You're Almost Three!

My sweet girl,

Tomorrow is the beginning of your birthday month.  I cannot believe I have been experiencing the joy and sweetness that you have brought into my life for almost three years now.  I've forgotten what life was like before you came along, and I don't really even want to remember.  Because since the day I first saw your beautiful face, I began living my life with so much more purpose.  I became a better person because of you, because I knew that mine is the example you will follow.  You are so loving, so full of personality, so entertaining.  I barely turn the TV on, or do anything that doesn't involve you because you are so much more fun to watch and have fun with than everything else.  Every time I look at you, I'm watching my little baby...the one that used to fit so snug against my chest wrapped in a carrier, the one that I used to carry around in an infant car seat, the one that I spent so many hours nursing and changing diapers... grow into a little girl.  You're not a baby anymore (even though you will always be my baby), you are a kid.  You learn and explore and discover, and enjoy every second of it.  You don't copy my words, or look to me to tell you what to say...you have your own thoughts and you create sentences and conversations that cause my mouth to gape open in astonishment at just how advanced and exquisitely your mind works.  As we celebrate your birthday in 22 short days, I want you to know that we don't just celebrate it because it's tradition.  We are celebrating you.  We are celebrating your life, and all of the love, laughter & joy you have filled ours with.  We are celebrating the fact that God handpicked us to raise you and guide you through life.  We are celebrating the perfect way that you fit into our lives and teach us what it's really about.  We are so thankful, and so very blessed to have you.  And I want you to know that no one will ever love you or look out for your well being quite like me and your daddy.  And I want you to know that you are perfect and that there could never be a more beautiful you, because God made you and there is no one else in this world like you.  Never forget that.  I'm so excited to celebrate you this month, because in my eyes... you my love, are the greatest gift on this side of eternity.

Love, Mommy

Your first birthday party...


I want to remember...
You are still a very picky eater, you prefer the five major food groups:  chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, grilled cheeses, spaghetti & peanut butter sandwiches.
You are super smart, and you can remember things from 6 months ago.
You don't have a favorite toy, you play with everything in your playroom but you prefer to play outside.
You will stay outside as long as I will let you, even if it's 20 degrees.
You still sweetly torture FinLee by carrying him around in your arms, pushing him around in your baby stroller and the clothes basket, and treating him as a client at your pretend hair salon.
You insisted that you were ready to sleep in your own bed.  Daddy & I loaded you up and drove you all the way to Toys R Us where you picked out your very own princess toddler bed with Minnie Mouse covers.  Daddy was sleepy because of his crazy work schedule, so mommy spent a good 2 hours trying to put this plastic canopy bed together.  You were super excited about it...until we turned the lights off.  This bed is right beside our bed and mommy even tried to hold your hand the first night while you fell asleep.  After 10 minutes of you trying your very best to be brave, I heard you whisper "Mommy, can I pwease sleep wif you?"  Of course I let you.  And the only kid of mine getting any use out of your $130 toddler bed to this day is the BroDee the dog.
You learn really really fast.  And the teacher in me is overjoyed.
You now insist that you are mommy's and daddy's girl.  Not just mommy's.  And so the transition into a daddy's girl begins.
You spent your first night away from home the night before Thanksgiving, and have thoroughly enjoyed spending the occasional night with grandparents ever since.  All the while mommy secretly wishes you were as attached to me as I am to you.
90% of the time, the grocery store and Target turn you into some sort of crazy child that doesn't listen and tries to escape from mommy.  Which is way I only take you with me 10% of the time.
We read your princess Bible, learn to trace and recognize letters and numbers on the leap pad & say our prayers aloud every single night.
You love to ride any and everything, especially your little pink bike all through the house.
You speak in full sentences (most of the time with absolutely perfect grammar), have hilarious conversations with anyone that will listen to you, and are far more observant than almost everyone I know.
I. Love. You.



The Sweetest Gift

My sweet one,

Today is my 26th birthday.  I have so much to be thankful for and I am so blessed.  I see each and every day of my life as a gift.  But the greatest gift that I will enjoy on this side of eternity is you my precious girl.  You are growing up entirely too fast, and I know I won't be able to hold you in my arms for long because time is flying by.  Every time I pick you up it seems that you have grown farther down my body.  It breaks my heart that you will soon outgrow my lap, but as you know you will never outgrow my heart and you will always always be my little girl!  I'm so thankful for every single moment with you.  What an amazing blessing it is to be in your presence every day.  As always, you bring so much joy and sunshine.  You are like a little ray of light everywhere you go.    You keep me so entertained because you are learning so fast and our conversations are the funniest.  You surprise me everyday with your wit and your humor, your sweetness and your temper.  You don't hold back what you feel, and I hope you always stay that way.  I love you forever and these are the things I don't want to forget...

