Happy fourth birthday to you, my big girl! I don't think I'll be able to put into words exactly how much I have enjoyed this past year of your life. Three was an excellent year for you. You morphed into a beautiful, independent, creative, silly, articulate, inquisitive, and caring girl. You learned how to play on your own so well, to make up stories, and to transport yourself into your own little world. For the first half of the year three, playing with your doll house was your absolute favorite thing to do. You love to role play, and I can't tell you how many times we hear you say "okay, you be the little girl and I'll be the mommy" or some variation of that throughout the day. You have turned animals, trains, pieces of food, and even different sized sticks into family members. The second half of this year was all about the crafts, as we learned how much you adore creating pieces of artwork. You can spend hours each day at your craft table, and though we've surely killed our share of trees this year, you delight in all of your new creations. You love drawing families, and even began to illustrate your own books, telling your dad and I what should go on the pages.
This past year you also began attending preschool, and you just love it. You like the structure, I think, and you are quite fond of your teachers. I have yet to hear a negative thing about any part of the experience. You have learned to write about 90% of your letters, you can recognize them all - uppercase and lowercase - can count to 20 (still occasionally skipping a number), and can recognize an alarming number of words by site. You love to be read to, and you also like to read your books to us. You can spell and write your own name, of course, but also mom, dad, and a handful of other words. You blew me away once when you nonchalantly came up to me and gave me a card with my name on it that you had written. You also are using new words all the time, and often correctly. Although one incorrect use that continues to make me smile is when you whine in frustration that Sophie is "recognizing" your projects.
In addition to surprising me daily with how much you know, you constantly blow me away with how much you care about others. You are so very observant, and are deeply affected when anyone else is sad or upset. When we are reading, you study facial expressions, and will ask me why someone in the story is upset, or frustrated, etc. based on how they look. You are normally so great about sharing with your sister, and wanting to make her happy. She is going to have a great role model in you, I am quite certain. You are also learning more and more about God, and beginning to have a relationship with Jesus. Your prayers are very full of energy, that's for sure! And your questions blow me away. The other day we were driving in the car when you asked, "Mom, how does God see everyone at the same time?" You are so eager to figure out how the world works!
You are still a little shy, and pretty cautious of new situations. Your least favorite part of the day is going to bed, but obedient creature that you are, once we can wrestle you into your pajamas and your bed, you always stay there.
I have loved getting to spend this past year with you, Emily, and I am so honored to be your mommy.
Te Amo, Emily!