dear e, the past eight years have flown by much too quickly.   my  heart changed in unspoken ways the moment i became a mother.

this year seems extra sentimental to me as you enter a new phase of life.  you are not quite a little girl anymore, but not quite a teen-aged girl either.    i certainly see changes in you as you gain more independence and curiosity about the world around you.  when i think of you, i think of the tenderness that fills your heart.  you are so loving and so full of compassion for everyone in your life.

we've shared so much in these short eight years.   in the last few years daddy was deployed quite often and you were my rock.  you were there to make me laugh, to give me snuggles, and to be a help in more ways than you'll ever be aware.   indeed, i missed daddy, but these memories will forever be etched in my heart.   i love the bond we share and i hope we never lose it.

i've enjoyed watching your faith in God and love of Jesus grow over the past year.   you have questions and passion and it makes me so happy.   my prayer for you is to grow closer and closer to Him.  i want you to let Jesus  lead you and trust in Him for everything in your life.  if you do this, you will forever be blessed.

i know the next few years will continue to bring changes as you grow into a young lady.   i pray for wisdom in guiding you,  love and patience in teaching you, and an open heart, to be there for you always.

i love you to the moon and back!

happy eighth birthday!!!