Happy third Birthday. I have been blessed to watch you grow over the past three years into a captivating little girl. You are gorgeous, kind, brilliant, and hilarious. I am so thankful that by God’s grace and your Daddy’s commitment to provide for us I have had the privilege of spending my days caring for you, teaching you, and enjoying you. I tell your Daddy often that I am living my dream by being with you throughout the day. I’m so thankful to be the one with you when you are wondering how we get to heaven, when you are fearful of the garbage truck, when you slam your fingers in the door, and one of my favorite times…when you wake up from your afternoon naps. You are especially snuggly and love being held for a while when you are waking up. I love the way you soak up the world around you with optimism and enthusiasm. You remind me of a sponge soaking it all in. You often say, “Mommy, tell me that story.” And by that you are asking me to explain something to you. I know what expressions I use the most based on what I hear you saying, and apparently I say, “well actually,” and “we can compromise” quiet a bit. For the past few months you have really begun using your imagination to play and create your own little world. You often play grocery store, babies, dress up, doctor, and you LOVE pretending to put Mommy and Daddy to bed. You are still a Daddy’s girl. When he’s home you’re not far from him. He lays in bed with you and reads you stories every night, I love hearing you two giggle and make up silly stories. If you wake up at night you mostly call for Daddy and want him to come help you. I hope that since he’s the first love of your life you’ll have high standards for a future husband. You have a small obsession with lollipops and gummy fruit bites, and we’ve used that to our advantage for rewards. You don’t seem to have much of an appetite and we struggle from meal to meal to convince you to eat. Meal time is our most challenging part of the day and even when I lower my expectation and give you kid-friendly foods, you still don’t eat much. I’ve concluded that you’ll start eating when your hungry. I love watching you play with Jack. You like him and he likes you. You like to grab him, pull him tight and say ” I love you buddy” or “I love my brother.” He never seems to enjoy this as much as you do. You make him laugh all the time and you love helping take care of him. You will be a good mom someday if that’s what God has for you. Some of your favorite things to do are go to dance class with Addy, go to the pool, play with Hunter, get a visit from Grandma and Umpa, go to “your bible study,” and you love to help me cook. Though you are more interested in testing everything than actually cooking. Your personality is fairly easy going (if you’ve had enough sleep.) You are pretty easy to reason with and you are flexible which makes my life a little easier. You communicate really well and are good at using your words to express yourself rather than have a fit- most of the time. You are excitable and smart, silly and serious. You are an adventure. This past year has been especially fun because we have been doing a “bible time” regularly each day and I hope that this becomes just as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth. Depending on the season we focus on different things in our bible time, right now we are opening one plastic egg each day leading up to Easter and discovering the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. You love bible time and you are learning special bible verses that I hope will be stored in heart for the years ahead. I hope that when you get older and you question your beauty as young girls do, you remember “I am wonderfully and fearfully made.” I hope that when you are lonely your remember, “I am with you.” When you feel defeater you hear God whisper, “With God all things are possible.” When you are tempted to react with mean words you hear “Be kind and compassionate.” When you wonder feel lost you know that “He is the good Shepard.” I pray that with all of these lessons and all of these stories that you fall in love with your Savior. He’s your’s Cora, he lived the perfect life that you and I aren’t capable of and then died the death you and I deserve. He has come that we “may have life to full.” I pray that you seek Him and find Him from an early age.
“A Lu” Cora Jean- my little Coco bean!
Three!! Wow, that went fast. No longer are you our baby girl (even though you always will be). You are now a self proclaimed BIG girl. What a blessing it has been to be go from your Da, to your DaDa, to Daddy.
You make me laugh: Your stories are funny, your laugh is contagious, and your belly is perfect for tickling. You can always bring a smile to my face. Even at times when you’re in trouble and I’m not supposed to smile!
You’re curious: Not only do you like to watch Curious George, but you share his most obvious characteristic – curiosity. You always want to know what something is, or how something works, or why things happen. You remind me of myself in this way. And it is one of my favorite joys to explain things to you. I love to help you understand this world around you, share how God’s hand is in all things, and see your gears turn as you process the new information.
You’re smart: This goes along with the last one… When you get new information you don’t forget it. And most of the time you can regurgitate it word for word. We have to make sure the words we say are ones we want you to repeat! Last night (we were having a Taco Party that you wore your heel shoes, tutu, and any piece of jewelry you could find) and you were trying to describe your day to me. You got hung up on a word, you said something that sounded like rainbow, I didn’t understand and you stopped – thought – scrunched your face – and then told me wheelbarrow. Amazing. You also have this uncaney memory. Often you will help me find something around the house, or Mommy will ask you to help her remember something at the store – you almost always come through.
You’re brave: Not much (other than vegetables) strikes fear into you. At the house you are climbing on the back of the couch, at the pool you want to be tossed as high as I can through you, and just a couple of weeks ago when you went to Busch Gardens with Hunter and Aunt Julie you insisted on riding the flume ride by yourself.
You’re caring: This one you get from your mother. You love…and it is so sweet. When a baby or one of your friends is crying you are not okay. You want to help, to comfort, and to fix the situation. It is as if you know and are applying Galations 6:2 which tells us to “Carry each other’s burdens…” You have told us you want to be a Doctor so you can help sick little children. You have told us that you want to give our food to the people that don’t have food, and toys to those who don’t have toys.
You’re beautiful: I put this one last because it is the least important, but probably the most obvious. You like to sing a song by Gungor that goes “you make beautiful things; you make beautiful things out of us.” God has made a beautiful thing out of you, and with all the traits above – and the more you will gain as you grow – I can’t wait to see what beautiful thing God makes you into.
What huge responsibility and honor it is to be your father. Thank you.