Jan 14, 2014

Her Smiles are FREE - Ann Arbor, MI. - January 2013

As we approach her 2nd birthday in a little less than two months I find myself reflecting on something my Dad said over Christmas. "I just love MJ's smile and how freely she shares it".
This little lady and her absolutely adorable and unique little smile (which I fear will change when her last 8 teeth arrive) has been lighting our days since the moment she joined our family. She is sweet and fiery and about as sensitive as a person could be. Her big sister is her best friend and most favorite porson in the world. Regardless of how many times she is pushed or the toy she's playing with is taken, "shared", she seeks E's approval, affection, and attention. In the last few months she has been asking to sit on the Potty whenever E does and when she's successful she looks to E to tell her "good job MJ".

She is fiery and has started fighting for what she wants, toys, the crusts off her grilled cheese, and the coveted spot on Daddy's lap after a long day of play
With both of our girls, this has been a super fun age where we are tickled at her words and funny phrases:
"I can't want that"
"I'm the stinky one"
"Look at my fat belly"
"Look at YOUR fat belly"
I think most of all we adore her "I love you's. They are unsolicited and sweet and usually either whispered softly or shouted in the the chorus of a made up song.

When MJ was just learning to crawl, and far before the thought of an actual "Mini Sticks" had been discussed, a good friend of mine told me that our littlest lady had the personality of a "middle child". I am a middle child and my prayer for this beautiful little one over the next year is that she never feels lost or left out as the middle child. I pray we cultivate these beautiful smiles that are so freely given 
...and as with her big sister, I pray we give her grace as she learns so much over this next year. I pray we are able to keep her safe, and teach her to be obedient, respectful, and honest, and above all to love the Lord!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Jan 1, 2014

E's Box Of Stars - Ann Arbor, MI. - January 2014

Wow! I truly can't believe I just typed "2014"!  I already know this is going to be an exciting year for our family.  There will be A LOT of change and through all this change there will be a lot of growth and accepting the true meaning of this prayer of serenity.
Today, as I pack up the Christmas decorations, take down the tree, and vacuum the billion pine needles that are making my house smell delicious, my sweet and tough and challenging, and beautiful big girl found this "box of stars".
So we're sitting, enjoying what I'd call one of the "quieter moments" in our house, listening to Fairy Songs as she plays with "stars" and tells me all the reasons she is both a "Big girl" and a "little girl" all at the same time.
Moments like this, with her, warm my heart, because over the last 6 months our relationship has been hard.  I know that the driving force behind it is that we are so incredibly alike.
She is willful and stubborn, defiant of authority, desperate for approval, and hungry for new and challenging tasks.  She frustrates easily but delights in mastering new skills.  She is beautiful and goofy, and driven when motivated, and OH SO SMART! 
You'd think that all of this would make it easier to know what she needs but I struggle daily to know how to reach her heart! 
One of my biggest prayers for this new year is that I am able to grow into my role as her mother, Help her to know that she is so incredibly LOVED even when she is in trouble, give her grace, keep her safe, teach her to be obedient, respectful, and honest, and above all to love the Lord!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!