Monday, July 14, 2014

Sweeter by the Dozen

I just kissed Sarah on the cheek and told her goodnight for the last time as an 11 year old. Tomorrow she will be twelve, and we will celebrate her last birthday before she enters the teenage years. As Kate used to say, "What the world?" I don't even know how that happened. Because yesterday we were celebrating her turning one and she looked like this.

I had a house full of family and friends and I had the brilliant idea that we should take five one year olds and have  them paint their hand prints on pretty scrapbook paper. My kitchen that was the size of a shoe box held frantic, stressed out moms and babies who were almost toddlers streaking through in bursts of energy and purple paint. You have to give me some credit; we didn't have Pinterest in those days and sometimes your creativity and plans of grandeur get out of hand when you are sleep deprived and have experienced a traumatic amount of the Wiggles. I hate to admit that I have no idea if that little project has survived the three moves we've made since then. I hope that one day I will come across it. But if I don't, I will always have the memory. So many memories. 

A dozen years of memories.

A dozen years of smiles.

A dozen years of planning. :)

A dozen years of learning.

A dozen years of seeing the world in a whole new way, because you made me a Mama. <3 div="">

Sarah Beth, you are such a gift from the Father. Sometimes I just have to stop and thank Him for letting me be your Mom. You are truly a special girl. You came into this world with the strongest will I've ever experienced, and it has been a joy to watch you grow and develop that strong will. When you were two that strong will led to some knock down drag outs and you were blessed to have lots of grandparents around to rescue you. :) As the years went on I watched as that strong will made you a fighter, in the best sense of the word. I've watched grow from a shy little girl who was terrified to sing or dance in front of an audience, to a confident, self-assured performer.  Other kids are drawn to you. You are a nurturer and a natural born leader. I never thought of kids as having the gift of hospitality, but you do. You love to cook and bake and decorate and plan parties. You love to celebrate, and I love that about you! You think all the things are special occasions, a reason for a dress and a fancy tablecloth.  You are a planner and praise God for putting one in this family! I know your Daddy and I drive you crazy with our play it by ear personalities, but be patient with us, eventually you will train us. :) 

I love your willingness to try new things, but also that you know what you like. You are kind and thoughtful and mature beyond your years. You are the BEST big sister, a loyal friend, a hard-working student, and the sweetest daughter we could ask for. 

I pray that while these upcoming years may be awkward, and at times challenging, that you will stay you. That you will know you are special and have a beautiful soul. That you will find great joy in becoming who God intended you to be, not wasting time trying to be someone else. That you will choose friends who build you up and encourage you to be better. That you will continue to grow in grace and knowledge. That you will be brave and bold and stand for what you believe in. And most importantly that you will always know that you still have a shoulder to lean on when you need one. 

                We love you SB!! Happy 12th Birthday!! Take this year slow, for your Mama's sake.  :)

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