Thursday, December 1, 2022

Dear Sadie, Today You're 6.

 Oh my sweet Sadie June.  I'm not sure who's having a harder time with you turning 6....

Me or you. 

Over the past month, you've realized you're no longer a "baby," and you seem quite surprised by that. Your little sister is 2, and I'm not sure if it's just now setting in that SHE'S the baby in the house and to be honest, I know that's been hard on you lately...

About the time you turned 3, we realized you had an affinity for chicken nuggets.  In fact, you still do.  I started calling you my little chicken nugget and the name just stuck.  Earlier this week, you asked me if you could always be my "little chicken nugget."  I wonder if you'll ask me that same question when you turn 16...? ;) 

You found an old photo book from our very first trip to Branson at Christmastime.  I believe it was when you were around 4.  You brought the book upstairs and asked if we could talk privately.  That's what you girls say when you're needing some mommy time.  You showed me a picture of you and I snuggling, riding on a horse drawn carriage.  You pointed to the picture and with big, puppy dog eyes, you said to me, "I'm not a baby anymore.  I'm not your little chicken nugget."  

I have to admit, while it pulled at my heart strings, I also chuckled to myself because I secretly love that you want to be mommy's little girl for a little while longer. 

And listen, I'm 100% ok with that.  You got a deal, kid. 

You have always been the sweetest soul, the calm to the chaos, the jokester.  You love to laugh and I just ADORE that about you!  You think burping and farting are the most hilarious things in the world and for some reason, you refuse to flush the toilet, much to our dismay.  We've told you a million times - SADIE!! Flush the toilet!! And you just won't do it.  

I can't figure out if it's because you don't like the sound, or your laziness.  Probably the latter.  ;) 

While you aren't the cleanest of kids (you leave a path of destruction and clothes just about everywhere you walk), your wit and spirit ALL but makes up for it. 

But you know what I love most about you, my Sadie girl?  Your generous spirit!! It's amazing to me how a a 6 year old can be so tremendously giving - heck, you'd give the shirt off your back to your sister, to us, to your friend.  

While your allowance is a few quarters here and there, you save those quarters up just waiting for the chance to share them with someone in need.  The other day, you wanted doughnuts before school.  Heck, everyday you want doughnuts!  I told you we couldn't get doughnuts two days in a row, but that if you wanted to spend your own money, I'd take you.  

You ran to find your wallet and immediately began counting your quarters.  You wanted to make extra sure you had enough to buy Lara a doughnut, too. 

You find so much more joy in GIVING to others and that, my sweet little girl, is a GIFT.  YOU ARE A GIFT. 

While you've been sassier than normal lately, I have a sense that because things have been calmer around the house, you finally feel the space you need to release some of your new, big emotions you're feeling since starting kindergarten...  

Speaking of kindergarten - your teacher told us at parent teacher conferences a few weeks ago, what a mother hen you are around class.  You CARE so much about others and always make sure everyones getting along. That's usually the role you play around the house, so no surprise there! ;) 

While I could go on and on and on about how adored you are, Sadie girl, I'll close with this: whether you're turning 6 or 60, you'll always be my little chicken nugget. 


Mom & Dad

Monday, October 31, 2022

Dear Lainey, today you're 2

I normally write these letters the night BEFORE your birthday....but last night, I was too emotional to conjure up words to express how much I love you, Lainey Rose.  

As I was rocking you to sleep last night you let me sing you "the song."  While you're quite demanding with your night night songs (usually a mix between row row & twinkle twinkle), you must've sensed I needed to sing "the song," because you didn't once stop me. Trust me, that's unusual for you. 

The song I've sang more times than I can count.  The song I danced to at my wedding with your Grandma.  The song I've been singing you girls to sleep with for 8 years and counting.  

The Best Day. The song is written from a daughter's perspective on growing up, a song she wrote for HER mom. 

"There is a video I found from back when I was 3.  You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me. It's the age of princesses and pirate ships & the seven seas....  Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world."

"Now I know why, all the trees change in the fall.  I know you were on my side, even when I was wrong.  And I love you, for giving me your eyes.  Standing back and watching me shine.  I didn't know if you knew....but I'm taking this chance to say, I had the best day....with" 

As I sang the words, I thought about how fast you're growing up. How fast the past 2 years have gone.  I thought about your giggles, your sweet voice, your head strong spirit, your grin, your sweet little pigtails. 

I thought about everything YOU ARE.  My last baby.  My bookend on her last night being ONE.  And I cried....

