Seven years of glitter, messiness and delight!

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Seven.

 

There are less glimpses of the toddling little girl who brought giggles to her brothers, and more glimpses of a young girl full of wit and enthusiasm. You are changing before our eyes.

 

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You were the surprise we never knew we needed. God knew. He knew we needed a little more drama, a little more laughter. He knew we needed someone in the mix of the household who delights in pink and is able to switch between ninja moves and ballerina moves seamlessly.

 

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God knew we needed on in the house who insists on snuggles and hugs. Insists. And one who hugs tightly and fiercely.

 

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You, my dear, have made us slow down at just the right moments. Slow down to hear your stories. Slow down to look at something that catches your eye. Slow down to read a book. Slow down to snuggle.

 

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You have also taught us to delight more. To laugh with abandon and to embrace being ridiculously silly. You have brought light and laughter into what we thought was already a home filled with laughter and joy…you showed us how much more there could be.

 

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You are growing up, though. Like I said…right before our eyes.

 

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Indulge us, though, as we relish seven years littered with glitter and fairies, with made-up stories and snuggles. Indulge us as we hold on to the littlest of the family and are not too eager for her to grow beyond childhood.

 

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Keep being silly and keeping your brothers guessing.

 

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Keep feeling everything deeply. Cry when you need to. Shout when something makes you angry. Laugh ferociously when something delights you.

 

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Skin your knees. Get muddy. Make some messes. We need you to keep us from being too uptight.

 

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Happy Seventh, Birthday dear girl.

 

 

We are so thankful for you!!!

 

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Let’s make this next year the best yet!!!!

 

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Seventeen.

17.

 

Seventeen.

 

Amazing how seventeen years can go by in the blink of an eye. You brought us into parenthood, and now we are on the brink of seeing you enter manhood. Thankful for this one more year of not-quite on your own, this one more year of you at home and still a kid.

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You have lived in five different houses now (if we count that condo in Kentucky), and two countries.

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You have played countless hours of hockey, only after a short stint with gymnastics. You have learned to love music and books, movies and the stars.

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And food. That too.

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You have learned to seek God and wrestle with who He is and what it means to follow Him.

 

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Consistently you have been a calm presence in our life. There has always been a maturity and ease about you, and a humor that comes at just the right moment.

 

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Now that you are more man than boy, we could not be more proud.

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We have loved every minute of watching you grow, of coming to this point.

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You are strong, so intelligent, mature and at ease with being you. What a great moment in your life. So much is open to you in the coming months, and we know it means greater independence for you and our time to step back and allow you the space to step out. We are still your biggest fans. We love watching the hockey, we love hearing about what inspires you. We love seeing you grow.

 

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Every stage has been awesome. Can’t wait to see this next unfold…

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I have to throw a Buechner quotation in, just for good measure:

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us.”

 

Enjoy this last year of “childhood”. We know you are going to do wonderful and good things in the coming year…there is so much yet to see and do in your life. We love you!

 

 

Happy 17!

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