Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Dear Lara, Today You're 9.

I keep thinking these years will slow down, but here we are....your last year in single digits. This evening, as we kept our tradition alive of doing a mini birthday photoshoot, I kept looking at you thinking how beautiful you are.  Your little freckles....your blue eyes, your smirky little grin you make when I embarrass you. You're a little stunner and you're dads terrified. 

But I'm not.  

You're beautiful, but you're so much more than that.  What I'm most proud of is how confident you are, even when it nearly breaks me. 


I know YOU know how incredible God made you and that to me is the thing I'm most proud of as your mom. 

Your strong will is something I wasn't expecting.  You're our first child, so as your parents, we're learning each new phase of parenting right alongside you. 

And at times, you give us a run for our money. But we wouldn't have it any other way.

Most people still see you as the shy one...the quieter, more subdued one of the three Xenos girls. Which always makes your dad and I laugh. In actuality, you are full of passion about the things you care about. 

God. Your sisters. Sports. Acro.  

Lately we've noticed how you seem to think you can outsmart us. Sometimes I let you think it, but most of the time I have to remind you that I am and always will have years of wisdom on you. I know someday you'll grow to respect that, just as I learned with my own Mom. 

You're starting to get embarrassed by Dad & I's crazy antics....wait, you've always been like that. Which makes us want to do it even more. You're welcome. 

My wish for you as you enter your THIRD GRADE year is that you learn to embrace your emotions and not be embarrassed by them.  You're learning to navigate friendships & the beauty AND challenges that come with them.  

I hope you continue to run after God and learn more about what is means to have an awesome Father in heaven that adores you, even when you mess up.  Baby, we're all messed up.  And he loves us anyway. 

I hope you continue to love your little sisters with that big heart of yours.  Lately, you've shared with me how hard it is to be the oldest.....

With great responsibility comes great reward.  Your little sisters have the BEST big sister in the whole world and while they may not be able to express that right now, they show it by wanting to be JUST LIKE YOU. 

And I don't blame them.  You're one cool kid and there's not a day that goes by that Dad and I aren't so darn grateful that we get to be your parents. 

We love you, our beautiful, intelligent daughter. SO, SO much.

Mom & Dad

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