I don't even know where to start, Ruby. Today was so big. Well, it would be more accurate to say that this evening was so big. But I'll start at the beginning anyway...
We practiced getting ready and walking to the bus stop this morning, and we spent the rest of the day shopping for school clothes. It went a lot like this:
Me: I'd like you to try on this pair of jeans, please.
You: I don't like jeans.
Me: I know that you don't like the jeans you've tried on, but it's important to have a pair of jeans.
You: Why is it important to have jeans?
Me: There are some things that are easier or better to do in jeans.
You: Like what?
Me: I don't know. Play on the playground. Run. Get dirty.
You: See? I don't need jeans. Now, let's try on that pink, glittery, ruffly dress. Can I get a headband, purse, necklace, and shoes to match?
:) Honestly, that's almost exactly how it went at every. single. store. But we got through it. Burke got some incredibly adorable little big kid jeans, and you got a pink dress, a ruffly skirt, a couple of shirts, and a couple of pairs of leggings (since you apparently plan on wearing skirts and dresses all through the winter...) ;)
But this evening! My goodness.
We started out at your Kindergarten Open House. You're in Mrs. Bearden's class, and I think it's perfect. I mean, you *adore* Barbie, and you believe *anything* that comes out of her mouth. So I consider the fact that your very first public school teacher could be Barbie's prettier twin a total score! On a more serious note, she seems very excited to start the school year and, in my expert opinion, her room was organized and decorated *perfectly* for early childhood education. (By the time you're old enough to really read these letters, I hope you know me well enough to read my sarcasm in the "expert opinion" designation.)
So you're all set. Your supplies are delivered. You've located your classroom, your cubby, and your desk. We showed you which door you'll walk through after you get off the bus, and I think you're ready to do this thing. :)
We ate dinner at McDonald's, and you asked me if your teacher would let you call me when you miss me. When Daddy and I explained that you won't be able to call me, you got really upset and the tears were flowing.
"But I'm going to miss you! I'll be away from you all day long!" you wailed. And you brought a few tears to my eyes, too. Mostly because it really, truly did my heart good to know that you actually care about me. That I really do make a difference in your life. (That might sound silly, but the job of a Momma is sometimes very thankless in the day-to-day moments. One must step away to really get a more accurate view.)
Anyway, the whole reason I'm telling you this is because we tried to comfort you by reminding you that you went to preschool and you didn't miss me. You looked at me with a shy sort of look and said, "But when I went to that school, I wasn't thinking about you...
...I was thinking about somebody else."
And Daddy and I could immediately tell that you were talking about your friend, Bison. That sweet little boy sure did make an impression on you, sweetheart, and I don't know what to make of that.
We giggled and headed to the mall. A little bit more shopping for school clothes, and then it was time for you, Burke, and Daddy to head to the Bronchos' football game. I was secretly a little bummed that we didn't get a family picture at your Open House, so I got a picture of you guys before you left.
How cute are you guys?! (And, seriously, will the boxes ever end?) So you went to the game, and I chilled at home. When you came back, Daddy told you to show me how loose your tooth was. (He later told me that you were playing with it during the entire game and that you had it at a 90 degree angle for the majority of the time.)
It was super, super, SUPER loose. So loose that I was afraid it was going to go ahead and fall out while you were asleep. (And since I had just read about a friend's son who swallowed his first tooth, I was a little paranoid.) I determined that your tooth was coming out before you went to sleep tonight, but I didn't tell you that. This is what happened next:
We wrapped your tooth in a bit of scrap fabric and tied it up with the string that we used to pull it out. :)
After I took that picture, you said, "Momma, will my tooth still be missing when I go to school on Monday?"
"That's GREAT! I can't wait to show all my friends!" :)
You chose to read Pete's Dragon for your bedtime story, because "Pete loses his boy for a little while, and I lost my tooth. We both lost something!"
So we read our stories, sang our songs (including an original tooth-losing song by you, my dear!), and said our prayers. You tucked your pouch away underneath your pillow and headed off to dreamland.
Not gonna lie, I've shed a few tears about this whole "losing your first tooth" business. But something that makes you smile like this? Well...how could I be sad about that?
I love you, kid. Thanks for sharing this special day and all of these special moments with me.
So incredibly happy to be,
Nearly five years ago to the day, I published this blog post with pictures of your first haircut and...your first tooth!
