Seven years ago, I didn’t think I’d ever be a mother. I was just a few months into my diagnosis, testing, and trying to conceive you… just a few months into where this journey to motherhood first began. I was in complete denial that I’d ever have you in my life.
I was so thankful that it only took a year of treatment to get you here.
I remember dreaming of you. A dark-haired baby girl, yet to be conceived. I already knew you. I knew you’d be a girl. When I found out the dream was reality, I felt more connected to you than ever. I was able to call you by name as you continued to grow in my womb, and I was praising God for this perfect gift.
We didn’t have the easiest of pregnancies, you and I. But that’s a story for another day. Today, I want to honor you and the fact that you are here, that you defied the odds, fought your way through NICU, and have grown into a beautiful little girl.
My sweet little Peach, Zoey Liz, it is an honor to know you.
Daily, I take in every ounce of your being.
- The way the soft waves of your light brown hair dance upon your shoulders.
- The way your eye lashes rest on your face as you sleep… I enjoy crawling into bed with you on weekday mornings to wake you up.
- How tan you get in May and the fact that it lasts until Christmas. Something you most certainly did not get from me.
- Your hilarious facial expressions as you play Mario Kart. Those feet…
- Your words of affirmation and random “I love you”s, before I even get a chance to say it first.
- The way your cheeks look when you stuff them with tomatoes.
- The fact that you are certainly not a picky eater.
- The way you look when you exercise with me, and your tender “Momma, are you okay?” questions when I feel like giving up on those burpees and planks.
- The way you stroke my face to wake me up on Saturday mornings.
- Your intense need to name every stuffed animal “Rainbow” or “Sparkle”.
- The way you mispronounce words.
- The fact that you listen to Natalie Grant every night at bedtime. And every day. The same song. And you never get tired of it. And you sing it at the top of your lungs.
- How you pray every day for a baby sister, without us even asking you to. Although lately it has been for twins… clearly, you reach for the stars and beyond.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.
To me, you are perfect.
You have celebrated some big milestones this year:
- Graduated Pre-K and left behind your beloved preschool, that will forever have a special place in our hearts.
- Started Kindergarten, and public school to boot.
- Lost 3 teeth! The tooth fairy has been busy this year…
- Had your first dentist appointment and did AWESOME!
- Started reading more and more… you’re so close to being able to completely read The Very Hungry Caterpillar without assistance. By summer, I think you’ll be there!
- Went to Disney World for the first time, and had no idea what Disney World really was until we were there.
- Rode your first wooden roller coaster at Holiday World and quickly realized that wooden roller coasters are not your friend.
- Rode your first water roller coaster at Holiday World and quickly realized that they are your favorite!
- Rode your first upside down roller coaster at Disney and LOVED it!
- Got your first “big girl” haircut that was more than a trim.
- Made your first homemade pickles and completely fell in love.
- Graduated from The Imagination Library and started your first subscription box (Kiwi Crate).
It has been a busy year!
You always tell me that you want to be just like me, and I hope and pray that I can live up to what you deserve. Many days I feel as if I am failing you. I know the Lord has entrusted me to care for you here on Earth, and I promise to continue to lean on Him for guidance in how to raise you, for tenderness when it’s due, for mercy when I fail, and for endurance to pick up and keep going.
My daughter, I know we have so many adventures ahead of us. We’ve already had the privilege of enjoying many vacations and camping trips, and we have many more to come! Your daddy and I always said that it is important for us to build memories with our children. We know how important it is to take time with you every year, whether it’s a 3-day weekend getaway, or a week-long extravaganza. We promise to continue building these memories with you.
Sweet Zoey Liz, thank you for being you. You’re strong-willed, opinionated, sensitive and bold. You care deeply for others and feel their pain. You already exhibit so many leadership traits and it excites me to see how God shapes you for the future. Today you want to be a florist, and yesterday you wanted to be a police officer. Last week you wanted to be a book editor. The other day you wanted to be a fitness instructor. You have big plans, sweet girl! I can’t wait to see what all you do in your life! Just do me a favor and pick one or two… spreading ourselves too thin is never a good idea. Learn from your momma. I fail at this daily.
My sweet Kindergartner, I hope your journey to 6 was memorable in the best ways, and I pray your journey to 7 is even better. Happy Birthday, Peach. Mommy and daddy both love you tremendously, and look forward to spoiling you today!