Every morning after you wake up and get dressed I sit you on the kitchen counter to fix your cup of milk.  Before we leave I lean down and we hug.  We call it our morning hug, and you hug me so tight. Every single morning. 

You are no longer just a mommy's girl.  You now insist that you are Mommy AND Daddy's girl. 

You torture our dogs in the sweetest possible way.  You are always trying to pick them up and put them in bed, or on the sofa, or outside.  You're trying to "help" but it drives them crazy.

You love to ride in or on anything.  Tractors, golf carts, bicycles, wagons, lawn mowers.  Anything.

You still say "my" when you should say "I".  The day you replace "my" with "I", mommy will cry.

You still come to work with me everyday and I cringe at the thought of someday dropping you off at preschool on my way to work.  Even though it's a full year away.

You are still a super picky eater.  But you will eat mostly anything if I tell you it's chicken (shrimp, fish, meatballs, turkey, etc.).  Don't worry, after you decide that it's yummy I tell you the truth.  If only it worked with fruit.

You dress yourself.  And I'm not allowed to help you in the slightest way.

You randomly tell me you love me and it makes my day, everyday.

I love you so much pretty baby.  And thank you Lord for the gift of my beautiful girl Kollyns.  Happy Birthday to me.


The Little Things

Hi sweetie,

I just want you to know how absolutely adorable, sweet, funny and entertaining you are.  You have the most colorful personality of anyone I know, especially when you don't get your way.  So much has changed since even your 2nd birthday and I cannot believe how big you have gotten.  You are certainly not a little baby anymore, but don't ever forget that you will always be my baby no matter how big you are.  There are so many things you are doing now that I never want to forget.  We have conversations now and I feel like you completely understand EVERYTHING, unless of course you don't get your way and then you act confused.  You say "My" when you should say "I."  "Mommy my want to go play."  "Mommy my not like peas." You tell me what you want without me having to ask you. You tell me you 'wuv' me and ask for kisses.  You crinkle your nose when you laugh or get really excited about something.  You love surprises.  You love water...ice water, pool water, lake water, bath water, fish pond water, river water.  Water is your thing.  But you say it in an English accent so it sounds more like 'wahta.'  You are so good with manners.  But everyone is ma'am.  There are no sirs.  You say pretty pretty please when you want something.  You really love being naked.  But you are also adamant about putting your clothes on all by yourself. You love shoes almost as much as I do.  Your favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, pasta in any form...especially spaghetti, goldfish, fruit loops, cheerios, breadsticks, and carrots dipped in ranch dressing but you lick the ranch off and spit the chewed up carrot in my hand (I have myself convinced that you are getting some sort of vitamins or nutrients in your system even when you spit the veggies out).  You love being outside and if I let you, you would stay out there all day.  Storms scare the heck out of you.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is your favorite book ever and we read it at least twice a day.  We pray together at night and you always start our prayer off by saying "Dear Word, tank you tor..."  (Dear Lord, thank you for) and at the end you say "Wuv You Desus, AMEN!" It's the cutest thing I have ever heard.  You're obsessed with golf carts, but won't ride anything that makes noise such as a lawn mower or 4 wheeler.  You have 3 babies and their names are Betty, River and Soup.  I have no idea where the name Soup came from?  Your hair finally fits into a ponytail and pigtails, and you prefer both because you are not a fan of your hair getting into your eyes when you are trying to play.  When your daddy is at work you are like a little machine asking "Where my daddy?"  "Where my daddy?"  And anytime you see a car that is red you say "Is dat my daddy's torvette?" because he has a red Corvette.  You love for us to take you to the River and let you "drive" down the dirt road in daddy's lap.  You are a little whip on an iPad.  Like seriously, you are super duper smart.  But you prefer real books and puzzles.  You love to help in the kitchen and you love riding your bike.  I'm sure there are so many other things that you do that I don't want to forget, and I'll have to come back to them later. 

I love you so much my beautiful, sweet, feisty little girl.         

So so much.


Spring has Sprung!

Hey beautiful girl,

I'm just sitting here watch you bounce around the office in the best mood ever and decided it was time for me to write you another little letter! We have had the best past few weeks together enjoying the beautiful weather and playing outside! You are talking in full sentences now, so you definitely tell me exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it. Anytime we are outside playing and hear a mower or a tractor or anything you say "Mommy, what's dat? Dat scared me t'death" It's so hilarious...and it's obvious that you are around me all the time because I say that ALOT. Yet another reminder that it's super important for me to watch every word that leaves my mouth. You are one amazing little girl. Everything that you do brings out all kind of emotions in me. You can bring me overwhelming joy and happiness, and at the same time sadness because you are growing up way too fast. I love you sweetie, can't wait for many pretty spring and summer days full of playtime to come!