Today, that same tooth is wiggly and jiggly...just waiting to be popped out. And that sweet strawberry blond wispy hair has turned into one of the thickest heads of warm blond hair I've ever seen. I used to have so much fun putting your hair in silly little "pigtails":
You grew out of the pigtail stage about as soon as you had enough vocabulary to give me a piece of your mind...so right around 13 months. (I'm not kidding.) For a little while, you still let me do bows...at least long enough to get cute pictures:
You moved out of that stage pretty soon after your third birthday, and, for your entire third year of life, your hair was a struggle. In your eyes, tangly, irritating! So I kept chopping it back into a bob. You were happy with that, and your hair stayed mostly out of your face. But then you wanted to have "long princess hair."
We struck a deal: I'd let you grow it out as long as I never saw a hair in your face. Your containment device of choice was a headband. And that worked...you grew it loooong:
Not long after that picture, however, you started to fight me about keeping it out of your face and you made the choice to cut it again.
That was eight months ago, and you decided to start growing it out again about six weeks ago. You can't wait to have it long enough for "those kind of braids that go down over your shoulders." You asked me to try it today to see how much progress you've made:
You're gettin' there, kiddo! :)
Hair and teeth...in the big picture, these things are pretty stinkin' insignificant. But the little things are what make up our days, and it's how we learn to deal with the big things.
So today, I relished every moment of french braiding your hair. :) I revelled in your smile when you saw them in the mirror. I was pleased as punch when you kept them in all day long. :)
And tomorrow I promise not to be upset when you just want your normal headband again.
And in ten years, I'm going to do my best not to freak out when you want green hair or a shaved head or a pierced eyebrow or a forehead tattoo or whatever your generation comes up with to terrorize mine. ;)
Because here's the deal kiddo: I'm in it for the big picture. As long as your green haired, pierced, tattooed body is out there loving God and loving others, I don't care what it looks like. (Well, I'll try not to care.) ;)
So I'm gonna do my best to stick to the big picture, and I'm going to ask you to do your best to not kill me with the details. You think we can make it work? I sure hope so. I love you so much that I can't be your friend for the next thirteen years, okay? But once we get you to adulthood, I'd love to be your older, wiser friend...the one you can gush with when you see that cute boy on the stairs *and* the one that you trust when you're facing a hard decision. I'm going to do my best to lead us to that point, and I'm praying that you'll be following.
I love you, Ruby. I can't believe you'll be climbing on that bus just a few days from now. :) One small step for Ruby Elizabeth, one giant leap for mankind. I really do believe that, kid. You're a world-changer if I ever did see one.
Enjoying the view,
Alright, so this kindergarten prep thing is interesting... All summer, you've woken up promptly at 6:30. We hung dark sheets over the window to block the sunshine. We bought blackout shades. We put a fan in your room to create a good amount of white noise. We grabbed our alarms and turned them off as fast as possible, hoping the sound wouldn't wake you. No matter, though. You've got an internal clock that we can't touch.
Until this week.
Seriously, kid? The week before you need to start catching the bus at 7:45 a.m., you decide to start sleeping in until 7:15? 7:30? You've got to be kidding me! ;)
If that wasn't causing me enough of a last-minute panic, then we can talk about this whole nap thing. All summer, you've been begging me to skip naps. This week, I decided we should at least give it a test run. So when you crawled up on the couch with a blanket this afternoon, I got a little panicky. And then when you got so emotional and whiny this evening, I got a lot panicky. Whew! I'm gonna pray that you'll be able to make it through the school day, and then we can take a bit of a rest as soon as you get home.
But enough about all that. Yesterday, I told you the one thing I want you to know as you go through the rest of your educational career. So today, I'm going to document the one thing I want to remember about when you started your educational career. :)
If I had to use one word to describe this time in your life, it'd be easy as pie to choose: ART. In fact, I think it'd be harder to choose more than one word...that's how singular your focus has been.
Over the past three months, you've colored your way through at least half a dozen coloring books. I stopped counting after that. You've used nearly an entire ream of copy paper for purposes ranging from (very colorful) paper airplanes to (very detailed) portraits of Mommy. And when I told you I'd get you a gift from my girls' trip to IKEA, you requested art supplies.