I PRAY that when you grow up, you look back on these years & see those same videos and feel how LOVED you are. 

It's a strange dichotomy, being a mom. You love seeing your baby grow up, learn to eat, learn to walk, learn to run. But your heart literally aches at the same time.  

I swear you came out smiling, Lainey Rose.  Everyone that meets you instantly falls in love with your coyness, your silly spirit, your big blue eyes.

But out of everyone in the world, your sisters are your favorite people, your BEST friends.  When you walk into a room, you're looking for Lara & Sadie before anyone else and I hope it always stays that way. 

Your big sisters love you more than anything in the world, even though you boss them around day in, day out.  You demand they play with you by reaching out your hand saying, "PAY." While you love watching Bernard or Blippi, you also demand someone sits by you, patting the couch and yelling "SIT" to whoever's walking by.  

Spoiler. we all sit. You run this house & you know it.

Everyday you're saying new things & while most of the time I use Lara as your interpreter, I'm getting better at deciphering the Lainey Rose dialect. We'll say, "Lainey, come here," and if you're in the mood to join, you'll say, "Ooootay." 

At night, you demand a pretty regimented process and secretly, I love it.  Once your jammies are on, you'll say "Rock you," which means sit your butt down and rock me NOW. You ask for your washies over and over again until you have at least 3, then a few minutes later, you want in your bed. We kiss your plump little cheeks, lay you down, you roll over and get tucked in with your blanket or as you call it, "banket."

Then, in the sweetest little voice you start saying, "Lovesssss you." 

Over and over and over again, long after we've closed your door. In fact, some nights you'll yell it at us thru the door until you get a response. 

The ending to yet another "best day" with our Lainey Rose. 

My sweet baby, I hope you always know how much we 'lovesssss YOU.'


Mom & Dad

Monday, August 15, 2022

Dear Lara, today you're 8.

Where to begin?  Tonight we sat around on the couch talking about the night before you were born, 8 years ago.  It's funny, because as I told the story, all the details came RIGHT back to me as if it happened yesterday...

I remember being absolutely terrified to have a c-section, but with your stubbornness, it was the only safe way to bring you into the world being that you were breech.

Little did I know, that stubbornness would exacerbate over the years to come. 😂 

I can't pretend like it's been easy being your Mom, because it hasn't. You have challenged me EVERY single step of the way, and I'm sure your teenage years will prove to be equally as tough.

BUT, you have taught me more in the past 8 years than I could've learned in a lifetime without a daughter like you.  

However, over the past year you've grown into a softer Lara.  A more loving & empathetic little girl, with a stubborn streak that you're slowly learning to reign. 

You love animals more than most humans and with how society has behaved the last couple of years, I don't blame you. You adore your baby sister, even when she swats you in the face and leaves a bloody scratch above your left eye.  A scratch that's turned into the ever so slight scar you'll likely carry for a lifetime.  You adore that little girl anyway. 

You and Sadie have your spats, but deep down, I know you love her light hearted spirit.  She brings out a child like side of you that most people don't get to see.  Sometimes, when you get home from a day away, you'll both disappear downstairs and play together quietly for an hour or more in your book nook turned Xenos Horse Ranch. 😁

I joke with friends & family that you truly are a better parent than I, and while I laugh it off, deep down I know it's kind of true. You're always watching things unfold around you with an eagle like eye.  Waiting for someone to screw up. Today, Lainey grabbed an antibacterial cleaning spray and had it in her the time I realized what was happening, you'd already yanked it out of her hand, shocked that I would put her in danger like that. 😂

While we're polar opposites in most ways, you're the little ying to my yang.  I love our 1:1 time more than you'll ever know.  You open up and talk your little heart out and I get to see how much you're growing into a little lady right before my eyes. You have zero interest in boys and would prefer to grow old with your massive collection of stuffed animals.  You display them every so precise in your bed, ensuring you leave just enough space for you to sleep. You're doing cartwheels and back walkovers everywhere you go, constantly flipping around, more than you actually walk.  

Over this next year, I pray you grow in confidence.  Confidence in who God created YOU to be, Lara Anne. You are strong and stubborn, sure, but you are also full of SO much love & empathy.  I want you to be confident enough to have strength but ALSO show the side of you that's humble & kind.

I know people say their wish is for their daughter to be a "world changer," but I don't.  I already KNOW you're a world changer.  My wish is that God gives your Dad & I the strength to survive parenthood so we can witness the difference you, my girl, will make in this crazy world. 

But seriously, can you go easy on us this next year?


Mom & Dad