Happy Easter Precious Girl!

Easter is mommy's favorite holiday because we get to celebrate our risen Savior!  Oh how He loves us my sweet girl, so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice so we can be together forever and ever.  I hope one day when you are old enough to understand the real reason behind Easter you will cherish the cross and appreciate with all of your heart the grace and love that God has given us.  But since you are so little, of course Easter was filled with egg hunts & sweet treats & presents from the Easter Bunny!  It melted my heart watching you hold your little Easter basket while you enthusiastically searched through the grass looking for brightly colored candy filled eggs.  Your little eyes were filled with such wonder and excitement and I just drank in every moment.  I've always loved the holidays, but oh they are so much more fun now that I get to share them with you.  And as you get older, they just become even more magical.  I love you, beautiful!

xoxo, Mommy

Mommy, Kollyns, Papa Todd & Teddy 

 Mommy, Kollyns & Uncle Teddy

Easter Sunday in Our Matching Jean Jackets (You were ready for a nap)
Daddy was working so he couldn't enjoy Easter with you! We missed him lots!


Just Like Mommy!

As you grow up I'm seeing more and more of myself in you.  You're prissy, you DO NOT like dirt, you're shy around people you don't know, you love to play with makeup and have your nails painted and put on lotion, you love to give hugs, you don't like it much when you don't get your way...but then you get over it really quick, you like to vacuum and clean things, you love pancakes and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, you like to help in the kitchen, and the list goes on and on.  I can't get over how much you are talking now.  Sunday morning you were getting dressed and I picked out your black sparkly boots for you to wear...you said "No Mommy, I want my Toms."  You are ALREADY telling me what you want to wear!  Lord help me.  I love being able to communicate with you fully and understand exactly what you are trying to say.  I am amazed by how smart you are and how compassionate you are this early in life.  Mommy has been a little sick this past week and when I would look at you and say "Mommy doesn't feel good Kolly" you would rub my hair and say "I sowwy Mommy, it's okay."  When I would cough you would say "Cough dwop mommy?" and you would go get me a cough drop.  You pick up on every single word you hear, and that's a good reminder for mommy to be on her best behavior! :) I love you sweet girl, and I'm excited to celebrate Easter with you soon and let you help me dress you up that day!

xoxo Mommy

You wanted to match Mommy this morning!

Matching nails!  I can't believe you actually sat still long enough for them to dry!


Papa Teddy Loves You...

My sweet girl,

Recently something really neat happened to us.  I have never told you about your Papa Teddy because I didn't think you were old enough to understand.  Your Papa Teddy was one of the greatest men I've ever known.  He was so kind to everyone, and to know him was to love him.  He had the best perspective on life and he treated everyone with respect.   On top of that, he was the best papa a girl could have.  I can still remember sitting in his lap and him just wrapping his arms around me and showering me with his love.  He would have absolutely adored you my beautiful girl.  You would have lit up his world just like you do ours.  I don't know why he was taken away from us so soon, but not a day goes by that I don't think about him...and I can't wait to tell you everything about that wonderful man someday.  A few weekends ago me, your Nanny Paps (Patsy) and you were heading up to Lynchburg to do some Saturday morning shopping.  Your Papa Todd, Nanny Cris, and Landon were headed to Richmond.  Before we left, they stopped by our house to drop off a few things.  You were in the playroom playing with your Uncle Landon and out of NOWHERE you started calling him Teddy.  From then on whenever you see him you run to him saying "Teddy, Teddy!"  And if I show you a picture of Landon, you say "Mommy, that's Teddy!" We were all stunned and amazed that you just out of the clear blue started calling him that.  We don't refer to any of your stuffed bears as 'Teddy' and I can't remember anyone ever talking about Papa Teddy around you.  Still to this day, you are calling your Uncle Landon, Teddy.  I hope it sticks for the rest of your life because it's such a sweet reminder of one of the best men that ever lived.  I am crying typing this because it was like God wanted us all to know that Papa Teddy is hanging out in Heaven, still watching over us even after all these years...and just patiently waiting for the day we all meet him again.  I love my Papa Teddy so much, and it's so amazing how God allowed us that special moment as a family through you, my sweet little girl.   

XOXO, Mommy

 Papa Teddy with his hand on mommy
 Papa Todd, Papa Teddy & Me (Papa Todd was quite a sight to behold back then)
Kollyns & Teddy ;)