You're happy to play with babies for a few minutes, but when I make you play with toys, you gravitate to your Barbie dolls. And not because you like role play, but because you're all about "designing their fashions." If it's not theirs, it's yours. It doesn't matter what your wearing...it could be your birthday suit...you're prancing around and then you stop, push one hip out to one side, then you shift and put your other hip out and plant your hand firmly on top while cocking your head and raising your eyebrows.
Stop it, you hear me? You're five. FIVE. You know? Like five days left until you start Kindergarten. :)
So anyway, here are some of the cool things I've observed over the summer:
1. You've learned to take a deep breath. - At the beginning of the summer, if you made a mistake, it shattered you. You started to cry, crumpled up your paper, threw it in the trash, and yelled, "It's ruined!" We worked, again and again, at finding a different approach. About two weeks ago, it clicked. When you make a mistake, you take a deep breath and change directions. You haven't thrown away a piece of paper in quite a while. :) You've turned an E into an F with the help of a white crayon. You've turned a pretty funky heart into a thought bubble. You've turned an extra pair of legs into two flowers. :) I'm so proud of how mature you've become in this area.
2. You've learned the colors of the rainbow in order. - Actually, this borders upon an obsession. You arrange the chip clips in rainbow order. You color your flowers in rainbow order. You re-arrange the kiddie chairs at the library into rainbow order. Okay, that last one might be my fault. You saw me do it one day, and you've done it every visit since. Ha!
3. You've learned how to spell a few words on your own. - Ruby (this was your first), Burke (your second), Daddy (your third), and Mommy (your last by a *LONG* shot!!!) all make regular appearances on your works of art. "To" and "From" are other popular labels. :) They usually appear like this, though: "From To Mommy Ruby" or "To From Daddy Ruby" or something similar.
4. You are uber-interested in writing, as in actually printing your letters and writing your own words as well as creating and recording original stories. - This summer, you made your very first book. You wrote nearly all of the text, except for the first page, which you actually happened to write last. You needed to fit a few sentences on the page, and, as you haven't mastered small lettering yet, you needed a bit of my help. You were the sole illustrator, though. :)
5. You are incredibly observant. - If you're coloring in a character coloring book (My Little Pony, for example), you know exactly which character is which and how they need to be colored. When you drew my portrait earlier this summer, you noticed every detail. You drew the ruffles on my tank top and the strings on my neckline. You put my rings on the right fingers. :) I was really impressed, actually.
Anyway, I just wanted to make sure and get this down in a form that we can always look back upon. You're wonderfully creative, Ruby. I have a feeling that, once you start school, lots of people are going to want to put the emphasis on your academic intelligence. And that's great. I just want you to remember that you're creative, too. I guess that makes you a lot like your Daddy, too, huh? :)
I love you, kiddo. I can't believe we're already half-way through your last week before Kindergarten! :)
So we've started our week of preparation, kiddo. Yesterday, you didn't take a nap, and we started our bedtime routine promptly at 7:30. This morning, the alarm went off bright and early...6:30 on the dot. And by alarm, I mean you.
"I'm ready to wake uuuup!"
:) I remember the first time you woke up from your nap and yelled out those words. My goodness, did I laugh! I think you were about 17 months old. I was on bedrest, and it was one of Nonna's helping days. 17 months old, and you sounded so grown up. Just a few weeks away from becoming a big sister, and I couldn't wait to see you with him.
Look at you, Cheesy McCheeserton. (Nevermind the fact that Burke looks like a corpse. Yikes.) It was so worth the wait. :)
The point is that I've loved watching you take each new step. As far as your development goes, parenting you has been a pleasure. Sure, it took you forever to crawl and walk, and you still don't like to take physical risks, but I think that has more to do with your stubbornness and your analytical nature and less to do with your ability. You've loved to talk and read since the beginning, so (aside from the fact that you looked quite a lot like me) I knew you were my kid. :)
You're like me in so many ways other than looks and a love for words. Last week, when we registered you for Kindergarten, you had to take a Kindergarten screening. When it was finished, you came running back into the cafeteria screaming, "I passed! I passed! MOM! I passed the test!" And later, when you were telling me about the screening, you were so proud that you "didn't miss a single one. NOT A SINGLE ONE, MOM."
