Two short years ago (yes, I am saying short because since you were born, time has seemed to move faster than it ever has in my life!), a gorgeous baby girl made her grand entrance into this world and made our dreams come true. Your first night on this Earth you slept in your daddy's arms, and as I'm typing this tonight - 2 years later - I look over at you and you're still sleeping in your daddy's arms. You've had him wrapped around your little finger since the day you were born. "Hold me tight, daddy," "Hold me like a baby, daddy," and "Jebby-Webby" are some of your favorite phrases. I cherish the sweet moments when you get out of the bath tub and daddy wraps you up in a towel, holds you "like a baby," and sings to you..."rock my baby in the tree top." The grin on your face and your scrunched up little nose say it all. Tonight, while you were in the bath, we had a conversation about your birthday.
"Whose birthday is it?"
"How old are you going to be?"
"And we're going to have a birthday party...and sing Happy Birthday...and eat cupcakes..."
---"And I'm gonna be so happ-eeee!"
And that is just what you are. HAPPY. "Just a joy," as Nana Karen would say.
There are some things about you that haven't changed over the past year...you're still a talker, and a talker, AND a TALKER! (You asked me tonight if I had "boobies." I responded "yes," and then asked if you had boobies. You looked at me and said, "I'm not older yet." Smart girl. You know the words to Row Your Boat, the Dora theme song, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and you even speak a couple of words in Spanish from watching Dora so much!), you still LOVE to dance and you really are quite the dancer (You can do your Wheels on the Bus dance with no help. Then, after a dance you'll look at me and say, "now what else do we haf da do?"), you're still not a big eater - I have to sneak bites in your mouth and think of creative ways to get you to sit down and eat, you still want everything that Reid has (even if it's a Batman toy or his cowboy boots), you still LOVE baby dolls (Most of the time we have a doll with us and every one of them is named "Princess."), you still breastfeed (I know. I know. It's TIME to wean!), and you're still a little cuddle bug...you sleep with mommy and daddy - every night.
Then, there are things that have changed. You are much faster. It seems as if you are always running. You think it is extremely funny that it is hard for me to catch you and you will always turn around and laugh at me (while running full speed) with a cheesy little grin and that scrunched up nose - which usually results in a fall or running into something with your head. But...you rarely cry when you get hurt. Tough girl. I think you've been tackled, smacked, wallowed, and shoved so much by your big brother than you're as tough as nails. You love learning and letters - you try and draw an "L" with your sidewalk chalk. You point to the "R" on our living room wall and say, "That's an 'R' mommy!" You can sing your ABCs...almost...and you know the letters R, O, W, X, & T. Working puzzles and putting the shapes into the correct holes in the shape bucket are among your favorite things. You are becoming a book lover just like your Nana and you are quite the little reader! You like having a book to "read" in the car and I'll look back and hear you telling a story to yourself as you turn the pages. I was reading a book to you last night and when I opened up the book you said, "One time, there was a baby, and a mommy rocked the baby..." Sweet girl. You're also a bit (ok, a lot) more ornery. You are learning to manipulate and you are always pushing the limits - trying to see what you can get away with. Recently, you've started hugging me and snuggling up next to me saying, "awww...I wuv my mommy," every time that you get in trouble. Every day I see you become more kind & loving. You give Reid hugs and tell me, "You're pretty mommy," and "You wook coot (cute)!"
As I try to think about all the things you mean to me, I realize that I just can't seem to put it into words. I hope that one day you're my best friend and that you want to spend as much time with me as I spend with my mom. I want to be the safe place in your life, the person you can always count on, your counselor, your cheerleader, your shoulder to cry on, your prayer warrior, and the solid rock that can't be shaken. My prayer for you is that you'll always realize your self-worth - that you'll always think of yourself as beautiful - and that you'll look to the Lord with every step that you take. I read this poem in my high school Valedictorian speech and I want you to always remember these important words.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
As you turn two years old, this is my verse for you:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
LilliAnn, "Buttons," "Princess" (as your daddy call you) - You put the sparkle in my eye, the skip in my step, the stars in my sky, and the beat to my heart. I love you and your brother more than I ever thought was possible. Happy 2nd Birthday!
Lil's Birthday Fun Facts
- William Shakespeare, Butch Cassidy, David Letterman, Picaso, & Merle Haggard were born on April 6th.
- April 6, 0648 BC - Earliest total solar eclipse; chronicled by Greeks
- Birth flower: Daisy or Sweet Pea
- Birthstone: Diamond (of course!)
- Astrological sign: Aries
- An Aries born on April 6 is characterized by creativity and imagination of the highest level. They have the ability to convince others of their opinions and aims, yet their manner is subtle. They have true "star quality." (http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/april-6-birthday-astrology.htm)
"She's some kind of wonderful!"
Watch out world...LilliAnn McKenzie is turning TWO!!!!!
To read LilliAnn's "Letter to my Birthday Girl: 1 Year Old", click HERE.