Sunday, February 14, 2016

Luke's 4th birthday letter from Mommy

Dear Luke, 
Happy 4th Birthday!!! 
God made you so incredibly special! From your fabulous smile to your silly personality to your sweet heart and tender touch!! I'm so thankful He made you mine. You bring such a light into every room you enter. You know how to draw people in and everywhere we go and you are our most talked about child :) You have this natural way to make others chuckle. You always ask lots of questions about your brothers and how they are doing and genuinely care about even the small details in their lives! You have that special spark, that special "it" factor that can be used for so much good in this world. 

 I just heard a study claiming that 4 year olds, on average, can laugh up to 200 times per day.  That’s more than once every 5 minutes that they are awake!  The average 40 year old, on the other hand, laughs between 4 and 17 times per day.  You can do the math on that one.  Laughter is amazingly good for the soul and holds countless health benefits. You bring so much joy and laughter into our lives!!! 

My prayer for you is that you use the way you draw people to teach them about Jesus. It's so easy for guys to turn introvert and and withdrawn from each other and I pray that you never take that route but instead always consider the feelings of your peers, always be an includer, and always build people up around you so that they too can be Jesus lovers just like you are today! I also pray you always keep that strong sense of self you have. You are never shy and talk to everyone at the store and I constantly catch you looking at yourself in the mirror and smiling and being silly! Your carefree self is something I truly admire and I love that you are not picky about what you wear or how things have to be!! You don't care if people laugh at fact you want that reaction from others. I pray that quality stays and you can genuinely always be you!

This year has been a lot of growth for you and I. Your personality is so similar to mine which can often make it difficult resolving a situation. There are times where you just seem to enjoy pushing my buttons and pushing those boundaries with me. We have dealt with a lot of instant obedience and respect issues and I'm so thankful for your daddy during such times. Having such a hands on daddy ensures that these type of issues won't get out of hand and he is able to stay calm in the midst of your strong personality trait moments. The three of us are figuring things out together, but most importantly we're looking to the Lord for that guidance. For this I'm truly thankful for you. You have allowed me to grow in my parenting. I love that you push me to find new ways to do things. I love how much more involved in God's Word I've become through our trials during this past year. I love that I'm becoming a better mom because of you and I truly believe this past year I became a better parent you to your specific and individual needs! I have SEEN prayed answered and you have grown SO incredibly much this year. My prayer for next year is that I can parent you through truly utilizing God's Word in every aspect of your life. 

You are our middle child and in so many ways. In many ways you are a "big boy" and in others you are a just our little guy.  Sometimes Daddy and I fail to have age appropriate expectations for you. We often assume you're older than you are or we treat you like you're younger than you are. I know it's a tough balance and you manage it so well. You are both an AWESOME younger brother as well as an AMAZING older one. You adore Lane (and even though this year was such a huge change around our house with him being gone at school you have adapted SO wonderfully!! Missing your big bro is something I see on your face daily.) 

But you equally adore Lyric. When he was first born you really didn't pay much attention to him, but now you love to look out for him, help him with things, share with him(you're always feeding him bites in "MOMMYS type of voice", and you just talk to him now. It makes my heart SO happy to see the bond you already have with him!!

I know all three of you will be the best of friends and nothing makes my heart more happy than to see you guys watch out for each other! :)

I am beyond proud of all you have accomplished this year! Starting preschool was a huge change and you did it so gracefully!! 

You just decided you wanted to go and never looked back!  I am SO proud of you for that and it's yet another trait I admire about you. I pray you always have that will power! Of course sometimes that stubbornness can cause us to butt heads...but I see the positives in that as well and know it's a tool you will be able to use for good in your future. You love school and have learned so much this year. You also have started to blossom in Kidzlink class at church and your teachers rave about your impeccable memory for knowing your bible verse! 

You make me so proud every single day! 

You have made some great friends at school and I love how you can have great play dates with girls just as you can with boys. Your classmates go to school 3 days a week but I keep you home with me and you only go two of the days. You enjoy the time with Lyric and I but you also love to be at school. I think you miss snack time the most since that is your favorite thing to talk about when it comes to school! You love sweets and especially chocolate. You are constantly asking for a treat! Especially when I pick you up from school! 

You are not a picky eater but you are picky about the size of your bites(meal time is our main source of head butting struggles lately because you would rather spend your time entertaining at the dinner table than eating your food!)
We are working through that and each day you sit a little stiller and spend a little less time trying to get your brothers to laugh! (And most of the time daddy and I are trying to refrain from laughing too!!)

You STILL have your binky! Only at bed time but a lot of the times you will still want it for a few minutes when you wake up! AND you still ask for it when you get super tired or if you get hurt!! (This is something we will be working on even harder in year 4!!:) 

I pray that I'm the kind of wife and mother that you want to marry when become an adult. 

I pray you find a women worthy of your love and who will assist you in leading your family to Heaven. I am so passionate about being your mom and I truly love my "job." I never take it for granted that I am able to be part of every part of your day. I love being able to be there for every school event and I love being the one to prepare each of your meals for you (even if there is the occasional struggle with them!). I love our quality time. I love our snuggles and that you LOVE to be held by ME!