I'm so happy for you, kiddo. I know how much it means to you to succeed, to do something well. But I'm also terrified. Because you're a mini-me, I know how you will feel when you fail...when you don't measure up to your own expectations. And it's brutal.
So today, I'll continue to prepare you for your first week of school next week. We'll skip naptime again, and we'll get you to bed on time again. We'll test a new lunch combination, and we might even do a little bit more shopping for school clothes. Mostly, though, I'm going to continue to reinforce this truth:
I love you, Ruby. Nothing will ever change that.
If you come home with straight A's like your Daddy, I will love you. If you come home with passing C's (like your mommy in college), I will love you. If you help a friend at school, I will love you. If you have a bad day and hurt a friend at school, I will love you. If I go to my first parent-teacher conference and your teacher dotes on you and tells me how spectacular you are, I will be proud to be your momma. If I go to my first parent-teacher conference and your teacher tells me that we've got a few rough spots we need to work on and that you've had a few challenges in the classroom, I will be proud to be your momma. It doesn't matter to me, Ruby. You are mine, and I am yours. We're in this together, and no matter what comes our way, I will love you through it.
Ruby, "you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."
Dr. Suess said it first, but I couldn't agree more. You are Ruby: smart, stubborn, opinionated, creative, helpful, willful, blond-haired, blue-eyed, with a memory that blows my mind. I wouldn't choose to have you any other way.
Your Poppa has always warned me that wishing a certain part of a person was different is taking the risk of wishing to change the person completely. Or worse, letting the person's weaknesses overpower their strengths in my mind.
I don't wish that anything was different about you, Ruby. Not a single thing. One day you will grow up into a young woman, and you will step out from underneath my roof. I hope that, on that day, you are filled with the knowledge that you are enough. You are exactly who God intended for you to be. You are exactly the daughter that God knew I needed, and I couldn't love you any more.
God has loved you from the moment he put you inside my womb, before you could ever do a single good or bad thing. Before you could ever accomplish anything great or small. Before you could ever utter words of encouragement or contempt. He loves you, and He always will. That goes for me, too, kiddo.
In one week, just seven days, you will head out the door to your very first day of school. :) I cannot believe this. It feels like yesterday that I picked you up from your first day of preschool and shot these videos:
I would have sworn that you barely changed over the past two years, but after watching that again I realize you've grown leaps and bounds. Leaps. and Bounds! You're a little lady now, and you are so ready for this next step.
So, for the rest of this week, I'll be counting down to your first day of kindergarten in the best way I know: writing, blogging, documenting.
I love you, kiddo. You're gonna blow it up this year, I just know it.
Proud to be,
We live in a one bedroom home. All four of us. It's got a kitchen and a bathroom with running water and sewer drainage. It's got a bedroom that fits all four of our beds comfortably plus a pack-n-play for the little boy that I babysit. It's got a living room with room for a small couch and chair, a t.v., and room for the kids to play. It's even got a little dining room that we use as a play room for the kids. Under all of that is a basement that houses an automatic washing machine and dryer plus plenty of room for storage.
We have everything we need and more.
But we also have dreams of hosting a home church, of sharing our home with friends and family...and there's no room to do that in our current house. So we bought a new house.
Our new house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher, and a finished basement that not only houses a washer and dryer and room for storage, but also plenty of room to host friends and family. It's certainly more than we need for the four of us, but it's exactly what we need if we want to be able to share our home with others...and we do. We do want to share our home.
But as soon as we bought the home (heck, as soon as we saw it, much less offered on it, much less got the offer accepted), I started dreaming of decorating our home in addition to sharing our home. New flooring, new paint, new furniture... I've been pinning with abandon over the past few weeks.
But yesterday evening, I read this post about my family.
And I was convicted. Like crying as I chopped the lettuce for dinner conviction...crying so hard I couldn't speak when my husband asked me what was wrong. So convicted that I went to bed as soon as dinner was over and didn't get up until this morning.
You see, I want my brothers and sisters around the world to be safe, healthy, thriving, and in deep relationship with Jesus. If you know anything about me, you know that I want that.
But I'd be a fool if I didn't admit that I also want a pretty home. Not just a safe home, not just a clean home. Not just a home that's "fit" to share with others (n America, since that's where I live). I want a pretty home with colors that please me and fabrics that make me smile. A pretty home with comfortable furniture for everyone.
And what it really boils down to is this: Which desire is greater?
