Emily is 7

Dear Emily,

I am not sure why but you turning seven feels like a very big mile stone. It's like you are just one step closer to becoming a teenager. This past year you started kindergarten, played soccer, swam on a competitive team, lost a bunch more teeth, and grew several inches. Steak and salad are still your favorite foods (of course you insist on having your steak a nice medium rare). You are still no heavier than a wet paper bag but you are definitely hanging in there with your height.

You have the biggest heart of any little girl I know. You care about God and everyone around you, on TV, and even people you think might possibly be out in the world somewhere. You care about animals and the environment. You care about everything so much that we worry about you sometimes. We are relieved that your compassion is not worry but simply love. You are a nurturer in the truest form.

Sometimes you exhaust me and your dad with the speed of thoughts that fly through your mind and out your mouth. You have an answer for every question and reason. Justifications and explanations are just the beginning. Dad says that he is lucky I was in debate for so long just to have a chance against you. Both of us still throw up our hands in the air after days of endless banter when you really really really want something.

You are also very adventurous. I think the pictures speak for themselves but you are always up for trying new things and testing your limits. Even when you are nervous it is more of a nervous excitement then the fear of not wanting to do something.

When we were in Hawaii I saw lots of young (20 somethings) that had decided to move to Hawaii for a couple of years to living in paradise for no other reason than they loved it here. I thought a lot about you. It was another reminder that it will be nearly impossible for dad and I to keep you in KS forever. You are traveler by heart and will see the world. Just make sure it is some place fun for us to visit.

As my only daughter the dreams that I have for you are big. Thank you for making us parents. As your parent we get to experience things through your eyes which is always with amazement and excitement. I hope that you have an amazing birthday and loads of fun.



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