*I'm writing this/posting this a few days early-- her actual birthday is Sunday-- but I didn't think I'd have another chance before them.
** I snapped these pictures quickly today since I hear the temps are supposed to plummet again. I had some issues with my focus for awhile, so pay no attention to some of the blurriness… look past them to her cuteness. [And thanks, Papa, for toting her around for me!]
To my dear, sweet Blythe Kathleen,
You've been in our lives for two years now, and it's impossible to imagine our world without you. I think one of the best ways I can describe you right now is INFECTIOUS. Everything about you is infectious: your smile, your laughter, your sense of humor, your personality. And you just seem to keep "infecting" more and more people with your love and fun spirit.
It's kind of funny to look back on the things I said about you last year on your birthday, because you've grown and changed so much! Back then I said you were petite, and you were, but that is definitely not how I would describe you now! You weigh a whopping thirty pounds, and your cheeks and belly seem to grow everyday. This is most evident when you get "naken" for your bath. It's one of your favorite times of the day, and once we have you stripped down you immediately take off running around the house in fits of laughter. I also said you ate anything put in front of you. That's different too, unfortunately. You're so picky. I sneak in what I can, and clearly you're healthy, so we don't worry too much. You do love cheese like your mama though :). And CRACKERS! You can't get enough crackers and you beg them off of people since I don't give them to you at home very often. :)
And girl, do you love to talk! Our days were still pretty quiet this time last year, but that has sure changed! You have a response or question or comment for nearly everything. There is NO way I could even count how many words you are saying these days, and you're starting to put them into sentences too, which is so exciting. Even if you don't have an exact word for something, you can always manage to get your point across. One of my favorite things you say right now though is, "Okay, Mommy," Or "Thank you, Mommy." It's by far not the most impressive thing you say, but you say one of these to nearly everything I say to you [unless you say, "Nope" or "No thank you"], and it is just the sweetest thing to this mama's ears. I think people are always a little surprised by your ability to communicate, since you still look younger than you are. I promise your hair will grow in sometime, but for now we get to enjoy your sweet baby looks a little longer.
It's becoming more and more evident what I've always known to be true: two year olds are SPONGES! One thing about sponges, my sweet girl, is that they soak up whatever is put in front of them. It could be clean, soapy dishwater, or muddy puddle water. Your daddy and I are praying that we would be good examples for you so that what you soak up is healthy and holy. Just yesterday your dad was in a back room and I was trying to figure out a password for something. He shouted it to me, and it didn't work. So I shouted back, "CAPITALIZED?" You were busy with your dollhouse at the time, but you took notice because shortly after you walked in the room and, in my exact intonation and volume, shouted, "CAPITALIZED?" We're still laughing about it, but it's a good reminder that you're always listening.
Blythe, you live up to your name every day. You are truly full of JOY. [Though your dad recently said we should have named you something that means "patience," as that is something we're working on right now ;)]. I have always said that the toddler years are my favorite, and it is holding true with you. They are challenging, yes, but you learn something everyday, and you're so active and FUNNY. And when I say funny, I mean it. Not just like, we're-your-parents-so-we-think-everything-you-do-is-cute kind of funny, but you truly have a sense of humor. You GET it. This is something multiple people have commented to me. It's not very often you can joke with a two year old like people can with you.
We still get to spend our days together. I've heard many stay at home moms say that the days are long but the years are short, and boy is that true. Some days are longer than others. Somedays you're testing your independence a little bit more than others [and you seem to like to test it on ME more than anyone], and somedays you won't eat anything, and somedays you decide naps are unnecessary, and somedays you can't handle me walking out of the room. But I wouldn't trade these days. I know these days are the ones we will both look back on and be thankful we shared together. These are the days that I will wish were easily returned to. These are the days that are shaping you and me both into the ladies we are supposed to be.
Our lives are about to change pretty drastically, sweet girl, but in a great way. You are about to become a big sister in another month or so. I already see so many characteristics in you that will make you a really loving and thoughtful big sister. Just the other day I was pretty tired and had been on my feet too much and needed to sit down. I propped up my feet and laid my head back. You ran over and found a little blanket for me [and when I say little I mean little. It was from your dollhouse! But that's beside the point!], placed it on my legs, then patted my arm. It was a sweet moment of compassion, which is one of the things your dad and I have been praying for you. And I know it will come in handy when you have a little sister to take care of.
There are little parts of me that are sad to see this time with just you and me go. There are things about our relationship that are bound to change when she arrives. But bigger than any of that is my overwhelming gratitude I have towards God for deciding to give you a sister. Giving me a sister was one of the best things my parents ever gave me. And I hope that someday you feel the same way.
And I will end this as I did last year, my daughter: Your daddy and I love you so very much. When you have to sit in time out for throwing a fit, know that we are trying to teach you immediate gratification and always being told "yes" are not as valuable to you as patience and a well placed "no." When you would rather eat ice cream than your supper, so you choose and end up eating nothing, know that we are teaching you something about health, yes, but also something about the importance of dying to yourself sometimes. When we force you to say "Thank you" over and over and over again, or make you "ask nicely" instead of whining before you get something, know that we are trying to teach you that the people in your life are important, and that being kind shows them you value them.
As another year has come and gone, may you someday look back and, in the pictures and stories and memories, always feel that you were loved and provided for. May you look back and see a little girl that was part of a little family that was just trying to be like Jesus in our every day moments. And may you know that your life, your love, your joy, taught us more about Him everyday.
Happy Second Birthday, Blythe Kathleen! There is nothing you can ever do that will make us stop loving you!
** Read Blythe's Birth Story HERE
***Read the story behind her name HERE