Stephen Covey says it like this,
"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.'"
Following Christ's command to love my neighbor and to care for the poor is a priority for me. I would even classify it as a high priority. But last night, I came face to face with the reality that it's at least tied with my desire for a pretty home.
Oh, and that makes me angry..."angry at how much I want comfortable more than I want Christ." (Voskamp)
So I'm fasting from Pinterest and from thinking about home decor for the day, maybe even for the rest of the week. As long as it takes for me to get my priorities back in the right order.
So today, on the 18th day of Thanksgiving in July, I'm thankful for bloggers like Ann Voskamp who provoke me to think about my life in a way that brings me closer to Christ. And I'm thankful that Jesus died for all of my sins, even my ugly, deplorable vanity and materialism. I'm so thankful for his forgiveness.
I've wanted to be a mom for as long as I can possibly remember. I truly can't think of a moment in my life when I didn't want to be a mom. I used to daydream about soft, squishy, sweet smelling little babies. I've always hoped for a home filled with the laughter of children. I look forward to spelling tests, sports events, graduation, weddings, grandchildren. In a fairly twisted way, I even look forward to smugly smiling on the inside while I watch you make a (non-life-ruining) boneheaded decision that I specifically warned you against. ;)
In all my daydreaming and hoping, I really didn't quite understand the true task of motherhood.
It's a lot, you guys. It's completely overwhelming and, at times, terrifying. Every choice I make feels like it will have an eternal impact on your life. And I don't make those choices on a whim...or take them lightly. And that's just the high-level theorhetical parts of parenting. The day-to-day stuff? Have mercy! It's overwhelming and terrifying, too!
But here's the thing: It's all worth it. Every single minute...the ones that make me tear up with gratitude *and* the ones that make me want to tear my hair out...are worth the work.
I love you two more than I can express. I hope you will always, always know that.
Memorial Day Weekend 2012, what a fun trip for us! :)
At the last minute, I realized I really wanted to get away with you all. Sometimes the hum-drum of daily life tempts me to forget how very much I'm blessed, and there's nothing like a few days completely out of our routine to remind me exactly how much I love our family. :) I found a few great deals online and decided to pack us up and head for St. Louis. We filled out days from sun up to sun down, and I think we all had a pretty great time. I wanted to document it, since you guys probably won't remember much of it.
We started our trip with a visit to The Magic House, St. Louis' Children's Museum. They had a special Magic Tree House exhibit, complete with costumes and complete scenes from some of Jack and Annie's adventures. They also had several other exhibits that caught your attention: re-creations of the Oval Office, a courtroom, and the Senate, a construction site, complete with CAT machines (a little bit of Lafayette in St. Louis), a cool science area with a shadow wall, and a huge beanstalk that you kiddos could climb instead of the stairs. :) We even had a nice picnic lunch out on the patio.
The next day we visited the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis, and it was fun to see your reactions to being so high up in the air. We had lunch at Union Station and enjoyed a little show from the guys and girl at The Fudgery.
Finally, on Monday, we visited the St. Louis Zoo. We spent the whole day (from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) at the zoo, and we *still* didn't get a chance to see everything. We'll be sure to visit the zoo again.
All in all, we had a really fun trip, and I can't describe how much I enjoyed my time with you all. I love you very much, and I look forward to all of our future family trips. :)
Happy Summer, Family!
More on the Journey to 1000...
14. last minute trips
15. last minute deals
16. a husband who doesn't mind to drive
17. kids who travel in style with just books as companions ;)
18. kids who sleep well even in the same room as Mommy and Daddy
19. McDonald's with display cases full of retro Happy Meal toys
20. the chance to share a glimpse of my childhood with my children
21. the joy and amusement on my husband's face
22. happy children climbing up and down a giant beanstalk
23. an incredibly astute little girl who can replicate our home's floorplan
24. a little boy who looks at home in a hard hat
25. reading adventures brought to life
26. picnic lunches
27. hotel pools
28. national monuments and new experiences
29. music and the joy it creates
30. fudge...and the joy it creates
31. God's creation, including fascinating animals and the chance to observe those creations
32. watching my daughter and my son dream about their futures: a construction worker? a veterinarian? a mechanic? the President?