 I love our bond and my ability to spend as much quality time with you as I possible can. You will grow up before I know it and I'll never regret having this time with you. I don't know what you will become or what your career goals in life will be but of course I will support you in all that you do! You are so smart and have such a great personality that I'm sure whatever you put your mind to will be able to happen for you (especially with that head strong side!) I constantly pray that you follow Gods will for your future because I know with someone as driven as you....that you will be a world changer!! 

I've seen so much change in you during this year. You really went from "little kid" to "big kid." You take the big kid role very seriously and love being a little adult in many ways. You mastered the "NO I CAN DO IT" thing this year! I was always like that as a kid myself and love that you have such a great balance of being mature and in control yet also being so silly. You truly bring FUN wherever you go! You are so appreciative of all the fun things we do together and you make them extra special by just being you. I have LOVED all of our grocery shopping trips together this year. You are mommies big helper with all the grocerys, loading them up on the belt, packing them in bags, pushing the cart, helping your brother and even loading them in and out of the trunk! You LOVE to ask for a matchbox car every time we go to Walmart!! And you are so compliant when I say we can only get ONE of the 94 cent cars! You got a lot of matchbox cars for Christmas and love to play collection, car lot, and parade with them!

My three favorite memories from this year with you are definitely our trip to Chicago for your three year post surgery check up, our date we had the day before you started preschool, and taking you to the water park for Christmas! Thinking of those three times just make my heart beam!! Daddy and I really just needed that time with you in a way that I didn't realize until after we were back home. You may not have a lasting change from your surgery, but it did change me in a big way. I feel such a deeper connection with you and a better appreciation for you and a stronger bond together with you because of what we went through in all those dark moments throughout that year and especially in the PICU when it was late and just me and you. Physical touch is both of our love languages and I think you may get some of  that from all the quiet love and affection I poured into you through all those appointments and that procedure!

 And our chocolate milk date(your favorite) just seems to stand still in my mind! The way you beamed with delite and talked to me like such a big boy who was leaving for college not just starting preschool! It was like a "real" date with you and even though we had been on many dates before and after that one I'm so so thankful we had that moment together that stands out and seems different.

And I'm not sure I can even find the words to express how much I absolutely loved and adored watching you at that waterpark!! throughly know how to enjoy a waterpark!! You let that wave pool knock you under hundreds of times and the smile was never once washed away on your face! Thank God for your daddy who wants you to be brave because he took you on bigger water slides than I would have thought you were ready for and you did great! And of course you weren't afraid of anything! You never complained, you slept great, and listened so well!! Your heart is SO big and you are always so so grateful!!! You have said so many times months after the waterpark "Hey mommy remember going to the waterpark?" You LOVE to talk and reminisce about it all! 
Oh and this momma loved being able to sleep next to you in bed! You were so precious!!

 I'm so so thankful for the gift of having YOU as my son! 
 I don't ever want you to feel where you may think you are less special to me because I have three sons....not just one, because that's not the case. You and you alone will FOREVER and EVER be special to me in your own special way as will Lane in his and Lyric in his! I remember when I was a little girl loving dolls and praying and praying to be able to have lots of babies and you are exactly what I would have was as if I hand picked you. God answered my prayer when He gave me YOU. I will never, ever forget that moment when they said "it's another boy" and laid you on my belly. I looked right at daddy and said "are you happy?" And he said "He's exactly what I wanted". God knows who is for us as parents and we are so thankful to Him that He gave us you when He did! He used you to rescue our hearts!! 

I want the world for you and I want that best friend bond for us as you grow up. Every decision I make, every time I tell you "no", every time I discipline you, it's all because I love you SO much and it's all for the purpose of raising you to understand how to honor God and how to be the best YOU possible. I cannot wait until you are an adult and able to be my best buddy. I also can't wait to experience every single moment from now until then with you!  I know some bumps may lie in the path ahead but I also know, without a doubt, that we will face them together. I'm always in your corner. I'm always going to be your biggest cheerleader. I'm always, always, always going to have your back and be right here for you. I will listen when needed, give advice when asked, and keep my opinions to myself the best I can when you need to figure things out on your own. But even when we don't see eye to eye I will never stop loving you or stop being your biggest fan. You never, ever will have to question that. Ever. I may fail at many things in this life but I am promising you in this area I will not fail. I am your mother and my love for you will never falter! 
I'm so thankful for this past year. I'm so blessed to be able to experience life with you and create our fun memories together. I'm thankful for your continued good health and I will NEVER take that for granted. I am so proud of you for being YOU and for loving Jesus the way you do. You have started to understand things on a deeper level and are really developing your own faith and your own relationship with God. I can't wait to see how that grows and changes in this coming year and I love answering your questions about EVERYTHING and about faith and I love seeing God's word through your perspective. 

I am SO excited for this coming year for you. I know you are SUPER pumped about being 4 and I can't wait to experience making more special memories together! It's going to be tough on my heart to send you to school all 3 days in the fall and I'm going to be cherishing our mornings together until that time comes. I know so many great things are ahead for you Luke. I'm so proud of you and so confident that this year will be your best yet!

Happy Birthday my sweet qiqi, Lukie, angel momma boy! You are a bright shining light and I love you more than these words could ever say!! 



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