My Dearest Itty,
Let me preface this letter and remind you I love you. I really do. You are the daughter I prayed for and know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God designed you to be a beautiful soul in our home. And yet, I am also equally grateful that the year deemed the terrible twos is officially behind us. 😉 That’s not to say there were not amazing, crazy great moments. Year 3 was full of them! Wow. I can’t even believe it. You have now been earth side for three full years! This past year was the year you became a big sister….not an easy transition when you are only two. Watching the two of you together is among one of my greatest joys this past year. You two have the cutest relationship. You love him well, wanting to tend to him when he’s crying, asking to push him in the stroller outside, bringing him sippy cups as he got older, wanting to help change his diapers, and helping to greet him when he wakes up from sleep. My heart runneth over. We didn’t do a ton of prepping you for a new baby coming, and you just rolled with it, embracing all the fun and joy and love that a new baby brings into a home.
This summer was magical because you were finally big enough to ride some of the rides at Six Flags and various places we would go. I love this picture because it captures the joy of both being tall enough to go on rides, and the way you light up with a million dollar smile when you get to do something alone with just me. You love quality one-on-one time with me, and I treasure these times together. And your laughter. Your laughter is from God for sure. It is pure beauty and joy and infectious and makes everyone around you simply happy from the giggle.
I also feel like I need to give a shout out for your bravery. Perhaps because you have an adventurous big brother, or because God hard-wired you this way, or maybe a combo of both, but your spirit for adventure emerged during year 3. You are fearless to try new things and really want to embrace life. My free-range parenting heart soars and loves watching you figure out how to climb a crazy rock tower at a park or take on a water slide at such a small size. You don’t let your size hinder you but feel like you can do anything and it’s so fun to watch.
And holidays were super fun this year. You sure enjoyed getting into the spirit of each holiday, from Fourth of July festivities to pumpkin patches in October to fun costumes to getting to go to adult church with Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve, and all the fun decorations and crafts that accompany each season. It was so fun to experience all that with you this year.
And the transition we are still working on is getting from baby stage to big girl in the bedroom.
We are still working on pulling the paci and transitioning from crib to bed. Some nights the bunk beds go well, some nights its a colossal failure and you end up back in the comfy on your own bed. It’s a process. 😉
You are also the spitfire in the family. The one who loves to roll their eyes whenever you think something is absurd. EVERY. THING. must be done by “self”. On your time table. In the exact, precise way that you deem fit for your purposes. Otherwise it is EPIC FAILURE MELTDOWN MODE. You are stubborn and hard headed and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses that for His plan and purposes. You love music from dancing the “tooty tah” at the library music program to singing in your bed and in the car and really all the time. Any song you know or make up or sometimes its a mash-up of a recognizable song with an Itty improv in it. 🙂 You love books and doing school time stuff along with the Man-Cub. Really you want to do anything big brother is doing. For good or for bad. That can lead to the sweetest and tenderest of moments, or an all out brawl with kicking and biting and screaming. The two of you LOVE to go on missions, especially to “Great Wolf Lodge” which clearly is the vacation/gift that keeps on giving. Y’all load up backpacks or bags and stuff them full of whatever random things you find and run around. Only the two of you really understand the game and it is hilarious to watch. All I know is it makes your hearts happy and there is howling.
I’m super excited to see where this year leads you. We started it off with a bang. A great party done in your current obsession of Sofia the First. The carseat has been turned around and now you can see the whole world (“the light is green – we can go!”). I look forward to the all the greatness that is the year of the threenager and the foreseeable challenges: breaking the paci habit, potty training, transitioning into brother’s room among the top that I know are coming. And I anticipate with hopeful expectation the way that you will grow and bend and mold and the adventure that lies ahead of us as we push on towards four. May you continue to seek to seize the day, pursue adventure, laugh wildly, love with your whole heart, find contentment in the outdoors, always march to the beat of the drum that God placed in you, and that your year is marked by all the magical moments you create in being free and wild and three.