33. safe travels
34. comfort food
35. a little boy who still falls asleep in my arms sometimes
36. time away as a family...to rest, to reconnect, to remember to enjoy these days.
Thank you, God.
Three years ago, you helped some of my best friends in the world bring home their little boy, Addai. Now, I'm going to ask you to help my brother's best friends bring home their little boy, Levi. But the situation is really different.
Addai was in Africa. Getting a baby from Africa to America is expensive. You helped make it happen.
Levi is in America. He's actually still in his birth mommy's tummy...only 32 weeks along. But his amniotic sac is broken, and he could come at any moment. (Sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?)
Anyway, whenever Levi comes, it's very likely that he'll need to be in the NICU for a couple of weeks or so. His forever mommy, Shannon, will jump on a plane and head down to him. However, they'd like to have a car with them, so Levi's forever daddy, Jarred, was planning to drive down and meet up with them.
But it's a long drive. And I firmly believe that Daddy should be there every minute from the very beginning. I'll never forget Mike saying, "Oh my gosh! OH my GOSH! Oh MY gosh! Oh my gosh!" for the first ten minutes of Ruby's life. It's such an incredible memory.
Some of you know that I'm a whiz with Priceline, and I'm pretty sure I can get them roundtrip tickets and a rental car for the entire time that they're down there for about $1500. Probably even less.
So I'd like to do that for them, and I was wondering if you'd help me. I've started a ChipIn, and all the money raised will go straight to Jarred and Shannon's adoption fund for the purpose of covering their expenses while Levi is in the NICU and while bringing him home. If all of our blog readers and all of my Facebook friends give $5, we'll far surpass this goal. That's really all it would take. So, if you've got an extra $5 this month, will you please consider giving it to Jarred and Shannon? You can visit the link above, or you can click on the blue ChipIn widget in the sidebar.
If you'd like to read more about their journey and follow along with Levi's forever story, you can visit their blog: Piece of the Heart.
Thank you for helping me Live Love.
Hey you two,
Today was awesome. Really. I love the way you played together, at the pool and at home.
Ruby, you are becoming a better and better swimmer. I couldn't believe it as I watched you swim from the shallow end to the deep end and back to the shallow end this morning. You've got to be part fish or something. :)
Burke, I love to watch you play quietly by the side of the pool. Today, you used your Nemo squirter to fill one cup, then the other, only to dump them out and start over again. When you got brave enough to dip your toes in, I loved seeing the smile spread across your face. :)
You guys are growing up faster than I can keep up with, and there are times when it makes me a little sad. More than anything, though, it makes me curious. I can't wait to be an eye-witness to all that God does in you over the next couple of decades.
I enjoyed this day immensely. From swimming with you this morning to napping with you this afternoon to snapping these pics of you in the early evening:
Ruby, I wore that dress as a little girl, and it was one of my favorites. The puffy skirt, the soft velvet...I simply adored it all. To see you prancing around in it makes me smile and reminds me that, no matter how good a game you talk, you're still my sweet, beautiful, lovely little 5-year-old. When I see myself in you, it makes me a little bit more thankful for how God made us. You're gonna do great things one day, Missy.
And Bebop, I don't care if I have to bribe you with candy every single time I want to get a picture of you actually smiling at the camera. Pictures like this make it worth it! *Totally* worth it. You're quiet and reserved, but stubborn as all get out...just like your Daddy. And also like him? You've got a killer sense of humor. I love laughing with you, Mister.
Anyway, I just wanted to document a little bit of this day. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary...just a regular day with two of my most precious blessings. I love you guys!
The Journey to a Thousand Thanks
1. goggles and underwater sign language.
2. plastic cups and laser-focused determination.
3. friendly children who make visitors feel at home.
4. naptimes with the breeze floating through the open windows.
5. "wots" of kisses...or maybe "jus' two, Momma."
6. Pinterest tips that help me give you every single dose of your antibiotic...for the first time EVER.
8. peanuts, cinnamon butter, a free appetizer, and *still* coming in under my calorie goal for the day.
9. watching you buckle your own carseat, all by yourself.
10. singing for you every single time you lay your head on your pillow. Will you let me do that until you go to college? And maybe even sometimes after that?
11. a husband who thanks God for me...and my nails. ;)
12. a daughter who loves books and stories as much as I do. :)
13. a son who wants to marry his sister, but only because he can't marry me. <3