DEAR MAE : : BIRTHDAY EDITION!

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Dear sweet sweet Mae,
Today is your third birthday!
I could say these three years have flown by but it would not be true. It has been a full & beautiful three years. Full of giggles, and oh so many smiles.Three years of hearing your sweet delicate voice. Three years full of you. Perfect little you. Life would be so much less with out you…and quite frankly no fun at all!
We love you so much.
You declare, “Oh my! I love it!” when you come across something you adore, and “Dis be awesome!” when we are taking you on an adventure to somewhere new. You bring joy to each and every moment.
You run with a kind of bounce. While it is adorable beyond words at age three I can imagine running in such a manner would be embarrassing at say, age sixteen, but I hope you hold on to it as long as you can.
You turn away from any sad or scary parts in movies. You feel such deep compassion for characters in trouble, characters in pain, characters you conclude really just, in the end, “miss their Daddy.” You make us better.
You will one day want to grow up to be like Daddy and I, but I hope with all of my being that we grow up to be like you dear sweet shiny penny.
I am blessed –so blessed!- to be able to stay home with you. To see every moment of your life. I try to soak up all that I can. Some days I get distracted. Frustrated. “Cranky.” These days you are sure to show me what is important. You and Amelia are all I need to distract me. Dishes can wait until you’re asleep, right? You bet your tiny hiney they can, and thanks to you, they will.
Snuggling with you beats rock, paper, and scissors. Every time.
You love sparkles and bright red lips. You gasp at the beauty of Mama’s costume jewelry. Given your way, every lady would wear a dress every day. You dance like you mean it. You do everything with your entire heart. I wish I could love like you. You make me believe I could.
Thank you, darling Ploppy, for letting me hug you as tight as I can, kiss you as many times as I wish, and stare at you as long as I desire.
Happy birthday Penelope.
I love you.

Dear Mae

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Ah, Miss Mae,
You have been such a help to Mama and Daddy this week! You sand better than a Craftsman and avoid trays of paint like naptime at Grandma’s! A remodeling Mama’s dream!
Since buying our home, you have learned to hold your tiny hiney on the potty independently. My well rested arms thank you kindly.
You are eager to refresh Amelia’s Puff supply and round up a crinkle toy or two when Mama and Daddy are busy fixin’ up the house.
Thanks for being awesome!
Mama.

Dear Rae

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Miss Amelia.
You are growing so fast. You are a second child, which for Mama and Daddy means time with you will fly by much quicker than with Penelope. You are also advancing faster than she did, which is not helping my mama heart cope. You are a joy to watch though!
This past week you have learned to hold your own bottle, sit up, and today you went from lying on your belly to sitting upright all on your own! You now say “Dada,” and feed yourself puff snacks. As much as I document your life, I feel as though you are advancing too quickly, leaving me unable soak up memories of your milestones. I am so proud of you. You are so smart. You are beautiful. You are a love of my life. You make me a better person. I am so blessed to know you and share my life with you.
We love you Mia!

Dear Rae

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A-Rae,
Yesterday evening, as I was editing photos, I glanced up and saw that you had stopped playing with your crinkle block and were now wearing a grin aimed at right at me. You were so happy. I couldn’t help but snatch you up and hold you tight.
I love you. 
You sat on my lap and snacked on banana puffs. Watching you figure out how to chew is so much fun. After each puff is successfully dissolved you suck your bottom lip in, just to make sure no piece had tried to run off. It is adorable.
I sang Phil Collin’s, “You’ll Be In My Heart,” to you as it played behind us. You joined in and made me so happy. I love to hear you sing.
You are a treat I have the pleasure of enjoying each and every day.
I love you.

Dear Mae

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Dear Miss Mae,
I pray when you are fourteen, thirty-five…fifty, I can remember how it felt as you wrapped you slender, delicate arms so tight around my neck while we danced around the living room as the sun was rising over the trees this morning. How, after a tight squeeze, you gently pat me on my back, only to ease your way into a smooch covered in the most innocent kind of love. You are a beauty.
You have some new cooler than cool dance moves. Moves that resemble a new born colt learning to walk. I’m convinced very few things in life could make me happier than experiencing you innocently and joyfully discover rhythm. You are already a better dancer than your Mama. 🙂

Dear Rae

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Dear Rae,
Yesterday at lunch you thought it would be fun to attempt some “raspberries” while your mouth was loaded with green bean ammunition. As I sat there, covered in green gooey goodness, I couldn’t help but laugh. You were so delighted with what you had done. Next time I’ll come prepared! Stinker.

Dear Rae

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Dear little Miss Rae,
Where would we be without you? Your smile greets us each morning, brightening our just another day. You smile at every word I say and every look I toss your way. What an esteem builder you are.
You agree with my “Never too many kisses” theory. I enjoy giving as much as you enjoy getting.
The way you suck on your bottom lip makes my heart giddy. This causes you too smile with your eyes, because Lord knows you cannot go two minutes without presenting the world with your glorious grin. No doubt a trait you inherited from your Vovo Sammy. From what I hear he gave the world a smile or two to hold on to. I’m glad the Lord is still finding ways for him to be a part of our lives, and what a better way than in a joyful beaming beauty like yourself?
You slid one knee forward yesterday. A slow yet triumphant attempt toward the crawling champion you will no doubt become. I somehow manage to love you more each day. Each day feeling it is impossible to love you more.
I love you Little Bit. Darling. Queen of smooches.

Dear Mae

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My dear sweet Mae,
You are a precious soul. You are full of love for everyone you meet. You are a treasure. A treasure the Lord dropped right in my lap, no map required. The X that marks the spot. I surely hope I do not take you for granted.
You are a great example of how we should live each day. A day full of curiosity, grace, and affection. A day overflowing with sweetness. Sweeter than maple syrup, my dear.
I miss you the second you head to bed each night. Your Daddy and I lie awake telling stories of your cuteness, giggling at the unbearably adorable things you had done that day. We love you so much little one.
You are speaking in sentences now. You say, “I love you so much, Mommy,” at the very moment I need to hear it. You greet your Daddy with joy each day. You allow me to hold you so tight when you are scared. You are patient. You are smart. So smart. You are the sparkles in our eyes and the glow engulfing our smiles.
We love you Miss Mae.
You are our home. You are the example the Lord has set before us. I pray we can return the favor when you need it most.