Dear Madeleine Noelle,
You are SEVEN years old now. Seven! Someone once told me that the odd numbers always seem the most unbelievable, and I think it's true. "Seven" just sounds so old. And if I could sum up the last month, I think it would have the title Seven: Sweet, Sassy, Spirited Sister.
|photos by the amazing Becky at wurzbachfisherphotography.com|
First, your sweetness. You are just filled to the brim with love. You always have the kindest words to say to people, genuine and encouraging words that show how much you notice. When people are encouraged by you, their faces light up and their steps get bouncier. You just have this great effect on those around you and it is a joy to watch!
After months and months and months of the most amazing behavior, we entered a new season of sass. Oh, the sassiness!! It is one of the most difficult things for me to endure. I think it's the element of disrespect, maybe, or the attitude of know-it-all-ness that comes along with the sass, but it just really gets under my skin. I know that you are trying out a lot of new sayings and things you learn at school, and it's just part of enforcing our own family boundaries, but, Girl! We are so ready for this season of sass to pass.
With your brothers, these two dichotomous characteristics come into play. I can't imagine a sweeter big sister to Evan. He feels safe with you, he adores you, and his whole body lights up when you come near. It's like he has another little Mama who attends to his needs, hears his cries, speaks so sweetly to him, and sacrifices for him. I absolutely love watching you interact with him; it moves my heart so!
Then there's Sam. Man, oh man, you guys fight like cats and dogs these days. It's relentless. At times I find myself saying things I can't possibly believe just to stop the madness. All those things I swore I'd never say?? Totally using them. "I'll pull over and stop this car right now!" "Quit being a jerk!" "Would you talk to your teacher/friend like that?!" I'm really hoping this year things turn around and we find some more peace in how we all relate to one another.
Your birthday celebrations were a lot of fun. This was a "no party" year so we had a small family surprise for you at Chuck-e-Cheese over Christmas vacation. Grammy, Papa, Uncle Joe, Uncle Ben & Aunt Michele plus all your cousins were there. SO MUCH FUN! I couldn't imagine liking such a place, but seeing you so thrilled just made my heart leap for joy!
Back at home, your birthday was a great day! Auntie Jennie sent you flowers and a stuffed bear to school. The boys and I brought In-and-Out for lunch. We planned a special family dinner (you requested seafood and Brussels Sprouts).
The day after your birthday we had a small playdate with five friends. You all drank strawberry chocolate tea and enjoyed tea biscuits and cookies.
Your joyful, imaginative, exuberant spirit brings us all such joy! We are so lucky to have you in our lives! Every day we thank God that you are growing in his image, and this year we are especially grateful for how you are growing in hearing God's voice in your life, learning to be comforted by Jesus in moments of distress, and how you are more quick to apologize and seek reconciliation. All these things are evidences of God's grace and work in your life! We love you Madeleine Noelle!