Seven

Dear Eva,

Today you turn seven years old, baby girl. I can’t believe it. Seven is not a toddler. It’s not a preschooler. It’s not even a small kid. It’s a verifiable big kid who can go places and do things all on their own. 

This is insane to me. In my head, you’re still the little girl I saw for the first time on Holy Thursday. You’re still the baby that handed me her doll when I came over for the first time. You’re still the sweet little one I would hug that summer and to whom I would whisper how much I would always love you because even if I wasn’t around forever I wanted you to maybe have a flash of a memory of how much I loved you.

But things worked out and you’re my seven-year-old now. And I have never been given a more precious gift than when God and Daddy gave me the chance to be your mommy.

I have had six birthdays with you, made six cakes, blown up six million balloons, thrown six parties. I have gotten you up and sung happy birthday to you six times. I have cuddled you a little bit longer for six years because on today of all days the years seem to be going faster. 

I wrote last week about how I try to be thankful for my life, just being here, and your birthday makes me renew that pledge. Your mama only got to spend one birthday with you, the one where she gave you life and welcomed you into the world. I am forever  cogniscent of each and every precious birthday I get to celebrate with you, my beautiful daughter. 

Being your (and your brother’s, but this is your day) mommy is the best thing I’ve ever gotten to do. Watching you grow into a beautiful daughter of God is the greatest thing I will ever do. Your soul is my greatest jewel and honor, and I am so thankful that I get to be here to help get you to heaven. 

I can’t wait to see what you do this year, precious one. 

Love, 

Mommy

Thankful

Six years ago today my husband lost his wife. My daughter lost her mother, whom she’d never really remember. A hole was ripped in people I would come to love very soon afterwards that nothing can ever fill, no matter how happy and fulfilling our lives are now.

There’s nothing I can do about that. And it sucks.

I can do some stuff though. I can be here for my husband. I can tell my daughter stories I’ve learned from other people so it feels like they’re her memories, like her mama is still here with us not only in spirit. I try to do those things every day, and more so on days like today. 

The biggest thing I can do, though, is so simple. I can be thankful. 

I am thankful for my husband. We don’t agree about everything. We are very stubborn. We have our share of disagreements and yeah, sometimes I look back at skinny, free 2010 me and wonder what happened and WHY. But I am always, always thankful for him. I am constantly reminded that I could be without him. In the blink of an eye, my life and marriage could be over and I can never forget that. I am so so thankful to have had four and a half years of marriage with him already. 

I am thankful for my children. I get to stress about birthday parties. I get to potty train. I get to lie awake at night and worry about how she’s feeling and whether I’m doing the right thing or whatever. I am so unbelievably privileged that I get to do that every day. 

I am thankful that I get to live in my dream home, happily and healthily. 

I am thankful that I get to be 29, even though I’m mad about turning 30. I am thankful to have this time with my mom, with my sister, with HER mom. I am thankful to be friends with her brother’s new wife and watch them start their family. I am thankful to be here to see my niece and when my brother falls in love and gets married.

I am thankful for budgeting and sick kids that climb in bed with me and then need help with their own blankets at 3:30am and gross colds and grocery shopping and taking out the trash and those few quiet minutes at the end of the day when my husband and I are finished with everything we need to do and can just be together. 

I am so lucky, and I am so thankful.