3 seems so old.
3 seems so big.
3 seems so magical.
i was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster that week, watching her transform from a toddler to a preschooler has actually been like a kick in the stomach. i was not ready for her to suddenly be so grown up.
i wasnt ready for her to be able to get her own breakfast in the morning.
i wasnt ready for her to be able to tell me about her feelings.
i wasnt ready for her feet to touch past my knees when i pick her up to hold her.
most of the time i feel like she is teaching me more than i could ever teach her.
i want to be so much like her that its kind of silly.
she is brave and confident.
she is sure of herself and bold.
she is not afraid to tell you what she thinks or feels.
she takes risks.
she is rarely fearful.
she is passionate.
she is creative - way more than i could ever dream to be.
she is happy.
she is honest.
she is full of energy.
she forgives quickly.
she loves fiercely.
she is all in or all out but not in between.
watching her grow up does something to my insides.
it stirs up all the feelings.
most of the time i dont feel like i am a good enough mama for her.
like i am too much and not enough all at the same time.
watching her makes my heart want to burst.
it makes me want to be a better woman, a more trusting woman, a woman who laughs at the days to come.
i cant explain how blessed i am to have her in my life.
i cant explain how thankful i am that God gave her to me.
mostly i think that He gave her to me as a gift to show me who i could be if i fully found my identity in him.
i love her so much it hurts. it hurts deep down in my soul - in a way that feels like sweet beautiful magic.
when we asked her what makes her happy she told us, " my family"
i could never have guessed she would say that.
i never felt more love for her than in that moment.
more thankful that she finds happiness in this imperfect family.
that she can see past my broken, busted heart and all my junk.
that she can see past all the junk of her sweet daddy.
that in our sinful imperfect life - is what makes her happy.
we are her happy.
that makes my heart soar.
three is magic.
its the hardest age yet, and we are only a few weeks into it.
three is where the imagination explodes.
three is where each day is filled with princesses and tea,
and pirates and fairies, and heidi mouse her imaginary friend.
three is where childhood begins.
each day i constantly think "let them be little" because she wont be little for that much longer.
so i let her suck that pacifier when she goes to sleep or when she is sick or nervous,
i indulge her creativity even if it means playdoh stained carpet.
i laugh when she says things that dont make sense.
i dont get angry that she still wets in a diaper and wont go on the potty.
i decided to not force her to do 'school' when she really just wants to do puzzles instead.
i let her lay in bed and snuggle with me until well after 8am, because someday she wont snuggle.
i dance with her even when i want to do anything else, and suddenly theres nothing else i would rather do.
i am finding joy in her fingerprints all over my house, and all her little princesses scattered throughout our apartment.
i can tell this year is going to be a tough one.
i dont know how to mother a three year old, but i am learning.
i am learning to roll with the punches ( sometimes there are literal punches)
learning to slop grace on her like butter on toast.
learning to slow down and take deep breaths.
learning to walk with her tiny hand in mine and learn alongside her what its like to be three.
there is nowhere else i would rather be and no other three year old i would rather be doing it with.
happy birthday, my sweet little bug. your birthday is the happiest day of my life.
all photos taken by the incredibly talented candice hackett from project thursday. if you are in the seattle area, check her out!