My wonderful child:
What an incredible year this has been for you. Just one little year ago, you were an only child. You lived in the house where you were born. You slept in the same crib where your little head first rested.
Now, you're a big sister. You sleep in a big kid bed. You're witty, wise, kind, generous, riotously funny and the all-around best girl I know.
Two was a difficult year for you. Perhaps not by everyone's standards, but certainly considering the easy child you always were. Your daddy reminded me often that they don't call it the terrible two's for nothing. You had to try on a bit of independence; a bit of rebellion. You had to knock things off the table just to see what would happen. It wasn't especially easy on either of us, truth be told.
Through it all, though, I know that the core of who you are is kind, generous and caring. You are truly the sweetest girl I have ever met, and more often than not, one of the most attentive and obedient.
It is my greatest joy to watch you as you grow. Until the day you experience it yourself, you'll never know the overwhelming elation I felt on the day I knew you were coming. When I first saw you, I was absolutely overcome for the love of you. And, even though it isn't always easy, the truth is that with each day that passes I grow more thankful and amazed that God chose me to be your mommy.
I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
The sight of you, mussy-haired from sleep. The trill of your little girl voice as you share with me the many things you know and the opinions you're developing. Your eyes that light up in awe and excitement at so many things. The way you ask me to snuggle with you just one more minute at bed time. The way you whisper conspiratorily, "I have a secret to tell you... I love you!" I wish I could keep you little forever.
As you begin your third year, please know that you have a mommy who loves you very much. Who is very proud of the wonderful little person you are. Who strives each day to be better than the day before; to be the kind of person who is worthy of such a gift as you. Who is humbled and blessed by your presence in my life.
You are capable of so many things, my beautiful girl. I hope you never forget that you are limited only by the expectations you place on yourself, so dream big, my big girl.
And, whatever choices you make throughout your life, you will always have a very loud cheering section.
I love you to the moon and back,