Dear Lillie: For Your Fourth Birthday

Dear Lillie,

You are four now! I don’t know quite when it happened, but you are growing up! You are still my baby in so many ways, but you also have learned to do so much on your own. You love to gather all your toys in one area to play. Basically, you’re a hoarder…we’ll work on that.  You easily go into your make believe world and love to move around your small dolls and figures to play out your own story, but you always want me to be close by. You often require that I sit beside you or play with you. You give me the story line and words to say, I just have to move them.  You love listening to music and dancing and singing. You want to sing all the main parts, I’m not allowed. If I do decide to chime in during an especially dramatic moment of “Let it Go,” you tell me I’m not allowed to sing-you’re Elsa! You are all about textures. Anything especially soft is a major draw! You love being read to and cuddled with. Your favorite foods are sausage and macaroni and cheese. Your favorite color is green, and you love anything that is green, including Rocky from Paw Patrol, turtles and frogs.

You have a kind heart and are often very generous. With out being prompted you will offer half of your treat to your sister, or a stick of your own gum to mommy and daddy. Your personality shines bright wherever you go! I love your spunky spirit and strong will.  You have the special ability to keep us all laughing and on our toes. I never know quite what you are going to say, and I kind of love that about you. You are a great friend, though there are definitely times you would rather play alone, or are a bit shy at first when meeting new people. That’s ok, I get that. Just keep being kind.

You are a difference maker girly. You have the ability to draw people in and lead them, while also having the ability to be generous to those people. When you got money for your birthday, the first thing you said was that you wanted to put some in church offering. Mommy and Daddy pray that you keep that generous spirit. That you love with the love of Jesus. That you continue to march to the beat of your own drum and keep standing up for what is right. That you stand up for those that might be looked down on. That you walk alongside others that might not have a friend.

It sounds like a lot, yes. You’ll make mistakes and that’s ok. We know you’re going to make mistakes. We make mistakes all the time.

Just know that when you make those mistakes you are still loved. You are forgiven. There is grace to try again.

We’ll keep working at giving you the room to grow into the woman God has created you to be. Sometimes it’s hard, but we know that you aren’t truly ours. You are a gift from God. We are so grateful to have been entrusted to help you grow and watch you use your gifts to glorify Jesus.

Right now your days are filled with an awful lot of Paw Patrol play, imagination, and concerns about when your next snack is. I know it won’t be long until your days are filled with much different things…grown up things. You won’t need me to sit so close while you play. For now, I’m so glad to hold you as my four-year-old Lilliebug. I’m going to try to get in my snuggles for as long as I can.

Love you,

Mama

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Dear Reu

 

Dear Reu,

How has a whole year gone by so quickly!? I’ll admit it, there were times, like the nights that you wanted to nurse A LOT, or just party in general, where it didn’t seem so fast. But baby boy, I wouldn’t trade any of those moments, because they are the moments that grew you into you! You are a JOY! You have such a happy, and mostly laid back personality. You kind of have to be laid back with your big sissies. If you’re wondering where that strong aversion to things being shoved in your face comes from or your assumption that toys magically appear in your hand…your sisters are responsible! You also know how to let us know what you want. Which is good, because you’re going to have to be able to speak up with those two big sisters!

It took you a little while to decide you really wanted to move. You didn’t roll much, and crawled a a little later than your sisters did, but boy, once you got moving, you just kept on going! You cruise around now and get to just about anything you want. You pull yourself up, stand on your own, and are so close to walking! You walk along the drawers in the kitchen and try to open all of them! You shove small chairs and tables around and basically think you’re the coolest, because you kind of are! You are starting to love looking at books. You’ll sit next to a pile of books and pull them all down around you. You then sit on the floor with a book on your lap and turn the pages, study them, and reach for another. It’s so fun to see you learning and growing!

You have one of the best cheesy faces I’ve ever seen…though I may be partial. You scrunch up your little nose, squint your eyes, and show your little chompers! Sometimes you breath heavy and sniff in and out for added effect! It almost looks like you’re in pain or angry, but really, you’re just trying to get us to laugh! You’re a good eater and eat just about anything! You feed yourself well and especially love frozen blueberries! You’re good at drinking water from your sippy cup now, but you still like to nurse a lot.

You’re a champ at going down for your naps and down for the night. You go down awake and put yourself to sleep easily…you’re just not so great at it during the night. You still wake up several times through the night and like to nurse a couple times too. You are a snuggler, which of course I’m totally ok with! You’ll often let me pop in your binky and cuddle you close to me, your head resting on my shoulder. I’m really hoping you’ll let me do that for a long time! You’re starting to babble more and sometimes say mama and dada. We can see the wheels turning and things clicking in your mind daily!

Before you were born, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be mom to a boy. I only knew girls, and figured that I would end up with all girls! Reu boy, I am so happy you are in our lives! You bring new surprises, challenges, prayers, and goodness, that will only continue to increase as you grow.

Our prayer for you is that you grow into a man of God. That you will seek Him and put Jesus first in your life. That you would grow in confidence in the gifts that you have been given and use them to glorify Christ. That in your weaknesses, you would lean into Jesus. Your name means shepherd and friend, and we believe we’ll see these things in you as you grow Reu boy. You are precious and purposed for good things. We can’t wait to watch God use you!

You are so loved, Reu boy.

Happy first birthday, baby.

Mama

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