Becks Lynae: THREE

Becks Lynae,

You're three! In some ways this is hard to fathom and in other ways it seems totally natural because I barely remember life before you. This year with you has been SO MUCH FUN. It's also been a ride. You can be a defiant little stinker, but even in the last few months the growth you have shown in learning to listen and obey is remarkable. You just feel everything so deeply. If Blythe gets hurt, you're concerned. If Nan is crying, you have to go check on her. One day I was sick and was laying on the couch and you came over with your blankie, gave it to me, then proceeded to hold my hand and stand next to me for close to ten minutes. Finally I said, "Becks, it's okay if you go play." And you tentatively left my side but left your blanket for me. If your dad or I have a cold, you ask every single day if we're feeling better. You laugh with your whole body. You hug with your whole body. And you try to get your way with your whole body. But I don't ever want to remove your tenacity for life by wishing away the balled up fists and stomping feet.

You've had a lot of change this year, as you because a big sister to Nan Louise. And you handled it remarkably well. You still ask to hold her all the time, even though she is nearly the same size as you! You recently have started playing "roll the ball" with her, and both of you have a ton of fun together.

This year was also the year you figured out a lot of transitions: up first was your transition to a big bed. We had to zip-tie some plastic fence around your bottom bunk for a long time to keep you in, but around Christmas we knew you'd be just fine without it and you were so excited when you walked in and saw your "cage" was down! Haha. You also potty trained this year, and let me just say: you made it so easy! I was dreading it so much, as Blythe was super difficult, but you basically potty trained yourself while I adjusted to three kids. You still can't get on most potty's by yourself, as you're so small, but you never have accidents and that is a blessing. This reminds me: even standing on a step stool in our bathroom you can't reach the sink to spit after brushing your teeth, so you've adopted the habit of just spitting in the toilet! You usually find your way around most things you can't reach, and I'm hopefully that this is the year you'll grow tall enough to be able to turn on a light switch :)

You are very friendly whenever anyone says hello or waves at you, and you are quite the crowd entertainer. People always say, "You've got your hands full with that one!" But like I said last year, they are full in the best way possible. We also frequently get comments about your incredibly blue eyes. And while you don't mind waving and being with people, you have definitely proven to be more of an introvert. If you're ever having an "off" day, I usually just let you/make you go in your room and give you a pile of books. Very rarely do you come out on your own. Usually, quite often after over an hour, I have to retrieve you. You are also a big hugger and snuggler, and if we are reading books you have to be in one of our laps. I literally kiss you all day long because you let me and your cheeks are still squishy and toddler-like and I know soon they will disappear and shortly after that you will push my kisses away. So for now, it's nonstop. Sometimes I'm in the middle of disciplining you and I find myself kissing your face and I wonder how it even happened!

You and Blythe are inseparable these days. This year has been a big growth in this area. You two can come up with just about anything to play and pretend together, and you're generally pretty good about sharing ideas and stuff. However, you do like to get under her skin from time to time. On purpose. You're favorite thing to do is to say, "Huh?!" after she's said something to you or asked you a question. There is no doubt you heard her, but you say, "Huh?!" regardless. And repeat it over and over until she loses it! One time while in the van, you two had an argument in the back seat. You were telling Blythe that you were in charge [another favorite theme of yours], and she was trying to explain that mommy and daddy are in charge. Finally, exasperated, she hollered at me in the front, "Mom! Can you tell Becks that you are in charge." "Yes, Becks," I said, "I am in charge." You conceded with an, "Okay," but then I heard you add on quietly to Blythe, "... but I'm a little bit in charge."

 When I was pregnant with you we chose four character traits to pray over you and we continue to pray for you even now. We pray that you are devoted: to your convictions, to your people, and most of all to your Jesus. We pray patience over you: the kind of long-suffering, biblical patience that is a fruit of the spirit; the kind of patience that can sit with others through unanswered prayers and the kind of patience that can wait for joy that comes with the morning. And we also pray purity for you: that you would protect your own and that others would see where true purity comes from. And lastly we pray integrity: that your character would leave a legacy worth following. And over all these things we pray fervently that you would come to know your need for the saving grace and mysterious mercy of Jesus early, and that His would be the lead you follow.

I will never forget the moment they laid your 5 pound body on my chest. And tonight you told me over and over that you wished you could marry me [yes! me!]. I of course corrected your error, but then, after you said, "But mom...I like you!" I made you promise you would like me when you were fifteen, you smooshed your cheek up against mine and emphatically said you would. I know I'll look back on your little infant heart beating against mine in that hospital bed, and on these supper-time, toddler conversations in the future when those little balled fists grow into teenage ones. I will love you just as deeply then and I will hang on tightly to you, dear one.  

At this age I started closing out your sister's letter with the following that I want to share with you now, as well: We hope you always understand the why behind our no-s. We hope you feel safe in the boundaries we set. We hope you feel freedom in the wide open places we leave for you. We hope you see God in our actions and words. We hope when you leave our little home for good and go out on your own that you'll look back on this simple little life we had together-- chaos and mistakes and messes and all-- and see that it was Grace that held us together; that you see that it was God's daily bread that provided it all.

I couldn't be the mom I am without the things you have taught me. I read recently this reminder: that God is in the room parenting all of us. And I need that reminder often. I mess up often in my parenting, Becksy, but thankfully we have a God that can redeem even my mistakes.  I am so deeply grateful that I get to love you and learn from you every single day. Year two to year three was an absolute joy, and I can't wait to watch you grow and change in year three to year four. 

Happy third birthday, Becks Lynae! There is nothing you can ever do that will make us stop loving you!


Spring Ladies

At the end of March the fields were bursting with purple and I wanted to get some pictures of the girls. It was a little chilly and a little muddy, but I drug Brent and Papa along and we snapped for about five or ten minutes. I love all their little faces so much. Since I still haven't taken Becks' two year photos, I thought I would post these before I completely forgot about them.

such a Nan face
Please note: one sister is lovingly kissing. The other...well....

this picture just completely summarizes this little lady

After church one Sunday we headed to Brent's parents. I was outside with the girls and happened to have my camera...

We have absolutely loved this Spring. The weather. The rain. The earth worms. The robin nests. Just today the girls were chasing around a young robin that was learning to fly [don't worry, I eventually told them they were probably traumatizing it and to stand back and just watch. It got away. Probably ran into a Snort.... ]

Our house seems so much bigger when we can run in and out of it all day long. Barefoot feet. Wind-whipped hair. Gorgeous sunsets. Snacks on the trampoline. Pretending to fish with sticks off the bank and waving at neighbors as they pass by.

We are looking forward to summer with its sticky, sweet heat and days at the pool. Tanned skin and popsicles. But right now, when we don't have to worry about sunscreen and bugspray and the breeze is almost enough to need a jacket? Well right now is our sweet spot.

Soon the corn will begin to pop up, the days will lengthen, and new wonderful things will beckon us outside. But right now we will hunt those bright blue eggs, pick a few more tulips and lilacs, and sip our coffee under a blanket in the cool morning breeze.