Friday, January 13, 2017
Live Big / Mila Turns 3
This morning, my alarm sounded at 5:30 am, signaling it was time for Beau and I to roll out of bed to get our workout in before the day ahead. I was in the laundry room throwing in a load of towels quick when I saw your tiny figure making your way down the long dark hallway. Up at least an hour before usual, there you were, in your red fleece professor jammies with white polka dots, your hair messy, holding blankie and baby, of course. You didn't say a word, just stood up against my leg waiting for me to scoop you up. Daddy beat me to it, and immediately escaped to our bed to get some snuggles, probably hoping I would join too and get us all out of our workout. As the two of you walked away, I locked eyes with you for a quick moment, and you smiled this sweet little smile, your cheek resting against the side of his face. Everything about this picture - your messy hair, your sweet pajamas, your favorite blankie and baby stuck like always in the crook of your arm, made me stop for a moment and take in this life in front of me. This true picture of beauty in the otherwise mundane moments of family life. And your sweet little self, just a few days away from three, the very beat of my heart.
I think every year as you and your brother's birthdays draw closer, I study you a little more closely. Like the last chapter of a really good book, I hang on every word, and sit in awe at the unique gift you are to me, our family, and this big old world.
Mila, your spirit fills a room fast, sometimes in the best of ways, and other times, well, it just hurts our ears. But your daddy and I ask each other on a weekly basis what we would do without you in our lives. The last three years, you have filled us up with so much life in so many ways. Everything we feel is big for you - when you are being your silly, quirky self, we laugh big. When you are pouring on your sweetness, we melt big. When you are relentlessly asking for a snack five minutes before dinner, specifically peanuts, goldfish, and water, we frustrate big! :) I smile when I think about God designing you, for I'm convinced he had a smile on his face. You are uniquely you, all sugar and spice, and you light up our lives in such big and beautiful ways.
If I could bottle you up exactly as you are, this week before you turn three, there is so much I would pour in. I would include your sweet munchkin voice, your wild blonde hair, and your perfectly imperfect set of teeth. I would include your love of everything pink, your precious little blankie and giraffe baby. I would include your love of Belle and a good twirly dress, and how you immediately make a 360 turn every time I pull a dress over your head. And yes, sometimes throw yourself on the ground crying if your dress doesn't "twirl" the way you pictured it would! I would include your love of "Paw-trol" and your brother, "Q-zie", and everything Frozen. I would include your love of playing babies, when you always say, "I'll be the mommy, and you be the sister," and those plastic high heels you wear around the house as you push your baby carriage and tell us you are going to work.
I would bottle up all the funny things you say. Things like, "Okie Dokie Mommy Monkey" every time I tell you to do something, or "Why because?" with a little grin on your face, I swear just to annoy me and answer questions you already know the answer to. I would bottle up the way you say things to daddy like, "Daddy, you haven't had a hug or a kiss yet today," and pour on the charm so fiercely, only to deny him the very next second and only want your mommy. There's no doubt you love your mommy, but you know exactly how to work your daddy's heart, too. I can't get enough of the way you two tell stories, though. I love that when you say, "Daddy, I had a dream last night," we can always bet it's going to be something that includes: "And there were three bears..."
I would bottle up your wits and smarts, the way you say things like "That's so embarrassing!" or "Want to have a competition?" and how you know every word to your favorite book, Lost Cat, including the word "saddlebag," which makes me laugh every time. And although you sometimes make me want to pull my hair out, I love that at bedtime, I can always expect you to drag out our reading time with just one more book, along with requests to "rub my back" and "sing me a song." Just a couple of months ago, you surprised me when you asked, "Mommy, can you sing me Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Tune My Heart to Sing they Grace?" While it's true I have sang that song to you several nights since you were a baby, I had no idea you knew all the words. That, and every song on the Frozen soundtrack are evidence that you are indeed always listening; that is, unless we're telling you no for something you ask for. :)
Of course, I would bottle up that giggle of yours, the way you wrap your arms around your brother's neck and give him "huggies", and how dang cute it is to eavesdrop on you playing pretend. The other night, I watched you in your room with one of our old cell phones up to your ear, pacing around in your tutu and plastic glasses, saying things like "I want to talk to Gamma," and "Are you kidding me?" I would even bottle up how strenuous this potty training adventure has been, and then how easy it's been the last two weeks as you finally seemed to decide it was time. Oh, and how you like to call your "potty successes" as "surprises." You are so silly!
If I'd fill up this bottle of all of who you are, it would surely be overflowing. And you fill us up every day, too, with joy, gladness, and so much life. We are so very thankful God put your sweet, sassy spirit in our lives and can only imagine the girl you will continue to grow to be. Happy Birthday, Mila girl. We love you so so much.
I found these pictures from late this summer and never posted them. Although you are definitely not as tan and your hair has gotten even longer, these pictures reveal so much of your happy. Give you a good tea party spread, a pretty dress, and a little bit of sugar, and you are one happy girl.