Half way to 18. What?

25 May

Dear Analise,

A few weeks back, I was chatting with Auntie Mi-Mi about your birthday and she reminded me that nine is half way to 18.  And at 18—you’re an adult.  And, you can move out, go to college, get married, become a nun…go and do whatever it is that God calls you too.  If the last 9 years goes as fast as these nine years has, well, that reality completely and utterly leaves me stress paralyzed.  I want the pause button in a serious way. 

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As I look over pictures from the last year, I am a bit speechless.  You have grown at least 3 or 4 inches—this was proven when you recently put on a pair of shorts from last summer and they fit like tight, short work out shorts instead of the bermudas they were intended to be.  We all got a good laugh out of that. 

And, just as your body continues to grow, so does your confidence in being  you.  One of the many things that I love about you is your complete and utter, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me” attitude.  You are you.  No explanations.  You aren’t afraid to express your opinions, your likes, and your dislikes.  You laugh at your own jokes, loudly crack up at others, and have developed a witty sense of humor (sounds a little like you dad, am I right?).  You never try to be like anyone else.  You are just you—perfectly made, authentically you. 

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And with all of that you-ness, well, that means there is a lot of me-ness going on because you and I?  We are a lot alike.  And that sometimes is a lot of personality in one room.  If all is well, there is a lot of awesomeness going on.  When I’m stressed or crabby, we tend to feed off of each other’s moods and that can just be down right painful.  Let’s just say we have had a lot of opportunities this year to say, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.”  For that kind of unconditional love, I am grateful because truly, you are my earthly reminder that our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and there is no sin that He will not forgive.  I’m so grateful that you love me even when I totally stink at this mom gig.  Thank you, dear daughter.

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This year, you have begun taking horseback riding lessons and that has been such a source of joy for you.  You are an animal lover and I had no doubt that you would fall in love with anything that allowed you to call a sport something that involves animals.  You have also enjoyed earning badges and being part of a wonderful group of Catholic friends at your American Heritage Girls group.  You are also so excited about your Performing Arts camp this summer.  That’s one quality I’m glad you got from me.  You continue to rock out your piano lessons, and more than anything, it is a lovely opportunity for you to learn from your daddy.  We all know the gift that he has with music and it warms my heart to see you two sitting at the piano together. 

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For your birthday this year, we had the lame-ist of days with James still down with influenza and daddy and I barely functioning.  We managed to pull together a birthday meal and ice cream pie, that only you and Jonah ate.  You have taken a rain check on your party and we will celebrate in a few weeks with the extended family. 

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As you are now officially in your last year of single digits, my prayer is that you continue your walk with the Lord, falling deeper and deeper in love with Him as you seek answers to the questions that are forever toiling around in your mind.   And, I continue to offer prayers that you know deeply how wonderfully and perfectly you were made and just how much God loves you and so does the rest of your family.

I love you sweet girl and am forever grateful for the gift that you are to me, our family and those around you.

All my love,

Momma-lou

::And, now for your annual birthday Q&A::

 What is your favorite color(s)?

Pink

What is your favorite sport?  Why?

Horse back riding lesson because I love horses, riding them and learning all kinds of cool things about them.

Who is your favorite friend?

I have too many to choose just one.

What do you like to do during your “free time?”

Play with Samantha and Lily (American Girl doll and horse), play board games and pretend we are going on many different adventures with Jonah and James.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A veterinarian because I love animals.

What is your favorite and least favorite meal?

Favorite is Beef and Noodle OR pizza

Least favorite is stir fry

What is your favorite dessert?

Ice cream pie

What is your favorite and least favorite subject in school?

Favorite=history and writing

Least Favorite=I don’t have one.  I really like all of the subjects.

What do you like to do with Jonah and James?

Play games and pretend all sorts of things.  I also like to go outside, play at the park and read to them.

What do you like to do with your family?

Read good books, play games, go to the park and ride our bikes.

What are your three favorite books that you read this year?

The Eleanor Estes, Edward Eagers, and Boxcar children series.

What are your favorite movies?

Frozen and Tangled

What is the most important thing that you know about God?

That He died on the cross to save us from our sins and then rose from the dead and opened the gates of Heaven so that we can be with him in Heaven.

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