

You love to sing, but you don't like anyone catching you sing. You get embarrassed, and I think it's so interesting that one can even get embarrassed at such a young age.

You are just... you, and I love everything that there is about you. Tonight, the last night as a three your old, you were so.... perfect. I don't know what it was but it's as if you knew that you were growing up and you knew that a special day was coming {well you did know all these things}, but you also knew how important this day is for your mama and papa too.

I told you today about the day that I went to the hospital. How you were so quick to come into this world, how you could not wait to meet us and show us who you are. And now you're here. And somehow you decided to just skip through the past 4 years, and learn how to walk, talk, and live life in a way we all should be living, all in a matter of what seems to be seconds. You're so beautiful. I could stare at your pictures all day. Your smile is perfect. Your cuddles are even better. You are our daughter, and the greatest thing we ever did as a husband and wife. 

You made us a family, and you made us more pure. Children, I believe, are sent to us to make us better people, and an example of what Jesus was on this Earth: Whole.

You continue to show us, and we continue to want to be better because of you and your brother.

So thank you baby, for all that you do to us. For every moment, and every memory that you have given us. Happy 4th birthday baby girl. We love you to the moon and back and over and over again.
Time for me to go to bed, since I have to wake up in 4 hours to go {get} and make you a doughnut cake! 

Mama, Papa, and your silly brother Graham.


  1. Now you've got me crying! Today was one of those hard days. Mine is a drama queen and not feeling 100%. She also has sharing issues with her little brother.

    I know we've done it for all the birthday's past but I was just telling my husband the other day that four just seems so BIG, so much older than three. It's not the same. They're like a real kid at four. Sorry for that, but I'm sure you agree though.

    Anyways, Happy Birthday to your girl! I hope you all have a great day.

  2. Happy Birthday, Elli!!! Your pictures are beautiful. I cannot believe how big you've gotten. Have fun at your lady bug party...hopefully you can wear something blue! ;)

  3. Happy Birthday to your sweet these letters that you write! She is just beautiful and sounds like the sweetest little girl! Thanks for sharing with us!


 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye