I know it isn't your birthday or any "special" milestone, but there are just too many wonderful things about you lately that I am terrified time will remove from my memory. So, I thought I would try to capture a bit of the essence of who you are at 3 1/2 years old.
You are just like me in the morning. If I go in to wake you up before you are ready you will be grumpy! Sometimes I just ask if you would like a little more time to wake up and you always say, "Yes!" I'll shut the door and let you wake up at your own pace. When I do that you are a much happier little girl.
You know how to sign "I Love You" and it is our special little code when we are out or around a lot of people. I always want you to know how very deeply you are loved. I hope that you do. We also love the book The Kissing Hand and read it often. I love how you ask me to kiss your hand and then you hold it close to your heart and squeeze it really tightly as if trying to get it as close to your heart as you can.
You have a sensitive soul. You love deeply and hurt easily. You are extremely shy and cling to me when we are out and around people you don't know (and sometimes even people you do know!) Some people get offended by this, but I don't think you are being mean on purpose. I really think you are trying to figure out all the emotions that come with your shyness.
You've entered into a difficult disciplining stage for us. We aren't used to it (you or us) and so we are making our way through the murky waters as best we can. I've read books and tried a zillion different things and yet we still haven't found what works best for our little family. In all honesty, you are the most precious child...you just have moments (like all kids do) that challenge and grow us.
You are super creative. You love to color and do any kind of craft I bring out for us. You are always asking if we are going to do, "sumping 'pecial" or if we are going to "wern about sumping" I absolutely adore your excitement about spending special time together. Sometimes you will have me sit down and you will tell me stories from your Bible. You tell me that the Bible is, "God's trufe worf" (God's true word) and that God is in our hearts. You learned something new at BSF where you grab your Bible down from the shelf and open it up and read something (all pretend) and it is just too cute. I love that God's word is already seeping into your sweet heart. I pray with all of my heart that you will know how deeply you are loved, how precious you are in His sight, and that He has a plan for your life my darling daughter.
You make me laugh every single day. Most days you still take a nap. This might sound crazy and silly, but I always miss you when you are sleeping. Ha! I enjoy and often times need that time to get things done, but I still miss you under my feet as I'm going about my daily chores. You help me fold laundry, sweep the floors, clean the dishes from the table, put away the silverware, and are usually always really sweet to help me do whatever I need.
You are growing so fast my little baby girl. How you have gone from a completely dependent newborn to this very independent pre-schooler just baffles me. You go potty by yourself and wash your hands by yourself. You know how to brush your teeth and wash in the bathtub. You like to pick out your clothes (and would wear pajamas every day all day if I let you) and don't like tags or anything that scratches.
You are the absolute best big sister in the entire world. You love your baby brother with a love that I am just in awe of. Yes, he is getting to that age where he is getting into your stuff and yes, you are getting to that age where you are ready and willing to tell him what to do and what not to do, but generally you guys are the sweetest things together. You LOVE to be the first one to go in his room after a nap. You will open the door and say, "Hey handsome!" You do anything to make him laugh (it usually doesn't take much...he is smitten with you) and would rather chase him around the house or "pway wiff Bubby" than just about anything else. He is so lucky to have you as his sister. I pray that you guys will have a special bond throughout the years.
Lauren, I love you. I. Love. You. I thank God that I am your mama. That he chose ME of all the mamas out there. So often I feel inadequate or unqualified for this job, for this important work, but I trust that He has a great plan for you and me Sissy. Even though you need to slow down on the growing up, I am excited to see what's in store for you beautiful girl. You are a priceless gift.
I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times.