Today, you turn 8. Every day I watch you grow and change. You’ve gone from infant to baby, to toddler, to preschooler, to elementary school-ager, and now you’re a big girl who independently reads, wakes up in the morning to her own alarm, and picks out her own clothes. Not only are you growing physically and independently, but spiritually and in maturity as well. Since your salvation and baptism two years ago, I’ve had the honor of watching you absorb the Word of God, ask meaningful questions during Small Group class, pray for others in your own words, and say over and over again: “momma, we should help that man” or “I just feel so bad for that person”. You’re a missionary in the making and I LOVE it.
My sweet girl, God blessed us with an incredible daughter in you. You’re artistic, adventurous, caring, and thoughtful. You love Michael Jackson, smoked oysters, the show Bunk’d, wearing dresses as often as possible, bubble baths with the fizziest bath bombs we can find, feta cheese, wearing your wavy hair down so it can blow in the wind, laying in the hammock with our cat Yumi, and singing every song possible at the top of your lungs while discovering your range of key.
This year for your birthday, in lieu of a big party with lots of fuss, we did something different. A few weeks ago, we surprised you with a weekend getaway to Cincinnati to visit our friends and see The Oh Hellos in concert, followed by a visit to Noah’s Ark. Today, we’re taking you and your two best friends out for a special day! Of course, later there will be lots of puppy play time with your new furbaby Waldo. He was your gift this year, and while he comes with a lot of work for me, it is all worth it for you.
Your 7th year on earth has been hard for you and I’m so sorry about that. You lost two pets (three counting your first fish) and your sibling all in your 7th year, and I know it’s been difficult to process. In addition, you so badly want to be accepted by anyone and everyone that you’ve taken bullying from girls all around you just to have “friendship”. I know these things make life feel hard and I wish that I could take them all away, but we’ve had some incredible memories, too. In your 7th year, we:
- Spent warm days running through a sprinkler, sliding down a slip-n-slide, catching frogs, sitting around the bonfire, catching fireflies, and feeding butterflies melon
- Played your second (and last) soccer season
- Went to Cincinnati where you met my friend Emily’s girls for the first time (and second time—we went TWICE in less than a year!)
- Went to King’s Island and rode your first CRAZY corkscrew rollercoaster
- Toured Mammoth Cave for the first time
- Started 2nd grade and became a much more independent reader
- Witnessed a complete solar eclipse in our own backyard!
- Joined Girl Scouts and survived your first cookie season
- Threw pottery clay for the first time and developed a love for the art
- Learned to ride a bike without training wheels
- Completed your first (and second) 500-piece puzzle
- Experienced your first (and second!) pedicure
- Went to Legoland, which is something you had been asking to do for YEARS
- Went to Disney World for the 2nd time in your life and got to stay in a Little Mermaid room!
- Grew to love essential oils together, while making ALL the DIY things we could
So you see, more than a dozen amazing memories happened, and I’m so grateful that we’ve gotten the opportunity to share these life experiences with you.
Today, let’s kick off turning 8 with the best birthday ever. Mommy and daddy love you SO much. Here’s to a great year ahead!