I can't believe that you are 9 years old now!!! Time has gone so fast for your dad and me, and I know it is just going to go by even faster. It really does not seem like you should be turning 9, but whether we want you to or not - you are. Last night, as the storms came in, I realized that it was the exact same time 9 years ago that we knew you were going to be making your arrival. I almost pulled a Lorelai Gilmore and woke you to tell you the story of the night you were born. However, I know you are the one other person besides your mother in the house that needs ALL of her sleep (and then some on some days) so I decided to do that another year when your birthday falls on a Friday or a Saturday!!!
This year your friendships that you have developed have only grown stronger. We all laugh at you and Madlyn. You can't get enough of each other and you compliment each other so well. We love hearing all the stories of your adventures and are never amazed at the schemes you two come up with. What will we do in a few years when the schemes get even more elaborate!!!! You have also developed and strengthened your friendships with wonderful Christians young ladies. How blessed you are to have precious friends like Jessica and Anna Catherine who have literally been there since your birth! They love you so much and you always go out of your way to see them. I pray that you remember how well they have treated you and the attention they have shown you all of your life. Your friendship with Katy has only grown stronger. I love seeing the two of you talk about your favorite things together - Lady Lion basketball, Alabama football and Makin' Music. I pray that you will learn to serve like Katy whether helping others or teaching Bible classes. I have loved seeing your new friendships with Whitney, Claire and Emily. They have taught you that you are never too young to have fun, laugh with others and at yourself. I also love that you are learning how to not only love your brother from these girls, but how to be a friend to your brother. These girls and their families have become major blessings in our lives this year. I pray that you and Carter will always love each other and be there for each other, but that you will also be best friends. I am also very proud of the little friends you have kept and made. You are always so kind, attentive and loving towards Cecily, Dean, Lane and Lilly. Always remember little ones are looking up to you and love you just like you love your BIG friends.
I have loved watching you grow this year. You continue to love music - all kinds. You love singing praises to God with Carter as you play church together. You love your Jonas Brothers still, and have added Big Time Rush to your boy band list. You are also breaking out into other types of music - a little bit of country; a little bit of rock-n-roll. You ALWAYS have some kind of song you are singing - whether it is an LB original or one of your favorites. You still are a little book worm. I love that you still want us to read to you at night. One of my favorite times is for you to snuggle up with me, each of us reading our own book or me reading to you. This year we have read Little House on the Prairie books up to The Long Winter. We have read some of the past American Girl of the Year books and Ramona and her Father and Ramona and her Mother. You developed a MAJOR love of history this year. We have read multiple biographies of American presidents and you grew to love visiting Shiloh battlefield this summer. I can't wait to take you to other historical places for your love to only grow.
You are gaining independence in some ways, but you are still a family girl. You love playing basketball or kickball in the backyard with Dad. You love snuggling up with me to read, play Sudoku or just watch a girlie movie. You love (more than you would like to admit) sharing time with Carter - whether playing in the play room, playing basketball or any game, or (my favorite) playing church. Being so close to Gran and Grandad Willis, you love spending the night with them on the weekends, and they love having you. You also enjoy having Papa Whittle around to come to your soccer games, play down in his basement and just being with him. You also enjoy spending time with Mama C and Papa John whenever they can come. I love seeing you talk about and just be with all your cousins. You are always begging to see Johnathan and Addison, and, now, you can add Walker to the mix. You also don't think twice about adding Andrew, Mary Beth and Claire to your list of cousins. I pray you always are close to your family because we all love you!!!!
I just thank God every day that He chose ME to be YOUR mother! You are my peace, my joy, my pride and my joy! I pray this next year is just as much of a blessing as these last 9 have been. I can't wait to see what other memories we can make together.
I love you,