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N, you are three today.

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This is the most emotional I have been over you getting older. It may be the fact that I’m 39 weeks of pregnant, hormonal craziness,  or the fact that you are suddenly so solidly a kid. Hardly anything about you is ‘baby’ anymore – it caught me off guard!

What an incredible journey this last year has been. It was not the easiest year – there were quite a few ‘terrible two’ moments (months) when Daddy and I would have to re-evaluate our parenting ‘tools’, throw out what was not working and prayerfully try new things to discipline, shepherd, and guide you. There were more than a few times where it seemed you were re-testing all the boundaries just to make sure they were still really there (yes! For the thousandth time, they’re still there!). 😉

But N, as tough as it has been at times, it was (and continues to be) so good for me and Daddy. You do not let us passively parent you! Because of this, we have stormed the gates of heaven for you, wrestled against spiritual attacks and our own innate selfishness for you. As we seek to train you up and shape you into a kind, thoughtful, and Godly young woman, you are shaping us, sweet girl. Mommy and Daddy are better people, better parents, because of you!

And truly, even with the tough days, you are such a delight! You are so affectionate – you love to snuggle and give hugs and kisses. You are incredibly tender, thoughtful, and compassionate. You run to give kisses to owies, or to offer hugs when your friends are sad. You excel at sharing. I hear constantly from your daycare how well-mannered you are and what a wonderful example you set for the younger babies.

You love to learn. “Why?” comes out of you VERY often, but hardly ever in a whiny or manipulative way – you genuinely want to know! You want to understand and know the reason for decisions we make, especially in regards to you. Many meltdowns have been avoided because we were able to explain our reasoning to you in ways that made sense to you. It’s truly amazing to see building blocks of cognizance and learning and social skills connecting in your brain right in front of my eyes!

You are SO verbal – always have been! Talking through situations with you tends to yield the best results because you are very word-oriented. You’ve begun making up your own songs and stories – you are so creative and your imagination astounds me. I love how you think outside the box and take your creations and stories in directions I would never have thought to go.

Your sleep has vastly improved. For so long, it was SO tough, but the rewards have been worth it. You are steadily sleeping through the night more often (8-10 hours straight), and if you do wake up, it’s generally just once somewhere between 1-3am. You quietly call out for Daddy until he comes to you and then you lay in bed with us, or Daddy lays down with you, and you go right back to sleep until morning. You have a wonderful relationship with sleep, you love to be cozy and snuggle under your blankets, you trust that we will always come for you, and you do not seem to have any fear of the dark. These are all major answers to prayers that I’ve prayed for you!

Big transitions are up ahead. Sister will be making her arrival soon, and I cannot wait to see your relationship with Little I begin and grow. I can’t wait to see you step into your ‘big sister’ role – one you will have for the rest of your life. You love to talk to Little I in my belly and we talk all the time about getting to snuggle and kiss her after she is born. I tell Little I all the time that she has the best big sister waiting for her, and it’s true. When God chose us to be Little I’s parents, He also chose YOU to be her sister! You are both so mightily blessed to have each other, and this Mommy is going to cry when you hold Little I for the first time. =)

We had a princess party for you over the weekend. It was the party that almost didn’t happen – you woke up from your nap a MAJOR grump who was beyond reason! After many tears on both your and Mommy’s part, Daddy took you upstairs, used his Daddy-powers (I’m still not entirely sure what happened!), and 10 minutes later came downstairs with you in your princess dress and acting like your normal self. It was truly miraculous to me!

It was a sweet, simple party. Your two closest little friends, V & E, came to celebrate with you. It fills my heart with such joy to see the beautiful friendship you three have together.

image3image4The beautiful crowns you three are wearing are the craft we made – lace covered in 3 coats of fabric stiffener, 2 coats of silver spray paint, hot glued into a circle, then we helped you three hot glue jewels wherever you wanted them. Thread a headband through and voila! Pretty princess crowns. =)

image5You were very proud of yours. =)

N, you started this parenting journey for us. You are the one who gave me the title “Mommy”. To say that I’m immeasurably blessed to call you my daughter is an understatement. I am weepy just thinking about how much I love and cherish you!

Happy Birthday, my precious girl! How I praise and thank God for you! I love watching you grow and I cannot wait to see what this next year holds for you and for our family!

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