Happy Birthday my Sweet Lilly
Today you turn ‘3’ and it seems like yesterday we were sitting in the hospital room holding this beautiful, fresh, tiny baby girl. Three years have flown by faster than I could have imagined and it’s been a roller coaster ride along the way. Someone once said it’s a good thing they don’t hand you a toddler as you leave the hospital otherwise we would all go crazy. Since you didn’t come with a manual, we’ve just been doing our best to keep you safe, happy, and nourished (mind and body).
This past year you have grown so much. Early in the year you would pat your chest in reference to yourself, and obviously now you use your own name and can spell your name in its entirety. Your vocabulary expanded like those little dinosaurs you put in water. Every day you would surprise us with one or two or even three more words. Amazing to hear what you pick up on and choose to repeat. Over the year not only did your vocabulary grow but your personality has started to take shape. In so many ways you are a perfect combination of Daddy and I. In big settings and with new people, you are shy and timid and you take your time to warm up to people (this is your father in you). However, once you are comfortable with the situation and/or people, you are loud, you’re a hugger and lover, and you laugh a lot (this is the me in you). With that said, YOU are your own person and you dance to the beat of your own drum. Be the star that shines bright in the dark sky sweet girl!
Over the year we’ve enjoyed so much together. You tried soccer for a few months and really enjoyed going with Daddy every Saturday morning. This was a fun activity for just the two of you and while we’ve taken a break recently from soccer, you’ve asked to do it again. It was amazing to see your running progress over the year and your ability to dribble the ball.
We tried dance classes which was really cute and fun to watch but it just wasn’t something that you were drawn to. Nothing compares to the joy you have with gymnastics. You seem to be naturally drawn to the handstand and front rolls, the trampoline has your love for sure and the balance beam. It’s too early to say but you seem to be built for this sport. Daddy & I have tried really hard to not push you into anything. We want you to find what you love, and enjoy what you’re doing.
You are gaining a sense of independence and definitely expressing it. You took it upon yourself early in the year to potty train, and while I won’t scar you for life by being too public, there are still some things you refuse to do on the potty.
We’ve been so lucky to experience the proverbial “not that [waffle] but this [waffle]” tantrum. And can’t forget the limp noodle tantrums. With that being said, we have so many happy memories to look back on!
The summer was spent outside either at a local park, the pool or trying out your scooter which you wanted after spending time with your cousin Ethan and seeing how “cool” he is on his skateboard (which is what you’ve been asking for recently). Ah, your cousins. This year as you’ve gotten older and it’s become easier for you to play with your cousins, you have really taken to each of them. They often come up in your playtime stories and you always ask when we will see them next. The bond that family has on one another is obvious, I just hope we can continue to nourish that relationship.
In your letter from last year, I said it was the year of firsts, however looking through pictures over this past year it sure seems as if this year too was an amazing year of firsts. First experience with a horse, first Rockies (baseball) game, first balloon animal, first outdoor neighborhood concert, first face painting, first time to the Children’s Museum, first airplane ride, first funeral, first pony ride, first movie theater experience, first pedicure, first experience with a Live character show, and how can we not mention first time to announce you’ll be a BIG SISTER.
There are just so many amazing memories we’ve made over the last year. Writing this letter to you I have the opportunity to look back at pictures from the year (to jog my mom brain) and I find myself not only with joyful tears in my eyes but an overall sense of gratefulness. If I had to pick something from the last year that has etched a lifelong memory in my heart it would be your abundant love. Daily you show us just how genuine and kind you truly are; from morning hugs at breakfast saying “I just love you so much Mommy/Daddy”, or when you tell us to have a family hug together, or how you tell Daddy & I that we are your best friends (granted you also say everyone else is your best friend but in the moment it feels really special). Every morning you send daddy off with a hug and then on the way out the door, “one last hug Daddy, soft kiss, high-five”, and the latest remark added to this routine “don’t forget to bring home the bacon.” It’s moments like this that get us all rolling and something I hope you never lose – the ability to laugh and enjoy life.
You, my dear, will always be my first. No one can ever replace you. You were first to make me a mother. The first to open my eyes to endless, unconditional love. You will always have a special place in my heart that is just yours. We all are about to embark on an extraordinary year and I cannot wait to see where the year takes us.
Happy Birthday Sweetness!
Mommy & Daddy love you so very much – xoxo